How to Make a Two-Color A-Line Tee Skirtcomments (21) June 28th, 2013
I love making skirts in the springtime, and while playing around with some recycled T-shirts a couple of years ago, I came up with this design, which I still love! I've made four skirts like this so far, and plan on making many more! All you really need are two T-shirts and a sewing machine, but you can choose to add an elastic or drawstring waistband for extra security, or if you're a more experienced sewer, I'm sure you could add your own touches to make your skirt a bit more elaborate. This basic design is simple enough for anyone who can use scissors and sew a straight line!
- Two T-shirts, approximately the same size (details below)
- Scissors (and a rotary cutter is helpful)
- Measuring tape
- Chalk or fabric marker
- Sewing machine and thread
- Elastic tape or drawstring material (optional)
For your T-shirts, it will work better if they are similar thickness and stretchiness, and, of course, choose coordinating colors. By following the instructions exactly, the bigger the shirts are, the more your skirt will flare out, but if you want to use big T-shirts without so much flare, you can just cut your pieces smaller. This also goes for if you want to use two different sizes-you can cut the bigger shirt's pieces to be the same size as the smaller shirt. Keep in mind your skirt's length will be a bit shorter than the shortest T-shirt's length, so don't choose too-small shirts.
Start by cutting each T-shirt into two big rectangles, front and back. Cut the front first, as wide as possible inside where the sleeves come into the body and just below the collar.
Then cut the same size from the back. Repeat for the other shirt-you can use the first shirt's rectangle as a template, but it's not necessary that they are exactly the same size.
Next, you need to measure your waist, then divide that number by 8, and we'll call that X. Mine worked out super easily because my waist where I measured was 88 cm, so that gave me 11 cm exactly for X. Lay out a fabric rectangle and mark X in from one end at the top (across the shorter side). I added 1 extra centimeter for seam allowance, but that resulted in my skirt being too big to stay on without adding an elastic band, so I recommend not adding a seam allowance (unless you plan to add elastic or a drawstring).
Then mark X in from the other end on the opposite side. Use your tape measure or a ruler to connect the two spots and mark a line between them.
Cut along the line, either with scissors or with a rotary cutter.
Repeat those steps for each of the four rectangles, cutting the diagonal line in the same direction on each one. It doesn't matter what direction, as long as all four are cut the same (in my case, they were all from top right to bottom left). Then decide what order to place the panels. I like to place the panels with pictures close together to make the front of the skirt, with the blank panels at the back.
Once you have the panels in order, sew the first two together with right sides facing, lining up the top edges. The bottom edges will not line up; just sew until you reach the end of the shorter side and lock your stitch there.
Continue across for each panel, joining the next one to the end, one after another. Then join the last and the first together, the same as all the rest. After this, you can decide how much more you want to do to finish your skirt, if anything.
The bottom edges will be all crooked; I like to cut each panel's bottom straight across and leave the edges raw, since T-shirt fabric doesn't unravel. If you want to sew a hem, go for it!
I used my rotary cutter for this part, since I don't trust my hands to cut perfectly straight with scissors. I just lined up my straightedge from the bottom of one side to the bottom of the other side and cut a narrow triangle off each panel.
If your skirt fits well, you can be done now, or just sew the top edge under to make a hem. Since T-shirts are knit fabric, the stretchiness means you can make the simplest skirt ever, with no zipper, buttons, drawstring, snaps, etc., which also means it's the most comfortable skirt ever. But, if it's a little too big and you're worried it won't stay on securely, it's easy to add a simple drawstring or elastic band. I solved this problem on mine by folding the top edge under, sewing a hem, and threading a piece of elastic tape through. I sewed the elastic ends together and sewed the hole in the hem closed with the elastic inside.
Use the same idea, but thread a piece of ribbon or strip of fabric through the hem instead of elastic, cut two holes in the front or side of the hem, and you've got a drawstring! I used that idea with a necktie on this version of the skirt:
This other one I made fit just right without any additions, so I just folded the top edge under and sewed a hem.
If your skirt happens to turn out too small in the waist, that's an easy fix! Since the skirt gets wider as it goes down, you'll just need to cut it at whatever point it's the right size. Also, if you want a shorter skirt, just cut it up from the bottom wherever you want. If you do either of these modifications, be sure to either sew a hem or relock the bottoms of the seam stitches where you cut so they don't unravel.
One more thing-don't throw away those leftover T-shirt scraps! There are so many crafty things they'll be great for! I love using T-shirt fabric for small projects (like my cuffs!) and embellishments like appliqués. T-shirt sleeves are actually a good amount of fabric; if you collect several of them, you could turn them into a patchwork quilt or something else crazy cool! Just keep them in your stash and the inspiration will come!
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