It's time to grab one of those tired t-shirts from your closet. Better yet, grab one from your husband's closet! This tutorial will guide you through refashioning a t-shirt into a cute ruffly skirt for your little girl. This is an easy project, perfect if you are a beginner sewer or an experienced refashionista! The entire skirt can be completed in less than an hour, which is great because your little princess will be dying to wear it. The most difficult part of this project will be getting her to take the skirt off! Directions given are for size 2T/3T, but can easily be adjusted for a larger or smaller size.
Go here for the 10 minute leg warmers tutorial!
*If you would like a skirt with a contrast ruffle as pictured, you will need a second t-shirt, which will allow you to make two skirts using the two shirts, both with a contrast ruffle.*
20" length of 1"wide elastic
Cut Body of Skirt
1. Lay t-shirt flat, matching front and back lower hem. Measure 11" from bottom of shirt and cut parallel to hem (this will give a finished skirt length of 9.5" -- adjust 11" measurement if a shorter or longer length is desired). The t-shirt hem will remain in tact and be used as the skirt hem, and the side seams will serve as the skirt side seams -- doesn't leave much left for you to have to sew, huh?.
Note: The shirt used in this tutorial is a women's size medium and approximately 34" in diameter at the hem. The larger the diameter of the shirt, the fuller the finished skirt will be. If you are using a shirt that is wider at the hem than you want your finished skirt to be, you may want to take in one side seam to your desired width after completing step 1.
Cut Ruffle Strips
2. Using the entire width of the t-shirt, cut 1" wide strips out of front and back of shirt. Trim off any side seams. You will need approximately 4 strips for each row of ruffles, 12 strips total (amount of strips needed will vary with the amount of gathers you choose).
Note: As is pictured in later steps, you may choose to use fabric from a second t-shirt for a contrasting ruffle. If so, cut 8 strips from your main t-shirt and 4 strips from a second t-shirt.
3. To easily gather your 1" strips, set your machine at it's longest stitch length and it's highest tension setting. This will gather the strip as you sew. Stitch (do not backstitch at beginning or end of stitch) down middle of one strip until you near the last inch of the strip.
4. When nearing the last 1" of the strip, place another strip 1/2" from the end of the first strip, overlapping the two. Strips pictured are different widths to illustrate overlap -- your strips will be equal in width. Continue stitching down the second strip, attaching the two strips together. When nearing the end of the second strip, attach the 3rd strip the way that you joined the 1st and 2nd strips together. Repeat with the 4th strip. Leave the thread ends long on both ends of your now joined ruffle strips.
Attach Ruffles to Skirt
5. Lay completed ruffle over hem of skirt, ensuring that the length is sufficient to go all the way around the bottom of the skirt. Gently pulling TOP thread only, adjust gathers as needed.
6. Repeat steps 4-5 with 8 remaining 1" strips, making two more completed ruffles.
7. Beginning at one side seam, align one ruffle parallel to bottom of hem, close to edge. Using normal machine settings, stitch ruffle to skirt, following basting stitch line that you made in step 4. Allow the end of the ruffle to overlap the beginning 1/2", backstitch, and cut off any excess ruffle.
8. Pin second ruffle 1/4" above first ruffle and stitch in place as you did the first ruffle.
9. Pin third ruffle 1/4" above second ruffle and stitch in place as you did the first and second ruffles.
Sew Elastic Waistband
10. Turn top edge of skirt 1.5" toward wrong side of skirt and pin in place (you may serge top edge of skirt first if desired, but since knits do not fray it's not necessary). Stitch close to raw edge, forming elastic casing for waistband. Leave a 1" opening to insert elastic.
11. Insert elastic through casing. Overlap the two ends of elastic 1" and stitch together using a zigzag stitch. Stitch waistband opening closed.
Admire Your Work!
12. Let your little angel try on her new skirt! Great job!