Quick T-shirt Skirt with Handkerchief Hem
by Olivia and Aunt Lizzy
(North Palm Beach, FL)
This project is a great first project for the sewing machine...Olivia is 7 and has fallen in love with sewing (to the very obvious joy of her Aunt Lizzy!) partially due to this skirt.
All you need for this project (besides the obvious sewing machine, thread and scissors!) is a piece of elastic (1/2" or so) the size of your waist and two T-shirts with interesting patterns or colors...We bought ours at our local thrift store, but you can also make a skirt out of Mom or Dad's old t-shirts...just make sure to ask first!!
All steps (with the exception of some pinning help from Aunt Lizzy) were performed by Olivia herself. Full skirt took just over an hour from start to finish.
1. Lay one shirt down flat on your cutting surface.
2. Draw a big square with the top of the square going just under the neckline of the shirt and the sides going just inside the sleeve seam. The bottom of the square is just above the hem of your shirt.
3. Cut out the square you just drew, going thru both sides of the shirt at the same time so you end up with two big rectangles/squares. Don't forget to cut off the hem on the bottom of the shirt!
4. Do the same thing to the 2nd shirt.
5. Measure your waist where the skirt will sit (our number was 22). Take that number and add 4 (for a 1/4" seam), then divide by 8 (our final number was 3-1/4").
6. Take the four squares you cut from the t-shirts and lay them down in a single pile, all face-up. The pattern or side you want showing should be face-up. (We missed this step while doing the skirt pictured...that's why one purple panel has a pattern and the other doesn't. This is where you learn that sometimes an Oops just gives your project more character!!)
7. Starting in the upper left hand corner (on the short side of the rectangle, if you have one), measure the number you calculated in step #5 and make a small mark.
8. Do the same mark on the bottom, this time starting from the bottom right hand corner.
9. Draw a line between the two marks, making two equal almost-triangles (trapezoids). Cut down this line (one or two at a time or all four at the same time, if possible).
10. Take all your trapezoids and lay out the order you want to sew them in, making sure all the small sides are at the top (this will be your waist after the sewing is done).
11. Put right sides together, small ends together at the top, and sew down one side until you reach the end of one piece. (Trick we recently learned: Line the edge of the material up with the side of your sewing foot and you'll have just about a 1/4" seam) The bottoms will not line up...this is ok, it forms the 'handkerchief hem' of the skirt.
12. Continue to sew each piece to the row, making sure all small ends are together. When all are attached, sew the 1st & last together, making a full circle.
13. The bottom will be a pretty handkerchief hem, and because you're using t-shirt knit material, hemming is not necessary!
14. Cut out a piece of elastic the same size as your waist measurement. Sew the ends together, making a loop. Sew
this to the waist of your skirt, stretching where/if needed, to help the skirt stay up. (You could also sew a piece of 2" or 3" elastic to the top of the skirt and use that as your waistband - that would look cool too!)
15. Find yourself a cool tank top to match and go have fun!
Sew your own Clothes Pages:
~Sew your clothes, ~Skirts, ~T-shirt skirt with handkerchief hem, ~Ball Gown, ~Cover-Up, ~Arm Warmers, ~Costume, ~Shorts