Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Recon Skirt With How-to

I've had a hoodie lying around for ages that is just too big for me. I got it from a friend who was tossing it, cause I knew the fabric would come in handy one day. I finally came up with a skirt for my oldest daughter.

It's a little big on her, but that's good. It's almost summer here and I want her to be able to wear it when the weather is cooler, it is made out of sweatshirt material after all. It took much less of the material than I thought, too. I forget just how little she is sometimes. In retrospect, the squares could have been a little smaller, but over all I'm happy with the outcome. I have plenty enough to make one for my youngest daughter too, but I'll definitely do smaller squares with hers.

I'm trying to work through some of my enormous fabric stash, and this was the first project on my list. Hopefully I'll be able to get lots more done soon.

This was so easy to make. I would love to make one for myself sometime. Here's how its done.

You just cut 5 inch by 5 inch squares from an old hoodie or sweatshirt. It should be a knit material to minimize raveling. Then sew them together WRONG sides together until they reach around the widest part of your hips. It can fit tightly, or looser. It's up to you. Sew the first and last squares together in the same way so that you have a tube.

Make more of these "tubes" in the same size as the first. How many more depends on the length you want. My daughter only needed two, but a grown woman may need four or five or more. It's up to you how many you need for your desired length.

To attach the tubes, put one tube inside another tube WRONG sides together. Line up the edge to be sewn and pin. You can stagger the seams of the squares or line them up, it's just personal preference. I prefer staggering them because I don't want them so uniform and it's a little easier to sew. Once the tubes are pinned together all the way around, sew them together.

Attach the other tubes in the same manner until you reach the desired length.

For my daughter's waistband, I used the ribbed waistband that came on the hoodie. If you don't have ribbing to use just fold over the top of your skirt, sew a casing and thread elastic through it. Here is a good video on how to do that if you need some help. Just remember that you don't have to fold over the first 1/4 inch since the sweatshirt material won't unravel. Also remember that this will shorten the length of the skirt some. You can always add more "tubes" to the bottom of the skirt if you need more length though.

If you do have that ribbing on the garment you are using, cut it off as close to the seam as possible. Now, hold it around your waist (or where you will be wearing the waistband) to find out how long it should be. It should be secure enough to keep your skirt up without being too tight, and you will need to add about 1/4 - 1/2 inch for seam allowance. When you are sure you have the right length, go ahead and cut the ribbing.

Do not sew a traditional seam on the ribbing. I found a way that is much more comfortable, and will go with the exposed seams on the rest of the skirt. You may notice that the ribbing is folded in half. Keep it folded and slide on end inside the other end 1/4 - 1/2 inch (whichever amount you added in the last step). Now, sew right down the middle of this seam being sure that you are going through all layers. The seam won't unravel since it's made with knit material.

You're almost done! You will attach the waistband to the skirt body in almost the same way as you attached the "tubes" together to form the body. The difference is that the waist band should be smaller than the skirt body and it will have to be stretched to fit. Try to stretch it evenly and use plenty of pins to hold everything secure. Sew the waistband to the skirt, and you're done!

You can get really creative with this. Try using different size sqaures and rectangles. Also, try mixing different colors. I recommend having two shirts or hoodies to work with since you may not get enough material from just one. Just think about how the colors will look together and try to get materials that are similar in thickness. For example, sweatshirt material and t-shirt material probably wouldn't mix well.

This was much lengthier than I had planned, and if you're anything like me pictures would definitely help. I'll try to get pictures of the next one I make and add them later. But for now this is the best I can do. Hope it's useful.

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