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Repurposing: Shirt into Skirt with Yoga Style Waistband

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I am always looking for ways to use up and re-purpose those old shirts in the closet.
But this time, I saw some knit shirts at Old Navy in the Women’s section that were about $2 on clearance.  (Buy the biggest sizes they have to get the most fabric.) The fabric was a nice and light knit and they came in a variety of colors and prints……….making the perfect fabric for a little springy/summery skirt.
$2 plus a little adjusting? Perfect.
So keep that in mind while browsing the racks at the store.  Sometimes it’s hard to find a great knit at the fabric store for cheap…….so look at those discounted clothes on the clothing racks.
And because the bottom seam was already there……all I needed to do was put in a waistband.
And what is more comfy than a Yoga style waist band? Nothing.
The tall waistband is folded over for a comfy fit.
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It’s the perfect little skirt for spinning,
and enjoying the nice weather.
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Wear it with or without leggings (especially if your little girl insists on a skirt each day)……any time of year.
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Would you like to make your own?

As noted above, I bought this shirt for $2 on the clearance rack at Old Navy.
But dig through those closets and see what you already have on hand.
Depending on what size you’re making, cut the bottom section of the shirt off.  This will be the main section of the skirt.  And remember, the bottom hem of the shirt will be the new bottom hem of the skirt……so don’t cut it off.
My little girl wears about a 4T in skirts, so I measured 9 inches up from the bottom of the shirt and cut it off.
Then, if you have enough fabric left on the shirt cut out a piece that’s big enough for the yoga band.  Mine came from the back of the shirt.  (If not, use some fabric from a different shirt or some knit fabric from your scrap pile.)  My waist band piece was 20 inches wide x 9 inches tall……..but if I had more fabric, I would have made it about 20 x 11 inches.  Just to give the waistband more height.  Because I love an even taller/adjustable waist band.
Then fold this piece in half lengthwise and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance along the two shorter ends, creating a tube.  (I used a serger but if you’re using a sewing machine, use a zig-zag stitch or a knit freindly stitch.  Need help with knits?  Click here for more info.)
Then turn your tube right side out and fold the tube down inside itself in half, keeping the right side of the fabric on the outside.
Then gather up the top raw edge of the bottom section of the skirt.  Make your basting stitch about 1/2 inch from the top.  (Need help with gathering?  Click here.)  Gather in the skirt so that it’s the same width as your band that you just folded in half.
Fold the band down over the top of the gathered section and pin this section evenly in place.  Don’t stretch it as you’re pinning.
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Make sure you are pinning the raw edge of the skirt with the 2 raw edges of the folded band.  The actual fold of the band is at the other end of the band……….shown in the upper left side of the image below.
Now, serge or zig-zag those layers together (3 layers in all), using a 1/2 inch seam allowance…….all the way around the skirt.  If your basting stitch happens to be showing, pull on those threads to remove them.
Then iron/steam that seam flat……along with the upper fold of the band.  (And if you had just a bit of stretching while sewing the layers together in the last step, steaming will help shrink it back down a bit.  But if it was over-stretched, you may have to pick it out and try again.  Or if it just keeps stretching out and the waist band is too big……….make your band a bit smaller and then adjust the gathering as well.  That should take care of it.)
And that is it.
Very few steps…….with lovely results.
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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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