I'm back from a long weekend road trip and finally posting last week's refashion project! This one was another Refashion Runway/The Refashioners double-play! The Refashion Runway challenge this past week was to make a maxi skirt or dress, and of course, the ongoing theme of The Refashioners 2015 is giving new life to men's dress shirts. And so I chose to create a maxi skirt from - you guessed it - men's dress shirts.
I selected four shirts in varying shades of blue and one white shirt to turn into an ombre tiered skirt.
But first, I had a little too much fun taking my before pictures!
So anyway, I started to cut up the shirts into wide strips. I cut the body off below the pocket and trimmed off the button band. (Don't worry, no buttons were wasted in the making of this skirt - they all went into the button stash!) I also cut a chunk out of the upper back and the sleeves.
I even picked out the pocket and cut pieces from the upper fronts on the white shirt in order to get enough fabric for that bottom tier.
For the two palest blue shirts, I cut strips from the body, upper back, and sleeves, but I didn't need the upper fronts. Just the body and sleeves were needed from the medium blue shirt. The darkest blue shirt only required I salvage the body and upper back, but I also cut a narrower strip from the body to create a waistband. Then I began to attach all my pieces together into big loops, first with a straight stitch, then a zig-zag to keep the edges from fraying too badly in my sad, serger-less world.
I pressed all the seams, and when the dust settled, I had six looooong loops of fabric...
Then I began to attach each tier to the one above, treating the waistband as the top-most tier. Some people like to use a basting stitch and then gather the fabric to create ruffles, but I prefer the midpoint-pin method. Basically, I pin the two layers together in one place. Then I find the point directly opposite on each loop (usually it's the side seams, but that wouldn't work this time with my frankensteined loops) and pin those two spots together. Then I find the midpoint between the pins on each loop and pin those spots together. And so on and so forth until I have a pin every few inches. Then I just pinch little pleats as I sew to gather up the rest.
Once each tier was attached, I then top-stitched for a nice, finished look.
After the skirt was all in one piece, I went back up and finished the waistband. That way, I'll be able to try on my skirt before deciding how much to hem at the bottom. I folded the waistband downward in half and stitched all around. Then I folded it downward again and stitched all around except for a couple inches to insert my elastic in the next step. I even stuck one of the shirts' laundering tags in there (they all had similar laundering instructions, so I just picked the tag that was in the best condition).
I cobbled together two mismatched pieces of 1" elastic salvaged from other projects because who cares if you can't see it anyway, right? Then I used a giant safety pin to feed it through the casing. Some zig-zag stitching joined the ends of the elastic, and then I could close the gap in the waistband.
Finally, I was able to put my skirt on and get a better idea of the length before hemming the white tier at the bottom.
The addition of a navy blue tee completed the ombre look. Sadly, I don't have a dark blue belt or white shoes, but oh well!