Thursday, September 15, 2011

t-shirt yoga skirt tutorial...

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I turned a couple of men's t-shirts I scored off of the clearance rack for a couple of bucks into a comfy knit skirt with a yoga waistband...

It was sooo easy.  Here's what you'll need:

2 men's t-shirts (mine were 3 XL)
cutting mat & ruler
rotary cutter or scissors
matching thread
ball point needle & sewing machine

Start by washing your shirts.  You want them to shrink up now, so your skirt doesn't shrink later.

Next, you need to take some measurements and do some simple math...
Length you want your skirt to be + 1/2 inch for seam allowance = Measurement A
(Your waist measurement - 5) / 4 = Measurement B

{Your waistband pieces will be Measurement B x 2.  
This seams small, but the knit will stretch out BIG TIME, so don't worry.}

Now, we'll use these measurements to cut out your pieces.
Take one of your shirts and turn it inside out.  
Fold the shirt in half and lay it flat on your cutting mat.

Cut a rectangle for the main body of your skirt according to the diagram below, leaving the fold intact...

Unfold your rectangles and pin the sides together.  

(I like to use a lot of pins when sewing knits.)
Set this piece aside.

Next, fold your other shirt in half.  (I didn't turn it inside out so I could see where the neckline was.)  Since we are just cutting the waistband, we won't need the whole shirt.  I planned out my cuts so I could keep a large portion of the shirt in tact to use for another project, so make sure you plan ahead if you'd like to do the same.  Follow the diagram below...

Unfold your waistband rectangles and turn them right sides together.  Then pin along the sides, just like we did for the skirt.

Now it's time to sew.  Make sure your ball point needle is loaded in your machine and your thread is ready to go, then set your machine to a stretch looks like a lightning bolt.

(If you don't have this stitch, use a zigzag.)

Sew the sides of your waistband together using a 1/2" seam allowance.
It should look like this...

Then take the top edge and begin folding the band over on itself...

...until the raw edges meet.  Make sure the side seams are matched up, then set it aside.

Next, sew the sides of your skirt with a 1/2" seam allowance taking care to match up the hem at the bottom.  Then turn the whole thing right side out.  You should have a tube like this...

Now, set your machine to a long straight stitch and sew a gathering stitch 1/4" from the top raw edge of your skirt. Then sew another gathering stitch 1/2" from the top in the same manner.  (Don't sew these rows closed!  Leave a gap and long tails of thread.)  Pull the top threads to gather the fabric, like so:

(I only did one row of stitching on this skirt and I wish I would have done don't skip that part.  I think it helps the gathering stay more even.)

Take your waistband and flip it so the raw edges are facing up.

Put the waistband around the top gathered edge of the skirt.  Line up the side seams and pin them first.  Then even out your gathers so your skirt fits inside the waistband and pin it all around the outside.

The raw edges of the band and the gathered raw edge of the skirt should be lined up all the way around.

Now sew using a stretch stitch 1/2" away from those raw edges to attach the band to the skirt.

Take out those gathering stitches with a seam ripper if you need to, then flip up your waistband... and you're done!

We used the original hem of the t-shirt, so we don't have to hem it. (Yesssss.)
And the wide yoga band can be worn as-is for a high-waisted look 
folded down over the hips, like I have it in the picture below.

Dress it up with flats and a cardi or go causal with a tee and flip-flops...
Either way, you'll be super comfy in your cheap and simple new skirt!

P.S. You know that extra fabric we saved from our original t-shirt?  You could use it to make some ruffles or rosettes to gussy up your skirt if you want.  Just thought I'd throw that out there. :)

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  1. Super cute. I love to quilt but am totally intimidated by garments of any kind. This looks easy (and fun) enough for even me to try. I have some folded waist skirts from Land's End that remind me of this. They are so comfy...I wear them all the time. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  2. What a cute skirt! I'm definitely going to try this. :)

  3. I love this! And your tutorial explains it so well! I have never sewed more than a pillowcase, but you've made this sound so easy! And I could really use some comfy skirts!

  4. are amazing! I love this! The pictures are perfect...especially for a sewing challenged person such as me. I just might try this!

  5. I'm in love!!! Totally going to get some shirts and try it out.

  6. Love it! I'm planning to use a knit dress and make it into a skirt with a yoga waistband.

  7. You are so creative! The skirts looks great and I love how inexpensive it was to make. I am new follower from Tatertots and Jello. Vicky @

  8. Love this tutorial! Featuring it on my blog Wednesday! Have a wonderful week!

  9. This is hands down the easiest yoga skirt tutorial I've ever seen! I love it!(I'm sewing incompetent,ha)And it turned out adorable!

  10. Great tutorial! I've got some knit yardage that I've been meaning to use for a skirt, so I just might have to do this! Stopping by from the Making the World Cuter party!

  11. Help I don't understand "measurement B" part. you said......
    (Your waist measurement - 5)/4 = Measurement B
    {Your waistband pieces will be Measurement B x2).
    I understand the "measurement-5" but then you say 4 = measurement B, not sure what you mean by that. i'm thinking it is an example, waist measurement is 9 then minus 5 gives you the 4???yes??? so if my waist measured say..20 (then i would) minus 5 = 15 and i would cut 2 15in pieces. yes????

    1. the slash is for division: waist measurement, minus 5, then divide the result by 4.

      Example: waist is 33. 33-5 = 28, 28/4 = 7. So measurement B is 7 inches.

      The reason for dividing by 4 is the fabric is in 4 layers when you cut it, so a 7-inch piece ends up giving you 28 inches of waistband, which will stretch to fit a 33 inch waist.

  12. lej619, since your shirt is folded it ends up being x 2. I think I cut my pieces 7 inches that means the waistband was really 14 inches wide because the fabric is folded in half.

  13. What a lovely skirt! I wouldn't necesarily make this for yoga. Would look nice anytime, depending on what you weat to it. Thank you for sharing!

  14. I've made two of these and I absolutely love them! So comfy and men's tshirts were on sale at Walmart fot 3.86 and they come in some great colors!

  15. This is a terrific tutorial. I'm going to add a ruffle to the bottom for interest.

  16. I've had this skirt pinned for a while now but hadn't got around to making it as a didn't kept forgetting to get some t-shirts! I then found some kids ones for $1 each and thought I could use your pattern but with my daughters measurements (I halved the waist band size). It is so cute and comfy for hot, lounge around days! Thanks for the pattern, I will eventually make one for me too!
    Lucy :)

  17. Thanks for all the explanation!! I appreciate how detailed you were and how specific your pictures were. The perfect tutorial giver!! ;)


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