If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I have a weak spot for makeovers.
I really like the challenge of turning trash into treasure, or at the very least, trash into a-step-above-trash. It’s really the challenge part I like, not to mention, I love letting my inner Donatella Versace run free every now and then! So for that reason I keep a whole box of trash-with-major-potential hidden in the back of my closet (Hoarders, here I come!…), and every once in a while I’ll troll through it looking for those treasures that light my fire.
This time I was inspired by an old button down shirt I swiped from my husband’s Goodwill pile when he wasn’t looking. There’s something so versatile about a crisp button down that makes it suited for nearly any DIY, but after entertaining several ideas (bustier? ruffle shorts? pajama set?) I finally settled on this easy shirt-to-skirt refashion. Since I’m all about pairing a simple skirt with a light blouse or tank to keep cool these days, it was only fitting that I add one more skirt to my rotation.
To make this skirt I used a super simple gathered elastic waist construction, which helps keep both sewing time and skill level to a minimum. And if I’m not feeling the elastic waistband look, it can easily be hidden with a belt or drapey blouse, so I can then hit the mean streets of DC in elastic-free style.
And did I mention the whole thing cost me a whopping zero dollars? Holla!
Read on to see how I did it.
What You'll Need
An old button down shirt that's a few sizes too big
1-inch wide elastic
Pins, sewing machine, matching thread
How to Do It
- First button all the buttons, then lay your shirt on a flat surface and smooth out any creases or wrinkles as best you can. Take your ruler and lay it directly underneath the armpits, draw a line.
- Cut along this line -- this will be the top of the skirt where you'll insert the waistband.
- Next, find the seams on either side of the freshly cut edge. Using a seam ripper, rip seams about 2 inches down.
- Fold the top raw edge over about 1/2 inch and iron flat. Do this all the way around.
- Then fold it over another 1.5 inches. Iron. You should now have a tube that's open at both ends through which you can feed the elastic waistband. If your tube isn't open at the ends, use your seam ripper to rip more of the side seam.
- Turn your skirt inside out (this will make it easier to sew) and pin the tube along the long edge. Sew this long edge, being sure to leave both ends open.
- Figure out how long you want your elastic to be by wrapping some around your waist and making it tighter or looser until it feels comfortably snug. Cut your elastic. Then, using a safety pin and knitting needle (or just your hands!), feed the elastic through the tube. Pin the elastic in place at both ends of the waistband.
- Tuck one end of the waistband behind the other and look at the front seam to make sure it lines up correctly. Then simply sew the waistband closed, mirroring the original seam as best you can. It doesn't have to be perfect since no one will be able to see it once you're wearing it anyway. Turn right side out, trim any lingering threads and iron where necessary.