Friends, meet Kimber. She is a lovely blog friend of mine (she blogs here) who is going to teach you how to turn something old into something beautiful. She instagrammed the other night about a skirt she made from her grandfather’s old button down using my paper bag skirt DIY and I just had to invite her over to teach us her ways 🙂
Can you believe that fall is here already? I still haven’t actually felt fall weather (I live in Texas and it’s still 95 degrees out) but according to my calendar, it’s here! Soo that means new clothes, right? Yes. Especially ones that are one of a kind and will have women all over begging you to tell them where you purchased your cute little paper bag skirt that you’re about to make. You can do this. Promise! Just follow my lead…
1 men’s button down
a sewing machine
3/4″ (width) of elastic
This will ensure that no one will peep into your skirt when you walk or sit down. In order to do this, sew down the left side of the button hole, on top of the previous stitching. Do the same on the right side of the buttons. Be careful not to sew the front and the back together!
This is an optional step. I did this because the bottom of the shirt was curved and I didn’t want to have a skirt that was long in the front and short in the back, vise versa.
I chose a medium mens button down so that I didn’t have to mess with the “width” seams.
When figuring out what size button down to use, figure out what size you would wear (as a shirt) in a men’s clothing and go up one size.
(I would wear an XS or a S, but decided to use a medium shirt to be on the safe side.) If you plan on using a larger shirt and altering it down, refer to Caroline’s measurements guidelines, here. I also chose the length of my skirt off of her measurements guidelines, as well.
My width is 22″ and my length is 24″. I decided that I wanted my finished skirt to be 20″ and have 4″ at the top for ruffles.
Cutting the armpits was a little bit tricky because men’s shirts are broader in the shoulders and arms. Don’t worry if it looks weird, this will be on the inside of your ruffles.
Continue with your shirt inside out. Measure 4″ from the top of the skirt and fold it down, and iron all the way around the skirt.
Remember that crazy armpit seam? It will be hidden in the ruffles of your skirt.
Sew a seam around the width of the skirt, making sure you leave about an inch and half to two inches open so that you can insert your elastic into the casing. If you’re using 3/4″ elastic, measure 1.5″ from the seam you just created. Sew all the way around the skirt (creating a casing for the elastic). If your elastic is a different width, adjust these measurements according to the elastic you have.
If a button pops up while you’re sewing, just cut it off. We don’t need him anymore anyway 🙂
When measuring how much elastic to use, take the elastic and hold it around your waste where you want your skirt to sit. Subtract about 4-5 inches and cut off the excess elastic. Use a safety pin to push the elastic through your newly created casing. (My safety pin decided to open half way through the casing… I was not saying very kind words during that moment..oops! so word to the wise, stay calm and don’t rush this process.)
Pull the two ends of the elastic back together again and sew up the ends using a zig-zag stitch. Go back and forth several times so that your elastic doesn’t come undone in your skirt while your on a hot date, or shopping with friends, whatever….embarrassing!
Sew up 1.5″ to 2″ that you left open to thread the elastic through the casing and baddabing baddaboom… you have a super cute skirt on your hands!