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Skirt and Top from Old Shirt!

...a Skirt and Top from an Old Shirt

Hello there lovely readers!

Hope everyone's been well, I had a bit of a busy week last week, as I'm sure you noticed, there was no Chloe Makes as usual on Wednesday. I've been doing a lot of night shifts so haven't been able to get to sewing like I want to! No matter, this week I'm also doing nights, but with a bit more planning, I was able to bring you this week's Chloe Makes! I like to try and stay awake before my first night shift so I can sleep a little longer into the day, so to keep me awake, I often give myself something to do, which gets me on to this week's project, brought to you between 10pm and 2am Monday evening! 

Ever since I made the dress from an old T-shirt back in April, I've been wanting to try making something from a shirt. After searching around pinterest for a while, I had come up with some ideas and was ready to get going.

For this project, all you'll need is an old shirt, some elastic and your sewing machine! 

I've got this striped shirt from my friend, as the outfit will be for her daughter! It's 100% cotton which is perfect for a skirt and top. I also got a white shirt, which you can see a bit of at the top of the picture, it's a lot thicker, but I'm not sure of the fabric type, although it's probably 100% cotton as well. 

After doing a bit of research into child's sizing, as I wasn't able to measure Tilly before starting, so after asking her mum what size clothes she wore I was able to get a good idea of how big each item would need to be. On my search, I found this fab tutorial on how to make the easiest elasticated skirt by Jamie Sanders, definitely check it out, it's so simple! I sketched a rough outline using a fabric pencil from the shop and cut out my shapes. 

As you can see, I originally intended to use the collar, but I later changed my mind, you'll see what happened next later...

I started with the skirt, as this would be the easiest and quickest.

Jamie's tutorial calls for one rectangular piece of fabric, and obviously, I'd be using the shirt, which was in 3 pieces. So I started by securing one side together, and then along the centre next to the buttons all the way down to the last button to ensure that no gaping would happen when it was worn. 

Next, I seamed the second edge, for both edge seams, I used a straight stitch next to a zig zag, to reinforce it a bit more as I don't have an overlocker, and this worked perfectly! You now have a tube of fabric, almost a skirt! I'd taken my skirt section from the bottom of the shirt, as I love being lazy and this meant I didn't need to hem the bottom edge! 

Moving on to the elastic casing for the waist. At the top raw edge of the skirt, you'll need to fold and press about half a cm (1/4") down, then fold and press again, this time 2 cm (1").

Once you've done that, sew along the bottom of the folded section, making sure to leave an around 4-5cm (2") gap for threading the elastic through.

Next, attach a safety pin to one end of your elastic and thread it through, being careful not to let the other end slip into the casing as well. Once you've threaded all the way through, pull the elastic through more so you have quite a big section free and overlap the ends of the elastic. Making sure it's flat all the way round and secure using a zig zag stitch. Pull the elastic back into the skirt and finally sew up the hole you left for threading the elastic through, being careful not to catch the elastic in your seam. 

That's the skirt, done!

Like I said before, I originally intended to use the collar and make the skirt and top from the same material. After looking at it again, I decided against the collar and got to work on the top. I was nearly finished and had just sewn the seams down the body when I realised the arm holes were a little small...

Realising that this was beyond re-working, I decided the best option would be to start again, using the white shirt instead! 

Learning from my awful mistakes, I drew a template onto some tracing paper, and used that to make my pieces. 

I contemplated using the high-low hem, but went against it, as I wanted it to be quite boxy in design. I cut out the front part first, then the back, moving my template down to utilise the lower hem again. 

Again, having learnt from my mistakes, I started with the shoulder and side seams, then went to hemming the openings second. To keep the inside seams neat, I pressed them flat and ran a top stitch along the edges so they were flat and wouldn't rub as much. I now had a vest top that would fit human arms!

I moved on to hemming the neck and arm holes. I decided on a simple rolled hem as I didn't want it to be too bulky, and this worked perfectly.

Originally I was going to do the same for the arm holes and have a vest, but instead, I decided to use some more of the original shirt hem and make some small cap sleeves. 

I measured the circumference of the hole to work out the length I'd need of fabric, and then cut a crescent shape. 

Starting with the centre seam, I lined it up with the shoulder seam and worked the two pieces together. This needs to be right sides facing so that when the sleeve is turned right way out, the seam is inside. 

And that's the shirt done! 

I even made a matching hair scrunchie from the striped fabric!

Even though it didn't come out exactly how I originally planned, I'm so happy with how it turned out, and how cute does Tilly look in the outfit!

Thanks for reading, be sure to send us your recycling projects and I'll see you next week for another Chloe Makes!

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