From Shirt to Skirt

It's snowing here, but spring is in my heart!

Used-clothing stores carry hosts of men's T-shirts in mint condition. I'm excited I figured out how to up-cycle one into a darling skirt. I am no seamstress, so I guarantee this is easy and quick!

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Let's get started!

Finished Project 1

The first thing I did was cut straight across the shirt, right below its arms:

On a flat surface, cut the shirt below the arms

This gave me a large tube which would become my skirt. A bit of the T-shirt logo is on my tube, but a blouse'll cover it. Besides, almost the whole logos disappears in the project's last step.

Like so

Lay the tube out flat, face up. Insert layers of newspaper between the tube's front and back so, when you paint the front, paint doesn't leak through to the back:

Insert layers of protection so ink doesn't bleed through

Optional: Before painting a border along the bottom edge of the skirt (the part already hemmed), sketch a design there with an Auto-Fade Pen (it washes out afterwards):

Use a wash out pen to start your designing

Using Tee Juice, I painted a border of hearts, flowers, and leaves. You might prefer simple geometric shapes (e.g., squares and triangles), or something else. If you paint the back, let the front dry before turning the tube over. Use a white or pale T-shirt so the Tee Juice (TJ) shows well. On white, use any color TJ. On colored fabric, its color may show a bit through the TJ. Choose colors that show well on that fabric. For example, yellow doesn't show much on gray. And dyeing surprises are inevitable, so go with the flow. E.g., pink on the gray T-shirt I used came up a lovely purple. Once TJ is dry, set it according to Tee Juice instructions. Here's the finished Tee Juice painting (its hearts show how the pink looks):

I started to fill in with fabric markers

Next, pizazz! I accented some lines with Lumiere to make them pop. I also used Lumiere to add details. Applying Lumiere:

Add accent lines and splashes of sparkle

After I finished Lumiere application:

After some small touches

The Lumiere colors I personally chose were: Bright Gold; Grape; and Metallic Olive Green. Here is a detail of the finished Lumiere:

I decided to add a few rhinestones

Optional: Take the skirt one step further, with glam 4mm Rhinestuds. I chose Sapphire and Red. Experiment by placing Rhinestuds in different places on the skirt. Put just one here and there, or several in a cluster or line. Once you like the way they look, set them using the mylar sheet. For this project, you needn't lay out your pattern of Rhinestuds on the Mylar; you've already placed them, sticky side down on the fabric; just cut strips or squares of Mylar, and put them, sticky side down, over the Rhinestuds, to hold em in place while you iron:

Upclose of rhinestone application

Finally, make a 1" casing for 1/4" to 1/2" elastic at the skirt's waist. (Remember: When you stitch the casing, leave an inch unstitched as an opening to insert the elastic. After you insert it, close up that inch.) Voila, you can now wear your new skirt!

Finished Project 2

Helpful hints:

  • You have leeway with the T-shirt size. I'm size 12/14, and used a men's size 5X T-shirt, because that is what I found. A smaller shirt would also work for me.
  • I applied Lumiere with a really fine brush: size 0. Some of the work could've been done with a bigger brush. If you don't need fine detailing, you can use an even bigger one.
  • My bias is that Rhinestuds fasten most securely on the unpainted parts of the cloth.
  • There are a zillion variations, once you know the basic idea. Examples: stencil a border with TJ; paint a dark T-shirt with Neopaque; use a small T-shirt for a child's skirt; just tie-dye the tube!

This tutorial was provided by Francesca De Grandis, from her site Outlaw Bunny.

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