Here's one of the four t-shirts from Goodwill that gave their lives to make the skirt. If purple isn't enough to make you smile, then mahalo surely will. So good intentions are integral to the skirt.
Unsuitable for plaids or stripes. I traced out half the front and back panels and added center seams to make a yoked, 4-panel skirt. The length of a skirt made out of old t-shirts is limited by the length down the center front of a shirt. A yoked skirt helps eke out a little extra length. My skirt is 26" from waist to hem.
I made a collage of the many steps in the construction process. I wouldn't recommend doing it the way I did. This was really an experiment. I switched around the steps between the front and back. (Note to self: make the back first so that the front looks better.)
I bought a half yard of home dec fabric with the kind of flowing abstract pattern I had in mind. Then I discovered that the pattern isn't really suitable for a stencil anyway because it has closed areas inside of closed areas. So I simplified the pattern as I traced. Eventually, I ended up painting a design freehand instead of tracing the pattern.
I liked the appliqued stripes in the new Alabama Chanin Spring 2010 line. I cut 1/2" strips from the sleeves of the two purple shirts. Because they are slightly different shades of purple, the stripes provide a subtle contrast. (The blue threads and embroidery stitch #57 on my Bernina Aurora QE provides another color and texture contrast.)
I decided to place the stripes in a 45 degree chevron. This turned out to be less than a stellar idea. Notice how Alabama Chanin places her stripes on the straight cross-grain? There is a reason for that. The jersey is not a completely stable fabric and those stripes move around as you sew. I couldn't get all the stripes to match up at the seams. Notice that the stripe offsets result in less bulk at the seams. I planned that all along. ;-)
If I did this again, I would:
- Cut out the top panel the exact shape of the skirt pattern
- Cut 1/2" strips from the sleeves
- Cut rough rectangles for the bottom layer
- Draw my main stripe lines, making sure they match at the seams.
- Paint on the designs in the area not covered by the stripes. (Note how there are extra paint lines in there amid the stripes?).
- Layer the top and bottom layers and pin baste together
- Sew the strips down and free-motion quilt the applique areas
- Trim away the top layer in the reverse applique areas
- Trim the completed sections to the exact pattern size
- Construct the skirt in the normal manner. To reduce the bulk at the seams, I pressed the seams open, serged each seam allowance, and then topstitched 1/4" on each side of the seams.
Bad Dad doesn't know how much they cost.
(There's also stuff people gave me because they know I make things from recycled textiles. When I took a class from fabric collage artist, Cindy Rinne. She told us that she doesn't buy fabric because people give her bags of scraps--much more than she could use. She brought the scraps to class and I found some real gems in the heap, which I incorporated into my collage.)
I made a Flickr slide show of my Vogue 7607 skirts and posted a pattern review for the project.