I did this upcycle before we started doing them in video, so for now all we got are pictures lol. This skirt was actually meant for my Sewn Magazine feature, but the steps ended up being way too long for the magazine and so we went with something else, BUT now I get to share it with you!
SIDENOTE: I’ve condensed this tutorial quite a bit, it initially had over 35 steps for simplicity, but I feel like it was just too long for what is essentially a really simple looking skirt. With that said, if there is anything you need me to clarify, please let me know by leaving a comment, and I’ll do my best to explain further.
- Adult Oxford Shirt
- Sewing Machine
- Serger (Optional)
- Thread (color to match shirt)
- Measuring tape
- Fabric Scissors / Rotary Cutter
- Marking Tool
- Seam Ripper
- Iron / Ironing Board
- Elastic 1.5 inches wide
- Fabric for pockets
- Double Fold Bias Tape
- Single Fold Bias Tape
STEP 1: Determine how long you want your skirt to be (minus two inches for the waist band) measure and cut from skirt. Keep in mind that you will need to remove the hem of the shirt to get a straight hem across the bottom of your skirt.
STEP 2: Determine how high/deep you want your pockets to be, and cut fabric to the height you determined matched to the entire length of the shirt piece.
STEP 3: Examine your skirt piece, if the sides of your button plackets are not able to flip up, you will need to fold both edges of pocket piece under by 1/4 and press. For my skirt piece, only one side was able to flip up so I am only folding under one side of my pocket piece.
STEP 4: Apply double fold bias tape as per package instructions to the top of the pocket strip. Be sure to fold end of bias tape 1/4 inch behind before you stitch down the first tack stitches.
Once you make your double fold, DO NOT TOPSTITCH the top, your piece should look like this:
STEP 5: Lay your pocket piece on top of the skirt, and mark on the pocket piece where the side seams of the skirt start.
STEP 6: Topstitch the top of the bias tape from each end and stop at the marks you made in STEP 5.
STEP 7 : Take the ends of your pocket piece and line them up close to the button plackets as you can and stitch down.
As mentioned in STEP 3, one side of my pocket placket flipped up, so instead of lining up the end of my pocket piece to the edge here, I removed the topstitch from the button placket and slid the end of my pocket piece under the flap and then re-toptstitched following the original topstitches.
STEP 8: Now that the ends of the pocket piece are secure, pin back part of the pocket piece to the skirt and topstitch along the entire back of the skirt from one side seam to the other following the topstitches you made in STEP 6. This will secure the piece to the skirt.
STEP 9: To create the front pockets, top stitch down the side seams of the skirt, following the shirts original stitches.
STEP 10: Apply single fold bias tape to the hem of the skirt per packet instructions. Remember to fold over one end like we did in STEP 4 to create a clean finish.
STEP 11: Measure the front and back of your skirt piece from side seam to side seam to get waist band measurement. Add 1/2 to each side of these measurements to allocate for the seam allowance.
STEP 12: Determine how high you want your paperback ruffle to be and use that for the height of waist band measurement. Then per your measurements, cut 4 strips. 1 pair for the main and 1 pair for the lining.
STEP 14: With right sides together, pin the main and lining of the front waist band together and sew along the top edge using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Repeat for the back. Trim excess seam allowance and then press seam open.
STEP 15: With right sides together, pin the sides of the front and back waist band piece together matching up the lining and main. Sew along the side using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Repeat for the other side. Trim excess seam allowance and then press seam open.
You should now have a circular piece:
STEP 15: Turn the waistband and skirt right side facing and match the main top of the waistband to the skirt. Flip the waist band down over the skirt, so that right sides are facing, pin all the way around, matching side seams, and sew all the way around.
Trim excess seam allowance, turn waistband upward and press. Your piece should look like this:
STEP 16: Baste stitch a 1/4 inch from the edge of the waistband lining, or turn over 1/4 of the end of the waistband lining and press. I personally prefer basting stitches.
STEP 17: Fold waistband lining inward and press.
STEP 18: Determine how much of a ruffle you want the top of your paper bag ruffle to have, keeping in mind the width of your elastic and then sew all the way around the top of your waistband. This step is also creating the elastic casing. For my ruffle, I choose a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
STEP 19: Fold under and press the 1/4 inch allowance you made to the lining in STEP 16. Then sew all the way around the bottom end of the waistband (be sure to allocate for the width of your elastic) – leaving a 1-2 inch opening.
STEP 20: Feed elastic through casing, meet the ends of the elastic and sew them together then close the opening by topstitching down.
Your skirt is finished!
Here’s a look at what the back insides of the skirt looks like:
You can create more pockets by stitching down along the front. So now instead of two pickets, I have four. I decided on this after I had applied my bias hem. But this step can be done in STEP 9 as well.
And here are some action shots! These deep pockets are perfect for Easter egg hunting, and treasure finding,!
Thanks for stopping by today! Hope you have a fantastic week! xoxo