Over the weekend I worked on a project that's been in my head for a while but had to wait it's turn. I upcycled parts of some old tee shirts into a play hula skirt for one of the little granddaughters. Marley is taking dance classes, so anything to do with dancing is great to her. She doesn't know about hula dancing but it doesn't matter, her mom will bring her up to speed on that!
I decided to make the skirt from three old LSU tees left over from a tee shirt quilt that I made last year. Now, before you judge me about keeping some cut up tee shirts, know that they were meant to be rags on the farm. We put old rags in the cages during winter so the animals have something a little more comfortable than just hay. These just never made it to the shed.
Although the front or backs of the tees have already been used, I decided that the leftover pieces were big enough since Marley's waist is so tiny. I began by just cutting straight across the chest area below the sleeves and discarding the sleeves and neck.
The hem became the waistband of the skirt. I will tell you how I did it, then I'll tell you an easier way. First lay the layers out on the work table in the order you want to use them. I used two purples and one gold shirt, so I put the gold in the center of the purples. I cut the strips using my rotary cutter and ruler, but you could use a pair of scissors if you prefer. These strips are one inch wide and go all the way to the hem stopping about two inches from the edge.
Once all the strips were cut, I stitched all three layers together on the very top edge. Then stitch another seam about an inch and a half from the first one. This forms the waistband and casing for the braiding that will serve as a tie. Feed the braid through the casing using a large safety pin.
And you're done! Really, that's it. Just a few steps.
Didn't I promise a faster way? Well, if I make another I'll sew the casing first. That way the strips won't get in the way of my sewing. Also, I'll measure and cut the length better. Marley would not take the skirt off so that I could cut it down to size.
The idea for the skirt was so that it would be one of her dress up items, plus she could wear it with her dance leotard or with her swim suit in the summer. Jenny really likes the idea of using it as a beach cover-up.
That Marley likes it so much is wonderful to me. She refused to take it off even though we were leaving for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. That did not matter a bit: because she was wearing LSU colors, everyone thought it very cute!