Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! Before I get to today’s DIY Bandage Skirt how-to, I want to say that I’m sure some of you have noticed that we’ve been on hiatus for the past few months. I don’t want to go into too much detail about personal stuff, but my family has been dealing with difficult situations and transitions recently–good vibes/wishes/prayers appreciated!
As such, MC and I pitched in to help, frequently travelling and taking care of family on top of our regular full time jobs. Unfortunately the blog took the backburner during this time, but we’ve still been working on creative endeavors here and there. Today I’m sharing one of my recent sewing projects that has finally come to completion.
This is part II of a tutorial that I started last year, my first refashion post in which I turned a long-sleeved t-shirt into a cute little miniskirt. You can use today’s tutorial with any plain, form-fitting, stretch knit skirt you already have, or make your own by following DIY T-Shirt to Skirt Refashion Tutorial Part I.
For part II, I am taking the leftover sleeves and scrap fabric from the original long-sleeved t-shirt, cutting this excess fabric into strips, and applying the strips to the skirt in layers for a “bandage” look. I own a couple of bandage-style dresses and I’ve noticed that the layering of the fabric is very flattering to one’s figure, and cute to boot! So why the heck not try this little trick for myself?
If you are using a pre-made skirt or if you don’t have enough fabric leftover from your t-shirt, you can use any stretch knit fabric you have lying around to make the strips–excess yardage from other projects, old t-shirts, etc. You can use strips in more than one color, using contrasting or matching colors for alternating stripes, or get super crafty and do an ombre or rainbow look! Keeping with the theme of my Frankenstein skirt-made-from-t-shirt, I opted to leave raw edges showing where my strips overlap and where they are joined together. If you are interested in a more seamless look for your bandage skirt, consider another approach, like this one: Little Miss Violet Bandage Skirt Tutorial.
I’ve made several of these basic knit skirts from leftover t-shirts, but never added embellishment before. I took this particular skirt a step further because the original shirt that I made it from was covered in logos. I wore the skirt several times before adding the embellishment, but only with long shirts so that they weren’t visible; now it looks even cuter and I don’t have to worry about covering up the top half. It was a bit more sewing than I anticipated, but I love how it turned out. Now let’s get to it!
T-Shirt to Skirt DIY Refashion Tutorial Part II: Bandage Embellishment
- form-fitting stretch knit skirt (see Part I to make one from an old t-shirt)
- scrap fabric in color(s) of choice (I used leftovers from my repurposed t-shirt)
- matching thread
- chalk or washable marker
Step 1: Skip to Step 2 if working with yardage. If working with scrap t-shirt fabric, first cut sleeves open along seam, then cut off any cuffs and seams so that you are left with a smooth piece of fabric to work with.
Step 2: Decide how wide you want your strips to be, keeping in mind that you will want to add an extra ⅛” to ¼” where they will overlap. Plan for enough strips to cover the length of the front of the skirt. You can do the same on the backside of the skirt if you wish, so plan accordingly. I partially covered the back of mine at the very top where there were more logos, but otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered with the back. You can make as few as 4 or 5 for wide strips, or make more for narrow strips. Mine are on the narrow side, 1 ¼” wide, requiring a total of 16 strips for the front side of the skirt. This was a lot of sewing, so if you want a quicker project consider making your strips 3”-5” wide. Once you have your gameplan in mind, lay your scrap fabric flat, inside out, then measure and mark strips with chalk or washable marker, going across the grain/stretch (you want the strips to stretch with the skirt, so this is important to keep in mind unless you’re using fabric with a 4-way stretch).
Step 3: Cut along lines with a good pair of fabric scissors. Once strips are cut out you can lay your skirt out flat, right side out, and loosely place strips on the skirt to make sure you have enough. Mark and cut out extra strips at this point if needed.
Step 4: Once you have all of your strips for the front side of the skirt loosely placed, begin pinning the strips securely to your skirt from top to bottom, overlapping the top of each strip over the bottom of the previous strip. I placed a thin piece of cardboard between the front and back of my skirt so that I didn’t accidently catch the back of the skirt in the pins. Of course that wasn’t until after first catching the back of the skirt in the pins a couple of times, lol.
Step 5: Sew strips to front of skirt using a zigzag stitch and a ballpoint needle.
Step 6: Inspect your seams and make any adjustments as necessary. I was not able to leave much excess fabric for overlapping my strips as I had limited material to work with, and I’m not the best at sewing perfectly straight lines, so I ended up with a few gaps where my strips got separated. I went back over those seams briefly before proceeding with the back side of my skirt. If you are embellishing the front only, go ahead and skip to Step 9.
Step 7: Same as Step 4, but for back side of skirt.
Step 8: Sew strips to back of skirt using a zigzag stitch and a ballpoint needle.
Step 9: At this point you should be left with the sides of your strips not sewn down. I used a zigzag stitch going down each side to seal the edges of the strips, but you can also use a straight stitch for this step if you prefer. I trimmed excess fabric off the sides of the strips after I finished sewing them down.
Step 10: Since I used leftover t-shirt scraps to make my strips, some of them had to be joined to make them long enough to run across the width of the skirt. You can sew the strips together inside out before sewing them to the skirt if you prefer to hide the seams, or for a more raw look you can sew down the joined strips at the end with the seam showing. I opted for the latter and used a straight stitch.
Step back and admire your handy work, you’re done!
And a final close-up to show the detail where I zigzagged over the raw edges, really love how it turned out.