Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Upcycled Yoga Skirt

So, I'm not very athletic.  That may be a bit of an understatement.  But there are times when I feel like I should kind of look the part.  When I need a sporty costume.  I just don't have any athletic gear in my wardrobe!  I hardly own any shorts, period, let alone anything made out of something other than denim.  One such time is when I take the kids to the kids/parents yoga class.  Now, this class has parents in the title mainly because the instructor wants you to know you may not drop your kids off and run.  I move around a little, but I am not getting a workout here other than kid-wrangling, since I'm one of the few parents who bring not one but two little yogis to class.  But still, it would feel strange to show up in jeans.  In theory, I could be doing yoga.  I have some loose yoga pants that are really more like lounge pants, but my favorite thing to wear to class is a t-shirt dress over leggings.  However, one thing most of my knit dresses are missing guessed it, pockets.

I do have a couple knit dresses with pockets (this one is my favorite) but the problem is that most knits are too thin to be able to USE the pockets without the garment looking really unflattering and lumpy, as well as weighing the garment down if you put something heavy in there like keys or your phone.  But I like having pockets for this yoga class (and a few of my other active-adjacent activities) so that I have somewhere to stick the little key to the bike lock, the rubber bands that keep the mats from unrolling, a hair clip for when Little Sister wants her hair from flopping in her eyes like I tried to tell her it would, etc.  So when I found this t-shirt at the Goodwill outlet, I knew it would work as a skirt.

Cost:  not sure what it weighs, but it was $1.59 per pound!

It's a much heavier weight knit than a typical t-shirt, and I loved the print (I also thought that the busy-ness of the print would keep the pockets more subtle).   And it looked like brand new!  

I had been meaning to make a skirt like this for a while, but it wasn't until I found this perfect top to upcycle that I was inspired to actually do it.  And, even though I made it so that I would have something to wear when I needed to be a little more sporty than usual, I have actually worn it without the leggings as just a plain old comfy skirt!  I decided to topstitch the pockets on, because then it's obvious that any lumps are coming from STUFF in your pocket.  Lumpy stuff in a hidden side-seam pocket looks more weird to me.

Here's how I made it:

1. Cut off the bottom of the shirt as close to the armpits as possible
2. Out of some coordinating leftover knit (possibly the bottom of another t-shirt) cut out your waistband fabric.  Mine was about 16 inches tall and wide enough to go around my waist when I stretched it really far.  You really want it to be snug--my knit that I used for the waistband was super stretchy, and I ended up adding a piece of elastic to the inside because it kept slipping down.

The size of my unfolded foldover waistband

3.  With the right sides together, sew your two 16" ends together, creating a loop that will fit very snugly around your waist.  Then fold that loop in half (right side out) so that the raw edges are lined up and the seam allowance is hidden inside.
4.  If you are adding pockets (a must for me!) cut them out of the remains of your skirt fabric.  The top I used had a square neckline, so I cut my pockets out using the finished edge of the neckline for the top of the pockets.  Then I turned the other edges under and topstitched the pockets to the body of the skirt so that the raw edges of the pocket would be sewn into the waistband. I actually cut the body of my skirt down the sides a little so that I could insert the side of the pocket into the side seam of the skirt as well, but you could just as easily topstitch them down all the way around.

Pocket view

5. Once your pockets are attached, slip your waistband over the top of your skirt so that the raw edges all line up.  Stretch the waistband and pin to the skirt, then sew all the way around using a wide zig-zag stitch.  If you'd like the top of the skirt to be a little more snug, you can also sew in a piece of elastic that's about 2" shorter than where you'd like the skirt to sit.  Add the elastic right where the waistband meets the top of the skirt.
6. Done!  Pull the waistband up, then you can fold it over how you like it!

Me in my "sporty costume."  Think I'm fooling anyone?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bargain Hunting--thrift store style!

It's been a while since I've done a bargain hunting post--heck, it's been a while since I've done any kind of post at all!  But today was 1/2 price day at a local thrift store, and I did pretty well if I say so myself.  Wanna see what I got?

I'll start with the boy stuff, since that's what I was looking for.  As usual, not nearly as much selection in this department but not too bad.

First, Lands End shorts in great shape.  Size 7, so the boy can wear them next summer.  $2.50.

These Gymboree shorts will hopefully still fit next year, but they also fit now, which is nice since we probably have at least another month of nice weather. $2.

Gymboree cords, probably a little too baggy for my taste but I should be able to take in the legs a bit.  $2.50

And these Airwalks are The Boy's favorite color.  Still a size or two too big, so hopefully his favorite color won't change too much in the next couple of years!  $3.

These Keens should fit Little Sister next summer--or maybe the one after that.  For $2, I didn't really care!

My favorite were these two pairs of Gap skinny pants--pink jeans and orange cords, both size 3T.  Don't know if I can get her to wear them or not!  She mostly refuses to wear pants, but we haven't tried skinnies, so maybe they will be a bridge from leggings?  We'll see.  Each pair was $2, and they are in like-new condition.

Don't know why this pic makes it look worn on the front of the legs--they're totally not.

I can never remember what size my kids are in Hanna Andersson clothing, but I thought this was so cute and that it would fit someday!  It's also in like-new shape and was $1.50.

This is from Old Navy, but also in good shape.  It's a knit sweater with a fleecy warm lining.  Won't fit for a couple of years though!  $3.

These leggings are HUGE--size 8!  But they had no wear at all, and they are from Tea Collection, and they were $2!  Can't decide if I should hang onto them until Little Sister fits into them or just resell them at a consignment store--I mean, who knows what kids will be wearing 5 years into the future?  Moon suits?

Last but not least I grabbed this Dickies button-down for the Dad guy on my way out--it was just hanging there on the end of the rack, in his size, looking lonely, so I decided to bring it home.  $3.

I forgot to photograph my other find--a stack of 3 pads of 18x24 colored construction paper for $1! That brought my grand total total to $26.50--not bad!