A Miracle and A Tutorial

The Miracle: John cleaned out his closet without prior bickering on my part and on his own initiative.

In the process he came downstairs with three pairs of cords, ready to throw them into the trash. Luckily, I caught him in time and had the instant idea to repurpose them: into skirts for the girls. Honestly, these are the cutest skirts I have made in a while and they cost me NOTHING! (Well, let’s say, I didn’t have to go out to buy anything for this project.)

So, here comes a little tutorial, showing what I did. You can use cords or basically any adult pair of pants that has a decent width around the thigh area. Skinny-mini-stretch-pants are probably not going to work.

You will need:

1 pair of pants

Approximately 1.5 yards of trim

¾ inch elastic

Appliqué or other embellishments (optional)

Matching threads and all those other sewing essentials (sewing machine, scissors, safety pin (to insert elastic), pins, etc.).

1. Turn your pants inside out and cut off the legs just below the crotch. If your pants have back pockets make sure not to cut into those, since we will reuse them. The top of the legs (widest part) will become the bottom of the skirt. If you have back pockets use a seam ripper to carefully remove them.

2. Cut away the inner leg seams on each of the legs (see pic).

And open them up (one will be the front and the other the back of your skirt). Lay both together right sides facing matching all edges. If they are not, trim to make them equal. (Sorry, no pic. Just imagine two big trapezoids laying on top of each other, just like a pattern for an A-line skirt: wide on the bottom, tapering towards the top).

3. Now we need to cut away on the top in order to make the skirt fit your girl. I measured my skirts to fall below the knee. My girls are almost a 4T and the skirt when finished should be about 11.5 inches long. So, the calculation goes as follows: 11.5” + 1” for bottom hem + 1.5” for elastic casing = 14” = height of the two skirt pieces.

My front and back were about 25” wide at the bottom and 22” at the top. This gives the skirt a nice twirl.

If you are making a different size than a 4T, here are my recommendations for how long the skirt should be compared to the height of your fabric pieces:

Finished Length/Length (height) to cut

2T: 9.5”/12”

3T: 10.5”/13”

5T: 12.5”/15”

4: 14.5”/17”

5: 15.5”/18”

6: 17”/19.5”

Because regular cord is so thick and heavy I would not recommend to go any smaller than a 2T

4. Sew your two pieces together on the short ends, the side seams.

5. Fold the bottom edge over ½ inch to the inside and ½ inch again for the bottom hem and pin in place (see pic).

6. Fold the top edge over ½ inch and 1 inch again to form the casing for the elastic. Pin in place.

7. Sew the bottom hem. Sew the casing at the top close to the lower folded edge leaving an opening of about 1.5 inch for inserting the elastic later on. See pic
sewing hem

sewing casing
8. I now added a ½ wide woven Matryoshka trim around the lower edge. You could use any kind of ribbon or trim you like.

9. If you decided to add one or two of the pockets, pin them in place to the left and right of the front center. See pic. Sew in place following the same double-seam that they were attached by on the pants.

I also added an appliqué to the pocket. If you have a sew-on, attach it before pinning the pocket to the skirt. An iron-on can be added at the end. Sew pocket in place.

I used a contrasting red thread to attach the pockets. Gives it another interesting little detail.

10. Insert Elastic. My girls have a 19.5” waist. Due to the cord being very heavy and it stretching the elastic inside the casing, I cut my elastic pieces about 17.5” long. You may have to experiment with the length a bit to see what fits best.

Using the safety pin insert elastic, overlap the two ends by 1 inch and sew together. Stitch the 1.5” opening close.

Congratulations you are all done and have just made another cutesy skirt. And you have been a little bit “green” in the process. How great is that! If you have any questions or trouble understanding my instructions, comment in this post or send me an email. I will be happy to help.

And don't you just love those cute Matryoshka iron on patches I added to the pockets?! They are so darn cute. They will be available in my Etsy shop later tonight. Super easy to use: just peel off paper, place on fabric and iron on for 15 seconds. No sewing required!


Mama Lusco said...

These are adorable! Thanks for the great tutorial. I love to refashion...wish we had some old cords laying around :)

Lauranie said...

Oh my goodness....those little cuties are just SO PRETTY!! What an easy project....and such fabulous results!! Those little tights are precious...great job!! Have a yummy Thanksgiving!!

Kimara@weefolkart said...

Adorable! Love the "glitz" you added! Linking on FB :)

lisa said...

ah ha! I have two pairs of old cords and one daughter size 4T - guess what I am making tonight!! SWEET! Thank you!!

Tracy said...

So cute!! I only wish a). I didn't live in Florida where cords are unecessary and b). my daughter was older than 6 months! I will definitely save this for when she is older and try with a regular pair of pants. Thanks for a great tutorial!


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