So I donít know if anyoneís done this before, but I didnít find a tutorial, so I decided to make one.
How to make a Skirt AND a tote bag, out of a skirt thatís half your size:
(This could probably work for a skirt thatís too big for you as well with your own modifications.)
You will need:
One thrift store full length skirt in a pattern you like, size doesnít really matter as long as it widens towards the bottom.
One coordinating t-shirt-size depends on you. I used a manís XL, needs to be long enough to be Ĺ your hips measurement from above bottom hem to below neckline.
Small amount of coordinating fabric Ė you could easily use scraps; need less than a Ĺ yard.
Interfacing (if desired)
General sewing supplies
To start, hold the skirt up to your body to decide where you would like the new waistline to start. Make sure the new section will be wide enough to fit around your hips if it is a smaller size; too large is ok. Mark the section, and lay flat on the ground.
Cut the skirt in two horizontally, cutting through both layers.
The top half becomes the bag, and the bottom the skirt.
Skirt Tutorial: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=342541.0
Tote Bag Tutorial:
*In order to follow this tutorial according to my instruction for the lining portion, make sure the top of your skirt has a folded-over top edge on the inside. Look at the final photos of the lining to see what I mean*
First, lay the top portion of the skirt flat, and cut sides as desired. I left my edges tapered, but you can just as easily cut it square. Make sure youíre cutting off the zipper if there is one while you do this, or it could create problems later. Youíre aiming for two equal sized, hardware-free panels. Also, remove whatever tags you donít wish to have in the final bag with a seam ripper. I left the brand but took off the size.
Make sure you keep the scraps you cut! Itís easiest if you cut in large portions as opposed to smaller, because youíll be using those to make the handles.
For handles, if there is enough leftover use the scraps to make both sides of each handle. There wasnít enough for mine, so I used some of the leftover t-shirt from the skirt project to make the bottom side. There arenít any pics of this (donít ask me why Ė I apparently was spacing out), but I essentially folded the sides together and topstitched. Iím sure there probably good handle tutorials out there anyway, but maybe Iíll post pics when I make another one. If you donít have enough after cutting the sides off to make straps, you can always cut a couple inches off of the bottom and use that instead.
When you have made the straps, mark where youíd like the handles to go, and cut into the top edge of the panel with a seam ripper. The folded edge will hide the handle.
Sew where youíve pinned like this - [X], but on the outside only!! The flap should still beÖ.flappy.
It should look like this when youíve done that.
Mark the same section on the other panel, making sure itís even, and attach the second handle.
Next, youíll need to get your lining fabric and interfacing.
Youíll need enough interfacing to fit the whole outside panel, but your lining only needs to be enough to go a little past the bottom edge of the interior flap.
Put all the pieces for each side together, and cut 1 or 2 square inches of both corners. Doesnít matter what measurement really, as long as itís even.
When this is done, iron the interfacing on the back of the outside portion. Now is the time to embellish as you see fit. I painted some lovely snails, but you could embroider or do whatever. (Painting is best after interfacing, embroidery might be easier in a hoop before it? Try it.)
When your embellishments are dry/finished, you can proceed with the lining. Pin the bottom of the lining to the bottom of the outside, simply to keep it even while you pin the top. Pin the piece underneath the bottom of the flap, and sew over the stitching that is likely already there. You will have the remove the bottom pins to sew this, because it is only sewn to the inside, not the part with the interfacing!
If youíre fancy you could add a pocket before that step.
If you prefer a boxy tote, iron the edges like I have done here. If you prefer a rounded tote, skip this.
Pin ALL right sides together like I have done here:
Be very sure that the top edge is even with each piece or the bag will not come out right. Try to keep the bottom edges of the flaps even as well.
Sew around all edges, EXCEPT the cut out corners and part of the bottom lining big enough for your hand to fit. I used a stronger stitch on the edges of the interfaced portion than I did with the liner.
Proceed to boxing the corners. Basically, at each corner pinch the open edges until the seams meet and the unsewn side is flat, creating a box shape.
After this, turn right-side out. Flip the open edges you used to turn inside out, and topstitch close with coordinating thread.
Congratulations, youíre finished! Hereís a pic of my finished project:
This is one I made for a swap I just finished:
These were my first tutorials, I hope they made sense! If you use this, let me know and post some pics!