I saw these “long and lean” tanks advertised before I even saw them in store, and the idea struck. At only $3.88 and with so many fun colors and patterns, I grabbed some and couldn’t wait to start sewing! (Which is rare for me…)
Before I share the tutorial, you should note that my daughter currently wears a size 6. She is tall like her mama and daddy and so these measurements will have to be adjusted accordingly! The tanks I used are size XXL (junior sizes) so size down according to the size of skirt you need. Or just get the biggest size you can find so you have plenty to work with.
1 • Using a rotary cutter, trim off the top straps, leaving as much fabric as possible.
2 • Trim one of the side seams of the tank to make it straight.
3 • Hold up fabric and wrap around child at the waist (skirt height) to measure. This doesn’t have to be perfect, but remember knit will stretch so go in a little more than you would think.
4 • Starting with where you marked to fit your child’s waist, cut to the bottom hem of the tank – on a slight diagonal. You could do the same on the other side, but I left the original seam and it was fine. Save those side pieces to use for the waistband.
I would suggest waiting to take any off the length (if need be) until after you sew the side seam. Then take it off the top so you can use the original hem on the bottom.
4 • (Yup, there are 2 step 4s. It’s reeeeally late as I write this!) Pin and sew the side seam you just cut – with right sides together. I used a straight stitch, and changed the needle to the one recommended for knit by my machine manual.
5 • Next I tried the skirt (or big tube for now) on my daughter and checked the waist. It needed to come in a little bit more…
6 • So I took it in as pictured and trimmed the excess knit.
To make the waistband:
• Use rotary cutter to even your pieces that were trimmed.
• Sew (right sides together) one of the short ends. Measure around child’s waist and trim excess – you want this to be snug, don’t worry too much about seam allowance because it will stretch. Sew the other short side together so you have one long thin band.
• Fold in half to make waistband and press.
Now turn your dress piece inside out, so right sides are touching. Pin the waistband inside the dress at the waist (upside down so all raw edges are touching – you will be sewing through 3 layers now.) Match up and pin the side seams and centers. Sew and turn right side out.
Guess what? My waistband looks not so beautiful. Ask me if I’m worried about it! Nope. All that matters is that it fits, and won’t fall down. It will be covered by a shirt anyway! You can also do a yoga-foldover waistband, I just didn’t have enough fabric.
I think it’s safe to say my Bella likes her new skirts! I love that they are comfortable to move and play in and easy to wash. Now I just have to limit myself on how many I make – they’re so easy it’s kind of addicting! Of course, you don’t have to go out and buy new shirts – you could use an old, soft T-shirt. How great would these be for inexpensive yet thoughtful gifts?