ARTSY: Recycled Girly Skirts

Last fall I took a Sewing for Beginners course through the Boise Schools Community Education program with my sister in law. We loved it, and learned to make great things, like pillows and purses. Most importantly, however, we learned how to use, and feel comfortable with, our machines. This was especially important to me, as I own a 1932 Singer which has simple mechanisms, but initially scared the shit out of me. I mean, this is an ANTIQUE and it was my stepmom's, so I really didn't want to bust it. The class helped alleviate my fears and, in fact, I learned to use it and now feel like a somewhat more advanced amateur seamstress. I've made all sorts of items and gifts and plan on making plenty more for holiday gifts. I have a huge assortment of vintage fabric and rick rack but have been really keen on recycling old clothing into new, funky items.

So I whipped up these cuties as back to school skirts for my girls and two of their friends. I got the idea when I found two pairs of women's pajamas pants made from jersey cotton leftover from my clothing swap last spring. To make Alice's skirt, pictured above, I cut off the bottom portion of one pant leg, made some accordion folds in the top, stitched them to fit her waist, and sewed on a monogrammed wool patch made by Boise artist Grant Olsen. Grant is well-known locally for his eclectic style and being prolific in numerous media. Lately, Grant has taken up sewing and quilting, making "security blankets for adults" out of recycled fabrics. He recently had a show of these sweet miniature patches at the Flying M Coffeehouse downtown Boise and I purchased a few. Alice, as you can see, got an A and Lucy got this one:

She is just beginning to learn all the states in kindergarten, so this shape of Idaho was perfect for her. I also made a matching skirt for Lucy's girlfriend, Vivi, with a darling one of a whale in the ocean because she lives near the beach in southern California.

For these skirts I cut out the middle portion of the pant leg of another pair of women's PJs. They bunch up around the waist and you can fold them over to make them as long or short as you like. Therefore, the only stitching required on this one was the sewing on of the patch. Of course, these skirts are kind of one size fits all, and only if you are a girl under the age of six. These fun skirts were "sew" easy and fun and really cost next to nothing to make, and I loved the collaboration of two artists working with recycled materials!