May 2, 2009

recycled tee skirt on craftstylish!

teeskirt6 teeskirt5

this week’s craftstylish tutorial was a special one to me – i designed this skirt a couple years ago for myself, and i loved the design concept (super easy, no pattern, custom fit, crazy comfy) but i loved it so much that i wanted to hold off doing a how-to… it’s silly, but i just felt like this one was better than the recycled skirt series i did here on my blog last summer, so i didn’t want it to blend in with those, so i saved it.  then i figured craftstylish having earth-friendly projects month in the springtime was the perfect chance to show my design to a bigger audience, so there it is!

orangeandred1 orangeandred3

but here on do stuff! i’ll share a little more with you… my first version of the skirt, that red and orange one, was a bit different, as you can see in those photos.  i’m not sure exactly how i made the panels since it was undocumented years ago, but i do know that i cut the diagonals in different directions, instead of all in the same direction. so if you want a more twisted, asymmetrical kind of design, when my tutorial says cutting the diagonal line in the same direction on each one. It doesn’t matter what direction, as long as all four are cut the same (in my case, they were all from top right to bottom left) – ignore that and cut them in different directions. then when you’re deciding on the panel order, lay them out on the ground together and see how you want to piece them together for the coolest looking lines.

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i had fun twisting and twirling for our photo shoot! and being silly…

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so this skirt was kind of a continuation of my recycley skirt how-to series from last summer – which were part 1: t-shirts, part 2: sheets, part 3: sweatshirts.  i also did a post about trying to make a sleeve skirt, which i plan to try again this season and post a better how-to if it works out. so, i’ve made a new category for skirts since this is an ongoing topic for me, so you can see all of them.

oh hey and speaking of bloggy things – i’ve (finally!) gotten my links page a little bit up to date, although it still needs more work.  i had pretty much completely ignored my poor links page since i first started do stuff!, over 2 years ago, but i got motivated a few nights ago to give it some attention, and now there are a ton of blogs and sites added, some new categories, and hopefully i’ll continue to keep it updated now.

Filed under: clothing,craftstylish,skirts,tutorials — leethal @ 2:12 pm

April 25, 2009

newish projects and knit design pattern reveal!

hey have you been keeping up with craftstylish this month?  lots of great earth-friendly crafts… here are mine!

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first, make a vest from an old pullover sweater, with different embellishment ideas…

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like crocheting into the knit fabric:

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and embroidery with recycled cotton:

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this one has hand-stitched knit tape stuff i got at knittn kitten:

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and a super weird pocket:


and that other one has slightly less-weird pockets:


that’s a lot of photos, but there you go.  next up, recycled fabric scrap cuffs!

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with examples of other ones i’ve made

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and last week’s was a handband from an old t-shirt:

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with examples of other versions:

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and some more photos…

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(no)headband23 (no)headband14

and now that you’re caught up with craftstylish projects… something new! if you were curious about that designing photo a couple posts ago, it’s getting closer, so it’s time to reveal what’s to come! i’m working on a set of knit cuff patterns, a mini-ebook type thing, and hoping to have it all done in about a week (but it could definitely end up taking longer). so i’m showing you 4 of the designs here and now, then i may reveal a couple more later in the week before they are all released… the first one is my favorite!!

cuff501 cuff507

cuff304 cuff301

cuff601 cuff605

cuff101 cuff103

i love designing on a tiny scale like this, and since my chevron cuff got a pretty good response over on ravelry, i got motivated to get going on this project.  there are more elements of the whole thing that i’m really excited about, but those details are to be announced later…   i hope more of you out there like knitting mini-projects!

Filed under: clothing,craftstylish,knitting,tutorials — leethal @ 12:31 pm

March 19, 2009

if you’re in portland, crafty good times for you!

hey portlanders, aren’t you glad you live here?!  so many exciting crafty events coming up!!  first of all, susan is doing 2 events for button it up – first one tomorrow (or today, depending on when you’re reading this) and another next week…

button invite

i went to susan’s bead simple event at powell’s last year and it got me super into beading!  so i can’t wait to dig through her button stash tomorrow and make myself some fun hair clips! (especially since my bangs are growing out and getting in my face lately, so i’ll use the clips for sure!)  if you’re not in portland, susan has a page with a list of all button it up events – so far they’re in the bay area, la, and seattle.


then the next super exciting portland event is the premiere of handmade nation at the museum of contemporary craft!!  it’s friday april 3rd, and saturday the 4th, and you should buy tickets soon because i’m sure they’ll all be sold out before the shows.  susan has the inside scoop and told us that there will be a q+a on friday, and then a free panel discussion after the saturday screening; so i’m planning to be at the friday show, then come back again saturday for the discussion.  can’t wait!!

buttonshirt1 buttonshirt2

and in other fun crafty news, i was at goodwill today and this shirt jumped out at me for obvious reasons!  turns out it’s by costume designer bob mackie, pretty cool!  so i know what i’ll be wearing to the button it up event tomorrow!!

8/21 him

and hey, since i’m posting about portland events here, i’ll let you know that my man pete is doing his first trivia night at a new venue next week!  it’s happening at airplay cafe on east burnside on thursday at 7pm, and there will be beer specials and food prizes for the winning teams.  airplay is much bigger than zach’s shack (his usual trivia venue) and there’s even a stage!  so come eat, drink, watch pete’s silly stage persona, and show off your trivial knowledge!  if you’ve ever thought it might be fun to go to a trivia night, this would be a great one to check out, since it’s his first time trying out the venue – if it goes well and there’s a good turnout he’s hoping to make it a regular (weekly?) thing!

Filed under: books,clothing,general crafts,personal,portland stuff — leethal @ 10:45 pm

March 7, 2009

catching up… 2 things now

well this post was supposed to happen on monday, but i woke up monday morning with a horrible cold – i’ve been sick more in the last few months than any other winter, no good!  i was couch-ridden through wednesday, then thursday and yesterday were spent slowly catching up on work that should have been done early in the week… still not all the way healthy, and still not caught up, but i’m getting there.


so, i just wanted to show you my craftstylish project posts for february, since i didn’t show you as they went up… february was pet month, so my projects were all kitty related!  the first one being the heatable catnip blanket, inspired by kristin roach’s heatable catnip pillow.

(no)banzo03 (no)banzo07

then next was a how-to for the kitty castle and scratching post that i showed photos of here awhile back…

cat castle tubepost04 banzo on her castle

then i made a litter rug from a towel:

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and last, i ran out of ideas for the cat herself, so i showed you how to make a kitty hat! with ideas for other ways of embellishing the face too…

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(no)doneon1 teethversion

some of my favorite february pet projects by other bloggers included kayte terry’s supercute mouse toy, cal patch’s recycled sweater pet bed, and diane gilleland’s awesome collapsible travel dish!!

so that’s what was meant to go up last weekend. i have other stuff to share, later, but for now i’ll leave you with newer news. i had my first online video appearance yesterday, on the threadbanger podcast! simple project (felted pullover to cardigan) – heather mann and i worked together to do a couple video tutorials a little while ago, and this is the first to get released. heather’s is rad, so hopefully they’ll put that one in a podcast soon!  if this embedded video doesn’t work, go here, or it’s also on youtube.

as is normal, i kind of hate how i look in the video, but eh, i think the tutorial turned out well, so that’s the important thing.  i think if we ever end up doing more of these i’ll get more comfortable in front of the camera and i won’t be so awkward.  apparently my camera-awkwardness could be interpreted in other ways, since someone on youtube commented Lee Meredith is so high in the video! lol!  haha.

December 11, 2008

craftstylish tutorials and other updatey stuff

polaroid christopher walken print

once again, i’ve fallen a bit behind in letting you know about my craftstylish tutorials… yesterday was my semi-photorealistic 3-shade freezer paper stencil how-to!  this is a pretty crazy project – the result of having an idea pop into my head one day and then going for it.  the tutorial uses the christopher walken stencil, because it’s guy gift week over at craftstylish, but i especially love the polaroid camera print!  (it’s this camera)

print blurred carving stencil

it looks more photorealistic when it’s a bit blurred.

me wearing shirt finished close-up

and then on saturday there was my custom embellished shirt project – i love this one!  i used printing, machine top-stitching, and i changed the buttons, and then i talked about other ways to embellish a shirt, like applique and embroidery.

close-up on me finished shirt

the point of this project is to inspire you to embellish a shirt in a personal, customized way for yourself or your giftee, rather than to give you a step by step tutorial so you can make exactly what i made.


and lastly, my custom clock tutorial shows you how to take apart an old clock and install your own photograph, or whatever you want.  i gave that one to my mom for her birthday and she loved it – proof that it’s a great gift to make!!

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in other news, the trillium etsy shop now has 5 of my knit kits up!  including two of my absolute favorites.  if you have a hard time finding the kits, they are listed in the gifts section.

this month is going by SO fast i can’t even believe it.  two craft shows done, only one to go.  the 100th monkey show last weekend went pretty well – it was a different kind of feel, being at night with live music and more of a party mood.  the artists stood around in front of our stuff instead of sitting behind our tables, and the whole thing kind of made me more socially awkward than usual (and i am usually pretty awkward, by the way).  i’m afraid sometimes my awkwardness comes off as maybe rudeness or unfriendlyness, but really it’s just that i’ve always been so shy and these shows are extremely stressful for me.

and speaking of stress, i’m looking forward to going to visit my family in california for a week, i think it’s just the escape i need.  there is a ton of really exciting stuff happening or soon to be happening, but the more excitement in my life, the more stress.  i’m hoping to get this free knitting pattern i’m working on done in california, plus maybe finish up some knitting projects that have been sitting around for months, and maybe even read a book!  crazy!

November 21, 2008

new new new stuff!

respect the needles. tame the yarn. photoboothshirt1.jpg

new shirt design(s) in the shop!! respect the needles, tame the yarn! yeah!  on the clothing page of the shop, you have to scroll down below all the block printed shirts, down to the screen printed section, where you’ll find seven of that one and five new baller shirts!  this is my favorite new one that i really want to keep for myself:

shirt351.jpg shirt352.jpg

i was doing a lot of experimenting with multi-colored screen printing, and this one turned out amazing – unfortunately, the photos really don’t capture how it looks.  there’s a thin white outline around the blue print, making it pop in a really nice way on the soft green background.  here are a couple more:

shirt321.jpg shirt361.jpg

and the reason i said design(s)?  i re-carved the baller stencil so it doesn’t have the big solid center in the ball.  what do you think?

baller-stencil.jpg shirt301.jpg

and a couple more of those:

shirt271.jpg shirt292.jpg

if you like either of the designs, but none of the sizes/colors of shirts i have, there are custom shirt blanks on the bottom of the clothing page, and i have about ten more that i hope to have up tomorrow.  (i charge $20 for a custom screen printed shirt – just email me about the details of what you want.)

in other news… i got a new computer!  wooo!  it’s SO much faster than my 4.5 yr old powerbook!  and photo booth is way too much silly fun…

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Filed under: clothing,leethal store,personal,photos,printing — leethal @ 3:06 am

November 17, 2008

a fun project for fall!

my new cardigan! my new cardigan!

i actually made something for myself!!  i felt this major urge to craft something not for sale, not for a deadline, not for a tutorial, so i made this cardigan.  but now i want to give you a brief how-to anyway, since i really love how it turned out.  so there are no progress photos, but i took close-ups and i’ll just go through the simple steps…

you’ll need: a pullover sweater – find a wool one that’s too big for you, and wash it in the machine to felt it a bit.  hopefully now it’ll be fitted, but not too tight, and felted enough so it won’t unravel when you cut it.  then you’ll also need another felted sweater to cut up, and a bunch of buttons, and some yarn, needles, thread, good scissors, the crafting regulars.

start by cutting the pullover straight up the middle to turn it into a cardigan.  it doesn’t have to be exactly centered, in fact you can choose to make it super asymmetrical (like my orange one).  try to cut it perfectly straight through the knit stitches though; this way it’ll look almost like a finished edge.

now cut out pocket shapes from your other sweater, whatever shape you want.  i took the oval pocket idea from a jacket i saw someone wearing – i love how it looks but it wasn’t easy to sew, and they aren’t aligned evenly on the two sides.  go for regular square/rectangular pockets if you want it to be super neat.

also cut a strip of fabric from the other sweater to be the button band – it should be as wide as you want, and as long as or longer than your sweater.  sew this onto one side of the sweater opening with a zig zag stitch, right sides facing.  since the sweaters stretch a bit as you sew, i cut my strip too long on purpose, then i cut off the excess when i sewed up to the top; better than ending up with a piece too short.

cardigan close-up cardigan close-up

sew the pockets on with a zig zag stitch.  i then stitched around the holes to prevent messy edges when they get stretched out with use.  even on a felted sweater, if you’re going to be stretching out the edges, they may start to unravel, so some kind of stitching is a good idea.  i used wool yarn, but you could do the same thing with embroidery floss, or machine sewing.

cardigan close-up cardigan close-up

next i sewed on the buttons.  i chose 7 different vintage buttons, all some kind of wood.  it was easy for me to sew them on evenly because of the stripes on the sweater – if you don’t have stripes, make sure the buttons are equal distances apart.  if you want, you could sew strips of the other sweater fabric on both sides, for the buttonholes and the buttons.  this would be a good idea if the sweater is too tight.

next, cut the buttonholes in the button band on the other side, making sure they align with the buttons, and they are big enough, but not bigger than they need to be.  cut them carefully, straight along the knit stitches of the sweater – embroidery scissors work well for this.

cardigan close-up my new cardigan!

now hand-stitch around the buttonholes with thread to prevent them from unraveling or getting stretched out.  if you want, you could make the buttonholes with your sewing machine instead, but i like this hand-stitched look better on sweater wool. (click on the images to see them bigger for a better close up.)

lastly, add some decorative stitching down the button band seam – again, i used yarn, but you could use embroidery floss if you prefer.  i also did the embroidery at the top, just for fun.  add whatever other embellishing you want, have fun with it and be creative!

my new cardigan! my new cardigan! my new cardigan!

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,tutorials — leethal @ 8:31 pm

November 15, 2008

big leethal shop update!

most of my friday was spent updating the leethal shop, and it’s finally done!  tons of new printed shirts are in, a bunch of new shirt blanks for custom print jobs, and lots of new colored vinyl bowls!  some of my favorites:

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shirt231.jpg shirt181.jpg

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and this new hat!

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i would love feedback on the shirts (and everything else) so i know which designs i should focus on, what styles/colors/sizes i should look for when thrifting, etc.  i made sure to get bigger women’s sizes for this batch, so my variety is a bit better now…

oh yeah, i almost forgot! crafty wonderland on sunday went well, i had a huge space!  i got to display all my shirts on my clothing rack (yay ikea!) and all my accessories and everything on my shelves, and still plenty of room for my yarn and my photography…


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i didn’t sell tons, since it was still a bit far away from holiday gifting time and i’m guessing people are saving up for that time of year, but i did sell these two shirts that never had a chance to been seen in the shop:

mixershirt.jpg plaidshirtcloseup.jpg plaidshirt.jpg

so far, the button-down styles seem to be the most popular, so i’ll plan on doing more of those for my next batch.

oh, one more thing, and i’d love feedback on this too… for my next stenciled screen printing design (which is what the “i’m a baller” is), i’m thinking of doing “respect the needles, tame the yarn” on shirts. yeah?

Filed under: clothing,hats,leethal store,printing — leethal @ 1:20 am

November 8, 2008

new leethal stuff at crafty wonderland!!

i’m so overwhelmed with things to do, but i had to take a quick break to make sure all portlanders know that crafty wonderland is happening on sunday!  it’s the last one before the big holiday show – and i bet a lot of the vendors at this one (like me) are not going to be at the holiday show, so it’ll be a great place to start your holiday shopping early!!

crafty wonderland!

i spent all day yesterday printing a ton of new shirts, a few with a brand new screen print design!!  check it out!

clothing i'm a baller print

and i made a big pile of new small colored vinyl bowls, and some other fun new stuff like this orange hat!

record bowls orange hat

i’m hoping to make some last-second monster hats tonight, since those were a big holiday item last year and i have no new ones.  anyway, it’ll be a great craft show for sure!!  if you’re in p-town, i hope to see you there!!

Filed under: clothing,portland stuff — leethal @ 12:41 pm

September 25, 2008

leethal clothing!! wooooo!

whew, it’s up! my brand new leethal store clothing page!! so far you’ll find 12 printed shirts, plus 6 blank shirts and 1 skirt for custom printing! i plan to soon add lots more blanks so you can get the prints you want on the shirt/skirt you want!


every item has a hand-printed “made new by leethal” tag and the original brand logo x-ed out!!

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here are some of my favorites!

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and some more! there are many shirts for guys and for kids!!

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there are lots of details about the clothing, custom ordering, etc on the side bar of the clothing store page. i’m so excited to be branching out into this area; you know how much fun i had doing all those printed shirts for my brothers and for pete! i hope some of you are excited too, i’d love for this to be popular!

ooh ooh and also, because i’m getting all the original shirts at the goodwill bins (at around $1.50 per pound), and since i’m printing a bunch at a time to keep my work time per shirt somewhat low, i’m selling them pretty darn cheap! finished shirts are only $12 each, and custom orders are $16 each!

in celebration of this new leethal category, i’ll be throwing in some fun little extra stuff with all orders (not just clothing) in the next few weeks! (like: buttons, fun greeting cards, maybe samples of yarn, stitch markers, etc…)

also, many thanks to robyn and holly for the spam plugin suggestion! i’ve plugged it in and switched it back so you won’t have to register to comment, so comment away!

Filed under: clothing,leethal store,printing — leethal @ 8:23 pm

September 8, 2008

how to make freezer paper stencil prints with scissors!

first, thank you everybody for all the supernice comments on my last post and my engagement flickr picture and stuff! in case anyone else is curious, yes i probably will make my wedding dress, or at least recon a vintage dress in some way. it will be a crafty occasion i’m sure!

kid friendly freezer paper printing 10

so, remember the shirt i was wearing in my sweatshirt skirt post? wanna know how to print it? i meant to show you awhile ago, because it’s a kid-friendly project so it would have been good for summertime, but now it can be for back-to-school clothes instead. first i’ll give a little background story…

back at the beginning of august i taught a freezer paper stencil class at the 100th monkey studio, and i taught the only way i’d ever done it – with x-acto knives to carve the stencils. there was a young girl in the class who’d never used one before, but wanted to try, so i taught her how, and she did a fantastic job! check it out:

student's print student's print

but, i felt the need to give extra supervision for safety (it would have been horrible if she had cut herself!) and luckily it was a small class, so i could watch her most of the time. i was scheduled to teach the same project for the studio’s girls empowerment camp the following week though, and i knew i’d have to come up with some non x-acto options. i thought of the first method when i saw the studio’s huge assortment of paper punches! the woman working there tried out this idea at that first class, with the leaf print, and then i did more playing with punches with my circle skirt… (that tutorial was blogged on threadbanger)

student's punched print freezer paper stenciling - punch method

but i didn’t want the empowered girls to be limited to the punch shapes, so i played around with scissors stencil cutting. and without further ado, here’s the tutorial!

cut (or rip) a piece of freezer paper (must be freezer paper – with wax on one side only) to cover the area you want to print on. draw one or more simple shapes that you’ll be able to cut out with scissors, on the paper side.

kid friendly freezer paper printing 1 kid friendly freezer paper printing 2

my design was inspired by lotta jansdotter, from her book lotta prints:

lotta's skirts

now cut out your shapes carefully, making minimal cuts to get to the shapes and between shapes. be sure not to accidentally cut out anything that shouldn’t be cut out (hope that makes sense).

kid friendly freezer paper printing 3

now iron the stencil onto your fabric (wax side down, iron on high heat), starting with the center, carefully working your way out to the edges…

kid friendly freezer paper printing 4 kid friendly freezer paper printing 5

make sure you iron the cut parts down so they are touching, so you don’t end up with stenciled lines connecting the shapes.

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now paint in the stencils by dabbing in up+down motions around the outlines. if you paint side-to-side you risk painting under the stencil and getting paint in the parts where the cut edges are touching.

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once you’re done painting, you can pretty much peel off the stencil whenever you want – i usually wait 5-10 minutes; i know some people wait till it dries completely, but i’m way too impatient for that!

kid friendly freezer paper printing 9

tah dah!

freezer paper printed shirt freezer paper printed shirt

and proof that this is a projects kids can do! (with adult help with the iron, of course!)

kid's print kid's prints

those are by 3 of my girl’s empowerment camp students. the dog is based on her real-life dog, hence the insistence on black paint, and for the cats, they painted on faces after the paint dried. i think the girls all loved the project! so if anyone has kids with boring back-to-school clothes that need some personalizing, i hope this helps! or, if you’re an adult who has a hard time with an x-acto knife, this is a super easy no-knife method, and great for simple, lotta-esque designs!!

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,printing,tutorials — leethal @ 6:01 pm

August 31, 2008

recycley skirt how-to part 3: simple sweatshirt skirts!

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oookay this one has been on hold for awhile, so i’m happy to finally bring you the sweatshirt edition of my recycled skirts series! and to make up for the pause between projects, this one is actually 2 different designs! if you have a blank sweatshirt (or you don’t mind the image being upside down) you can make the skirt on the left (above), where the bottom of the sweatshirt becomes the waistband of the skirt. if you have a sweatshirt with an image you like, you can make the skirt on the right with the band around the bottom…

redskirt1.jpg blueskirt.jpg

for the sweatshirt bottom as waistband version, it’s best to choose a sweatshirt with a still-stretchy bottom band, and the best results will happen when the band fits your waist well so you don’t have to take it in. the turquoise sweatshirt i used did not fit these recommendations, so i did have to bring it in at the waist, with resulted in a weirdly-shaped skirt which i will probably only ever wear over pants to hide the weirdness. the above examples had better fitted bands, and i made them into the most simple version, which is just chopping the sweatshirt across under the sleeves, leaving you with a mini-skirt. i’m not the mini-skirt wearing type, but i like the red one over pants, and i plan to add something along the bottom of the blue one to make it longer. anyway, if you are into short skirts, that’s the super easiest version.

turquoiseskirthowto1.jpg turquoiseskirthowto6.jpg

if you want it longer, it’s not much more work, still super simple. chop the sleeves off straight up from the body…


…so you have a vest-like thing like this:


then chop the top straight across so you have this:


now you can flip it upside down and try it on as a skirt. if the waistband fits you well, awesome! if it’s too big, like mine was, you’ll have to bring it in somehow. depending on the thickness of the fabric, and on your sewing skills, you could try putting it elastic or a drawstring. i sewed the sides in as pictured, and it didn’t work out great… i think it would have been better had i come in even more and sewed down further at less of an angle.


as for the bottom, you can choose to leave the slits, or sew them closed. i chose to stitch them closed with embroidery floss as pictured below (click the image to see it bigger). and, a close-up of a good, stretchy waistband with no bringing-in required. (oh, a side note, if you want to know more about the circle printing i did on the turquoise skirt, i did a threadbanger post about it over here.)

turquoiseskirt2.jpg redskirt2.jpg

so if you have a sweatshirt with an image on it, it’s not much harder, and you don’t have to worry about the size of the sweatshirt or the stretchiness of the band. as long as the sweatshirt body, measured across the middle, will fit around your hips/butt area, it’ll work.

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the first step is the same as the last design, chop the sleeves up the sides:


then, also like the last one, chop the top off, but this time be careful to cut as high up as possible, just under the collar, because of the image.


now it looks like this, and all you need to do is sew the sides in to fit your waist…


turn the skirt inside out, pull it on, and pin it evenly on the sides so it fits well.


you could use safety pins to pin all the way down your sides while wearing it to get a perfect fit. or you could do what i did, which is to pull it off, pin along the edges to hold the sides together, and mark with chalk where to sew. the photoshopped dotted line represents how my chalk line should have looked for a better fitting skirt. (you can see in the bottom picture how the black skirt is shaped better than the orange, that’s how it should be sewn, like the black one.)


after you sew the sides up, you can fold the top under and sew a hem if you want. it won’t unravel or anything without a hem, but i think it makes for a more fitted waist, so i sewed hems on mine.


oh yeah, by the way, i have no connection to florida, i just like the alligator (/crocodile?) guy and, of course, the orange. got the sweatshirt at a yard sale in wisconsin for 50cents…

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,personal,skirts,threadbanger,tutorials — leethal @ 10:38 am

August 11, 2008

recycley skirt how-to part 2: vintage sheet double wraparound!

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ok time for my next skirt tutorial! this concept came to me when i was thinking about wanting to make skirts with vintage bedsheets but how some of them can be pretty see-through… so i thought, double layered would be cool… and the double wraparound idea was born! this sheet is a little silly, but the design worked out well, so now i can make more skirts with sheets i like better…

so you take your sheet and cut/rip it lengthwise to the length you want your skirt, then lay it flat across the floor. (if yours is as wrinkled as mine was, you might want to iron it!)


now: measure around your waist where you want the skirt to sit. divide this number in half, giving you a. measure across the length of the sheet strip. take this full length measurement and subtract a x 4. now divide that number by 3, giving you b. make marks on the sheet starting at the top a from the edge, then b over from that first mark, on the bottom, then across a on the bottom, b over on the top, a across the top, over b on the bottom, and then the remaining width on the bottom should be a. don’t worry about following those written directions, i made a diagram!

skirt tutorial

the easiest way to mark the points is to fold the sheet lengthwise and just make sure you’re marking on the correct side, like this: (i used green sharpie, but it’s probably better to use something that’s actually meant for marking on fabric…)


now just cut between the marks and you’ll have 4 panels that’ll fit together to make your skirt. the 2 sheet edges don’t flare out, so choose which end you like better to be the front/outside and use the other end panel for the opposite side. sew all the panels together, and you have a double wraparound skirt!


a note about sizing/adjustments…. my b measurement was 5 1/3 inches, which worked well for the amount of flare (a-line angle) it gave my knee-length skirt. the design might look a bit crazy if the flare angle is much more than mine, and if you’re thinner than me then it probably will be, depending on your sheet + skirt length. if you’re making a longer skirt, b can be bigger, and if your skirt is shorter then b should be smaller – you’ll want to look at the angle of flare when you make the marks and see if it looks ok. if the angle is too much and you need a smaller b, try dividing by 4 instead of 3 – if the new b makes for a better angle, mark your fabric the same as the diagram but add an extra b flare at one of the edges, so you’ll have a triangle of scrap fabric left over. make sense? if b is still too big when dividing by 4, try dividing by 5, and making both end panels flare out on both sides, leaving two scraps.

and for the closure…. i used buttons because i had just been sorting my button stash and wanted to use some, but it would be super easy to do a tied closure. because of the double wrap design, the inside end is right behind the outside end, with one layer of fabric between. so, to make a tied closure, you’d just snip a buttonhole in that in-between piece right where the two ends line up, and attach ties (fabric strips, ribbons, whatever you want) to each of the end corners. when putting on the skirt, bring the inside tie through that hole, and tie with the outside, yay! (if you want to use buttons like mine, there is one hidden button on the inside holding the inner panel closed. i marked where to put all the buttons and buttonholes by wrapping the skirt around me how i wanted to wear it and safety-pinning where they should go.)

skirtflat1.jpg skirtbuttonscloseup.jpg

oh yeah i almost forgot to mention – after sewing the panels together, i hemmed the top and bottom edges. i left the inside edge raw because it’s hiding and i’m lazy (not lazy, just always rushed). the outside edge was the original sheet hem. if you like the deconstructed look, sheets have nice raw edges so you can just leave them alone.

after the skirt was complete and i tried it on, i found that since the buttons are lined up along the side edge, i could wear the skirt backwards if i wanted to…


and when playing with different skirt positions i discovered that i really like how it looks with the seam down the middle!


ok i hope this tutorial made sense, it’s a little weird. the basic concept is easy – 4 a-line panels, the tops each measuring half of your waist. if you have an a-line skirt that fits you well, feel free to ignore all my equations and stuff and just use that skirt as a template to make your own pattern! just trace the skirt flat on the sheet 4 times to make your 4 panels, it should work well… ok have fun finding and recycling some rad vintage sheets!

wearingskirt3.jpg wearingskirt5.jpg wearingskirt4.jpg

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,skirts,tutorials — leethal @ 12:06 pm

August 3, 2008

recycley skirt how-to part 1: asymmetrical scrunchy t-skirt!

t-skirt t-skirt

yay, it’s the first of my many-part series of how-to’s for skirts made from various recycled things! i’m going to try to do one per week, and there will be 4 or 5 or maybe even more different skirt projects, woo!

i’m starting simple with this t-skirt – you just need one t-shirt and some basic sewing ability. oh yeah, i should add, about all the designs: i am not at all a skilled sewer, so every project i do that involves sewing will be friendly to low experience levels. you’ll basically need a machine and the knowledge to use it and that’s all, nothing fancy! ok here we go!

first, pick out a shirt. to make sure your skirt will fit how you want it, measure around your butt/thighs area to get your largest skirt-area measurement. my measurement is 44in, and i wanted my skirt to be comfy-fitting, not too snug, so i made sure my shirt measured at least 22in across or a little more, meaning it would fit around me fine without having to stretch too much. you will be sewing the shirt in a bit, so if you want it extra loose, it should be about 4 inches bigger than you are. t-shirts do stretch, of course, so depending on your specific shirt’s stretchiness and your fitting preference, your shirt of choice could measure less than you do. i chose this rem shirt that was pete’s from high school – he almost gave it away when cleaning out his closet, but i held onto it to make it something new, yay!

t-skirt how-to 1

now you need to chop off the sleeves. instead of cutting along the seams, just cut straight up following the body of the shirt. i used a rotary cutter, but scissors will work fine.

t-skirt how-to 2

now your shirt should look like this (front side):

t-skirt how-to 3

now chop off the top, straight across, to cut off the collar part and open up the whole thing.

t-skirt how-to 4

slip on the soon-to-be skirt and hold it together where it fits comfortably. pin in place down the sides so that the two sides meet the edges asymmetrically. the way i did this: when i tried on the skirt i pinned only the top pin on each side, then carefully took it off. i put it flat on the ground and put the pins in as shown in the picture, the left side going down further than the right side. then i (very carefully) slipped the skirt back on to make sure it fit well. (use safety pins if you don’t want to poke yourself when trying it on.)

t-skirt how-to 5

now sew along where the pins were – wrong sides together!! the dotted lines are over the stitching, which you could barely see in the picture. then cut through both layers one inch out from the seam, represented by the solid line.

t-skirt how-to 6

on each side, fold the one inch flappy parts outwards and sew them down along the edges, forming tubes on either side of the seams about 3/4inch wide. do not sew these parts closed on any end! when the flaps get narrow at the bottom, just keep sewing parallel to the center seam until you hit the end of the flap. (i only have a photo from after i put in the drawstring, but you get the idea.)

t-skirt how-to 10

cut drawstring pieces at least as long as up the seam tubes and back down. i used t-shirt pieces – when you cut strips of t-shirt fabric about 1/2in-1in wide and stretch them out they make great cord for this purpose. you can even use strips cut from the sleeves you cut off if you want the same color.

t-skirt how-to 7

on each side of the skirt, pin a safety pin to the end of the drawstring and thread it up one tube and back down the other side.

t-skirt how-to 8

now just pull the strings to cinch it all up and tie in a knot or a bow – you can do this while wearing the skirt to get it cinched just right. this picture is from my first version of this design (which is shown below), with contrasting thread so you can see what’s going on better. it’s always good to use zig-zag stitch on t-shirt fabric, but since you’re scrunching up the sewn parts of this skirt it’s not super important in this case.

t-skirt how-to 9

i have this vision in my head of making this same skirt design except crazier – with like 7-9 scrunched drawstring parts, all different lengths, with one going all the way to the bottom! someday when i have a little free time i’ll try it out. you could also make this skirt with the drawstring only on one side, and just sew the other with right sides together for a regular seam. if you make a skirt based on this design idea, i’d really love to see a picture!!

t-skirt (first version) t-skirt t-skirt

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,skirts,tutorials — leethal @ 5:43 pm
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