2.19.2009

How to make a skirt (from dish towels!)

What kind of a mother sets out to dress her children in rags?


Um...


Well, me.

Except, its not as bad as it sounds. After all, they are more like towels than rags. 
Dish towels to be exact. And they are floral and polka dot and damask-y. Surely no one would use these as rags!


When I came across these dish towels at Target (where else?), I instinctively picked them up. They don't match my decor, but at $5.99 for the set, how could I not?

After throwing around a few ideas, I finally settled on using them to make skirts for my girls.

I began by cutting the first towel in half - this would be for my oldest (who typically wears a size 5 or 6). 


The second towel would be for my youngest (usually a 2T or 3T), but I didn't need as much length, so I subtracted a few inches (making sure to account for the waist). Also, I loved the ruffle on the left side of the towel, so I made this the front of the skirt.


An additional step that I took for my younger daughter's skirt was to trim off the edges at an angle so that it wouldn't be too wide for her (no measuring involved - I just held it up to her and estimated). As you can see, I still left a lot of room at the waist for gathering.


My next step for each skirt was to sew the sides together (right sides facing each other). 


Because the bottom hem was already done for me, I just had to create a waist band. To do so, I folded the top twice and ironed it down. Then I sewed along the edge, leaving a small opening to fit in the elastic. 


To finish, I fed the elastic through, connected the ends, and sewed up the hole. 


Two skirts completed, without having to decipher a pattern, in under an hour, and that cost less than $8 total (after elastic)

I call that a success. 


I will proudly send my girls out in these "rags."

58 comments:

Shelley in SC said...

I just recently found your blog and it is a delight! Thanks for sharing so many fun ideas---not just showing us what you do but showing us how to do it!

MomToTwo said...

Those are ADORABLE! What a wonderful idea!

maryanne420 said...

you are so creative! very nice.

Mama Bear said...

Look at you go, thrifty thrifty!! And so cute!! Great idea.

Terri said...

Cute! And you know they're washable, too!:)

The Peterson family said...

those are darling!!! I need some sewing tricks. What kind of machine do you recommend. I have just started sewing, using my mom's machine and really need to get my own.

Kristyn said...

I LOVE these! I have been reading your blog for a while but I don't think I've ever commented. I have two daughters also and I love all your creative ideas! Thanks for sharing.

AJ said...

Those are way cute! I'm currently working on a Fairy costume for DD. It does involved deciphering a pattern and making decisions about leaving stuff out and whatnot. It's a costume! While DD is 8 she's still on the very slim side, so this would seriously work for her. Thank you for the inspiration!

Brenda said...

Wow. Those are way too pretty for dishrags! I may have to visit my local Target---and hope no one has these in their kitchen! :O

I'm ALL about sewing without a pattern--thanks for all the pictures.

Diana said...

Wow, very impressive! What a clever, cute idea.

mom2three said...

these are so cute I'm wondering how to make one for me! great idea!

Tricia said...

Adorable! Must go to Target...NOW! I think I could do this! :)

Songbirdtiff said...

I cannot believe you made skirts out of dish towels. Who would even USE those towels as towels. They are way too cute!

Wonderful idea. So cute!

RLR said...

I'm not a seamstress, but maybe I can get my Mom to work on a couple of these for my 4T tall, 2T waist little girl.... Thanks for the great idea!

poppyart said...

brilliant! if only i had a little girl... how would 2 boys look in these? very cute i expect.

Nancy said...

Wow very cute!

Diana said...

Brilliant-- maybe my very limited sewing skills could handle this...

Andrea said...

GREAT idea! I will be shopping at Target again soon and picking up some dish towels! Thanks for the inspiration!

Karen said...

This is awesome and so cute! You should put all your innovative, yet simple sewing projects into a book or something.

Sheila said...

You are surely going to make a matching headband or scrunchie out of that piece you cut out of the middle of your little one's towel, aren't you? :) Very cute!!

Sara said...

Wow! I am so impressed.

Autumn said...

Those are so CUTE! I am sure they look adorable on the girls:)

TLEB said...

So cute! I especially love the ruffle at the bottom of the skirt - adorable! I might have to try this myself!

Nora said...

So cute! What a great idea ;)

Craig said...

Now that's cute!

julie said...

OK! I need to head over to target! I LOVE those towels! I WANT those towels! I WANT those skirts for my little girl! I just dont know if I can do it but I sure am going to try! Wish me luck!

Becky said...

I am so making some of those for my 5 year old granddaughter. She loves wearing skirts and they would be perfect for this spring/summer.

I visit your blog everyday and love seeing the things you make. Keep up the good work!

Jodee Leader said...

Holy moly! Those turned out sooo cute! Your girls are going to love their new rag clothing!

Joey and Bobbi Kenow said...

you have inspired me to wipe the dust off of my old sewing machine...

Kristen said...

So darling!! I need to think twice when looking at the kitchen towels now!!

Macy and Lucy said...

I am drooling over those towels...the nearest Target is an hour away from me, and I don't see them online :( Your ideas are so precious!!

Amy said...

I want to try this! I read your blog often and have found so many ideas to try. If only I could find the time to get them all done...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas!

Oh, and keep the boy stuff coming. I have a daughter and son but also 4 nephews.

casserole said...

Great tutorial! I especially like how you used the ruffle. Blogged it at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-little-girls-skirt-from-a-dish-towel/2009/02/21/

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Wow! That is super creative. I never would have thought of that in a million years! Thanks so much for the fabulous how-to, I'll be linking.

Krista said...

Oh, I LOVE it! =) What a cute idea! You've got to take some pics of the girls wearing them! As always, I can't wait to see what you 'come up with' next! =)

SoBella Creations said...

Adorable!

Chrissy said...

You are never short on ideas...love this one and I'll be linking over from my place! Thanks for another great tute!

Kristi said...

omgosh...thes are lovely. you are so ingenious...as usual! Can't wait to try my hand at them.

Char said...

Hi Kristin, I found your blog through StumbleUpon and I'm so happy I did! Not only are you funny and creative, but your detailed instructions make your projects easy to recreate.

Angie H. said...

Can I just tell you that I went to 6 Targets in one day looking for those kitchen towels...and NO LUCK!
I did however get the apron from the same collection and was able to make two skirts for my nieces!
Thanks for the inspiration!!

shelia said...

adorable!!!

monica said...

These are adorable! I wish I was crafty like you!

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

Yeah for dishtowel skirts and yeah for Target!

I just made Lil Chick what I call a "chaos skirt". I had two leftover hawaiian fabric quilt squares that I added a ruffle to, sewed together and elasticized...I can't wait for summer...

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

So cute! Found via one crafty place! I will be linking to your tutorial from DollarStoreCrafts.com!

Colleen said...

I just LOVE the patterns on this!! I went to my Target, but couldn't find the towels, however found an adorable APRON (which is almost a NO-SEW dress project now!) and Tablerunner - I'm now repurposing the apron into a halter sundress and the tablerunner into two skirts. Super Cute! Thank you for sharing!

debbi said...

just recently found your blog and love it - thanks for sharing all of your cleaver ideas. the skirts are adorable...just wish i could find them in my size.

My Three Girls (The A girls) said...

love the skirts,,a drawstring waistband would work too.

Owlhaven said...

These are adorable! I have made little kids' skirts from yard sale clothing in cute fabrics, but never thought of using dish towels!

Mary

aawiesner said...

i'm so excited to try this out, except i realized i bought 1/4" elastic. (i'm a beginner and have never made clothing before!) can i use it, or is it too thin?

if it is too thin, do you know of any good projects i can use it for? i have 2 yards...

-Aileen-

Kitten Muffin said...

I made my 3 and 4 year olds skirts with dollar store teatowels after reading your post. Very cool project. I'll blog about it and link back to you soon. Thank you!

Owlhaven said...

I just twittered this and mentioned it on facebook. Planning to post pix of my skirts on my blog soon.

Mary, mom to many

Katie said...

Absolutely Adorable!!! Love them! Thanks for sharing such a great tip!!

Julie said...

your dishtowel skirts inspired me: http://littleoneofakinddesign.blogspot.com/2009/06/tangent-my-little-sewing-projects.html

Canadian Pain said...

I found your blog, when i was trying to remind my self of the specifics of making a pillow case dress, since i collected a few cute ones from thrift stores or new ones from bargen stores i plan to use for my 18month old neice, however these ideas are so good to that might consider something like these later. (however if i found the blue tea towel, i dont think i would be able to give it up haha)

saffiertje said...

This skirt is such a perfect pattern! I made sveral for my DD!. I just finished one for the winter... And it's in Jottum style( a dutch brand of very expensive clothing...)
Just see foryourself: http://saffiertjeblogspot.com

greeting from the Netherlands by Miranda

cooknwoman said...

hi, I want to make one of these for my granddaughter but I only have a couple of days!!! Yikes!!! my towels are 13" x 19" and also 19" x 13" - I haven't seen one where the pattern was at the long end but I noticed that you use one towel for a 2-3 yr old but what is the size of your towels? Will I just need to use two?
It has been years since I have sewed - I was looking for something EASY - I sure it cannot get easier - I guess I am a little s-l-ow LOL
hope you can get back to me before it's too late! - you can also call me if you want 909-855-5308 or email cooknwoman@gmail.com
Thanks much - Susie

Rowanmayfairs said...

WOW..

I will never look at dish towels the same !

I saw some nice christmas dish towels at dollar general.. I bet those would make some nice skirts !

Carolyn Call said...

I came across your blog and loved the adorable skirts. I purchased some quilting fabric squares today, many colors etc and want to make skirts out of them. Your site gave me the courage to try.

Thanks for sharing your creativity.