Thrift Store Remake: Skirts from Tablecloths

Karen and I live in skirts all summer, so there's no such thing as "too many."  I do own a few pairs of capris but if I'm going to be outdoors on a hot day, I don't want something clinging to my legs.  To add to our collection, we wanted to find a way to make a really simple skirt. For this edition of our Thrift Store Remake, these skirts had their first lives as tablecloths.  We had so much fun making them, and I can promise you, I'm no seamstress.  I came away ready to make at least 10 more skirts, which tells you it can't be that hard OR time consuming!  

We both love finding vintage fabrics at thrift stores and antique fairs and putting them to use.  We just got back from this year's Country Living Fair in New York's Hudson Valley and we brought home some well-worn tablecloths with beautiful patterns, perfect for making drawstring skirts.  We're already cutting them up after making the skirts you're seeing from the stash of fabric we collected at last year's fair!  

We invited our friend, Sam to join us (of So Sam accessory must check out her necklaces which got us tons of compliments at Country Living!)  We spent a few hours sewing, nibbling on chocolate biscuits and sipping pear mojitos.  Here's how we did it:

Supply List
Non-pleated skirt you already own to use as a pattern
Seam Ripper
Grosgrain ribbon
Safety Pin
Cord Stopper

First, we used a skirt I already owned as a template and you can do the same.  Choose a skirt from your closet that has no pleats. 

Lay your skirt flat on the back of a pretty tablecloth.  You're going to follow the outline of the skirt with a pencil, but add an extra 1 inch border around the sides and bottom for seam allowances and 1 1/2" at the top.  We took a shortcut and used the already-hemmed edge of the tablecloth for the bottoms of our skirts.  One less seam to sew!

Cut out the shape you've just traced and then place it on another section of the tablecloth, trace and cut out again.  Now you have the two sides of your skirt.  

Put them together, right sides facing in. Sew each of the sides together.  

You then want to make a top hem that will hold your ribbon for the drawstring. Simply fold the top edge of the skirt over twice (so that you don't have a raw edge) and iron it so that your creases are sharp.  You then sew along the bottom edge of your hem so that you leave an open channel for the ribbon.  

With a seam ripper, rip open one of the side seams of the channel to create an opening for your ribbon.  Put a safety pin on one end of your ribbon (we used grosgrain) and start to push the ribbon through the channel until the first end comes out the other side.  

Take off the safety pin and slip on a cord stopper over the two ends of the ribbon.  Tie a knot and you've got a drawstring.  

Ta-da!  Don't let all of these instructions intimidate's easier than it sounds if you just read through the directions and take it step-by-step!

xoxo Zandra