I took this shirt:
Which was at the top of my project box.
I made it into this:
The story behind the project: I bought this shirt at a yard sale up the street last summer or fall. My original intention was to make a dress or a skirt for Kate from it, but I really love the fabric, and Kate has lots of clothes in her closet, most made by me. I sew a lot for other people and decided that it was time for me to make something for myself. So much for the selflessness that usually accompanies New Year's Resolutions.
The materials: The shirt is a heavy-duty plaid from The Gap. It goes without saying that I don't shop at The Gap, because I'm not into paying $35+ for a shirt like this. Still, I do like it, and I think I paid $1 for it at the yard sale. It still had dry cleaning tags on it and everything, and it was in great shape.
The process: I cut off the top of the shirt, made a simple casing, and inserted my 3/4" elastic in the small gap I left. I sewed up the whole thing and added my bird applique on the bottom (that bird is showing up on more and more of my projects lately - Kevin said it's like my trademark, but I just really like the way it looks). I even used one of those little "extra" buttons, sewn to the inside of the shirt to replace lost buttons, as the bird's eye, so I really incorporated part of the shirt I didn't even intend to (plus, bonus, his eye matches the other buttons on the skirt). I originally wanted to make belt loops and use the sleeves, sewn together, as a sort of tie belt, but I tried it and the sleeves were too short for something like that. Maybe a larger shirt would work better (this was a large), or maybe if I cut them closer to the seam it would look better. So I left off the loops and the belt.
The outcome: I love it! It is shorter than I originally wanted, but I think it's fine. And I love the way it looks with black tights and boots. It's pretty lightweight for a skirt, so I probably won't be wearing it much until it warms up, but this is definitely a keeper.