Refashion an Old Shirt Into a Ruffle Hem Skirt

6 materials
$10
3 Hours
Medium

Let me show you how to transform an ordinary shirt into an amazing ruffle hem skirt. This upcycle is fun, easy, and a great way to refashion your old clothes. All you need is an oversized shirt that is wider than your hips and you can begin this DIY.

Tools and materials:

  • Shirt
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
ruffle hem skirt, Remove the pocket
Remove the pocket

Remove the pocket

The first step to this upcycle is removing the pocket from your old shirt.

ruffle hem skirt, DIY ruffle hem skirt
DIY ruffle hem skirt

Cut out the skirt 

Next, draw a horizontal line along the bottom of the shirt. 

ruffle hem skirt, Draw another line
Draw another line


I drew 35 cm (13.8 inches) up from the line and drew another horizontal line at this point. 

ruffle hem skirt, Cut across
Cut across


I grabbed my scissors and cut along the line I had just drawn. Make sure to trim the sides of the shirt straight so that you have ½ your hip measurement plus 3 cm (1.2 inches) for seam allowance. 

ruffle hem skirt, Make a ruffle hem skirt
Make a ruffle hem skirt

Sew the side seams 

Next, I placed the front and back pieces of my skirt, right sides together and pinned along the side seams. 

ruffle hem skirt, Sew the side seams
Sew the side seams


I then sewed along my pinned lines, putting the skirt together. I also overlocked to ensure the fabric would hold. 

ruffle hem skirt, Cut the sleeves
Cut the sleeves

Create the ruffle hem 

Next, I cut off the sleeves of the shirt and removed the cuffs. I also cut open the seam of the sleeve so that I could make the ruffle hem for the skirt. 

ruffle hem skirt, Cut straight
Cut straight

I cut a straight line at the top and bottom of the open sleeve, to straighten it out. 

ruffle hem skirt, How to make a ruffle hem skirt
How to make a ruffle hem skirt


Still using my scissors, I cut the sleeve into 2 rectangles. I cut the second rectangle so that the buttons were removed. I repeated the same on my second sleeve.  

ruffle hem skirt, Sew a circle
Sew a circle


I connected all four rectangular pieces to create one big fabric circle. I made sure to overlock again after sewing. 

ruffle hem skirt, Fold over twice
Fold over twice


On one side of the fabric, I folded the edge over twice and sewed the folds in place. 

ruffle hem skirt, Overlock the other side
Overlock the other side


I overlocked the other side of the circle piece to ensure the fabric wouldn’t fray. 

ruffle hem skirt, Sew a loose seam
Sew a loose seam


On the side I had just overlocked, I sewed a very loose seam all the way around and left the thread out when I was finished. 

ruffle hem skirt, Gather the fabric
Gather the fabric


I pulled the thread to gather the piece and create the ruffles for my new skirt. I made sure that once I had finished gathering, the ruffles had the same width as the width of the skirt. 

ruffle hem skirt, Sew on the ruffle hem
Sew on the ruffle hem


Next, it was time to connect the ruffles to the skirt. I used pins to fit the two pieces together and then sewed them in place. 

ruffle hem skirt, Mark at the top
Mark at the top

Create darts 

Once the ruffles had been sewed on to my skirt, I moved back to the top part and marked 4 cm (1.6 inches) inward at the top. I made a second mark 20 cm (7.9 inches) downward from the top.

ruffle hem skirt, Draw darts
Draw darts


I then drew a slanted line to connect these two points. I repeated the same for the other side of the skirt. 

ruffle hem skirt, Sew along the marked lines
Sew along the marked lines


I moved back to my sewing machine to sew along the slanted lines. 

ruffle hem skirt, Try on the skirt
Try on the skirt


I tried on my new skirt and played around to see how I could make it fit me perfectly. I decided I would make two darts at the back of the skirt. It’s important to mark the places you are going to sew. 

ruffle hem skirt, Make darts at the back
Make darts at the back


To create the darts at the back of the skirt, I found the center point of the marks I had made and drew a 25 cm (9.8 inches) long line from it. I connected the outer marks to the bottom of the centerline, making two inward-facing triangles. 

ruffle hem skirt, Fold and sew the darts
Fold and sew the darts


I folded and pinned the darts in place and then moved back to my sewing machine to sew them. 

ruffle hem skirt, Use the extra fabric
Use the extra fabric

Make the waistband 

Next, I moved on to the waistband of the skirt. I used the leftover fabric of the shirt and marked 10 cm (3.9 inches) from the bottom. 

ruffle hem skirt, Make a rectangle
Make a rectangle


I drew a 24 cm (9.4 inches) line between the two points and marked from just below the button a ¼ of my waist size plus 1 cm (0.4 inches) for seam allowance which was 17 cm (6.7 inches). 

ruffle hem skirt, Ruffle hem mini skirt
Ruffle hem mini skirt

I grabbed my scissors and cut along my markings to get the fabric needed for the waistband. 

ruffle hem skirt, Press the waistband
Press the waistband

I sewed the two pieces together to make my waistband and then used the iron to press down a small fold on both ends of the waistband. I then folded the waistband in half, lengthwise, and pressed. 

ruffle hem skirt, Pin on the waistband
Pin on the waistband


To attach the waistband to the skirt, I placed it over the top so that the fold of the waistband lay directly over the top of the skirt. I pinned and sewed it into place. 

ruffle hem skirt, Add a button
Add a button


All that was left to do was sew on a button and buttonhole to the waistband of the skirt. 

ruffle hem skirt, Pencil skirt ruffle hem
Pencil skirt ruffle hem


This ruffle hem skirt turned out perfectly! What other shirt upcycle ideas do you have? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:

  • Shirt
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk
See all materials

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