How to Upcycle Flannels Into a Super Cute New Shirt and Dress

The DIY Designer
by The DIY Designer
4 Materials
4 Hours

I picked up some flannels from the thrift shop and decided to make upcycled flannel shirts and a flannel skirt from them.

You’ll need at least two shirts of similar weight for each look. I decided on an oversized shirt and a dress with a drop-waist skirt, but these designs are easy to adapt to other styles.

Tools and materials:

  • 4 or more flannel shirts
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
Inspiration photos

These flannel mash-up designs were my inspiration.

Flannel shirts

1. Plan your looks

I’m using the two shirts on the right for my upcycled flannel shirt and the two on the left to make my flannel skirt.

Cutting the sleeve panels

2. Cut the sleeve panels

Lay the shirt you’re using for the side and sleeve panels on a flat surface and cut down each side.

For a baggy look, cut close to the collar or for a more fitted look, make your cuts nearer to the sleeves.

Cutting the body

3. Cut the body section

Cut off the sleeves of the second shirt to make the center front panel.

Fraying the edges

4. Fray the edges

If you want visible frayed seams like mine, cut off the bottom hems of each piece.

Joining the pieces

5. Join the pieces

Pin the side panels over the center panel for visible seams, or with right sides together for hidden seams. Sew ¼ to ⅛ inch from the edge.

Trimming the panels

6. Trim the panels

Cut the panels to the length you like. I kept all the front panels the same length but cropped the back center panel.

Making the dress bodice

7. Make the dress bodice

My dress is sleeveless, so I removed the sleeves of the third shirt to make the top of the dress.

Try the top on and take in the side seams if it’s too baggy.

Preparing the skirt material

8. Prepare the skirt material

Remove the sleeves and collar of the shirt you’re going to use to make the skirt and cut along the shoulder and side seams.

Tapering the skirt panels

9. Taper the skirt panels

Place the skirt panels evenly against the bottom edge of the bodice, lining up the button openings.

Mark or pin and cut a tapered line from the skirt hem to where it joins the top on one side so the width matches at the waist.

Tapering the skirt panels

Fold the skirt section in half lengthways and using the first side as a guide, cut the second side to match.

Stitching the side seams

10. Stitch the side seams

Sew down both side seams, leaving the bottom 10 - 12 inches open to make short splits.

Attaching the top to the skirt

11. Attach the top to the skirt

Pin and stitch the skirt to the top at the waist and cut off any excess fabric.

Completed upcycled flannel shirt

Completed upcycled flannel dress

Upcycled flannel shirts

The finished shirt and dress! I’m in love with my DIY upcycled flannel shirts. They’re warm and cozy and perfect for fall. This was such a fun project to make.

If you enjoyed this and would like to see more upcycled flannel looks, please let me know in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • 4 or more flannel shirts
  • Scissors
  • Pins
See all materials

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