How to DIY a Cute Ruched Mini Skirt From an Old T-shirt

Enitan Agbabiaka
by Enitan Agbabiaka

Making a DIY mini skirt with ruched sides is simple and quick with this tutorial. It’s one of my easiest t-shirt upcycle ideas and very beginner friendly.


The measurements I give are for a 28 inch (71 cm) waist and 38 inch (96 cm) hips, so measure yourself before you start.


Tools and materials:

  • Oversized t-shirt
  • 3/4” inch (2 cm) wide elastic
  • Fabric marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Safety pin
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
Oversized t-shirt to upcycle

1. Draft the pattern

Turn the t-shirt wrong side out and fold it in half lengthways.

Drafting the pattern

Line up the underarms and lower edges carefully.


Mark the length of the skirt 22 inches (55 cm) up from the lower edge on the fold.


Add a half inch (1 cm) seam allowances to all measurements.

Drafting the pattern

At the waist edge, draw a line 7 inches (17.75 cm) or one quarter of your waist measurement long across the fabric.

Drafting the pattern

Measure 8 inches (20 cm) down the fold and mark 9.5 inches (24 cm) or one quarter of your hip circumference from that point across the t-shirt.

Drafting the pattern

Finally, measure 9 inches (23 cm) across just above the hem for the lower skirt circumference.

Drafting the pattern

Join the three points with a curved line and cut out.

Drafting the pattern

2. Ruching channels

Unfold the skirt pieces and join both side seams with the right sides facing, taking a half inch seam allowance.

DIYing a mini skirt

Open the seam allowances out flat and press gently.


Sew the outer edges of the seam allowances to the skirt, to make two channels on each seam.

DIYing a mini skirt

3. Make and insert the strings

From the remaining fabric cut four strips, 2 inches (5 cm) wide and 24 inches (61 cm) long.


Fold each strip in half lengthways with the right sides inside.


Sew the long edge and one short edge on each strip.

Fabric strips

Turn the strips right side out.

DIYing a mini skirt

Use a safety pin to thread the open end of each strip through the side seam channels, from the hem to the waist.


Pin the open end at the waist edge. You may want to tie a small knot at the lower edge of each string.

DIYing a mini skirt

4: Waistband


Cut a piece of elastic 28 inches (71 cm) long or to fit comfortably around your waist.


Overlap the ends and sew them together securely.


Pin the elastic to the right side of the waist and sew around the top edge.


DIYing a mini skirt

Turn the skirt right side out.


Fold the elastic to the wrong side and pin it down inside the skirt.

DIYing a mini skirt

Sew in place around the free edge of the elastic. I like to use a zigzag or stretch stitch for this.

DIY mini skirt
DIY mini skirt

DIY mini skirt

To ruche the skirt, pull on both strings at the same time. Tie the free ends in a bow or leave them hanging loose, whichever you prefer.


This is such a versatile DIY skirt. You can wear it as a mini skirt, as short as you dare, which is my favorite style.


You could also gather one side higher than the other for an evening or beach look.


And if you feel more modest, you can pull the skirt down to just above your knees.


I’d love to know what you think of it and if you make it. Please drop me a comment below.


Next, learn How to DIY a Chic Crop Top From a T-shirt.

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