See How I Transformed an Old Shirt Into the Perfect Festival Outfit

Liana Hardy
by Liana Hardy
9 Materials
2 Hours

As someone who loves thrifting, I have a closet filled with items of clothing that I loved when I bought them, but in reality, don’t really wear. One of those pieces was a button-down shirt with lace, probably from the ’80s. Since I loved the material and design, though, I really wanted to find some way to upcycle the shirt into something I’d be more likely to wear. So I decided to turn it into a halter-top-and-skirt combination piece. Keep reading this tutorial to see exactly how I did it.

Tools and materials:

  • Shirt
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing clippers
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Binding
  • Hook and eye
Shirt refashion
Deconstruct shirt

The first thing I had to do was to deconstruct the shirt. Using my seam ripper, I started by removing the sleeves. Once the sleeves were off the shirt, I took apart those seams to open up the sleeves. 

DIY shirt refashion
Cut the shirt

With my sleeves removed, I lay the shirt down on my work surface and cut off the top of it, which is what I was going to be using for the crop top.

Easy shirt refashion
Trim the top

I put the top of the shirt onto my mannequin and used pins to mark where I wanted to cut the shirt. After trimming it and getting it to look the way I wanted, I used the side I cut as a template to cut the other side. 

Shirt refashion into skirt
Cut out the back

I took the remaining fabric of the top and marked 10 cm. Then I used that measurement to cut out a rectangle which I planned to use as the back piece of the new bodice. I put the rectangle piece on the mannequin to see how it would look with the crop top. 

DIY button-up shirt refashion
Mark the darts

Next, I took the piece I was going to be using for the skirt and I marked the darts where I wanted them to be on the skirt.

Shirt to skirt upcycle
Cut strips

I then took the sleeves and used them to cut out strips of fabric to match the crop top’s shoulder seams. I used these strips as extensions for the halter neck of the crop top. When I was happy with their placement, I sewed them in place, sewing across the shoulder seams. 

Festival outfit refashion
Sew the finishes

Taking the skirt piece, I sewed across the waist and created a clean finish with double-folded binding so that it didn’t have any raw edges. After sewing the seams of the halter neck to the top, I turned it inside out. Then I took the garment and sewed backstitches to keep everything in place. I closed off the halter neck strip, then closed off all the raw edges of the halter neck, using a double-folded binding technique. Lastly, I handstitched a hook and eye to the top of the skirt where the top of the button was. 

Completed shirt refashion

There you have it! That’s how I turned an old button-down shirt that just didn’t fit my style into a super cute halter-neck and skirt combo. This outfit is perfect for a festival or a night out on the town and I am so excited to get a chance to show it off. What do you think? Do you like the before or after better? Let me know in the comments! 

Suggested materials:
  • Shirt
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine
See all materials

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