3 in 1 Tutorial: How to DIY a Cute T-shirt Skirt Set

by Unorthodoll
5 Materials
3 Hours

Today, I’m doing three tutorials in one: a fringed skirt, a layered top and a macrame-inspired addition to the fringe.

The idea of making a t-shirt skirt came first and as I love fringes, it was an easy upgrade to include that with the skirt.

I realized I could make a layered crop top from the fabric I had left.

The macrame fringe is optional but I think it adds a great detail to this no-sew thrift flip.

Tools and materials:

  • Men’s XL short-sleeved t-shirt
  • Fabric marker or tailor’s chalk
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Safety pin
Marking length

1. Mark the skirt length

Turn the shirt inside out, flip it upside down and wrap it around your waist from the back.

Use your fabric marker to indicate the back and side lengths you want on the shirt itself.

I wanted mine longer in the center and shorter at the sides, but you choose the style you want.

Drafting skirt pattern

2. Draft the skirt pattern

Lay the shirt flat. The hem of the shirt is going to be the waistband of your new skirt.

Use your ruler or measuring tape to center your mark for the back length.

Drafting skirt pattern

Measure up from the hem of the shirt at the side seams to make sure the side marks are even.

Connect the side marks to the center one with straight lines.

Drafting skirt pattern

Measure from the side mark to the base of the shirt sleeves on one side. This will be the length of your fringe.

Measure the same distance on the other side.

Drafting skirt pattern

Measure and mark that same distance from your center mark towards the collar.

Drafting skirt pattern

Connect these three new marks to outline the bottom of the fringe.

Drafting skirt pattern

Mark the width of the fringe along the bottom edge of the skirt, starting from the center.

I made mine 0.75 inches (2 cm) apart and I wouldn’t advise going any narrower than that.

Mirror the marks along the bottom edge of the fringe.

Connect the top and bottom marks as a guide for cutting the fringe.

Drafting skirt pattern

Draw two 2.25 inch (3 cm) wide strips across the shirt under the fringe. These will be the drawstrings.

Cutting skirt out

3. Cut out the skirt

Cut out the drawstrings all the way across the shirt.

Cut the bottom of the fringe following the lower line.

Cutting skirt out

Finally, cut along the fringe lines through both layers of fabric, up to the lower edge of the skirt.

If your t-shirt has side seams, cut these open up to the baseline of the skirt.

Otherwise, cut the side fringe pieces in two so they’re the same width as the others.

Cutting skirt out

Carefully stretch each strip of fabric to the same length.

Drawstring waist

4. Drawstring waist

Turn the skirt right side out.

Stretch the two strips for the drawstrings. Cut them off at the side seams and knot them together.

Cut two small holes through the top layer of the waistband in the center front.

Use the safety pin to thread the drawstring through one of the holes, around the waistband and out of the other hole.

Crop top

5. Crop top

Knot the top of the collar to make the neck hole smaller.

Put the end of a leftover drawstring piece through the knot to tie behind your neck. 

Crop top

Use a piece from one of the sleeves to layer underneath. Thread another piece of drawstring through the sleeve hem. 

Crop top

Wear this piece first and place the collar section piece over it.

Macrame fringe

6. Macrame fringe

Allow plenty of time for this. It took me well over an hour to knot three rows.

Lay your skirt down with the fringe hanging loose, or hang it up. 

Macrame fringe

Tie the two center strings together in a square or reef knot, about 1 inch from the base of the fringe. 

Macrame fringe

Continue around the skirt, knotting pairs of strings together.

Macrame fringe

Make a second row of the same knots about an inch down from the first row. 

Place the knots in between the knots above by tying the right hand string of one pair with the left hand string of the next pair.

Macrame fringe

For the last row, take the two strings you used in the first row and tie them in a single overhand knot, so the strings point straight down from the knot.

DIY t-shirt skirt

DIY t-shirt skirt

This isn’t the quickest of projects, but it’s extremely satisfying to do.

You don’t have to add the macrame to the fringe, but I think it’s a lot of fun and adds some serious style to the outfit.

Thrift flipping clothes is such a great way to be creative while spending very little and helping the planet at the same time.

Do let me know what you think of this. I love to read your comments.

Suggested materials:
  • Men’s XL short-sleeved t-shirt
  • Fabric marker or tailor’s chalk
  • Ruler or measuring tape
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