Easy Shirt to Skirt Upcycle Tutorial

Enitan Agbabiaka
by Enitan Agbabiaka
7 Materials
1 Hour

In today’s tutorial, I want to show you how to thrift flip a shirt into a skirt. I started with an oversized (but not huge) men’s button up shirt from the thrift store. I like the 70s vibe of the pattern and the fitted shape.

Together we’re going to turn it into a high waisted skirt, so let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Men’s button up shirt
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle and thread
Taking measurements

1. Take your measurements

Place a pin in the shirt just above your waist. Try to make sure you cut between two buttonholes.

Take your measurements around your waist and hips.

Also, measure the length from your waist down to the widest part of your hips, your hip line.

Marking shirt

2. Cut out the skirt

Lay the shirt flat with the buttons closed. Measure from the waist mark to the lower edge of the shirt to make sure it’s going to be long enough. Mine measured 15 inches.

Draw a line at that height across the shirt.

Taking measurements

Fold the shirt in half lengthways down the center front, matching the side seams.

Transfer one quarter of your waist measurement to the shirt, measuring from the center front, and draw a line.

Measure down to your hip line from the end of this line and mark the point one quarter of your hip measurement from the center front at that level and at the lower edge.

Cutting shirt

Draw a curved line to connect your waist and hip measurements and a straight line from the hip to the lower edge. 

Cut out the skirt shape.

Cutting shirt

3. Shape the front waist

Pin the button placket together at the top and bottom and remove the top button.

Fold the skirt front in half lengthways. Mark half an inch down the center front.

Draw a curved line from that point tapering to the side edge, and cut it out.

Progress shot

4. Sew the seams

Place the front and back skirt pieces together with the right sides facing and sew the side seams.

Sewing seams

Top stitch a rectangle around the two lower buttons to close the button placket.

Leave the top two buttons free so you can get the skirt on and off.


5. Waistline and finishing

Turn in a narrow single or double hem around the waist and sew it in place.

Replace the top button.

Press the side seams open.

Shirt to skirt upcycle

Shirt to skirt upcycle

If you don’t want your skirt to fit as tightly as mine, add a seam allowance to your waist and hip measurements.

Mine has just enough room to tuck in a thin cotton top, which is the way I like it. You can also make your skirt longer - or even shorter - than mine.

You could also use the surplus fabric to add a waistband if you prefer that look.

What do you think of my shirt to skirt project? Will you be trying it yourself? Let me know in the comments.

Suggested materials:
  • Men’s button up shirt
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
See all materials

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