Skirts Made From Men's Shirts: A Quick & Easy Refashion Tutorial

12 Materials
3 Hours

I love making skirts from men’s shirts! Why? Because they're super easy to make, and it’s an amazing way to upcycle discarded clothing items. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a skirt from a man’s shirt the easy way. I even used the button area for the front part. Let’s start!

Tools and materials:

  • Men’s shirt
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Seam ripper
  • Buttonhole foot
  • Button
  • Matching thread
  • Iron
  • Fitting skirt as a guide
Cutting up the men's shirt at the seams

1. Cut up the shirt

Divide the shirt by cutting it up at the seams and if there’s a pocket, rip it out. 

Cutting around a skirt for the pattern

2. Cut the skirt pattern

Fold the back of the shirt in half and lay your best-fitting skirt on top, right on the fold. You’ll be cutting the back of the skirt, so fold the skirt to the relevant side. Next, cut around the shape, adding a 1-inch seam allowance. 

Marking the skirt darts

Be mindful of where the darts are located, as you’ll need this for making the darts in the next steps. 

How to make a skirt from a man's shirt

Layer the two front panels on top of each and lay your skirt on top, folded, so the front side shows outward. The edge of the skirt should line up with the outer edge of the panels, leaving the button section untouched. 

Cutting around the skirt

Cut the front side as shown above. 

DIY skirt from shirt

3. Sew the darts

I eyeballed the measurements here by finding the center of the back skirt and then folding the sides. If you’re unsure, use a measuring tape to get the measurements you need. 

Pinning the darts

Fold the area and pin it in a pointing down triangle. Then, repeat on the other side. 

Sewing the darts in the skirt

These are how the darts look. Once you’re satisfied, head on over to your sewing machine and sew them in place. 

Pressing the sewn darts

Then, press them down. 

Sewing the side seams of the skirt

4. Sew the side seams

With the right sides facing each other, pin the front panel to the sides of the back panel. 

Sewing the raw edges of the skirt

Sew along the edges to secure. 

Measuring the waistband for the skirt

5. Make the waistband

Measure the width of the top of the skirt and cut a strip accordingly. Here, I placed the skirt (folded in half) on a spare piece of fabric and drew the width with chalk. 

Cutting out the waistband

Draw a rectangle, as shown. Then, fold the fabric in half and cut out the pattern. 

Sewing two pieces together

Cut the folded rectangle in half so that you have two equal pieces. Then, sew both pieces in the center to make one long piece. 

Tip: You can also add interfacing to the piece. 

Pressing the waistband with an iron

Press the strap for a smooth finish. Then, fold the top edge and press the fold. 

Folding and pressing the waistband

Fold the whole strip in half and press. 

Pinning the waistband to the skirt

6. Attach the waistband

Open the fabric and attach the waistband to the edge of the skirt with the edge that you didn’t fold over. The waistband actually serves as one big bias tape. So, the idea is to sew the edges and then fold over the strip to the other side. Then, sew the edge. 

Sewing the folded edge of the waistband

Now fold the strip over and pin accordingly. Then, sew all around once you’re done. 

Measuring a button and buttonhole

7. Sew a button and buttonhole

Now that the waistband is in place, you’ll need to add a buttonhole and button to the waistband. Remember, it needs to align with the rest of the buttons.

Using a buttonhole foot

I’m using my buttonhole foot to get the exact size of the buttonhole. If you don’t have this, you can manually measure it with a ruler. 

Sewing the new buttonhole

Now, sew the hole accordingly. 

Opening the buttonhole with a seam ripper

Open the hole using a seam ripper. 

Sewing the button to the skirt

Attach the button to the other side. I used my machine for this, but you can totally do this by hand. 

Skirts made from men's shirts

How to make a skirt from a man's shirt tutorial

You’re ready to rock your new skirt! I can guarantee you that no one will ever guess that this is a skirt made from a shirt. This is really a fabulous upcycle, don’t you think?

Now that you know the technique, you can make a whole bunch of skirts made from men’s shirts and spruce up your style and closet inexpensively. Thanks for joining me!

Suggested materials:
  • Men’s shirt
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
See all materials

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