Got an Old Button-Down Lying Around? Turn Your Shirt Into a Skirt

Julia Rafael
by Julia Rafael
9 Materials
4 Hours

Want to know how to turn a shirt into a skirt? If you have an oversized shirt picking up dust in your closet, why not transform it into something functional and stylish? In this thrift flip tutorial, I’ll show you how easy it is to turn a shirt into a skirt that sits great on your body! Let’s get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Oversized shirt
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Zipper
  • Iron
  • Paper 
  • Marker
Oversized shirt before the thrift flip

Taking measurements for the skirt

1. Take your measurements

Before we start the DIY shirt into skirt thrift flip, it’s important to take the following measurements;

  • Waist
  • Hips
  • Waist to hip
  • Skirt length

Now, it’s time to calculate the final numbers; this will include seam allowance and darts where applicable. 

So, take note of the following;

Waist measurement for the skirt


Your measurement + 1 inch (seam allowance) + 2 inches (darts)

Divide the number by 2

Hip measurement for the skirt


Add 1 or 2 inches for the seam allowance and divide that in two. 

How to draft the skirt pattern

2. Draft the pattern

I’m using illustrator to show you the pattern, but of course, this needs to be copied to a piece of paper. 

  • Waist - half your waist length + 5cm (2 inches) width
  • Length - Mark the middle of your waist and draw the length of your skirt downward.
  • Hip- Make a horizontal line at the bottom for your hip measurement
  • Waist to hip - Draw your measurement from the center of your waistline and draw another horizontal line ( this will be from where your hips start). 
DIY skirt pattern

Finally, connect all the points with curved lines. 

How to make darts in a skirt

To see how I calculated my darts, skip to 2:25 of my DIY shirt into skirt video tutorial. 

Panels for the skirt

How to make a skirt with three panels

I wanted my skirt to have three panels, so I divided the front into two. This is how it should look.

Cutting out the pattern pieces in fabric

3. Cut out the pattern

Go ahead and cut out your pattern using your old oversized shirt. 

Pinning the skirt pieces together

4. Assemble the skirt

Pin the two front pieces together and the centerpiece on the other side, too. Then, sew to secure. Ensure the pieces are right sides facing. 

Tip: I forgot to zigzag stitch all around the pieces, so I had to come up with another plan. Check out my tutorial from 4:05 minutes to see how I stitched down the seam allowance. 

Marking the darts from the back pattern

For the back pattern, be sure to copy your dart marks. 

Sewing the darts on the skirt

Now, sew your darts, starting from the top and down to the smallest point. Don’t backstitch this part, rather leave a couple of hanging threads. 

Pressing the darts on the skirt

Press the dart after. 

Zigzag stitching the raw edges

Zigzag stitch the raw edges of the back panels. 

Installing a zipper between the back panels

Next, add the zipper between the two back panels. 

Sewing the side seams of the panels

Sew the side seams of both the front and back panels. And zigzag stitch the top of the skirt to avoid any fraying. 

Marking the waistband of the skirt

5. Create the waistband

Now, mark 5cm (2 inches) down from the top of the skirt. 

Folding the top of the skirt

Fold the loose end of your zipper inward and fold the top of the skirt 5cm (2 inches) inward. Start sewing all around, leaving ½ cm (⅕ inch) open from the edge. 

Making slits in the skirt

6. Make the slits

I marked 11cm (4 inches) from the bottom and seam ripped the sides to create cute slits. Remember to hem the slits for a clean finish. 

Hemming the bottom of the skirt

7. Hem the skirt

Lastly, double fold the edges of the skirt and hem all around. 

DIY shirt into skirt

Turn a shirt into a skirt tutorial

This was a really simple thrift flip, and I really loved this project of turning a shirt into a skirt. I hope you now have the inspiration to turn a shirt into a skirt with these cool tips and the customizable pattern! Thanks for joining me, see you next time, and good luck! 

Suggested materials:
  • Oversized shirt
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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