DIY Fridays: How to make a skirt from a mens button shirt

2010-06-03 2I’ve been wanting to make a skirt like this since last year, when my favourite vintage store Ramona West, listed a whole bunch of skirts reworked from vintage mens shirts.

Mine obviously looks slightly different though, as it isn’t as gathered (I could have fixed this by using a larger shirt to begin with, but I wanted to use one of Hubby’s old ones), and isn’t as short (I really can’t get away with wearing skirts that short!).

Anyway, don’t you just love it? I think it’s perfect for the heat and how casual I’m feeling today

Here’s how you can make your own:

  1. Cut your shirt from arm pit to arm pit
  2. Serge or zig zag stitch the raw edge to neaten it up.
  3. Fold over by 1 1/2″ and sew 1/4″ from the serged edge, leaving a 2″ gap at one of the side seams.
  4. Cut 1″ wide elastic so that it is 4″ shorter than your waist measurement.
  5. Thread the elastic through the gap.
  6. Sew the ends of the elastic together.
  7. Sew up the hole you left… and you’re done!

2010-06-03 5

Lace trim tank: Gap
Skirt: Refashioned from one of Hubby’s old shirts
Boat shoes: Ralph Lauren, via Younkers
Necklace: Vintage via Etsy

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  1. says

    I saw an A. Wang skirt that was a button-down style and thought that would be a genius DIY – leave it to you to carry it out perfectly! I love how this turned out!

  2. says

    I have 2 shirts upstairs right now that I’ve been meaning to do this to for months! Seeing how ADORABLE yours turned out makes me want to get on them stat! Thanks for the push!

  3. Beverly Orio says

    Thrift shops here I come!! All those wonderful 100% cotton and linen shirts are going to be skirts now!

  4. Lola says

    I love this idea and think it doesn’t have to be constrained just to linen shirts, what about flannels? Oh, and adding a second layer underneath that comes out an inch below the shirt will just make it adorable! You’re an inspiration! Thank you.

  5. Kate Porter says

    Thank you! I knew there was something I could do with all those men’s shirts I have. They’re great just as they are for sleeping in but I am very happy to also know how to make them into summer skirts!

  6. crafty-grandma says

    What a great idea….my son recently lost some 50 lbs and of course no longer fits into his shirts….now I have something else to make with them besides purses and cutting them up for a quilt!! THANKS

  7. Kate Porter says

    This is genius! I’ve made 1 already and am working on #’s 2 and 3. Becse I am 66 years old and don’t have the greatest legs I add some other fabric to the hem to make the skirt a little longer. These are fun to make! Thank you!

  8. says

    megan–I just found your site from the allFreeSewing site. this skirt is one I really think I can do. It’s cute and simple. THANK YOU!!! I’m 54,disabled after a major car wreck in 09 and looking for something to occupy my time as well as save money. I used to sew all the time,when my kiddo was little, some 25 years go. This will help a lot to make me feel useful again. Again, THANK YOU,THANK YOU,THANK YOU!!!
    IDEA: What about turning a whole button down shirt into a dress,simply by adding extra fabric to the bottom of the shirt? I’ll have to see if I can get that to work. May take me awhile before I get to it.

  9. Patricia says

    Have a project that I have been doing for sometime and wondered if you would be interested in it? I recieved some clothes that belonged to a friend of mine that has passed and the clothes were so nice but so small it was unreal. I used the blouses that most were size 8 and repurposed them and they came out great and it is ever so easy. Thought that others may be interested. Please e mail me. Thanks

    • Diana says

      I would love to see what you’ve been able to do with the clothes that are too small – I have a similar stockpile and I’ve been waiting to figure out what I can do with them. Many thanks

  10. Janice O. says

    Haven’t tried it yet, but this has to be the easiest thing to make that I’ve seen so far. Thanks for the easy instructions too.

  11. Gwen says

    What a great way to use those cheep dress shirts that you see at the good will or other thrift stores. No hemming required as I hate hate hate hems.

  12. Stephani says

    I bet that a men’s dress shirt could be fashioned into a light tie-back apron as well. That could be a cool spring or summer project and it will be a genuine look.

  13. Becky says

    I love the skirt!!!! I have a stash of high school cheerleading suits I would love to repurpose. Got any thoughts?

  14. Donna Geater says

    Could you please make your pattern directions printer friendly so I don’t have to print out all the comments and other stuff I don’t want or need? Just the pattern and directions. I don’t want to waste ink and paper on stuff I will not need for the project.


  15. Joyce says

    This is Great. Your instructions were the easiest to remember. just cut, turn under and sew. then insert elastic. Maybe this will help too for the one wanting pattern, as there isn’t one.

    • Jerri Mack says

      This is without a doubt my favorite upscale item. It’s not a frilly, where-would-I-wear-this skirt. Lots of upscales are wonderful ideas yet impractical & doesn’t gets used frequently. This is practical & that fabric should take wash after wash. Your picture setting is very sweet.

  16. Philippa says

    just found this from all free sewing, going to raid hubby’s wardrobe while he is out on a biker ride….ha ha. He has several he never wears.