Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tutorial: How to Make a Skirt from Man's Dress Shirt

One great thing about your eldest brother 
getting married and moving away is ... 

he may leave some shirts behind! 

Which I see as fodder for my scissors ~
and snip, snip ~ my sister gets a brand new skirt!

Step 1:
Iron the shirt and
then cut off those sleeves.

Step 2:
Cut across the shirt body
just BELOW the second button
(counting the neck closure as the first button).

Step 3:
Put the "skirt" wrong side out on the recipient.
Center the button placket.
It's wise to pin the "skirt" to the recipient's shirt
so that 2 inches is left above the natural waist.
(This will become the waist "band")
Repeat the pinning on the back.
(This is especially helpful if you are 
 sizing the skirt to yourself and working alone!)

Step 4:
 Snugly pin the fabric to the curve of the hip
making sure to keep the first 1 or 2 inches straight
(as this will become the waistband)

Step 5:
As you reach the widest part of the hip 
begin to follow a straight line down to the hem.

(You can see the natural curve of the hip
pinned all the way up in this picture.)

Step 6:
Follow the line of pins as your seam guide.
I started at the hem.

and worked my way up to the curved hip line.

with needle DOWN
turn fabric straight for the last 1 or 2 inches.
(This was the portion reserved for the waistband).

Step 7:
Trim away the excess fabric
(1/2 to 1/4 inches away from seam)

Step 8:
Fold the shirt in half (trimmed side on top)
making CERTAIN
that the button placket is exactly centered.

Pin the un-sewn side (bottom half)
matching the pin placement on bottom half
to the seam on the top half.

I highly recommend having recipient try skirt on at this point ~
Before you sew the second seam.
Make adjustments as necessary.

Step 9:
Sew the seam on the second side.
Again making sure to keep the waistband portion straight (not angled).

Trim away excess fabric.

Step 10:
Iron seams open for a smooth fit.

If the top of your new "skirt" is uneven ...
(like mine was!)
now is the time to even it up.

Step 11:
Turn fabric under twice to make the waist.

You might need to try it on again to verify 
how much you are going to turn under.

Mine turned out to be 1/2 inch for first turn.
And 3/4 inch for the second turn.

I wanted to show you how I have to tweak my waist turnings at the seams.
Because of the angled nature of the hips 
the waist seam narrows a bit at that point. 

Step 12:
Sew down the waist.


Step 13:
Sew a snap to the waist.
You might also need one between the first two buttons.

It is not always necessary, 
but if your skirt gaps, you can sew the front placket shut
BELOW the second button.
(Don't go higher or you won't 
be able to get the skirt over your hips!)

Cute skirt =
happy sister!
Thanks, Brother!

If you don't have a willing brother or dad . . .
next time you are thrift shopping
be on the lookout for a cute man's shirt!

~ Brittany



  1. very cute what happens if big brother calls and asks you to mail him the shirt he forgot in his closet???
    very well done!!!

  2. lol! he said if he left anything keep it.
    We took him at his word. ;o)


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