26 August 2011

DIY: shirt skirt

reblog on tumblr | hype on lookbook

m e d i u m ][ 1-2 hours
cost: $4 for thread & elastic
shop at: your house, craft or fabric stores
read: the instructions once though before you get started. also consider referring to my Le Sac Dress tutorial, as it uses similar techniques.

The perfect use for an old button down shirt from your boyfriend, lover, the kid across the dorm hall who you harass, OR good ol' dad, or grandpa joe. Or sketchy Uncle Goodwill.

You only have to know how to sew a straight line. Plus, you don't have to hem this skirt! Yesss. And it's a great unique shape. Side slope!

I wear this one like I wear my elastic high waist skirts, at my natural waist with a shirt tucked in.

- button down shirt in a male size, hopefully it has some length to it
- sewing machine that can do a straight stitch OR be tough & sew by hand
- iron
- scissors
- ruler
- safety pins
- package of 1/2 inch elastic
- thread in a color that goes with the shirt

1. Button all the buttons. Cut straight across both layers of the shirt, under the sleeves. Do not try to cut through a button.

2. Now you have the bottom of a shirt. Stitch down the placket, buttons rightside up. This prevents awkward gapping when you wear the skirt. Only sew the top layer of the shirt. Do not stitch over buttons, the needle will break. A broken sewing machine is a sad one.

3. Lay the shirt tube on an ironing board, wrong side out. Fold & iron the top edge of the shirt down so it makes a 3/4 inch skinny rectangle around the top of the tube opening. This will be the tunnel where the elastic goes. Pin it down & it'll stay in place better.

4. Using a straight stitch, sew around the circle close the lower edge, but do not sew it shut completely. Leave a 1 inch opening. The gap is where the elastic will enter. Keep an eye on things and check your work every so often, so you don't accidentally sew through both layers of the skirt!

5. Cut a piece of elastic a few inches shorter than your waist. For instance, if you have a 26 inch waist, cut a piece that is 21-23 inches. Styles of elastic vary, so you may have to tinker with it again later to get the right fit.

6. Attach one end of the elastic to a safety pin. Pin the other end somewhere near the tunnel, so it will not get lost in the tunnel. Push the elastic through the top fabric tunnel. It will gather and make cute little bunches. Take your time.

7. When the elastic meets, remove the safety pins carefully, make sure the elastic is not twisted, and sew the ends together. Go over it multiple times.

8. Try on the skirt to see if it fits. The elastic should feel snug but not painfully tight. Re-sew the elastic tighter if needed.

9. Tuck the elastic fully into the tunnel. Sew the fabric tunnels shut along the bottom edge where the other stitches are, going over it a few times.

10. Turn the skirt right side out, and you're done!

TIP: I like to leave the seam tag hanging as a bonus "this used to be a shirt!" detail. But you can cut yours out if you like.

ALTERNATIVE IDEA: This tutorial could be modified to make a top, or plenty of other things, depending on what kind of shirt you use. Cook up some ideas of your own, if you feel like it!

Be sure to check out my other projects!

If you make one, feel free to post a photo on the September Girls Do So Much fan page!

DIY #15
♥ I worked really hard on this tutorial. It took a long time to prepare.
I wrote out these instructions and took the photos.
So if you see this anywhere else, it's not the original.
I was inspired by other versions made by awesome users at sites like craftster.
I made my skirt in the summer of 2008, but I posted this tutorial on


  1. This is amazing, i love this tutorial so much. You definetly took time to making this DiY!! I found you on polyvore, lol & this is just awesome.. i'm making it today! Wish me luck ~


    1. Late reply, ahah, but how'd it turn out? :)

  2. I can't wait to make this with one of my dad's old shirts. Thanks!


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