How to Turn a Men’s Shirt to Skirt

heather handmade sewing

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Learn how to make a men’s shirt into a skirt. This upcycling project is quick and easy, and you keep the curved hem and button front!

My husband got rid of this pink gingham men’s button up shirt, and all I could think about was how cute it would be as a skirt! It’s getting hot so my daughter wants more skirts to wear to keep cool. I remembered this shirt and how easy it would be to turn into a skirt!

Turning a men’s shirt into a skirt is a quick project, and the result is so good. You get to reuse some of the original details that elevates the skirt up from a basic skirt, but it’s still really comfortable to wear and easy to make.

diy men shirt to skirt

I love the curved hem of men’s shirts. It’s a trickier hem to sew, so I love to be able to reuse it whenever I can.

I also love the look of button plackets and have even added a faux button placket to the front of a skirt to get the same look.

I did make this skirt for my daughter, but the same idea can be used for women, teenagers, and little girls. Start with a men’s shirt that is twice as wide as the hips of the recipient for the perfect size.

men's shirt to skirt diy sew upcycle

What is Refashioning?

Refashioning is to fashion clothing again or differently. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing clothing to fit different or to look different, but the majority of the item stays the same.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is to reuse material to create something better than the original. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing adult clothing into clothing for children or I’m sewing clothing into an accessory or house item.

men's shirt on little girl

Do you love to sew and upcycle? Try one of these fun sewing projects:

men's shirt to skirt diy sew upcycle

How to Turn a Men’s Shirt to Skirt for Girls


men's shirt flat lay

Lay the shirt out flat. Start by cutting through the shirt just below the armpits. You can mark and cut with scissors or you can use a ruler, cutting mat, and rotary cutter.

Make sure you are cutting between buttons instead of through a button.

cut through shirt just below armpit

Place the cut edge of the button placket together where is should got and sew it in place.

stitch button placket together at cut

Finish the cut edge of the shirt with either a serger or a zigzag stitch.

finish the cut edge of fabric

Fold the finished edge over 1.25 inch and pin in place.

fold top edge over 1.25 inch

Sew around 1.125 inch (1 and 1/8) from the fold to secure and create a casing. Leave a 3 inch hole.

sew casing and leave 3 inch hole

Cut a piece of elastic that fits your waist or your child’s waist. Place a safety pin on one side.

insert elastic into casing

Use the safety pin to pull the elastic through the casing.

pull all the way through

Pull both ends of the elastic out. Make sure the elastic is not twisted in the casing. Overlap the short ends of the elastic 1/2 inch and zigzag in place.

overlap elastic ends and sew

Pull the elastic into the casing. Pin the hold closed and sew it in place.

close casing

To keep the elastic from twisting as it’s being worn and washed, sew through the elastic at both side seams of the casing. If you sew over the original stitching it will look almost invisible.

tack sides to keep elastic from twisting

You finished!

men's shirt to skirt diy sew upcycle

If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

men's shirt to skirt diy
heather sewing

I believe small sewing moments can create great joy. Find your own “right” way to sew. -Heather

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Love, Love, Love this skirt!!❤ I have a couple of men’s shirts; I am definitely trying out this skirt. The checkered print is wonderful! I am a brand new to sewing……Your instructions are very concise and I learn well this way! Thank you for everything!! P. S. I am so greatful you discussed how to use the seam ripper.LOL😂😂