Men’s Shirt to A-Line Skirt

It is summer!  I own one pair of shorts and rarely wear them…usually just around home.  When going our in public I prefer to wear pants or a skirt.  I really like maxi skirts but sometimes it is nice to have something a bit shorter.  So this summer I have re-fashioned two new skirts.  The first one was meant to be a trial run.  I used an old work shirt of Tony’s.  It has a couple of small grease stains and the hems are a bit frayed but it has become a great skirt!  Perfect for casual days of housework and yard work or a trip to the park.  So a couple weeks ago when I was at the thrift store and saw another men’s dress shirt (this time in a light weight denim/chambray) for a dollar, I knew what I was going to do!

This second skirt only took about an hour to make since I knew what I was doing this time!

1. Choose a men’s button down shirt.  This one is a size XL.
2. Cut off the arms of the shirt.
3. Cut off the shoulders and collar of the shirt.  The longer you want the shirt, the less you want to cut off.  Pay attention to button placement when you cut so that you can use the buttons!
4. Turn the shirt inside out and cut into a A-line shape. I made mine as big as possible…if you have a very small waist of a very large shirt, you may want to adjust this so that it will fit you.  Sew the sides seams and finish your seams with your preferred method.  For this skirt I used french seams.
5. Try on your skirt and see how much you need to take in the waist (1 needed about 2 inches).  Draw and sew darts into the back of the skirt (the darts divide the back of the skirt into thirds).  My darts are an inch wide at the top and about four inches long.
6. Fold down 1/4 to 1/2 inch along the top of the waistband.  Use ribbon to create a casing for elastic and sew it down along the top and bottom edges.  Leave the sides (along the button placket open).  I used 3/4 inch grosgrain ribbon.

7. Inset elastic into your ribbon casing and sew down on each side of the button placket.  The elastic is not “necessary” but I think it gives a bit of added security and makes the skirt easier to sew because the fit doesn’t have to be perfect but the gathering caused by the elastic is minimal so there is not a lot of added “gathers” to the waist/hips!

8. Here is your finished skirt!

My skirt ends just below my knees and as you can see, is slightly longer in the back…this is how the shirt was made in the first place and it works great for the skirt.  You may also want to sew along the button placket from below the buttons you want to use until the bottom button.  I found that the lighter weight material of this skirt seemed to encourage the buttons to come unbuttoned!  Depending on how the skirt fits on you and on the fabric,  you may want to add some hook-and-loop between the first and second button to prevent gaping, especially if you plan to wear your shirts tucked into your skirt.

Happy sewing!


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