Create / Enjoy: One of the greatest men's shirt makeovers ever--tutorial!

Friday, April 2, 2010

One of the greatest men's shirt makeovers ever--tutorial!

Okay, I'm partial, but I think this is one of the greatest makeovers of a men's dress shirt into something else--a cute, springy skirt!

I had so much fun with this and just figured it out as I went along, but I do have the pics and instructions for you in a tutorial.  Follow along if you ever want to do this to an old shirt!

Do note--I'm using a 100% cotton chambray shirt here.  It's really sturdy and thick.  This wouldn't work well with a finer dress shirt, unless you lined it, and even then, I don't recommend it.  It won't lay right and will look weird.  I also just got lucky that this shirt was just the right size for my hips--it was a 16" neck, 35"-36" size (that's about a men's medium, I think).  My hips are just over 36" so it worked out almost perfectly!  Since the skirt fits snugly and the shirt was meant to be loose.
  • I started out with this shirt from Goodwill Outlet.
  • I grabbed a skirt from my closet to use as a pattern.  I chose a fairly straight skirt from JCrew.  You can do any length and rise, but mine's pretty medium.
  • Cut off the sleeves, leaving the seam on the sleeve side.
  • Cut off the collar and back yoke--basically cut in a horizonal line, as high up as you can comfortably do it.  I cut off north of the collar corner buttons but just before the collar band.
  • Press the center back pleat out flat and mark your centers.
  • To cut the back out, lay your shirt out with the center back becoming the fold of the fabric.  Put your skirt on top, with it folded down the center back also.  Cut around it.
  • For the front, lay the shirt front out flat and put the skirt on top.  Cut.
  • I placed the shirt front pocket in a good place on the skirt front and cut off the bottom of the shirt to make the skirt as long as possible.
  • Now, cut out the waistband.  I was able to use the scraps from the front of the shirt above the pocket, but you could also use the sleeves.  Cut a front and back waistband.  I cut the lining for my waistbands from some plain white cotton since I wanted to leave the sleeves intact for another project someday!
  • Part of the genius of this skirt is that it doesn't require a zipper--you just use the existing placket!  I sewed down a horizontal line where I wanted my placket to stop, and sewed the rest of the skirt closed down the front.
  • Now, finish the skirt the way you would any other skirt.  Sew the front and back together, hem the bottom.
  • Sew the front and back waistbands together at the side seams, sew the lining to it along the top, and sew to the skirt itself.  If you have made a simple skirt before the finishing is pretty much the same, but here are some amazing graphic video tutorial things to help you along:
  • For the waistband, go here: http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/mediafiles/sewingroom/sewingroom_us.asp 
    • Go to: Sewing Techniques
    • Click: Waistlines
    • Watch the Straight Waistband tutorial; it's pretty much the same thing as on this skirt except on this one your waistband should be curved, and won't need as much finishing at the center.
  • The placket is just the opening that makes the skirt able to go over your curvy bits.  On jeans, the placket has a zipper or buttons.  On shirt sleeve cuffs, sometimes it has one button in the center to keep it closed.  But plackets are always flat overlaps that close something neatly--here's some pictures of the inside placket of my skirt.

This is a fairly simple skirt construction--no darts or anything, even!   I gave mine extra top-stitching on the waistband to give it a more finished look.

Ta-da!

I feel so Anthro-ey in it!  The sort of high waist gives it a vintage feel, too.  Yay for upcycles!  Cute, super cheap, and eco-friendly!

76 comments :

Leaving a comment is easy, and I love to read them! No annoying word verification required. =)

  1. Awesome tutorial! I love the idea!! I'd love to try it. I am new to sewing, and I'm not quite sure I understand how you did the waistband. Where did you put the white fabric you used? How did you sew the waistband to the skirt? Thanks for sharing your talents!

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  2. Totally cute! I have a few shirts that I can use right now! Thanks for the tutorial!

    http://sidac.blogspot.com

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  3. When I was in college I went through a phase of taking men's western shirts and turning them into skirts. Of course, I wanted people to realize that it was an up-cycled western shirt at the time.

    I really like the sophistication of this idea. I'd love to try it out!

    uberchicforcheap.blogspot.com"

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  4. love it! going through the hubby's clothes right when i get home! haha. i'm not really sure what a placket is though...could you explain?

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  5. OMG Amazing! I need to learn how to sew seriously.

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  6. Thanks for your questions--I added some pics and explanations for the waistband and placket, hope they help!! =)

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  7. That's an awesome technique website!!!

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  8. WOW! This turned out so great I am totally going to have to do this I love the stripes!

    ~Morgan

    Meet Virginia Crafts
    Meet Virginia's Etsy Shop

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  9. What a clever idea!
    Kristin
    peapodcreations.blogspot.com

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  10. i love this! i have some shirts begging to be made into this skirt. yay!

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  11. I love it! My boyfriend is a bit of a shirt obsessive, so I'm sure he'll have some I can "borrow" for refashioning! Xx

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  12. this is brilliant!!! going to raid my husband's closet. muahahah :)

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  14. Thanks for your comments, ladies, glad you like it!
    If any of you do try this, I'd loooove to see pics!
    And about the sizing--I guess a 16 neck is more of a M/L, but the 35/36 is NOT sleeve length. Men's sleeve lengths are usually in the 20"-somethings. I think 35/36 is the waist of the person who would wear that shirt size--he would probably wear a 36" pant and like a 40" jacket (40" chest). That is a men's large, I guess.

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  15. this is great! Can't wait to try it...Thanks for being so creative and to share it with us...and to make me discover new resources.

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  16. Wonderful idea! I'm going to keep my eye out for XL tall mens shirts (I'm older and tall.)
    By the way the 35/35 is the sleeve length. Its measured from the middle of the back.
    Great idea, A plus for creativity and execution!
    Kathy

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  17. I stand corrected! I guess men just have very square-ish bodies ;)

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  18. um, yeah, i pretty much love this.

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  19. bellissima idea complimenti ciao mariella

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  20. I love this and really want to try it. I'm new to sewing and have a few questions. How do you hem a skirt and how do you sew it together (I'm assuming fabric inside out and just sew the ends, and I'm guessing the sewing is on the sides) One more question. There was a part where you said, center the back pleat flat and mark the centers. I have no idea what that means but I want to know how to do it! I can't wait to make this skirt.

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  21. Hi Sarah,
    So glad you like the tutorial and I hope I can answer your questions! Honestly I did this as more of a tutorial on how to cut up the shirt than how to make a skirt, and I really didn't talk you through how to sew a skirt at all. I suggest using literally ANY skirt pattern for instructions, but you've got the basic idea. Right sides together is what we say... a skirt is super easy, especially this one since it has no darts, so you just put the right sides face-to-face and sew along the side seams. Then make sure to press your seams flat! I recommend pressing them open (split the seam allowance with the point of your iron and flatten each to its respective side).
    For the hem, I'll point you to the Husqvarna site again: http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/mediafiles/sewingroom/sewingroom_us.asp. Go to Sewing Techniques: Hems and edge finishes: Double hem. Do a double hem as they show, but choose the depth of the hem based on how short you want your skirt. I turned mine under 1/2", then another 2" and gave it a 2" hem, for example.
    About the center pleat--that just refers to the pleat at the center back of men's shirts. All I meant was, flatten it out and ignore it and make sure to find your centers. Find the center back by matching the side seams together and folding in the middle. Make a small snip (cut off a corner) on the edge of the fold and you'll have a triangle-shaped center marker that will be hidden in your seam allowance.
    Hope that wasn't too confusing! Way to go, starting out sewing! I hope you can use this tutorial but it's not the simplest out there. Good luck!

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  22. I should have read the intro to your post more closely... I chose a rather thin shirt... but I so wanted to try out this technique that I won't mind if it will be see-through... thankfully I have more shirts to play with. By the way, I discovered that some men shirts are wider at the back than at the front... so a size 16 might not be enough... check it out before cutting.

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  23. you are amazing! love love love what you do!

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  24. Wow! Love it! This is fabulous! You're in our link luv roundup today, come by and take a peek! http://bit.ly/cQKk4F

    P.s. We have featured on buttons now, send an email my way if you're interested and I'll send one right over to you :)

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  25. I love this. You did a great job. I will be trying this.

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  26. oh so cute! What a great idea!! I'll be sure to try this

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  27. I made a skirt from my husband's shirt a few weeks back, in a very similar way. My husband wear a size 3X, so I had a lot more width to work with. I made a waistband as well. I gathered the skirt under the waistband so that I could get the fullness in. I didn't use an existing skirt; I just measured her for the waistband and made everything else straight seams. I didn't sew part of the placket closed, but I like that idea.

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  28. This is beautiful. I can't wait to try it. :) Thank you so much for sharing.

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  29. Oh wow, this is awesome! I have been making myself summer things and I love using men's shirts. Actually; I just thought of a corduroy shirt in my stash and something else I might can use to make holiday wear, which I have been wanting to do next week anyway. I am so glad I just saw this; thanks!
    p.s. if mine turns out i will post it on my blog and link to your tut. thanks again!

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  30. Thanks, everyone! Millie, corduroy is a great idea, I should try that too!

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  31. Hello,

    Really it is a nice blog, I would like to tell you that you have given me much knowledge about it. Thanks for everything.

    Collar Stays

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  32. This is totally cute!! And a much better idea for me to try with a shirt I picked up at the thrift store!

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  33. This is WONDERFUL! I did it last night with one of hubbie's shirts that had a rip in the sleeve. Then I got caught going through his closet for my next victim...He got a little worried. LOL. Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial!

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  34. I love this idea! Now I have to hope that a certain shirt of my husbands gets put in our Goodwill stack, so I can snag it for thisproject! :)

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  35. I bookmarked this tutorial ages ago and finally did it!

    http://frecklesinapril.blogspot.com/2011/03/spring-skirt-number-3.html

    It turned out awesome. I did add darts to the back though...my booty needs them, apparently.

    Kayla
    Freckles in April | a modest fashion and lifestyle blog

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  36. you did great that turned out great

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  37. I just did a double take of this skirt when I saw it on Pinterest. I think, we make exactly the same shirt, into a skirt. Take a look at mine...

    http://www.recycled-fashion.com/2011/01/my-first-sh-kirt.html

    Although, yours looks smarter, and your tutorial is awesome :)

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  38. My husband keeps blowing out the elbows in perfectly good shirts. I want to try this!

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  39. I love this! I did it last night, but I couldn't quite figure out how to do the waistband so I just added a hook and eye at the top above the top button. It works great!

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  40. I love it! I just stole a shirt from my husband's closet to try it out!
    Jenny

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  41. This is such a great idea! I love it!

    Lindsey Turner
    http://thriftandshout.blogspot.com

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  42. Loving the pencil skirt-ish vibe. <3

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  43. adorable!! I have 2 brand new jcrew shirts i got for my hubby at a garage sale (thinking they'd be slightly too small, but too good of a deal to pass up!) They were a bit short in the arms but I loved them so much I kept them for a refashion! I was thinking a shirt/dress, but this is adorable! I might have to try when my sewing skills increase:)

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  44. I love this! My hubby has half a dozen dress shirts hanging in the closet that I don't feel like tailoring for him...but I'd be okay with upcycling them into this totally adorbs skirt for myself!! I'm considering putting the placket to the back for a different spin.

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  45. Simplicity and elegance all in one! Voila!

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  46. LOVE this! I do want to correct one comment... the sleeve length 35/36 IS correct. In dress shirts the sleeve length is measured from the back of the neck (that little knob) over to the shoulder and down a slightly bent elbow to the where the customer prefers the cuff to fall. I use to work for a mail order company and dress shirts were some of our best sellers. We were trained OFTEN how to assist our customers with this.

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  47. Loving the fact that this was an old men's shirt! I'm a huge fan of upcycling whenever possible - especially if you can wear it! :) You should totally enter this project in Craftbaby's 'Upcycle Challenge'! http://www.craftbaby.com/contests/3/upcycle-it-sweeps

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  48. Awesome idea! I made two this weekend! Thank you for your great tutorial!

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  49. Great tutorial! I am new to sewing and attempted this skirt with mostly success! I made a few mistakes, but learned a lot and think it was an overall win! Thanks for the inspiration and great details.

    Pics are on my blog (my husband had an old shirt that was nearly identical to your skirt...I was pretty excited because yours is so amazing!)

    http://experiencesofgrace.blogspot.com/2012/07/sew-many-adventures-this-week.html

    Thanks again!

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  50. good posting about One of the greatest men's shirt makeovers ever--tutorial!

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  51. I wanna go to the goodwill, buy tons of shirt and try this. Such a cute idea.

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  52. this is awesome! I love wearing skirts in the summer and now will have to go shopping at the thrift stores for some shirts to make-over! Thanks

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  53. This is awesome! I love wearing skirts in the summer and now will be shopping at the thrift stores for shirts to transform! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. It is great to see how other people upcycle- at least I am not the only one. Great tutorial and great project - looks so professional!!

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  54. I saved some of my Daddy's shirts when he passed away. I used to wear them over pants to "hide" my overweight body. Now that I have lost weight, I'm going to fashion a skirt from his shirts to always have him with me! (Should probably try on a GW shirt first!) Thanks for the tutorial.

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  55. This is awesome! Love your creativity!

    Allie of meadow-rue.com

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  56. this is great! Can't wait to try it...Thanks for being so creative and to share it with us...and to make me discover new resources. http://www.apparelnbags.com/mens-shirts.htm

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  57. This is so darn cute! And a very clever idea! Love it!

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  58. That's really nice. I've done makeovers with a few shirts as well. I like your long skirt. It's ideal for a work outfit. I've made shorter more casual skirts. One of them was a lovely wrap skirt. I decided to wrap that because the shirt was light and airy. Good ways to save on clothing.

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  60. It’s really very
    informative that I wanted ever, thanks for this.

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  61. Wow, its really a fantastic makeover. Your idea of men's shirt makeovers is impressive one. Its useful for all the women which now can reuse the old shirt as a new skirt. Some of the men favorite shirts : http://www.sirmenswear.com/specials/

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  62. Best upcycle skirt project/pattern I've seen! THANK YOU!!

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  63. Felicitaciones por su creatividad.

    Por tradición los hombres desde siempre se habían vestido con faldas, solo hace 300 años que los obligaron a usar pantalón.
    El pantalón es la prenda menos adecuada para un hombre; el calzoncillo bóxer, hace las veces de férula en los genitales, (propiciando mal funcionamiento, y discapacidades), la costura central del pantalón maltrata, magulla e incomoda todo el tiempo los genitales; la correa o cinturón hace las veces de torniquete, y obliga al corazón a bombear la sangre con mayor esfuerzo, (para vencer la contracción que hace el torniquete), y por mala irrigacion sanguínea afecta: el aparato digestivo, el sistema urinario, el aparato reproductor. Ademas con el uso del pantalón el hombre ha terminado orinando de pie lo cual es totalmente antinatural. Las Faldas y los vestidos con faldas para los hombres son suprema-mente SALUDABLES, CÓMODOS Y CONFORTABLES. El pantalón, el calzoncillo ajustado, la costura central del pantalón, y la correa o cinturón, están promoviendo las enfermedades modernas de los hombres: IMPOTENCIA, ESTERILIDAD, PROBLEMAS DE LA PRÓSTATA Y POSIBLEMENTE CÁNCER DEL TESTÍCULO.
    Ninguna parte del cuerpo del varon se maltrata mas que los genitales.
    Por salud y comodidad mejor usar FALDAS O VESTIDOS CON FALDA

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