This was probably the easiest skirt to make in the world. The entire world.

I recently acquired a plus sized shirt from my late-grandmother. Even though she died several years ago, I still miss her deeply. I was happy to have something of hers that I could make into something useful. When I saw it, I thought it would make a simple skirt. It was so easy! Now I would like to raid the thrift store to make more. I wanted to share how to do this yourself.
You can pretty much tell if the shirt is large enough by comparing it to your waist.

Cut a straight line as high as you can, beneath the sleeves.

Cut a strip of thick elastic (I used 3″) to the size of your waist and sew together using an elastic stitch. I like using thick elastic because it creates a bold waistband to wear over a tucked in shirt.
Baste the raw edge and ruffle so that it fits the waistband.
Use a zigzag stitch to sew the waistband to the skirt. I didn’t even use pins!
Trim the threads and you are done!
The fabric was a silky polyester. It is a lot of fun to wear.
If you would like a cute skirt without having to make one, I sell cheap skirts in my shop!

42 thoughts on “Shirt to skirt in twenty minutes

  1. I just have a quick question. When the skirt is sewn onto the elastic waist, what allows it to give and stretch when the elastic is stretched to go over the head and shoulders or even the hips when pulled up over them??

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  2. Good point! I forgot to note that. After basting the skirt to gather it, sew it to the waistband with a zig-zag stitch- this will allow it to stretch with the elastic. A straight stitch will not allow it to stretch. Here is the part that I forgot to note- after sewing those two parts together, pull out the thread that you used to baste with. This will leave you with ample stretch. If you don't pull the basted thread it will probably come out on its own
    (mine did, which is what made me forget to include it). Does that answer your question? If not, just let me know and I would be glad to help.

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  3. What size do you wear? vs how much ease is in this plus size “shirt”. If you pulled elastic as you stitched. it eases in for pull up over hips
    (gathered) You haven't been sewing that long have you?

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  4. I always see so many prints I like at the thrift stores and I usually make them into quilts,pot holders, ect… now I can make skirts too…

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  5. This is so cute! My dad just passed down a bunch of old shirts to me to cut up, and this could be a great project!

    New follower!

    ~Vicki
    deckedoutinruffles.blogspot.com

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  6. That's awesome! I have to try it! You know what would be so cool – if there was enough fabric leftover from the sleeves to make a clutch or small purse to match! 😀

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  7. Everyone is a beginner when they start but this young lady has a very creative mind to come up with such a simple but fun way to increase one's wardrobe in a few hours and at a great cost base.

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  8. I pull the elastic when I sew it too. That's how my Mom taught me. When I was a teenager my favorite skirts were button up the front skirts. Well, I think a button up shirt would great for a skirt. I have a big shirt I have been holding onto for repurposing. Now I know what to do with it!

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  9. Hey, Rebekah! I was wondering- do you think this would work for a man?
    My boyfriend is trying to put together a Scottish outfit for a renaissance festival, and every kilt we find is so expensive. Would I just need a larger shirt?

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  10. The trademark of a kilt is its specific pleating. Also, the fabric is a lot thicker. If you made it this way, with gathers and elastic it would be too bulky and not have an authentic look. Here are a couple of links to kilt tutorials: http://www.bethanysewandsew.com/2010/05/wanna-make-your-child-kilt-for-scottish.html

    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Cargo-Kilt/ (this one is not traditional, but you could read it for tips on general kilt making)

    I hope you have success! I have undying love for Scotland. I have never made a kilt, but thought about doing so many times!

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  11. If you made this out of a button front shirt you could take apart the seam on both the button & button hole plackets a little longer than the width of your elastic turn the ends under at the top and then sew the plackets to each end of the elastic and if it accidentally fell with the button and button hole in it your would be all set. May have to put another button and hole at the top just because with elastic as wide as you seem to be using it would need at least 2 buttons to close and hold.

    Love your idea and your skirt. I also like the idea from the post about using the leftovers for a matching accessory of some kind whether a purse or maybe a tablet cover or hair scrunchie.

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  12. Hi Rebekah!! Thanks for your awesome ideas!! Geez miss nasty anon, some of us can't devote our entire day to just sewing, can't you make a constructive criticism nicely??

    Anyways, what works for pros obviously doesn't work for everyone, keep doing your own thing Rebekah!! Your creative instincts are inspiring, keep it up sweetie!!!

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  13. Hello,
    I love your ideas!!! I had a question to you. What type of sewing machine will sew all types of fabric including jeans? Do you have any suggestion regarding what machine I should get??

    Thank you
    Raya

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