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Mini Skirt From Men’s Shirt

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Have you made a mini skirt from men’s dress shirt before? If you haven’t tried this yet, then here is the perfect upcycled clothing project for you!

Although this skirt is gorgeous, it’s not the only design you can make from from a button down shirt. Sift through these men’s dress shirt upcycle ideas for more inspirations that include stylish blouses, cropped tops, off shoulder tops and dresses.

Any color, print or stripe patterned men’s shirt is a great material to upcycle into this cute ruffled mini skirt.

The front button detail with shirring on the side gives a nice hug around the hips, and the drop waisted flounce ruffles look pretty darling with casual footwear like sneakers.

Before and after for the mini skirt from men's dress shirt
Before and after for the mini skirt from men’s dress shirt

You will love this drop-waist flounce mini skirt from men’s shirt because…

  • No sewing pattern needed. 
  • Great sewing project for beginners and intermediate level refashion enthusiasts. 
  • Sew manual gathering with loose topstitch instead of using elastic thread.
  • Create buttonholes using a sewing machine and a seam ripper to cut the opening.
  • Make a waistband and attach it around the waist opening. 

From puff sleeve crop top from t-shirt to ruffle crop tank top, you can add gathering or elastic to many refashion projects. Transform a plain old shirt into a trendy and fashionable piece that you can pair with your new mini skirt! Have fun making new clothes from old clothes and wear stylish pieces made by you.

In this upcycle tutorial, I provide step by step photos, detailed instructions and a helpful video. Easily convert a men’s dress shirt into a ruffled mini skirt that you will be excited to add to you classic wardrobe and piece together new trendy outfits. 

Front view of the mini skirt from men's dress shirt

How to make a skirt out of a dress shirt?

Mini Skirt From Men’s Shirt

The men’s dress shirt that I used for this tutorial is 100% cotton material with ⅛” width light pink and cream vertical stripes. The two color yarns are weaved interlaced throughout the fabric so it doesn’t mute the pattern, therefore I thought it was a perfect wardrobe addition for the summer or resort season.

If you found a similar motif, then go for it! Start with this guide to take body measurements for clothing so that the upcycled skirt fits you perfectly!

In order to make this trending skirt out of a dress shirt, you need basic sewing kit and a few essential skills to get started. If you haven’t sewn before, this skirt looks intimidating, however you are only using straight stitch and loose top stitch to hand gather fabric on the side and around the hip opening. 

Use these stitching techniques while you are sewing to prevent any problems or fabric damage. Pick your favorite color men’s dress shirt and let’s get started!

DIY Mini Skirt Materials:

Materials to make the mini skirt from men's dress shirt
  • Men’s Dress Shirt
  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric Chalk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins
  1. Start by deconstructing the original dress shirt.
    Use scissors to cut off the collar, neckband and both sleeves.
    Detach the pocket square with a seam ripper.
    Lastly, cut along the shoulder seams and cut off the button and buttonhole placket.
  2. Use the bottom of the original dress shirt to make the ruffled hem.  Cut a straight line across 9” up from the bottom hemline.
  3. Use the sleeve of the original dress shirt to add an extra piece to the ruffled hem.
    Double fold the bottom of and hem with ¼” topstitch, then attach the extra piece to the ruffled hemline.
  4. Add shirring to the top of the ruffled hem.
    Use the top part of the original dress shirt to make the hip part of the skirt.
  5. Add shirring to the hip part of the skirt using a wide stitch width.
  6. Use the button and buttonhole packet of the original dress shirt to complete the button front hip part.
  7. Add shirring to the  side seams of the hip part, and then attach the front hip part to the back hip part  
  8. Next, attach the hip part to the ruffled hem.
  9. Use the sleeve of the original dress shirt to make 2” wide straps for a waistband.
    Attach the waistband straps together with topstitch and attach the waistband to the mini skirt.
  10. Add a button to the waistband and some extra buttons to the hip part to finish the mini skirt from men’s dress shirt.
Sideview of the mini skirt from men's dress shirt

DIY Mini Skirt From Shirt Sewing Tips:

When choosing a men’s dress shirt, consider the occasion and your lifestyle to determine whether you pick muted stripes for a casual look or bold stripes for flashy modern style. From there, you will have clear idea of the desired outcome for the DIY mini skirt from button down shirt.

Whether you choose cotton or cotton/polyester blend, the sewing tips that I put together are applied universally to poplin material. Thoroughly read through to give you a few helpful hint, trick and ways to save your sanity resulting in a DIY skirt that you re excited to wear!

  • Sewing Tips: It’s so exciting to start measuring and cutting the poplin, however it’s equally important to find the correct grain. If not, the skirt won’t lay or drape properly on the body. 
  • Needle: Depends on the thickness of the poplin fabric, choose universal sewing machine needles that are size 80/12. If you happen to be working with heavy weight poplin, then use 90/14 or 100/16 needles. 
  • Thread: Cotton, cotton/polyester, polyester, or even silk thread can be used for this poplin shirt upcycle. Always test on fabric scraps to evaluate which thread works best for you. 
  • Stitch: In general, I use 2.0 or 2.5 stitch length setting for poplin fabrication. For medium weight fabrics, 2.5 is a good setting. For fine poplin material, use a shorter stitch like 1.5 or 2. 
  • Hem: The best part of handling poplin material is that you can easily make tiny folded hems or rolled hems, which are much less complicated than with regular woven fabric. 

When upcycling old clothes, you will have plenty of leftover buttons that I recommend saving for future use. There are many 2-hole to 4-hole buttons with different shades, colors, and styles that you definitely need to keep an eye on to become a frugal upcycle clothing designer!

Back view of the mini skirt from men's dress shirt
Yield: 1 mini skirt

How To Make A Mini Skirt From Men’s Dress Shirt

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Active Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Estimated Cost: $2.00

Learn how to make a mini skirt from men’s dress shirt. If you have a bottom down shirt in your closet that you don’t wear anymore, follow this upcycled dress shirt tutorial to transform the top into a cute mini skirt. 

Play around with the stripe directions and placement of the line motif to make multiple versions of this mini skirt design. Be creative to mix the stripes or add bold colors to the garment!

Materials

  • Men’s Dress Shirt

Tools

  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric Chalk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins

Instructions

  1. For this mini skirt from dress shirt tutorial, start by deconstructing the original dress shirt.
  2. Use scissors to detach the collar and neckband;
    and cut along the arm seam to detach both sleeves; 
    Remove the collar and neckband, and also detach the sleeves from the original men's dress shirt.
  3. Use a seam ripper to remove the pocket square.
  4. Cut along the shoulder seams.
    Cut along the should seam and side seam to separate the chest from the back piece.
  5. Lastly, cut off the button and buttonhole placket.
    Cut off the button and buttonhole placket.
  6. To make the ruffled hem, use the bottom of the original dress shirt.
    Fold the top in half lengthwise.
    Measure 9” up from the bottom hemline.
    Measure 9” up from the bottom hemline and cut.
    Draw a straight line across and cut.
    Measure the width of the ruffled piece.
  7. To add extra width to ruffled hem, use the sleeve of the original dress shirt.
    Cut off the cuff, and open the sleeve by cutting along the seam.
    Fold the sleeve in half.
    Measure 5” from the folded edge, and 11” to match the height of the skirt bottom.
    Cut along the line.
    Use the original sleeve to make an extra piece for the ruffled hem.
  8. To complete the extra ruffled hem, double fold the bottom and hem with ¼” topstitch.
    Insert the extra ruffled piece into the hem.
    Attach the extra piece to the ruffled hem with topstitch.
    Double fold and ¼” topstitch the extra ruffled hem piece.
  9. To add shirring to the ruffled hem, use a wide stitch width to stitch along the top edge.
    Use wide stitch width to make shirring on the ruffled hem.
    Gently pull on the back thread to gather the fabric and create bunching.
    Pull on the back thread to bunch the fabric and gather the shirring on the ruffled hemline.
    Shirring on the ruffled hemline
  10. To make the hip part of the skirt, use the top part of the original dress shirt.
    Cut along the back yoke, and also separate the side seams.
    Cut along the back yoke of the original dress shirt.
  11. To make the front hip part of the skirt, use the chest pieces of the original dress shirt.
    Measure 8” up from the bottom edge on one side,
    and measure 10” up from the bottom edge on the other side.
    Connect both points to give a slight curve to the front of the skirt.
    Use the chest piece of the dress shirt to make the front hip part of the mini skirt
  12. Copy the front hip part onto the other chest piece.
    Copy the front hip part piece onto the other chest piece.
  13. To make the back hip part of the skirt, use the back piece of the original dress shirt.
    Fold the piece in half lengthwise.
    Copy a front hip part onto the back of the shirt.
    Fold the back piece of the dress shirt in half. Copy the front hip part onto the back piece of the dress shirt to make the back hip part of the mini skirt.
  14. To add shirring to the front hip part of the skirt, use a wide stitch width.
    Use wide stitch width to add shirring to both sides of the front hip pieces.
    Gently pull on the back thread to gather the fabric and create bunching along both sides of each piece.
    Pull on the back thread to gather the fabric with bunching.
  15. To add buttons to the hip part of the skirt, use the button and buttonhole packet of the original dress shirt. 
    Measure the length and cut to match accordingly.
    Cut the button and buttonhole placket to match the hip part of the mini skirt.
  16. Use a seam ripper to open up the seam on one side of the buttonhole placket.
    Insert one side of the front hip part into the open seam.
    Pin to secure, and topstitch to attach the buttonhole placket to the front hip part.
    Open the side seam of the buttonhole placket.
  17. Do the same for the button placket
    Use a seam ripper to open up the seam on one side of the button placket.
    Insert one side of the front hip part into the open seam.
    Pin to secure, and topstitch to attach the button placket to the front hip part.
    If the buttons don’t lineup correctly, detach the buttons and realign with the buttonholes.
    Insert the front hip part into the button and buttonhole plackets. Topstitch to add buttons and buttonholes to the front hip part of the mini skirt.
  18. To add shirring to the back hip part of the skirt, topstitch both back pieces along the center back seam.
    Topstitch the center back hip part of the skirt.
    Then, use a wide stitch width to topstitch both side seams.
    Gently pull on the back thread to gather the fabric and create bunching along both sides of the back hip piece.
    Use wide stitch width to add shirring to both side seams on the back hip part.
  19. To complete the hip part of the skirt, attach the front hip part to the back hip part with the right sides facing together.
    Pin to secure, and topstitch both side seams.  
    Attach the front hip part to the back hip part with the right sides facing together.
  20. To complete the skirt bottom, attach the hip part to the ruffled hem with the right sides facing together. 
    Attach the ruffled hem to the hip part of the mini skirt.
    Pin to secure, and topstitch.
    Pin the ruffled hem to the hip part with the right sides facing together.
  21. To make a waistband for the mini skirt, measure the length of the waistline.
    Measure the length of the waistline.
    Use the sleeve of the original dress shirt to make 2” wide straps.
    Use the original sleeves of the men's shirt to make 2" wide straps for the waistband.
    Attach the sides of each strap together with topstitch.
    Topstitch to attach the waistband straps together.
    Fold the strap in half lengthwise, and then topstitch both ends.
    Fold the waistband strap in half lengthwise and topstitch both ends.
  22. To attach the waistband to the mini skirt, flip the strap inside out.
    Slide the waistline into the folded waistband strap.
    Pin to secure and topstitch.
    Pin the waistband to the waistline of the mini skirt.
    Fold the strap over the waistline, and finish the waistband with topstitch.
    Fold the waistband over the waistline, pin to secure and topstitch to finish the new waistband.
  23. To finish the mini skirt, add a button to the waistband and also a few extra buttons to the hip part.
    Add a new button to the waistband and a few extra button to the button placket. Use a ruler to measure the new placement.
    Mark the placement for the new buttonholes.
    Use the buttonhole stitch to outline the new button openings.
    Use a seam ripper to cut buttonholes in the fabric.
    Mark the placement for the new buttons.
    Hand stitch the buttons in place to complete this mini skirt from dress shirt.

Did you make this project?

Share your upcycled clothing with me on Instagram!

How to make the ruffled hem for the mini skirt from men's dress shirt
How to make the button front hip part for the mini skirt from men's dress shirt
How to finish the mini skirt from men's dress shirt
Before and after mens dress shirt into diy mini shift dress
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