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Refashion: Linen Shirt to Skirt

 It’s freezing here today!  Not that you know it by the photo here.  My neighbours must think I’m crazy now (or maybe just crazier).  I took the above pic when it was raining and icy cold outside ’cause I didn’t like the light indoors.  I’m sure it’s snowing on the hills behind us today … brrr!!

So after my swift thrift the other weekend, I couldn’t wait to rip into this project.


It’s wonderfully easy and makes the use of an existing hem which is fab ’cause I don’t enjoy doing those much.  In fact, projects have been left unfinished for weeks due to hemming procrastination **turning to view my pile of such projects**.

If I had a garish patterned shirt around, I think this would be the ideal project for it, so I’m on the prowl.

This is a good one for beginners to tackle and, now that we know what we’re doing, would take about 1-2 hours to whip up.

Ok, so here’s a tutorial for you to make your own magic:

Chop the shirt across the width directly below the sleeves. I wanted as much width as possible to ensure good movement in the skirt, so removing the buttons, I opened up a front edge and chopped off the buttonholes on the opposite side as close as possible.  If you like the buttons, keep them on and leave as is!  That’d look cool running down the front or back of the skirt.  You can also sew the edges together so it doesn’t open up on you and create lifelong embarrassing memories.

Lay the lower portion flat and measure 7cm in from the top edge (this measurement is totally flexible.  Use more or less depending on the top size vs your size.  I used a size 14 shirt and am a size 10-12 NZ).  Chop on an angle from here to the bottom corner and repeat on other side.  This will reduce the bulk on the hips (yay!).

Prepare the elastic waistband.  Measure around your waist where you want the skirt to sit.  Add 2.5 cm (1″) for seam allowance and cut your elastic accordingly (I used 60mm wide elastic).  You can apply either fray stop or PVA glue to the ends to prevent fraying.

With right sides facing, sew ends together, reversing a couple of times for extra strength.  Flatten seam and sew ends down so you have a waistband that will be smooth to wear.

Overlock or zigzag the edges of raw fabric (side seams and top edge).  Sew up the side seams of skirt.  Nearly done!

Pin the elastic to the skirt.  Start by matching seam on elastic to the centre of the back of skirt.  Fold the elastic in half to find the centre front and match that to the centre front of skirt.  Now pin the skirt equally around the waistband at regular intervals.  It won’t match perfectly ’cause the skirt is bigger than the elastic, but we’ll stretch it out as we sew to make it fit.

Sew by stretching the elastic to match the length of the fabric, both in front and behind the sewing foot.  When the elastic pings back, it’ll gather the fabric for you.

All done!


  1. Pingback: Refashion Project #001 : Baby Doll Tee to Grungy Look « salty*mom

  2. Pingback: Home Sewn Style Bookazine | Offsquare


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