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This was once a size 12/14 dress shirt that was hiding out in the recesses or our son's closet...just begging to become a skirt for my 11 year old daughter. I'm in a skirty mood now for some reason, so this project was extra fun. The best part about this one is that it has raw edges exposed which is cool looking and requires no serging or hemming. I based the idea from a skirt I bought at JC Penney's once. It's become my favorite skirt because it's edgy like me and no one else seems to have it. I had to laugh when I bought it because I'd hung it on the rack by the register while I shopped & when I came back to pay, there were two older sales ladies up there and one of them looked at it ans said "Oh my goodness! Who on earth would ever buy that ugly thing?" I said "me!" She was embarrassed LOL I've had that skirt for about 5 years now and it hasn't fallen apart or unraveled so I assume this wont either.

I tried to sum up the ins & outs of making this skirt for anyone who's interested.

*DISCLAIMER: I'll warn you right now that it was easier to make than it was to explain. I hope it makes some sense!

If you're an experienced sewer you can just look at the pic and see what I'm saying I think

If you want to try making this skirt, look in your closet for a non zippered skirt that fits you/your (or your kid) and use its waist and hip measurements as a guide or just measure yourself and be sure that the skirt will be s as wide as the widest part of your hips or you'll never get it'll only be able to look at it and cry. I used one of my daughter's denim a line skirts as a guide.

Whatever the measurement is, split it up in 4 sections and add a half inch seam allowance for each side of each panel. You'll want to make the pattern into a sort of bell shape, but make sure the top of the skirt is as big around as your hips. The flared portion at the bottom can be as wide as you want to make it. .After measuring, here's what you do:

1) SHIRT DIS-ASSEMBLY - cut the sleeves off. Then you'll need to cut up the arm seam and all the way through the cuff (make sure that you have at least 1/2" between the edge & your buttons on the sleeve otherwise you wont be able to sew through it because of the button).

2) SKIRT'S FRONT & BACK PANELS - now you have a buttoned up sleeveless shirt. Cut one of the side seams so you have one big piece of fabric which used to be the front and back of the shirt. Place your skirt-front & back pattern pieces on the shirt fabric, pattern piece on the buttoned side, one on the back side of the shirt. When placing the pattern on the buttoned side, you can place the pattern piece with the buttons going vertical or horizontal, depending on the pattern and shirt size. I had to place mine horizontally (as seen int he pic).

3) SKIRT'S SIDE PANELS - The sleeves will become your side panels. Place the side panels of your pattern over the sleeve fabric, pin & cut. Sew down the sleeve openings at the cuffs.

4) CREATING INSERT PATTERN - to make the inserts at the bottom, decide how long you want them to be, then, folding a piece of paper in half, create half of the triangle on the folded edge side of the paper. Make sure the top of your triangle is flat (as if a triangle had it's pointy top cut off). Also make sure that it's a total of 1" wide across when the pattern is unfolded. The bottom of the insert can be as wide as you want to make it My daughter's inserts were about 4" wide at the bottom. Curve out the bottom of the triangle slightly rather than cutting it straight across.

Cut three triangles for each panel insert you want to make. My daughter's had 4 inserts and I used a different fabric for hers because there wasn't enough shirt fabric. This meant that I cut out a total of 12 triangles...with flat tops : )

5) WAISTBAND - Print as many out a 3" wide rectangles that runt he length of the paper. Tape together and use as your pattern for the waist-band. I had to piece together her waste band from several strips of shirt fabric.

6) ASSEMBLING INSERTS - Pin together three triangles with wrong sides facing. Sew the two edges together using 1/2" seam allowance. This should leave you with a large. flat topped triangle made up of three smaller ones. This completes the insert. Repeat until you have all your panels made.

7) SKIRT ASSEMBLY - Beginning at the hem of the skirt, attach the panel to the bottom portion of the skirt with wrong sides facing. Using a half inch seam allowance, sew only the panels where they meet the skirt. Once you get both sides sewn to their corresponding skirt panel, hold both skirt panels together with wring sides facing and sew from the top of your inserts, all the way up to the waistband. Repeat this same process until your skirt is completed.

*waistband* Cut out your waistband and turn over one long edge, approximately 1/2". Pin & iron. Turn the skirt inside out and pin the un-folded edge of the waistband to the top of the skirt with the right side of the band facing the wrong side of the skirt. Pin until you reach the end, Leave 1/2" seam allowance on both ends of the waistband and sew along the edge so that the band is as wide as the skirt's waist. Cut off any excess. Sew waistband to the skirt using 1/2" seam allowance.

8) BUTTON HOLES - Turn the skirt right side out and find the center-front of your waistband. Mark 1/2" vertical lines in the center for your button holes, making sure they begin at least 1/4" up from the seam. Sew your button holes using these marks. Use your seam ripper to carefully cut the center of the button h*** which will be the drawstring opening.

9) FINISHING WAISTBAND - Turn your skirt right side out and flip down the waistband. Make sure you have turned under 1/4" of fabric for a smooth finish. Pin in place slightly over stitch line (where you just sewed the waistband to the skirt). Sew as close as you can get to the edge.

10) DRAWSTRING - You can use ribbon or the fabric you used to create the skirt. If you want to use the shirt fabric, cut 1" strips, piecing together as needed. Fold in both long edges about 1/4" then fold the sides together again. This should leave you with a 1/4" wide drawstring. Pin and sew as close to the open edge as you can/ Attach a safety pin to one tip and feed through the waistband.

11) OPTIONAL - Pin down all seam allowances at the bottom of the skirt. Sew 1/2" allowance.


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Comment by Irene Valle on November 22, 2013 at 2:29am

Hi Birdie! 

I've featured your Button Up Refashion on SergerPepper here:
I hope it's ok for you ;)
MammaNene @

Comment by JaQ's JunQ on June 14, 2010 at 10:32am
Thanks, but that doesn't help me save it. I have to email it to myself and file it away on my computer. Maybe some time in the future you could install a favorites function, like the one on the Lion Brand yarn site...
Thanks for the response!
Comment by Susan on June 14, 2010 at 10:03am
Try using the "Follow – Email me when people comment" link under this text panel. :)
Comment by JaQ's JunQ on June 14, 2010 at 9:59am
Wow! Super cute and original! I am going to put it on my "to do when I have time list" too!
BTW, does anybody know how to "favorite" something on this site? Is it possible???
Comment by Birdie on June 14, 2010 at 6:45am
Thanks : )
Comment by Roseana Auten on June 13, 2010 at 9:36am
Very adorable.
Comment by Beechick on June 12, 2010 at 6:56pm
I love this ides...I'm think of my button up shirts I have in my wardrobe that I want to turn into a skirt. Thanks so much♥Debbee
Comment by Birdie on June 10, 2010 at 12:52pm
Thanks CarolAnn! I have one of those lists too and it grow bigger all the time : )
Comment by CarolAnn on June 10, 2010 at 10:44am
This is just super cute. I am going to put this one on my "when I get time" sewing list. Thank you for sharing it.

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