Upcycle Sunday: Back In Action

by tatiana on October 19, 2009


I know, I know. It’s been a while. But I’m back with my sewing machine, scissors and mind grapes to bring you upcycled thrift finds. Today, we are going to turn a men’s long sleeved button up shirt into a cute pencil skirt.

This week I found this really great quality men’s long sleeve button up plaid shirt at Community Thrift Store for $6.50. A little pricey compared to the thrift store bargains I’m used to finding, but I can’t walk away from a great yellow plaid, and the shirt was in perfect condition. So, purchase I did.


The first step of this project is to remove the sleeves. I cut outside of the sleeve seam. Put the sleeves aside, you will be using them later.


Next, go ahead and cut across the top of the shirt. I cut right above the shirt pocket. Next, turn the shirt inside out and put it on as if it were a skirt. Place it where you would like it to sit on your hips. I placed mine at my natural waist. Go ahead and pin it to fit your sides. Since this a pencil skirt, you’ll want it to fit snugly around your hips. Next, remove the piece and sew up the sides where you’ve pinned. Trim and iron.


Now take each sleeve and cut out a rectangle.


Then cut the fold so you have two rectangular strips from each.


Then take the 4 strips, pin them and sew them into one long piece. Then, take the long piece, fold it in half, pin and sew. With the help of a safety pin, turn the band right side out and iron.


Take your waistband and pin the seamed edge to the right side of the skirt. Sew, and iron.


Now, since the pencil skirt I am making sits at the natural waist, I thought it would be nice to wear it with a belt. To make belt loops, you’ll want to measure the width of your belt and add a half inch allowance to each side.


Take your length measurement and cut out a strip that is that measurement long and at least one inch wide. Then fold each strip in half, sew, turn right side out and iron. Fold in each end and press, then pin and sew onto your skirt. I placed two belt loops in front and two in back.


And there you have it, folks. Your new upcycled pencil skirt. I changed out the buttons because the original buttons were a weird brown/goldish color. No bueno. I replaced them with some nice black ones. There are lots of possible variations for this skirt. Instead of making a waistband, you can simply use a thick piece of elastic, sew it on, and make the skirt less fitted to create more of a puffy skirt look. You can also sew in some pockets. I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Upcycle Sunday project!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Chandra October 24, 2009 at 1:55 am

Amazing! I bet you look gorgeous in it :)


tatiana October 27, 2009 at 6:43 am

Aww, thanks Chandra!


cat November 2, 2009 at 5:39 am



tatiana November 4, 2009 at 4:20 am



Jahmese November 4, 2009 at 6:01 pm

This is fabulous!


tatiana November 4, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Thanks doll!


Guava November 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm

AWWW… I missed these!! I miss crafting!! I miss YOU!!! Must start a project! :)


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