wear it this weekend: the easiest t-shirt skirt in the world

So, it’s Wednesday. Whether you’re going to the beach for Memorial Day weekend, or planning on settling in for a staycation, you’re going to need something cute to wear. Something fun and summery, yes?

When it’s too hot for jeans, a loose fitting summer skirt is your best friend. I’m going to show you a ridiculously easy way to refashion one from a t-shirt. I promise this is the easiest refashion you will ever do!

finished t-shirt skirt, with a red top and floral obi belt

gather materials
There are honestly only four steps to this refashion. You’ll be done in less than an hour! All you need is a t-shirt, elastic for the waistband, scissors, and your sewing machine. There’s NO hemming on this skirt, you are literally going to make ONE cut, and sew THREE seams.

The first thing you need is a really big t-shirt. Some tips for picking a good one:

1. A large men’s t-shirt (or XL or XXL, whatever) works best. They have a boxy shape, and come in larger sizes. If the shirt around the chest will fit around your hips, you’ve got yourself a winner!

2. Choose one with little to no logos/printing, unless it’s something cool you’d like to feature on your skirt.

3. Choose an awesome color! I chose yellow because “solar power” is everywhere. Just don’t use a white shirt, or you may be flashing your knickers to the world!

Swipe one from anyone you know who hoards big t-shirts, or pick one up at a thrift store, like I did.

cut thrift store shirt off at the sleeves

step one: cut
Cut off the top of the shirt, right at sleeves. With a big enough shirt, this should leave enough fabric to be a knee-length skirt. You’ll use the hem of the shirt as the hem of your new skirt.

1" elastic waistband

step two: make a waistband
Cut a length of elastic for your waistband. I like to use 1″ wide swimsuit elastic, as it is just the right amount of stretchy without being too stiff.

Wrap the elastic around your waist where you’d like the skirt to sit, and overlap the ends 1″. Make sure it’s not too tight, but snug enough to hold your skirt on your body!

Sew the ends together using a zig zag stitch.

ease skirt waistband to fit elastic

step three: pin
Now you have an elastic waistband that is probably significantly smaller than the waistband of your skirt. To make them fit, you’ll have to use what the commercial patterns call an ease stitch.

That means sew a basting stitch (the longest straight stitch on your machine) all the way around the top of your skirt. Do not backstitch, and do not let the stitches meet.

Check out this dress-shirt-to-skirt tutorial for more details on how to pin the elastic to the skirt. Essentially, you will be pulling on the basting threads to gather the fabric of the skirt, to ease it into fitting the elastic.

finished elastic waistband for tshirt skirt

step four: sew
Now that you’re all pinned, sew the skirt to the elastic using a zig zag stitch, right along the top edge. Then fold the fabric over, and stitch it again, so the raw edge of the elastic is inside.

Done! Enjoy your super cute skirt!

A skirt this simple is ripe for variations, of course. How about using 2 or 3 shirts of different colors and color blocking them? How about adding embellishments like fabric flowers? Or perhaps making a maxi skirt version? The possibilities are endless.

As always, I’d love to see pictures of the one you make. Happy Memorial Day!




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