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Repurposing: Shirt into Skirt with Yoga Style Waistband

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I am always looking for ways to use up and re-purpose those old shirts in the closet.
But this time, I saw some knit shirts at Old Navy in the Women’s section that were about $2 on clearance.  (Buy the biggest sizes they have to get the most fabric.) The fabric was a nice and light knit and they came in a variety of colors and prints……….making the perfect fabric for a little springy/summery skirt.
$2 plus a little adjusting? Perfect.
So keep that in mind while browsing the racks at the store.  Sometimes it’s hard to find a great knit at the fabric store for cheap…….so look at those discounted clothes on the clothing racks.
And because the bottom seam was already there……all I needed to do was put in a waistband.
And what is more comfy than a Yoga style waist band? Nothing.
The tall waistband is folded over for a comfy fit.
It’s the perfect little skirt for spinning,
and enjoying the nice weather.
Wear it with or without leggings (especially if your little girl insists on a skirt each day)……any time of year.
Would you like to make your own?

As noted above, I bought this shirt for $2 on the clearance rack at Old Navy.
But dig through those closets and see what you already have on hand.
Depending on what size you’re making, cut the bottom section of the shirt off.  This will be the main section of the skirt.  And remember, the bottom hem of the shirt will be the new bottom hem of the skirt……so don’t cut it off.
My little girl wears about a 4T in skirts, so I measured 9 inches up from the bottom of the shirt and cut it off.
Then, if you have enough fabric left on the shirt cut out a piece that’s big enough for the yoga band.  Mine came from the back of the shirt.  (If not, use some fabric from a different shirt or some knit fabric from your scrap pile.)  My waist band piece was 20 inches wide x 9 inches tall……..but if I had more fabric, I would have made it about 20 x 11 inches.  Just to give the waistband more height.  Because I love an even taller/adjustable waist band.
Then fold this piece in half lengthwise and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance along the two shorter ends, creating a tube.  (I used a serger but if you’re using a sewing machine, use a zig-zag stitch or a knit freindly stitch.  Need help with knits?  Click here for more info.)
Then turn your tube right side out and fold the tube down inside itself in half, keeping the right side of the fabric on the outside.
Then gather up the top raw edge of the bottom section of the skirt.  Make your basting stitch about 1/2 inch from the top.  (Need help with gathering?  Click here.)  Gather in the skirt so that it’s the same width as your band that you just folded in half.
Fold the band down over the top of the gathered section and pin this section evenly in place.  Don’t stretch it as you’re pinning.
Make sure you are pinning the raw edge of the skirt with the 2 raw edges of the folded band.  The actual fold of the band is at the other end of the band……….shown in the upper left side of the image below.
Now, serge or zig-zag those layers together (3 layers in all), using a 1/2 inch seam allowance…….all the way around the skirt.  If your basting stitch happens to be showing, pull on those threads to remove them.
Then iron/steam that seam flat……along with the upper fold of the band.  (And if you had just a bit of stretching while sewing the layers together in the last step, steaming will help shrink it back down a bit.  But if it was over-stretched, you may have to pick it out and try again.  Or if it just keeps stretching out and the waist band is too big……….make your band a bit smaller and then adjust the gathering as well.  That should take care of it.)
And that is it.
Very few steps…….with lovely results.
Ashley Johnston

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!


  1. Beth P says:

    Could this work for the women that loved this Skirt by using a Man's t-shirt? or even bigger girls using 1x or 2x? Beth

  2. [Lovely by M] Michelle says:

    Hi Hayley,

    I just saw your comment on my blog and answered it on my blog…but I also wanted to come on over to your space…and I've been here before! I know that I followed a link to a link to a link one time and visited your blog. You really do share some great things. In fact, I want this skirt, this very skirt in my size!

  3. Amy says:

    Thanks for another lovely tutorial!

  4. Ashley says:

    The leggings were from Old Navy…..and the shoes are puddle jumpers shoes. They were hand-me-downs from a friend…..and we love them!

  5. Rhadonda says:

    Yes to infinity, please to infinity. Would love to be in the know!

  6. tracyp says:

    I just made two of these yesterday in about 2hrs!!! ( would have been faster had I read the directions better!) Thanks so, so much Ashley!

  7. kate says:

    that is the cutest skirt…so twirly and pretty!

  8. Liza Henderson says:

    oh my!!! I'm off to clean out my closets!!!

  9. Molly & Bea & T., Tra-Lee says:

    I love the pink shoes — where did you get these?

  10. K2 says:

    So cute! I cannot believe that it was a shirt before. Simply marvelous!

  11. Pam says:

    This is fabulous and so simple! I never would have thought to do this. I off to raid my closet and plan to make some of these for my granddaughter. Thanks so much for the tutorial and most of all for the idea.

  12. Cole's Corner says:

    Cute skirt… but I really, really want to know where you got those adorable light yellow leggings!

  13. Marcilla says:

    Such a great idea! My girlie needs a few more springy skirts and this is definitely going on my "to sew" list.

  14. Jennifer says:

    love it!!!! will have to go thru my tub of clothes and give this one a go!!!

  15. greta @ topography says:

    Really lovely, well done!

  16. Patti says:

    Too cute! I wish I had little girls. :(

  17. Jenny says:

    I love this! I'm kind of obsessed with finding new things to make with old t-shirts and this is perfect!

  18. ☼Carolina Artesanías☼ says:

    happy week!
    from Chile

  19. Heather says:

    I love the feel of knits fabric. You just can't go wrong with it when it comes to kids and being comfy! Do you know of any good tutorials/patterns for making leggings?

  20. Ashley says:

    Tami…..ha, I'm with you on being an avid clearance shopper. Atta girl!

    And as for an adult version……I actually made one of those too and will show pics later on this week. Stay tuned!


  21. Beth- the mama bee says:

    I've tried to make myself a similar skirt and I had the hardest time getting the waist band to fit right. I was worried about it being to small… it ended up too big and falling down.

  22. Tami says:

    I'm with one of the previous posters. I live in NC and it gets HOT in the summer. I want a cute knit skirt…where's the adult tutorial ;) As an avid clearance shopper, I love the idea of using the fabric for something else! (And usually the sizes left are XS and XXL-so I'll be looking throught the XXL sizes now!)

  23. Lisa says:

    THis is very cute! I wish my daughter was still small enough for me to be able to make things like this for her. I love your creativity!

  24. Wendy says:

    Me fascina todo lo que haces Ashley! Eres mi ejemplo a seguír! Gracias por los tutoriales! Tu niña es preciosa!

  25. Pink Stitches says:

    Looove this! I'm tempted to make one for myself :)

  26. Teresa says:

    I love it! now I need to go buy some clearance t's!

  27. mrscuddlytiger says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE it! And SO easy!!! Thanks!

  28. Mrs. D says:

    I wish I could figure out how to do this for adults!!

  29. greatjencreations says:

    That turned out crazy cute. I love it! Thanks for sharing.

  30. imagrandma2five says:

    Thank you so much! This is something easy peasy I can make for my twin granddaughters.

  31. Emily says:

    Love that shirt as a skirt! Great tutorial.

  32. Chrystal's Corner says:

    Love this! I have 3 boys but love to make homemade gifts for my niece. Especially love simple projects at little to no cost:)

  33. Inle says:

    I wish I had a girl to make all these cute things for!

  34. Jessica says:

    You are brilliant. I wish I had even basic sewing skills. I have a machine, but can't do more than a straight stich. I may have to get brave and try this.

  35. Danae says:

    Thanks to you, I'm getting a little braver about buying things from the clearance rack. I made my daughter the most adorable sweater dress (as per your tutorial!) from a sweater I got for $2.50 at Target. Now it looks like I need to find some big knit shirts, too…

  36. nila1920 says:

    so cuuute! i love that your tutorials are always so easy! thanx for sharing ashley!

  37. kristymortensen says:

    I love the skirt. I also noticed her cute leggings, did you make those?

  38. dana says:

    Darling Ashely. Love it!
    and cute shoes too

  39. Ashley says:

    What a great idea! Adorable. :)

  40. Ashley says:

    Glad you guys like this one. And I promise…'s a quick and satisfying project.

    And Cortney, I bought those leggings at Old Navy. I usually get her leggings at Old Navy and Target. They seem to have the most colors and styles. Or I have made a few myself. Good luck!

  41. Cortney says:

    where do you get your daughter's leggings?

  42. Vixen says:

    Will definitely be making at least one or two of these with my huge stash! Awesome idea, perfect for the upcoming spring weather!!

  43. Ms. S says:

    That is so cute! I love your tutorials, they are all ways full of photos and very clear directions. Love love love it!

  44. Zepequeña says:



  45. Cerise says:

    So cute! Makes me wish I had a girl to make some of these for!

  46. Saragers says:

    now i just have to have girls. there's only so much fabric i can buy for my 8+ nieces (without my husband getting mad) and my boys always ask me why i'm making so many skirts!! cute skirt…i'm sure i'll be making one for my nieces this summer!!

  47. Michele says:

    You need to stop making everything look so simple! Now I'll have to go through all my old shirts and make skirts galore for my little girls!

    When the hubby comes home I'm blaming you :)


  48. C.Raymont says:

    Wow, this is so simple and so cute! Thanks!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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