upcycledknittshirtskirts thumb1

It is no secret I have an obsession with upcycling t-shirts.  Skirts are the most simple project to make using old shirts.  I must admit I am slightly obsessed with making them.

Not only are they unique and adorable, they are comfortable as all get out and take me less than 30 minutes to make once I overcame my fear of my serger.

I think momma needs some of these skirts, don’t you think?

upcycled knit tshirt skirts

All of this fabric came from Lil Blue Boo – including some of her custom designs she screen-printed onto the knit fabric.

I took an infinity scarf class at SNAP last year that she was teaching and grabbed some extra to play with at home.

These skirts are insanely easy to make.  Just go with instructions in this tutorial and you’ll get it there quite easily. The following pattern is for a 4/5T.  Obviously it would be easy to accommodate for a larger size.

knitted fabric skirt

How to Make The Upcycle T-Shirt Skirt

Step 1 – Measurements

All you need is a waist measurement (my daughter’s is 20”) and a guesstimate of how long you want the skirt to be (11” in my daughter’s case).

Take the waist measurement and divide it by 4.  Since the fabric is so stretchy I didn’t accommodate for seam allowance.

So Kayla’s waist is 20” divided by 4 is 5”.  So I made the top of the fabric 5”.

Then I made the bottom of the fabric 9” so there was a nice A-line flare to the skirt.

You can choose to customize the design at the bottom of the skirt but bottom hems need to be altered accordingly.

t-shirt skirts

Step 2 – Cut the T-shirts

Then I cut four pieces the exact same size from four different fabrics. If you’re new to this, take a ruler, measure, and then cut these pieces.

Next with wrong sides together serge the edges so that the serged side is on the right side.

Do that with all four pieces until you have the skirt constructed.

upcycled skirt tutorial

Step 3 – Serge them

Serge the bottom edge of the skirt. You can use a sewing machine or simply hem with a needle.

tshirt skirt for little girl

Step 4 – Make the Waist

Next cut a strip of t-shirt that is the waist measurement plus 1/4”.

So I cut one for Kayla’s 20” waist to 20 1/4” x 4”.


Step 5 – Sewing

Fold right sides together and sew the edge making it a continuous circle of fabric now.

Next fold it in half lengthwise with right sides together and serge it to the top of the skirt with the seam aligned with the back of the skirt.

The serged seam will be on the inside of the skirt and not on the outside.

I feel like it lays nicer that way even though the rest of the seams are serged on the outside. When you’re stitching, make sure that no extra fabric show outside.


Step 6 – Adding a Dawnstring

If you want to add a t-shirt yarn drawstring cut two small slits into the front of the band (cut through one layer of t-shirt material not both).


With a safety pin, thread the t-shirt yarn through and tie the ends. It looks like a beautiful waistband, isn’t it?

tee shirt skirt project

If you don’t want to do the drawstring you can always do a yoga pant top.  I did this for one of the skirts.  I cut the width to 8” instead of 4”.

This allows you to wear the skirt frontwards, sideways or backwards depending on the mood.

yoga pant skirt

They are so fun to make and super simple.

You don’t need a serger since knit fabric doesn’t fray but it sure makes the edges fun and funky.

skirt tutorial

For a little added fun cut and tie scraps to a hair tie for a matching pony tail holder.

Trim the edges.

tshirt ponytail holder
tshirt ponytail

Dress up your little cutie patootie and watch the compliments roll in!

easy tee shirt skirt tutorial

Do you love up cycled t-shirt ideas?  Here are a few more you might have missed.

Upcycled T-shirt Dress

Random Note Sweatshirt

Valentine’s Day T-shirt Scarf

T-shirt to Painted Skirt

Click here to see the pumpkin skirt I made for Halloween.

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  1. Doesn’t number 4 have the wrong measurement for the length of the waistband? Isn’t it just double the width = 4 ” but only add 1/4 to the length =201/2″ It doesn’t look like 40″ laying on the cutting mat. and that would be too much fullness at the waist?????

  2. You never cease to amaze me with your creativity. I love these skirts; and yes, I think Momma needs some to. I could do this for my granddaughters. I might get a little obsessive too.

  3. It’s not hard to do! These are just too simple, not to mention cute and comfy. I hope your granddaughters love them!

  4. Step 5 has me confused as to where to sew on the short side. And should it be wrong sides together since you never turn the fabric right side out when it’s right sides together.

  5. Tracy,
    I updated it to read a little better. Does that make sense? No it is right sides together because I don’t have the served seams showing on the waistband.

  6. How do you get the skirt measurements right (them being less on the upper panel and more on the part of the panel) without having it get too wide sewn together at the top where you DON’T have to gather it much when attaching the waistband? I like the narrower look of yours rather than what I often get which is a very flared a-line skirt which I have to adjust to fit the waistband immensely. Any suggestions?

  7. I measured the waist first and then added seam allowance to that number. Then I figured out the flare. So for a 24” waist and 8 panels that would be 3” at the top plus a 1” seam allowance. So I would cut each panel 4” at the top and then maybe 7” at the bottom. I hope that helps.

  8. How can I make this for an adult–just adjust the measurements accordingly? With a 33 inch waist cut that to 34 inches? Would 4 panels work or would I have to do more?

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