I had so much fun with this and just figured it out as I went along, but I do have the pics and instructions for you in a tutorial. Follow along if you ever want to do this to an old shirt!
Do note--I'm using a 100% cotton chambray shirt here. It's really sturdy and thick. This wouldn't work well with a finer dress shirt, unless you lined it, and even then, I don't recommend it. It won't lay right and will look weird. I also just got lucky that this shirt was just the right size for my hips--it was a 16" neck, 35"-36" size (that's about a men's medium, I think). My hips are just over 36" so it worked out almost perfectly! Since the skirt fits snugly and the shirt was meant to be loose.
- I started out with this shirt from Goodwill Outlet.
- I grabbed a skirt from my closet to use as a pattern. I chose a fairly straight skirt from JCrew. You can do any length and rise, but mine's pretty medium.
- Cut off the sleeves, leaving the seam on the sleeve side.
- Cut off the collar and back yoke--basically cut in a horizonal line, as high up as you can comfortably do it. I cut off north of the collar corner buttons but just before the collar band.
- Press the center back pleat out flat and mark your centers.
- To cut the back out, lay your shirt out with the center back becoming the fold of the fabric. Put your skirt on top, with it folded down the center back also. Cut around it.
- For the front, lay the shirt front out flat and put the skirt on top. Cut.
- I placed the shirt front pocket in a good place on the skirt front and cut off the bottom of the shirt to make the skirt as long as possible.
- Now, cut out the waistband. I was able to use the scraps from the front of the shirt above the pocket, but you could also use the sleeves. Cut a front and back waistband. I cut the lining for my waistbands from some plain white cotton since I wanted to leave the sleeves intact for another project someday!
- Part of the genius of this skirt is that it doesn't require a zipper--you just use the existing placket! I sewed down a horizontal line where I wanted my placket to stop, and sewed the rest of the skirt closed down the front.
- Now, finish the skirt the way you would any other skirt. Sew the front and back together, hem the bottom.
- Sew the front and back waistbands together at the side seams, sew the lining to it along the top, and sew to the skirt itself. If you have made a simple skirt before the finishing is pretty much the same, but here are some amazing graphic video tutorial things to help you along:
- For the waistband, go here: http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/mediafiles/sewingroom/sewingroom_us.asp
- Go to: Sewing Techniques
- Click: Waistlines
- Watch the Straight Waistband tutorial; it's pretty much the same thing as on this skirt except on this one your waistband should be curved, and won't need as much finishing at the center.
- The placket is just the opening that makes the skirt able to go over your curvy bits. On jeans, the placket has a zipper or buttons. On shirt sleeve cuffs, sometimes it has one button in the center to keep it closed. But plackets are always flat overlaps that close something neatly--here's some pictures of the inside placket of my skirt.