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L.K. Bennet pumps, DIY asymmetric skirt, Pineapple Moon Hawaiian shirt (all own)

Closet overhauls often “unearth” pieces in beautiful material that don’t fit anymore or look dated. Before tossing these pieces think about whether they have potential for upcycling. This post features a DIY project upcycling four old silk tops in a bias-cut skirt. Read how you can make a skirt from old shirts

  1. How to Make a Skirt from Old Shirts
  2. Silk Is Too Valuable to Toss
  3. Four Old Shirts Make One Great Skirt
  4. Styling the Skirt
  5. Top of the World Style Linkup Party No. 207


This article – “A Skirt From A Shirt” – was featured on Links à la Mode fashion roundup by Independent Fashion Bloggers.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.


How to Make a Skirt From Old Shirt

Spring closet overhaul or cleanout isn’t only a woman’s thing. At the beginning of May, my husband put his winter clothing to the back of his closets and his summer clothes to the front. He also sorted out what he barely wore last summer or didn’t wear last summer at all. Among these items where some Hawaiian-style silk shirts he used to wear for swing dancing. However, the dance place where these shirts met the dress code had closed two years ago. Unfortunately, the UAF swing-dance group didn’t find a new meeting place in town. Thus, the shirts hadn’t seen the lighting of the glitterballs ever since.


Nicole of High Latitude Style in multi-print dance outfit
L.K. Bennet patent leather wedges, DIY skirt, Pineapple Moon Hawaiian blouse



Silk Is Too Valuable to Toss

When he sorted the shirts out, I thought that the fabric is too valuable to toss. When you are a regular reader you may remember how I upcycled a silk sari. Earlier this year, I turned an old shirt into an infinity scarf. Recently, I also revived an unwanted shirt into a beautiful skirt.


Nicole showing off the hem of the new dance skirt
As above, but showing off the movement of the hem



It may be that Alaskans look at the great things in waste or my European upbringing that I have such a hard time to throw away silk items. When I grew up as a kid in Germany, my Mom owned one silk blouse. It was her Sunday’s best. Back then real silk was very expensive. Silk was and still is pure luxury. Anyhow …



Four Old Shirts Make One Great Skirt

…. here is what I did with some of the pieces. Silk cut on bias moves and flows nicely. Thus, I took an off-white, black, and two black-and-white-print shirts to “revive” them into a new dance skirt for dancing the Argentine Tango (and other Latin dances like Rhumba, ChaCha, merengue, and bachata or Salsa). A while ago I had bought a Butterick pattern (B0451) for a dance skirt, but hadn’t yet found the fabric. Sleek around the bum to show the hip movement and some flowing fabric for the hem that moves as you twirl. Thus, finally the long planned skirt got done.


Photo of the production of the upcycled garnment
Upper left: front part of the hem, top middle shirt from which the back hem was cut, right shirt used for the front upper part of the garnment.


The shirt-backs of the off-white and black piece make the back and front of the skirt. After cutting off the shoulders and sleeve sections (see lower left part of the photo above), I laid the fabric flat. There was enough fabric to cut the flouncy hem for the back. The hem is cut like a circle with increasing width and hence on bias (see upper left in the photo above). The one for the front is a bit larger than that for the back. Thus, I had to sew on an extra piece from the same shirt.

Stylist tip: Bias cut ensures a nice flow.

The waistband is a wide black elastic band. I cut it 1 inch (2.5 cm) wider than my waist measure. It’s sewn on stretched out with a zig-zag stitch. It is wide enough to wear a belt on top. However, belts may get tangled up in the clothes of your dance partner. Therefore, I stay away from accessorizing with belts when creating a dance outfit.



Styling the Skirt

I paired the DIY skirt with my own black, off-white and coral pink Hawaiian-print silk blouse. Thus, together the pieces look like a  mixed prints dress. I went for a rouge in terracotta and lipstick in a light coral and a French inspired look of smudged smoky eyes.


mature woman twirling in mixed print trend outfit
Showing the twirl of the skirt from shirts


style blogger in black and white assymetric dress
Front view of the outfit


style blogger dancing on a rock in mixed print black and white date night look
Side view of DIY skirt

fashion blogger balancing in heels on a rock for an outfit photo


To show you how the hem moves I tried to turn around on a rock. However, the rock was a bit uneven (see photos). So it turned into a funny, tricky balancing act. To not break my ankles or fall off the rock into the stone bed, I am looking down and not at the camera.

My husband also took a couple of photos (see featured photo) when I walked back thru the stone bed. They show how great the fabric moves when just doing normal things like walking. Okay, walking on stones is an Alaskan’s normal, but not normal for others. 😉 We are used to unpaved roads.

What do you think about this up-cycling project? Yay or nay? Like this outfit? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.



Top of the World Style linkup party No. 207

Welcome to the 207th Top of the World Style linkup party! Thanks for coming. The awardees are:

Top of the World Style Winner Tiina L in Finnish spring outfit
Tiina L, the style blogger at Elegance Revisited became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post

Tiina L of Elegance Revisited is the Top of the World Style Winner. She featured Nordic spring style. I can so relate to her outfit. She said that the Finnish word for June actually has summer in it. Well, in the Interior, May feels like summer to me. It’s not the hotest, but it has the most sunny days. And that’s what counts for me: Sunshine. How would you define summer? By heat or sunshine?

Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav Carrie of Curly Crafty Mom in pink cardi and black-white gingham dress
Carrie the craft and lifestyle blogger at Curly Crafty Mom became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post


Top of the World OOTD My Fav Nancy Baten in a pruple gray print shirt dress
Nancy Baten of Nancy’s Fashion Style became Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post


Congrats Ladies! Grab your buttons for your awards page or sidebar.

See these awesome looks at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #timelessstyle Click To Tweet


Party entrance (opens by double clicking)


I just joined the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #topoftheworldstyle Click To Tweet


Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2020 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. I am not the best recycler..but my daughter is. I love your skirt….I have no talent like that.

  2. You did an amazing job, the skirt is gorgeous and most importantly, it’s absolutely unique

  3. Amy

    I think it’s really cool! I have no skills in sewing except how to put a button back on. I love your skirt! It turned out really pretty!

  4. Rosemary Davis

    Wow! Your skirt is gorgeous!!!!

  5. Penny the frugal fashion shopper

    That’s an amazing skirt and so good you reused and upcycled your husband’s shirts. Very well done you!

  6. Natty Gal

    Incredibly creative! The older I get the more important it is becoming to me to not waste and to find ways to re-purpose goods that I love but no longer fit or have a small area of wear but are otherwise OK. Love this!

  7. I’m so impressed with your sewing skills! I love how the skirt turned out!!

  8. Thank you very much for the feature! What a amazing skirt you are wearing, I love it!

  9. aquamarinastyle

    Nicole, that skirt is brilliant! It’s so cute and original. And the pattern mixing is done perfectly. Happy dancing–or really, wearing that skirt anywhere!

    xx Darlene

  10. That skirt is perfect for twirling in! I wish my husband would organize his clothes… I always land up doing it for him (but, it clears me up more room on my side!). Thank you so much for the feature, sweet friend!


  11. I would love to take some of my old clothing and create something new! I love how you remade your clothing!

  12. Linda Cassidy

    what an awesome idea. I wish I could sew, this gave me so many ideas.

  13. fiercefashion

    What a fabulous reuse of the silk, Nicole! I sew and love to upcycle. I haven’t tried something like this yet, but you’ve given me good inspiration. It’s fortunate that your husband had several black/white shirts to work with. P.S. I like your new header/format!

  14. Mary Katherine Graetz

    Wow! So impressed with a) recycling of valuable and worship-worthy fabric like silk b) the imagination to put these together c) how fabulous the finished result is and d) that it’s made for a specific purpose/occasions that you will USE! I’m new to your blog and LOVE your style and ingenuity. And for reminding us that we’re never too old to show off great legs!
    Mary Katherine

  15. Amy Johnson

    That is absolutely amazing and such a great idea.

  16. Jodie

    This is such a great idea, Nicole. It’s something my mom would totally do. I’m going to send her this post!!

  17. mireilleftm

    What a great skirt: amazing how some shirts became that! I love it!

  18. shelbeeontheedge1

    Nicole, what a fantastic skirt! I wish I were so creative and talented. And I love those shoes, too!


  19. This Main Line Life

    That skirt came out really cute. Have a great week