Feminine Refashion Of Shirt & Skirt Set [Design Details]

by Mariana Kirova

This is an article about the design details of a refashion I've made recently. I combined the restyled shirt with a skirt to create a whole outfit with pinch of femininity. I upsized the shirt with two sizes by using its own sleeves (follow the link for the tutorial).

Here, the first thing before any unstitching and re-designing is to find the best possible colour combination of the two separates. In this case the match of the shirt colour and one of the skirt's colours was perfect. However often that's hard to find, so finding complimentary colours might be more realistic goal.

When you have the two garments that match beautifully, go to the next step - play with different ideas for transforming the design of both separates.

For this refashion the masculine look needed to be broken down and adding some of the floral fabric of the skirt was very good idea.

Front of the shirt & skirt set

The skirt also was good canvas for enhancing with some trims additions and embellishments. After considering several lace ribbons, other trims and add-ons from the similar or complimentary colours, the design idea crystallized. ​All details ​presented below.

Front of the shirt


Front shirt flap details

Front shirt pocket details

Pockets were undone and the right one restitched with added patch from the skirt fabric. The left removed and a small strip of the floral fabric was attached over the flap.

In the flaps buttonholes, additionally I tied up strips from the skirt fabric into tiny bows which gave a very fresh small accent.

Back of the shirt


The back look was enhanced with a stripe of the floral fabric and a trim along the back yoke. The trim was actually a fringed selvage from an upholstery material I had leftover, which I kept because I love these colours. Luckily, now the colour match was spot on!

Another interesting addition was moving one of the front pockets in the middle of the back. Eventually, feminine look means something beautiful like a flower. And flowers don't have "back", in sense of "something boring because nobody is looking there", right;)

Back shirt yoke

Back shirt pocket

Back shirt loop on collar stand

Back shirt loop with the scarf

Other shirt finishes and add-ons


For more colour around shirt's collar (or face area when worn), I constructed a scarf from the skirt floral fabric. To hold the scarf securely, at the centre back of the collar stand I attached a loop, like a belt loop, under the collar. The width of the loop was set as wide as the scarf could go through it loosely.

For finishing the armhole after upsizing the shirt I did binding with the skirt fabric. This fabric is similar to cotton lawn or batiste, which is much lighter than the shirting fabric (in this case with some added elastane). Therefore, I used double layer for the binding.

You know from the upsizing tutorial that ​I kept the sleeves features and added them to the sides of the shirt. The scarf can be inserted there and sits very stylish if it is worn as a belt. I included pictures here to show you the versatility of the look.

Shirt side - buttoned up

Shirt side with scarf as belt

Shirt side unbuttoned

Restyling the skirt


The design of the skirt already had a tiny crochet ribbon between layers. In this case I decided "the more the better" and enriched the look with additional lace ribbon between the layers, tiny silk ribbon hanging at side front and back and a beaded lace flower as an embellishment.

The hem of the skirt was cut and left raw. Then a white, matching the lining, crochet-looking ribbon was stitched to complete the look of the hem.

Light cotton lawn/voile, the lining was folded and stitched lower than the skirt hem, so that a part of it is shown (along in the process I was trying out different looks and that white "design extension" on the hem was making the skirt more interesting).

Front skirt details

Back skirt detals

Hem outside the skirt

Hem inside the skirt

Final look variations


With this changes on both pieces the refashion was done. I really like how both pull different styles together in a unique new outfit. The good part is that both can be worn separately, but also the shirt can be styled in three different ways. It can be worn with the scarf around the neck, or tied around the waist or without it for more plain casual look. Of course, the limit is our imagination and the scarf can be worn in various other ways, such as around the head, on the arm, as a belt and so on.

The outfit with the scarf around the collar

The outfit with the scarf as a belt

The back with the scarf as a belt

​Now it's your turn to get creative! ​Find any two unwanted or thrifted garments you think go well together and have fun ​by transforming them into ​a beautiful combination! If any questions, comment below or ​send me a message.

The love of sewing can keep us going;)

Happy eco sewing!

Thank you for sharing!

Mariana Kirova

Mariana is passionate about garment upcycling and helping others to make their own upcycled clothing. Graduated with Award in garment construction from WAIFT, Perth WA, Mariana is not a main stream eco fashion designer. She makes unique eco-friendly garments from unwanted clothes and materials and believes that small fashion professionals and DIY sewers can embrace sustainability in garment creation, thus changing the fashion world for good.

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