How to Upcycle a Maxi Skirt

How to Upcycle a Maxi Skirt
Transform your old maxi skirt into pants, a dress, a blouse, a midi skirt, a mini skirt, a high-low skirt, or small clothing items like a crop top anhorts.

Here’s the truth- we all have a few maxi skirts we haven’t worn in a while. Perhaps we lost weight, and the skirt doesn’t fit anymore. Or maybe we no longer like the skirt, but the print is so gorgeous we can’t stand to give it away.

This is where upcycling comes in. You turn that lovely maxi skirt into something else you can wear instead of letting it rot in the closet.

I have done a few of these, and we even transformed my cotton floral maxi into palazzo pants a while back here. Today however, we will explore a few options for those of us who have more than a few maxi skirts lying around.

How to Upcycle a Maxi Skirt Into:


Again, be sure to check out my guide on turning a maxi skirt into palazzo pants here. These wide-legged pants are still very much on trend, and this transformation was so much fun. That said, you can also turn your maxi into regular straight pants- it doesn’t have to be palazzo.

Just to recap, fold the maxi skirt into two lengthwise so the side seams align. I would use another pair of pants to measure the crotch area, but it should be somewhere mid-thigh. Follow that mark with your scissors and unfold to reveal the two pant legs. All you have to do now is sew the open seam and turn the pants the right way.


You know what’s easier to make from a maxi skirt than pants? A dress. Get one of your well-fitting dresses to trace because this will make work so much faster. Trace the dress using tailor’s chalk, and add about 2 cm around the armholes and neckline for seam allowance. I would also draw a different neckline for the back and front because they are never the same.

Cut along the chalk lines and sew the shoulder seams and hems. Hand Madiya has an easier maxi skirt to pants tutorial that doesn’t require cutting the neckline. Whichever way you choose, you’ll end up with a cute, knee-length dress you can rock often.

You can also do nothing to it, except add a belt and turn the waist into a bustline.


If you have followed the easy process of turning a maxi skirt into a dress, it is very similar. The difference is that you will shorten the length to make a blouse instead of a dress.

A great alternative is this poncho if you have an asymmetrical skirt. It looks so cool and no major alterations are needed.

Midi Skirt

I have this straight black maxi skirt that I’ve always thought would look better as a midi skirt. At least I can finally wear it to the office with a white chiffon blouse and pumps. Changing a maxi skirt to a midi one is easy because you only need to shorten it according to your desired length.

We have covered how to make a maxi skirt shorter here, with everything you need to consider, from measuring length to different silhouettes. We have also included how to shorten a pleated maxi skirt there. I recommend wearing the skirt and have someone lay a tape measure on you so you can mark the right length. Add 2 cm to that point for seam allowance, cut and sew around to make the new hem.

Mini Skirt

Turning a maxi skirt into a miniskirt is the same as what we have done with the midi skirt. The difference is how much fabric you need to cut off from the bottom. Again, wear the skirt and have someone measure you or use another miniskirt to trace and cut.

I turned my denim maxi skirt into a mini, and it was the best decision ever. It has gotten so much wear since then after years of gathering dust at the back of my closet.

High-Low Skirt

Think about that flowy chiffon skirt you wore once to a wedding and haven’t touched again because it’s too long and too fancy. I understand the predicament of shortening a chiffon skirt because the fabric is so delicate.

Instead, transform the skirt into something you can wear often without sweeping the floors with it. A high-low skirt is much more elegant and easier to wear with heels or sandals. Ink Opinion has a few high-low options you can try first temporarily before you choose a permanent one.

Checkout her YouTube video here.

And if you have an especially wide maxi skirt, you can make it into a wrap skirt. This is a great option if you have a round skirt with only one seam because you can cut lengthwise to make the wrap design and add ties to the waist.

Small Clothing Items

Coolirpa inspired my last upcycling idea on her YouTube video. Instead of turning the maxi skirt into one thing, she made six items out of it. A crop top, a pair of shorts, a gorgeous headband, a pocket tee, a contrast trim t-shirt and a tiny square pillow. She did a fantastic job, and I think I have just the skirt for it.

You can also turn some of that fabric into a bag, a scarf or even a fabric belt. The options are endless.

How do you upcycle a maxi skirt?

You can turn an old maxi skirt into many things, from a shorter skirt to a dress and even a pair of shorts or pants. Look at the skirt print and fabric to decide what would look great in that. The idea is to make something you will love to wear often.

Can you turn a maxi skirt into formal pants?

You can definitely turn a maxi skirt into official pants if it has the right fabric and color. A navy blue or black straight maxi, for example, would make a fantastic pair of work pants. But if the skirt is tight, consider a midi pencil skirt instead.

Lior Shapiro

I love clothes with pockets and dresses, and I think any woman can pull off a good maxi dress.
I believe women's clothes with pockets make the world a better place.