DIY: How to Turn a Turtleneck into a High-Waisted Pencil Skirt

Posted on 30 April 2012 by frugal-nomics

A week or so ago I mentioned in a previous video post that I had picked up a pretty neon yellow colored turtleneck during my last thrifting haul. Now while I don’t wear a lot of turtlenecks, I did LOVE the color and figured at some point it would make a great addition to the wardrobe in some way….afterall, it was only .55 cents.  So, one night I had an idea…”why not turn the turtleneck into high-waisted pencil skirt?”  So I turned the sleeves on the inside and wriggled the neck up over my hips (the first time I had to do a little Shakira hip action, but I eventually made it)…and the rest is well….history!


So this is what my turtleneck looked liked before.  It didn’t come with any labels to tell me who the designer was….but I suggest getting one with some lycra/spandex, to make easing it up (at least the first half dozen times) easier.  You can always add a zipper if you need a little extra room.

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • Turtleneck
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins
  • Matching Thread
  • Sewing Machine

The entire project took me about 3 hours….but I’ll admit a little over half that time was spent figuring out how to adjust the tension on my sewing machine (it’s been a while).

Steps to Follow:

First take the turtleneck and turn it inside out –this way you can have it on the correct side for sewing.  Then you’ll use straight pins to pin a “cutting guide” for yourself from the neck, all the way down to a couple inches below the sleeve’s under arm.  I eventually wound up sewing a little lower than pictured so that my seam ran smoothly into the turtleneck’s side seam and had no protrusions.

Once you are all pinned, you are on your way.  Here you will sew along the straight pin line, removing the pins as you go along.

The last step is to cut off the excess fabric/sleeves that you no longer need.  Cut along the newly sewn line, leaving at least 1/4 of an inch space (or more if you feel).  I started cutting at the bottom under the arm; but when you get up top to the neck, be careful not to snip the stitch of fabric that is attaching the neck to the rest of the turtleneck.

I originally thought I might  leave the pockets and have more of a “tulip feel” to the skirt, but stitching the pockets seemed to be a bit of a tricky feat.  So, I eventually opted to cut them off altogether and it worked out well.  Now you have a simple solution for your retired turtlenecks. Let me know how it works for you!

Sweater >< Vera Wang (thrifted)
Tank >< White + Warren (thrifted)
Skirt >< (yours truly :) )
Shoes >< Steve Madden

15 Comments For This Post

  1. Carolyn Says:

    that’s fantastic! will help utilize all those turtlenecks i don’t wear anymore…

  2. frugal-nomics Says:

    Great! Glad I could help.

  3. Erin Says:

    Good grief! What is she going to think of next?? :-)

  4. frugal-nomics Says:

    That’s really sweet of you…thank you so much!

  5. Tiffany Says:

    WOW! What a great idea!! Love, love, love!

  6. frugal-nomics Says:

    Thank you so very much!

  7. Mama Violet Says:

    Great DIY and I love the complete look!

  8. Trinnah Says:

    This is awesome!!! :) I’m gonna try it out!

  9. ElleX Says:

    Great idea! I love this “skirt”!

  10. frugal-nomics Says:

    Thanks…..looking forward to doing more DIY’s in the near future

  11. Nic Says:

    this is genius! LOVE it!


  12. Jean Sagers Says:

    This blog is cool. Thanks and keep up the good work!

  13. Ebonny Fowler Says:

    This is great, Brandhyze. Thanks for the fun and creative ideas!

  14. T. Espi Says:

    Awesome idea! I’m definitely going to give it a try.

  15. Laura Looney Says:

    OMG! I have been looking every where for a high waisted skirt online in stores and just can’t find one. I never would have thought to make my own out of a turtle neck !! That is so awesome thank you so much for this I am so going to make one now, goodwill here I come!

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Hey there, I'm Brandhyze and welcome to my frugal style and do-it-yourself blog.

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