My daughter loves wearing skirts and I can’t blame her. They’re comfy, cool, and totally adorable. However, she also loves climbing, spinning, and running around, which means she ends up flashing her My Little Pony undies rather more often than I’d like. Last summer I made her a skirt with attached shorts, which she’s worn to death. I wanted to make more this year, but to make things even simpler I started with purchased knit shorts and just added the skirt part. Super easy and super quick!
I was able to make two skirts w/attached shorts in about an hour and they turned out so cute!
The best part of this method (besides the fact that it’s screaming fast) is that you can use whatever pretty fabric you want for the skirt without worrying about whether it’s stretchy or not. Just start with knit shorts (I got these white ones from Target), and add any lightweight fabric for a cute skirt. This pretty yellow fabric was actually a pillowcase (also from Target).
And this blue floral (below) is a cotton lawn from Jo-Ann Fabrics (hooray for pretty apparel fabrics!). Both these fabrics are soft and drape nicely, which makes for a really pretty skirt. You could also use quilting cotton, but the skirt won’t be quite as soft.
Now my daughter can spin, climb, bike, and run with all her brothers without having to worry about whether her skirt’s flipping up.
How to make a skirt with attached shorts (using purchased knit shorts):
Start by cutting off the waistband of the shorts about 3/8 of an inch below the elastic. Try to cut nice and evenly. We’ll sew the waistband back on in a minute.
Create a simple gathered skirt with two rectangles of fabric. Each rectangle should be the desired length of the skirt plus 1.5 inches and at least as wide as the girl’s waist. Mine ended up being 12 inches long by 26 inches wide. Place the rectangles right sides together and sew down the short sides, as shown below.
To hem the skirt, fold the bottom of the skirt up 1/4 inch, then another 1 inch and press, then sew. Then sew a gathering stitch all the way around the top of the skirt, 1/4 inch from the edge. Mark the center front and center back of the skirt. Then pull the bottom thread of the gathering stitch and gather the skirt until it is the same width as the top of the shorts.
Make a skirt sandwich: start with the shorts on the inside (right side out), then put the skirt on top of them (right side out), then place the waistband on top (inside out and upside down). Pin all three pieces together, matching up raw edges, and matching up the center front, center back, and sides.
NOTE: I find it’s easiest to pin the skirt and shorts together first, then to add the waistband on top and pin all three pieces together.
Sew with 1/4 inch seam allowance using a stitch that will stretch (serge or zig zag).
Flip the waistband back up and iron the gathers down. Your skirt with attached shorts is done!
If you don’t want to start with purchased shorts, you can find the tutorial to sew a gathered skirt with attached shorts here.