By popular demand (thank you all for popularly demanding,
by the way), here is the tutorial for skorts, aka scooters
aka skirt-with-shorts-underneath, brought to you from
the sewing laboratory of ikatbag, where
We Make Mistakes So You Don't Have To!
First, I'd better clarify that these are not the same as culottes,
which I wore a lot of as a young person. Culottes are sort of
flowy divided skirt. I made a pair or two years ago and
I think you could make them easily if you
- got a pattern for a pair of knee-length shorts
- made the bottom hem of each leg very wide
- made the crotch lower
- used a soft fabric.
Some of the earlier shorts I sewed for the girls ended
up culotte-esque by virtue of the soft knit I used,
and the gross mismeasurement of their dimensions.
So you see - not very difficult to make, eh?
You can literally make them by accident.
But moving along now.
Today we are making skorts, which are essentially
a skirt with shorts sewn on underneath. And the
following tutorial is simply how to attach the shorts
to the skirt. Which means you'll need to
already have a pair of shorts and a skirt.
Right-o, here's how I began - first, I got out my old shorts
pattern and made a pair of white knit shorts. Except I used
only a 1/4" seam allowance at the top instead of 1 1/4".
This is because we are not going to fold down the top to
make an elastic casing for this pair of shorts.
I finished the leg hems but not the waist hem.
Then I cut out knit fabric for a gathered skirt. Now the
classic gathered skirt is made from a single rectangle.
That would have been too wide at the waist to line up with
the waist of the shorts. So I cut out two trapeziums for
the skirt instead, so that
- the waist matched the waist of the shorts
- the bottom hem was roughly twice the waist measurement of the wearer
I finished the bottom hem but not the waist hem.
Here is a picture of the shorts and the skirt lined up so
you can see their waists are almost the same size. It is OK
if the skirt is a little bigger than the shorts because it's all
going to be gathered in the end anyway. And if you are
using knit for the shorts (which I recommend because it
is stretchy-comfortable, you can stretch its
waist to match the skirt's waist.
- Turn the skirt inside out.
- Turn the shorts inside out - this is important! Even if it is counter-intuitive. This is what cost me an hour of seam ripping yesterday.
- Insert the shorts into the skirt.
- Line up their waists and pin the two layers together at the side seams and the center front and back.
- Using a 3/8" or 1/4' seam allowance, sew all around the waist to join the skirt to the shorts. Stretch the waist of the shorts to fit the skirt as you sew, if necessary.
- Turn the entire garment right side out (so the shorts are inside).
- Top-stitch close to the top of the seam.
- Measure 1 1/8" from the line of top-stitching and sew another row of stitches all around waist, leaving a 2" opening for inserting the elastic. In the picture, you can see the top-stitching and the elastic for width-reference.
- Insert elastic (measure around wearer's waist for desired snugness) with safety pin.
- Sew ends of elastic together.
- Sew up the 2" opening.
I've also seen (and worn) fitted skorts, which are wrap skirts
with zippered shorts underneath. So really, they come in all
mutant varieties. But for my kids anyway, I'll stick to the
elasticized version. A big consideration when sewing their
clothes is how they can independently dress themselves and
elastic is wonderful for that. You'll see this concept again
in the Summer Dresses coming up next!