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Made by Me Monday – Simple Knit Skirt with (under) Shorts {tutorial}

2013 May 20

Here we are, the last day of Spring Shorts Week.  Due to the fact that my youngest got a lot of “photo shoot” attention last week, my oldest is now telling me that she will consent to wearing shorts if I make them for her – and that is amazing! So… we might end up with a size 5 pattern piece soon, I’ll be sure to link back to it on all of the tutorials.

This skirt is very useful if you have girls that love skirts but don’t yet know how to sit properly in them. The shorts are perfect. This skirt can go to the park and to church and still be appropriate in both places! Plus, because it is knit this skirt is super comfy.

Simple Knit Skirt with (under) Shorts

Today’s installment is a bit more twirly than the others, so I won’t be providing any tips on making these for boys. I will say, though, that my daughter’s skirt turned out a bit longer than I had intended – though I still really like it! I have included the measurements that I used for this size 3 skirt – so go ahead and shorten it a few inches if you’d like and don’t have a child around to measure.

 You will need:

  • knit material – yardage depends on the size of your pattern piece (read through the tutorial to make sure you have enough material for the pattern piece, skirt and ruffle and the casing)
  • regular sewing machine (you do not need a serger to sew knits!)
  • 3/4″ or 1″ non-roll elastic
  • 8″ twill tape (ribbon) for the bow (match or contrasting your knit fabric)
  • tissue paper, paper, or tear-away stabilizer
  • ballpoint sewing machine needle (for sewing knits)
  • pins/glue stick/scissors/matching thread/other sewing gear
  • Shorts Pattern Piece – Make your own in any size: {How To} Make a Kid’s Simple Knit Shorts Pattern OR click on the following link to download the 5 page Size 3 printable pdf

Before you begin (if you are using the printable Size 3 pattern piece):

  • Print out all 5 pages of the pattern piece pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
  • Cut or fold the pages on the outer gray lines and tape/glue the pages together, matching the letters in the gray half-circles.

Here we go!

Step 1: Follow Steps 1 and 2 in the Simple Knit Shortwith Heart Knee Pads tutorial to cut your under-shorts fabric and casing. (I pieced my fabric together because my old golf shirt (!) knit fabric was not large enough to cut the entire shorts pattern piece.)

Step 2: Follow Steps 12 and 13 (1) , 13 (2) in the Simple Knit Shortwith Heart Knee Pads tutorial to stitch together your inner leg seam and side seams. You can skip Steps 13 (3) and 13 (4), we will be adding a cuff here instead.

Step 3: Follow Step 3 in the Simple Knit Shorts with Oval Knee Pads and Easy Hem tutorial to cut your cuff bands.

Step 4: Follow Steps 9-11 in the Simple Knit Shorts with Oval Knee Pads and Easy Hem tutorial to apply the cuff bands to the bottom of your leg openings.

Step 5: (1) Now you need to cut your skirt fabric. Cut the length of the skirt to suit your child. Remember that the length does not need to include the casing – but does need to include about 1″ seam allowance. The size 3 pattern users should cut the length at 8.5″ high (this leaves room for the seam allowance) by 1.5 times or double the waist measurement of your child. My fabric (for the size 3 pattern) was about 56″ wide. (2) Sew your skirt fabric down the short side(s) to make it into a tube.

Step 6: Cut your ruffle fabric. My ruffle (for a size 3) is 2 1/2″ tall and about 80 inches wide. I pieced together 3 pieces of knit with a 1/4″ straight seam and then trimmed the seam allowance. Your ruffle should be about 1/5 times the length of your skirt fabric, by however tall is needed to be proportional to the size of skirt you are making. You do not need to add a seam allowance – we will be stitching this ruffle on top of the skirt.

Step 7: Ruffling your ruffle. (1) Change your sewing machine stitch to a long straight stitch. Ruffle the ruffle fabric by sewing a line  about 1/4″ away from the top edge of your ruffle. (Note: I didn’t hem the ruffle because the knit won’t fray.) Some machines will ruffle the fabric if the tension is increased - unfortunately my machine does not do that. I hold the thread as it comes off of the spool to give it added tension and that works great for me. (Though you do need to make sure you can guide the fabric through the machine with only one hand!) (2) Stitch your ruffles into a tube, trim the excess seam allowance.

Step 8: (1) Draw a line with a water soluble marking pen 1/2″ away from the edge all the way around the hem edge of your skirt fabric. (2) Make sure your ruffle length matches the bottom edge length of your skirt. Adjust the ruffles as needed to fit. (3) Line up the top edge of the ruffle with the line you just drew on the skirt. Pin all the way around.

Step 9: (1) Change your sewing machine stitch length to a medium width zig-zag stitch. (2) Stitch the ruffle to the skirt by following your ruffling seam line. (3) Take a look at the wrong side of the skirt to make sure you caught the skirt hem all the way around when you were sewing.

Step 10: (1) Ruffle the top edge of the skirt (the same way you made the ruffle in step 7) and make sure the width matches the top of your shorts. Place your shorts inside the skirt. The shorts and the skirt are both right side out. (The shorts right side is next to the skirt wrong side.) (2) Pin the skirt to the shorts evenly along the top edge. (3) Baste.

Step 11: Follow Steps 14-21 on the Simple Knit Shorts tutorial to add the casing and twill bow. Treat the top of your basted skirt and shorts as one piece when following the steps.

All done!

Thanks for hanging out with me for Spring Shorts Week! If you do make any of these I would love to see them. You can post a comment on my Facebook wall and add a photo for everyone to see! I love hearing from you. Seeing the things you’ve sewn with Thread Riding Hood tutorials makes my day!

We’ll have to see if we can do this again next year. Maybe woven next time around? What would you like to have tutorials on?

Draft a Kid’s Simple Knit Shorts Pattern

Simple Knit Shorts with Heart Knee Pads (+ size 3 pattern)

Simple Knit Shorts with Side Pockets

Simple Knit Shorts with Oval Knee Pads and Easy Hem

Simple Knit Sport Shorts with a Lining

Simple Knit Skirt with (under) Shorts

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    May 20, 2013

    I absolutely love this one!

  2. Liza permalink
    June 23, 2013

    Thank for sharing your great ideas of the skirt with shorts. I have been looking to sew something like this but did not know how to do it. It is great that people like you take the time to share and impart their knowledge to newbies (to sewing) like me. It makes a big difference. Thanks, again:-)

    • June 23, 2013

      I’m glad to help! Hope you have fun making them :) Let me know if you have any questions.

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