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How to Sew Shorts with a Faux Skirt Front {tutorial}

2016 September 27

Wow, these photos are from 2 years ago! I’m switching to a new, much faster (Thank goodness!), computer right now and am in the process of sorting files. Yup – super fun! (haha) But, there’s a silver lining! I found this tutorial, all photographed and ready to go. Easy Peasy! In the middle of all of the excitement and preparations (re: yesterday’s post) I am happy to have less to do!

My girls love skirts and dresses and I love the modesty that shorts provide – so the faux skirt front is a great mash-up for both of us. My oldest is still wearing them – though they are quite a bit shorter now!

This tutorial is a bit more summer- related – but if I wait another year to post it you might not even recognize my kids in the photos! Also, it seemed a better time to write it up when I was planning last week and it was still warm outside. Today is a bit less hospitable – with rain and chilly-ish fall weather. Oops!

Either way, here’s a full tutorial on how to add a faux skirt panel to the front of any shorts pattern, assuming the shorts have a side seam and separate waistband. Depending on your part of the world, you can get a jump on your summer sewing, next summer’s sewing, or pin the tutorial for later! Of course, these would look great in a nice wool plaid with tights underneath. #justsayin

For simplicity’s sake, I have referred here to the free Oliver and S Sunny Day Shorts pattern. To prepare, download the pattern and cut out all pieces according to the instructions. Make sure to leave excess fabric for the faux-skirt front. If the pattern pieces look a little different, it’s because I usually lower the rise on the front of my kids’ shorts – it tends to fit them a bit better. Here I’ve lowered the front rise by 1 1/2″.

Draft and Cut the Skirt Front

1) Fold Skirt Front fabric in half. Place Center-Front pattern piece near the fold as shown in photo. The Shorts Side is parallel to the fold. Leave 1/2″ or so before the top of the Center-Front to add ease for movement to the front of the skirt. (The curves on the top of the pattern will make it easy to ease this fabric back in later on.) Trace the top of the shorts pattern to mark the top of the skirt front – the excess at the Center-Front is free-hand marked at 90 degrees to the fold.

2) Pivot the pattern piece so the bottom of the Shorts Side is 1-2″ over from it’s original placement. The top of the Shorts Side matches up with your line from step 1. Trace the Shorts Side, including the notch placement.

3) Draw a line from the bottom of the Shorts Side to the fold. The line is at a 90 degree angle to the folded edge.

4) To make hemming easier, we need to straighten out the angle at the bottom of the Skirt Side. Line up the bottom of the Shorts Front with the bottom edge of the Skirt. Trace the side of the shorts, making a 1 1/2″ line 90 degrees up from the bottom edge.

5) Cut out the faux Skirt panel. 

6) Hem the Skirt Panel. Follow the instructions for the Sunny Day Shorts – “Finish the Shorts” Step 1.

7) Sandwich the Shorts Front, Skirt Panel and Shorts Back as shown. Shorts Front and Skirt Panel are right-side-up. Shorts Back is wrong-side up. Align the straight side edge – this is the wearer’s right side seam. You can use the notches to line everything up properly.

8) Pin the side, making sure all three layers are aligned. Fold the skirt panel out of the way. match and pin the inner leg, matching the Shorts Front and Back. Stitch as indicated in the Sunny Day Shorts instructions – “Prepare the Shorts Front and Back” Step 1.

9) Repeat step 8 for the wearer’s left side. Fold the other shorts leg and skirt panel out of the way and stitch the side and inner seam.

10) Follow ”Prepare the Shorts Front and Back” Step 2 to sew the rise. Be sure to fold the skirt panel out of the way while stitching! Pin the raw edges of the Skirt Front to the Shorts Front. Ease in the excess Skirt fabric and baste with a 1/4″ seam.

11) Continue to follow the Sunny Day Shorts instructions to attach the waistband and insert the elastic.

12) Fold up and press the shorts hem as per ”Finish the Shorts” Step 1.

13) Open the skirt panel and pin the hem where it meets the skirt panel. Stitch the hem, beginning at the pin and ending where the hem meets the skirt panel on the other side.

All done! Enjoy your new skirt :)

Let  me know what you think! Or even better – post some photos? I’d love to see them! Share your photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the  hashtags #alongforthreadride and/or #threadridinghood. Thank you!

 

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