Shorts to lovely skirt:by Lovely Nest Designs

In case you missed it, here is the tutorial I shared on Blue Cricket Design last week!  Check it out!  Working on a cute craft tutorial for kiddos and adults alike! Stay Tuned…

refashion shorts, recycle, upcycle, skirt, shorts, lovely nest designs

Do you your girls have any shorts in their wardrobe that have the potential to be too small next  year but have so much life left in them???  Let’s winterize those shorts and use them to make a skirt!

A little background:

My girl refuses to wear shorts, so I have a few in her wardrobe that have just been sitting there, lonely and under utilized…until now.  She wears skirts or dresses every day, but hasn’t quite grasped the concept of modesty.  SO, in essence, we see a lot of panties when she is twirling, flipping or sitting criss-cross applesauce at school.  If you ask her to wear bloomers or shorts underneath…well, let’s just say that’s not happening.  BUT… if the shorts or bloomers are attached to the skirt, they suddenly become acceptable!  Not only that, but now she can wear them all through the winter…as a skirt with leggings!  Woo Hoo!

So, I give you….  the easiest skirt tutorial ever!!  Believe it or not, one row of stitching, one seam and you are done!

Materials Needed:

* Cotton shorts that need a new purpose (technically, you could use any shorts, but mine were cotton)

*Fabric from which to construct the skirt (in this case I used an old cotton polka dot dress from the refashion pile)

*Sewing machine, elastic thread, thread that matches your skirt, pins and your usual sewing notions

*extra fabric for embellishments if you so desire

Let’s begin.

Step 1: If you are refashioning a dress or cotton shirt etc. for your skirt fabric, then line up the hem as seen above.  Sometimes the front of a shirt is just a little longer than the back.  I like to square everything up so that the hem is even.

Step 2: Measure an existing skirt that fits your child well and note the length.  In this case, mine was @14 inches.  Keep in mind that the waistband of your shorts will be exposed, so account for the width of the waistband. (mine was @ 1 in.)  So, in total, the length of the finished skirt would be 15 inches… does that make sense??  Cut your skirt fabric according to your measurements.  See picture above.

Step 3:    Hand wind your bobbin with elastic thread.  You could also use plain cotton thread and a zig zag stitch, but i found that the gathers are more even and the skirt stretches better with the waistband when using elastic thread.   Don’t forget to set your machine to the longest stitch length (and I use the highest tension also.)  You may have to play with the tension on your machine to get it right!  Also make sure you back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam so that your stitches will not unravel when stretched!

Step 4: sew a 1 line of stitching around the top of your skirt fabric so that it will gather.  I use the presser foot width as a guide.  I line up the right side of my presser foot with the edge of the fabric and sew.  (see pic above)

Step 5: Match the side seams of your shorts with the side seams of your skirt and pin.

Step 6: Continue using your elastic thread and stitch the skirt portion to the shorts.  Follow the stitch line you made on the skirt when you gathered it. (If you again line up the right side of your presser foot with the edge of your skirt fabric, you should be fine!)

There you have it!  One seam and you are done!  The waistband looks so neat and tidy, and I love the contrast of the colors.

Step 7: Embellish if you choose to do so!

Here are a couple more skirts I made.  For the pink and gray skirt, I used the bottom of a sweater and some bloomers that had lost their dress-mate.  For the striped skirt I used the bottom of a hoodie and some shorts.  If you use a sweater, hoodie etc that has a center pocket.  Make sure you not only pin the side seams before you sew, but also the centers… if not, your pocket may turn out wonky…either too far to the left or right!!!

Jamie Burton, Lovely Nest Designs

I am a full time mom, part time crafter and a lover of all things vintage.  Refashion is my passion and I am so inspired by the ordinary, often discarded things around me.  I love taking something that has seemingly ‘seen its last day’ and making it into something amazing!  I use 99% recycled or upcycled materials to make my one of a kind items.  I have just recently opened an ETSY store and am selling my children’s clothing  at a boutique in NYC on the Upper West Side.  Please visit my website for more tutorials, ideas and talk on life!

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2 Responses to Shorts to lovely skirt:by Lovely Nest Designs

  1. Emily Patridge says:

    I am continuously amazed with your ability to create fashion concoctions;
    Job well done, Jamie! xoxo, Emily

  2. nita says:

    what a great idea; can’t wait to try it!

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