Friday, September 2, 2011

Skorts for an Active Girl

My niece is a gymnast and a very strong and active girl. She likes for her clothes, even her school clothes, to be comfortable and practical, and she likes to be able to do a cartwheel whenever she wants to. For all those reasons, she prefers skorts to skirts. Skorts look like skirts, but they have built-in shorts underneath. So when you turn a cartwheel, nobody says, "I see London, I see France..."

I made a skort for her using McCall's 4762. I altered the waist and hips slightly, as my niece is very slim for her height. You sew the skort by making a pair of shorts, then an A-line skirt, and then a waistband. The shorts and skirt are basted together, and then sewed to the waistband. The waistband is smooth in front and elasticized in the back:

After I made this skort I realized it wouldn't be hard to design my own, using any shorts and skirt patterns. For the next one, I decided to make the skirt fuller, for more freedom of movement. I used the Kwik Sew Sewing for Children book, and I traced the shorts pattern and the full gathered skirt pattern. I added some side seam pockets to the skirt, and it was a simple matter to draft a waistband to sew both pieces to.

The KwikSew book also tells you how to take the basic shorts pattern and alter it so that it becomes flared shorts, which look like a skirt because the legs are fuller. These shorts are very comfortable, and needless to say, they are sufficiently modest for cartwheels and handsprings. I put side seam pockets on these shorts also. All you have to do to alter the basic shorts pattern is slash the pattern from waist to hem and spread the hem about 3 inches. (I also lengthened the shorts first, so that they would be long enough for school.)

Now I'm thinking about skorts for fall, in soft corduroys. The shorts could be a different, coordinating fabric. Maybe I'll make some big girl skorts for myself. I don't usually turn upside down except when I'm doing yoga, but maybe yoga skorts are the next hot thing.

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