Skirt with Built-in Shorts

Not really a skort, but a full skirt with shorts underneath for your little tree-climbing, cartwheel-turning girl.

My kids love the clothes from Hanna Andersson, so when I saw this Scandinavian-style print from Patty Young (for Michael Miller), I knew I had to make them some skirts like the ones they love so much. I rarely sew with knits and I don’t own a serger, but my kids love comfortable clothes. I’d say this makes about a size 6, but with an elastic waist you can easily adjust the waist and length to fit any kid. You could also skip the shorts if you want, or make them long and narrow with a contrasting fabric for built-in leggings. The skirt here has a wider waistband than what’s written in the instructions, but that’s just what I had on hand. I didn’t get a very good photo of the shorts on the inside, but they’re just basic.

So if you want to make one like this, you can download the .pdf instructions by clicking on the image below.

So if you want to make one like this, you can download the instructions by clicking on the image below.

51 comments to Skirt with Built-in Shorts

  • I get an error when I click on the link–any tips?

  • Cool! I just bought that exact same fabric!

  • That is just wonderful, I am sure my little girl will wear them all the time as she grows up and I now have a niece that I will make some for also.

  • Anita

    Great idea, thank you. And we love Hanna Andersson too, but we love it best when it is on sale!

  • If I had a daughter, I would make a gazillion of these!!! Heck, maybe I’ll make a pair for myself!

  • Andrea P.

    I would love to see the PDF, but I just get an error message instead.

  • thelongthread

    OK, I made some corrections to the .pdf file, so that’s why it was down for a bit. Should be all good to go now. And if you downloaded the file earlier today, you’ll want to get the updated version.

  • This is great!! Perfect for the playground! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  • Amy

    This skirt is PERFECT for my very active and yet girly dressing 7 year old! I can’t wait to try this! Thanks:)

  • Jayma

    Thank you for the pattern, I want to rush out and make these!!

  • Very cool Ellen. The perfect fix for girls and the playground.

  • My little girl doesn’t like skirts, maybe this one is an alternative even she would wear. I’ll give it a try. Thank you!

  • Emily

    Genius! Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you! I was just going to sit down with a pair my daughter has outgrown and tear it apart to make a pattern. I’ll be making a few of these this week!

  • LOVE IT! This is perfect for my little rough and tumble girl. I’ll bet I could just take a pair of her regular PJ shorts and add a skirt to it too. Thanks for sharing the pattern.

  • Love the pattern!! thanks for sharing

  • Amber

    I’m getting a error when I click on the picture. could you email it. Thanks

  • Amy

    The pattern opened for me just fine in IE but wouldn’t open in google. Just thought it might help someone else. Can’t wait to make this! Thanks for sharing!

  • lisa D

    Hello???Does anyone else besides me want this skirt/short in our sizes?! I love it and it would be perfect for ride my bike, too. And I am a very young almost 58-yr-old.

  • I just downloaded this. Thanks so much! I’ll be linking as well.

  • That is adorable! This is my favorite skirt, Im going to be making lots of these for my little girl! You are so very kind for sharing!!

  • This is just what my 10 year old daughter has been begging me to make for over a year now! Thanks. Now I just need to alter it to fit her size.

  • sleepyknitter

    Perfect! Thank you for sharing this great pattern.

  • I made an attempt at something like this for my daughter and I messed it up completely… thank you so much for offering the pattern.

  • I love, love, LOVE this! Thanks so much! My girl is the skirt wearing, dirt digging, tree climbing, twirling type, so this is perfect for her.

    I have some fabric stash busting to do and now I have a great project to look forward to this week. Thanks!

  • Thank you so much! I always have to have my girl wear bike shorts under all her skirts and dresses and it will be wonderful to be able to make her a skirt with them already attached. You’re awesome!

  • I’ve been thinking about this for a while, maybe I will try to mashup your shorts instructions with another skirt I’ve been making.

  • Patti Miller

    Anyone try this in 100 cotton? Would it need to be adjusted for fit? I am trying to do one for 2 1/2 year old and have lots of quilting type fabric in my stash. Love the pattern. Thank you for putting it online for free and the great tutorial!

  • Kera D

    I’ve just gotten into sewing for my 2 girls – age 2 and almost 5. Made this for my older daughter using a pretty thin knit that was on sale (didn’t know there were different knits!) and it came out really cute! Of course, I repeatedly made mistakes – sewing things the wrong direction, catching fabric in seams, etc., but in the end it’s a great pattern and I’m glad to know how to make this type of skirt rather than buy it! Would definitely make it again, but I’ll make sure to pick a better fabric next time.

  • Does it have to be knit?

  • Oh thank you so much for this sweet pattern ! My grandaughter is special needs and is still in diapers . This is perfect for her , she’s a very petite 10 yr. old.

    Thankfully ,

  • summer hughes

    loving this!!!!! my 2 1/2yr old loves these

  • it makes me happy every time I click to this site and see your skirt. You have chosen the best fabric for the girl.

  • Kay Underwood

    I am not able to download templates. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong? Thanks! I love your site

  • thelongthread

    Be sure that you have the latest version of Adobe Reader, which is available here:

  • This is just as cute as can be and the directions are very simply and clearly illustrated. Great project.

  • Very cool Ellen. The perfect fix for girls and the playground.

  • Marta

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I just started sewing and find the store bought patterns confusing, frankly. When real people post patterns online, I find them so much easier to understand and so much more helpful.


  • Hi Ellen… boy was I excited to see these instructions. I’ve been making skirts for my granddaughters, but this is WAY more practical and requested by my daughter. Thanks a million! Now to search the stash for the knits I know I have! Thanks again!

  • Traci

    Hello. The pattern looks simple enough and I’m really excited to try this. My daughter loves skirts but tends to forget that she’s wearing one when playing, so she needs the shorts underneath. I’ve never made clothes before, and while I think I’ll do just fine following the instructions, I was wondering if you had suggestions on how to adjust the pattern for her size?

  • Have been searching and searching for exactly this! I am going to attempt it in the school uniform colors for my tiny granddaughter.

  • Patricia

    were can I find the pattern for the skirt with shorts attached to them


  • Ruth

    Does this mean the waistband has two thicknesses, the shorts and the skirt. If so, I find it bulky.

  • Debbie

    I have a question about the waistband piece. What size is that measurement for? I have a granddaughter who has a 30″ waist. Would I make the waistband 15″x 7″ and add some for the seam allowances?. Would I also add to the skirt portion by 2″. I realize that I would have to add to the shorts as well. The shorts are attached to the bottom of the waistband, is that correct?
    Thanks for all your help! The girls love wearing “skorts” and I cannot wait to start making them!

  • Sharon D

    Thank you for this great pattern. Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick, Easy, and others do not have a pattern for the skirt with built in shorts. I thank you very much.

  • I’ve been looking for this! Can’t wait to try, thanks!!

  • I don’t have a serger – can you use a normal sewing machine, I would love to make this adorable skirt for my friends little girl but unsure as to whether I can make it with just a basic singer sewing machine?
    Thank you!

  • thelongthread

    Yes, definitely!

  • Thank you! I am struggling to get this fabric in the UK, do you have any idea about stockists in the UK?
    Thanks again!

  • I don’t have any girls, But I will be making these for myself. I have a beautiful cruiser bike, and the city I live in can get quite windy, aaand I have a 4 and 7 year old Boy. These are the answer to all my problems. HAHA. Thanks for sharing this, I had a *Well OF COURSE!* moment when I read the title. Cheers!

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