I’ve been asked quite a few times about a tutorial for this little skort. I decided to go one step better. I digitised the actual pattern piece that I created, with all the sizes graded out to suit everyone! It can be downloaded here. It should match up perfectly with the Esther Shorts pattern by Tessuti Fabrics, but there’s no reason you can’t adapt it to your own TNT shorts pattern by adjusting a few minor details.
I really love my white version. It is the second pair I’ve made and it’s seriously one of my best Summer staples ever. The front overlay adds a little formality and cover to a standard pair of shorts. I dress mine up with a blazer and heels. I also wear it out and about with Birkenstocks and a singlet. It’s a style that is very versatile.
As I mentioned, my version is based 100% off the Esther shorts pattern. I made a straight size 8, but I did shorten the legs by two inches (whilst maintaining the original hem shape). To achieve the same proportions as me, you’ll first need to shorten the legs of the front and back Esther pattern pieces by two inches. If you want to add this overlay to the longer, unchanged length of the Esther shorts pattern, simply lengthen the skort overlay by two inches at the lengthen/shorten line (included on the skort pattern piece).
The steps below will help you put together your skort:
1. Cut out your overlay fabric: Outer fabric, right side facing up. Lining, wrong side facing up.
2. Prepare the overlay: right sides facing, pin the overlay fabric to the overlay lining. Stitch a 1/2 inch seam along the two angled bottom edges and the left side edge. Remember, the diagram below shows the skort overlay as you look at it in front of you, so the left side (as you wear it) will appear as the right.
2. Trim seam allowance and turn the overlay out to the right side. Press. Baste remaining raw edges.
Now it’s time to put together the rest of the shorts. I’m just going to summarize the order of construction here. If you need more details, refer back to your actual shorts pattern, but keep following this order of construction.
3. Stitch the left leg seams. First, insert zipper in the side seam of the left side, between the front and back leg. Complete the stitching of that seam. Then stitch the inner leg seam of the left leg.
4. Now onto the right side. Sandwich the side seam edge of the overlay between right front and right back leg side seam. Wrong sides of front and back legs facing the right sides of the overlay. Stitch. Finish raw edge.
5. Fold the overlay piece up so it’s not in the way, and sew the inner leg seam of the front and back leg.
6. Keep the overlay piece folded in and out of the way. Wrong sides facing, inner seams matching, now sew the crotch. Finish raw edge. Turn the shorts out the correct way. Press.
7. Unfurl the overlay piece and straighten out the waist edge so it lines up with the front waist edge of the shorts. Baste in place.
Now, simply continue as your original pattern instructs. Attach the waistband and hem your new skorts. I usually serge the raw edge of the hem and then fold it up to the point at which the overlay ends at the side seam.
I hope you enjoy your Esther Skort as much as me!