Thursday, November 5, 2015

Gymnastics short (which became a gymnastics skirt)

I don't like just leotards by themselves. I don't like seeing panties stick out around the leg holes, I don't like seeing them do splits and such in them...I want more coverage, but I know they need to be able to move around and have something that's stretchy to stretch with them.

I couldn't find the shorts I was looking for (of course, when I'm willing to pay, I can't even find what I'm looking for...except online, but what if it doesn't fit?)
So, I decided to sew them.

I still prefer shorts, but one of my twins asked for hers to have an attached skirt, so I altered the plan.

For the 2nd pair (purple), I used a pair of biker shorts to make my pattern.
(We call them "legging shorts" because they wear them under skirts and dresses like you would leggings, but not for show, for coverage when they are being kids).

I probably could have just told them to wear the legging shorts as gymnastics shorts, but they looked funny and the older girls are already 'short' on shorts - and I couldn't guarantee the pair they needed would be clean on gymnastics day.

Anyways - enough talk - this isn't intended to be a tutorial b/c I don't have time for that right now. It's just pictures to show my process. If you just need a little nudge worth of instructions, this should help.

Settings on my serger that worked best while sewing these:
 (I have a Janome very basic low cost serger)

Inner leg seams
 Ready to sew crotch seam
 Pin to keep seams aligned
 Crotch seam done - I almost always sew the seam then serge in case I need to adjust anything and so things don't move around.
 Once you serge, it's essentially permanent
 Shorts ready for seam and waistband
 Waistband (14" long folded, so 28" wide and about 5" tall)

 Serge edges (right sides together)
 Serged leg bottoms
 Flipped waistband right side out
 Folded in half (so seam is hidden in fold)
 Sew along bottom cut edges (baste)
 Then serge them
 Why are my pictures out of order?? Back to shorts - used twin stretch needle to hem shorts.
(I couldn't get the seam not to "tunnel" where it bumps up between the rows of stitches, but whatever!) A skill I'll work on later.
 Picture of the twin needle in case you need to sew what to shop for. I only use it to hem knits really, so it's lasted a while. (I probably should get a back up for in case this one breaks mid-project, but I expect it to last a long time and not wear out like my other needles do because I use it so little.)
 Circle skirt - there are a bazillion tutorials on how to measure and plan these, so I won't go into that.
(I think my measurements were about 4" down and then 10" down? Don't quote me on that...your measurements will be for your waist and your waistband.) Ideally, the circumference of the small circle will be the same as whatever the waistband of your shorts is.

Formula for circumference (the measurement around a circle - in this case, the side of the inner "donut"):
C = 2 x pi x r 
(r is the radius of your "inner donut" - the measurement from that folded corner to where the paper begins)

Pin it at the sides, back, front, and half way in between those to evenly space the skirt onto the shorts.
Sew on (right side of skirt and right side of shorts both facing up)
 Do the same pinning with the waistband onto the outside of the shorts/skirt (raw edges together)- front and back, then sides, then eighths.
Then sew, stretching either the waistband or the skirt as needed to align them.
 I sewed it on then serged it all.
 Flipped up
 Sewing directly onto elastic keeps it slightly stretched out, so I wrap the elastic around my child's waist and then make it a little tight. Cut it and sew it into a loop.
 Once last time with the pinning in 1/8's around the skirt.
Sew it on (I start at the back by the way) - zig zag stitch - narrow enough to fit on the elastic (1/4")
  You will have to stretch the elastic as you sew - this is good and will keep the skirt tight so it won't fall off.
 Elastic sewn right onto serged seam allowance. (the waistband is flipped down so you can see/get to the seam allowance)
 Flip the waistband back up and it's done.
 Finished skirt - still need to get a pic of her wearing it.
 Here's my other daughter wearing the skort I made for her.