How to Convert a Skirt into a Pair of Shorts

If you have a skirt that you would rather wear as a pair of shorts, here is an easy way to make that transformation!

You will need:

  • a skirt with an elastic waist that is short enough and has enough fabric to make into a pair of shorts;
  • a pair of shorts that fits you well (to be used as a template);
  • tailor’s chalk or something similar to draw lines onto the fabric without permanently marking it;
  • sewing pins;
  • a sewing machine;
  • sewing thread which matches the color of your skirt.

Let’s begin!

(Note: You can click on the photos to enlarge them.)

1. Turn your skirt inside out and fold it so that the centers of its front and back are along the folds.

Align and pin the side seams of the skirt, along the middle line, indicated by the pink arrow in the image.

2. Fold the shorts you will use as a template in half with their front side facing out. Make sure to stretch the fabric of their back side as well as their front side so that both layers are flat.

Then place the shorts on top of the front half of the skirt, as shown in the image.

3. With tailor’s chalk, trace the front curve of the shorts (highlighted in green) onto the skirt, from the bottom edge of the elastic waist to the tip of the crotch.

4. Put sewing pins along the traced line, while making sure that the two layers of the skirt remain perfectly aligned.

5. Set your sewing machine to the zigzag setting, 5 mm in stitch width and 1 to 1.5 mm (17-25 spi) in stitch length.

Before you start sewing the skirt, test the thread tension with a spare piece of fabric of a similar thickness and texture to that of the skirt. (Your zigzag stitches should look like the second image on the left.)

Then, sew along the traced line.

6. Repeat the previous steps on the back half of the skirt, making sure that the crotch end of the back curve and the crotch end of the front curve are the same distance from the hem (the distances marked in green in the image).

7. At this point, remove the sewing pins and try on the skirt to see whether the new seam lines fit you well. When doing so, hold the front and back layers together at the crotch to simulate a pair of shorts.

After making sure that you are happy with the seams, trim off the excess fabric along both of the seams, very close to, but not touching, the zigzag stitches.

8. Place the shorts on top of the front half of the skirt again, aligning their front curves.

9. Trace the inseam of the shorts onto the skirt, making sure that the line’s top edge meets the end of the front seam that you just sewed (indicated by the green arrow).

10. Insert a sewing pin along the line you just traced to hold the two layers of the skirt together. (Note: It is important that the sewing pin is aligned with the line.)

Then cut along the side edge of the skirt from the hem up to the crotch end of the seam, as shown with blue dots in the image.

11. On the reverse side, draw another inseam line. Here, you need to trace the direction of the sewing pin that you inserted in the previous step to copy the first inseam line.

12. Now, on the back half of the skirt, pin the two layers together. You do not need to draw inseam lines here. Simply make a cut along the side edge of the fold, as you did in Step 10 (along the blue dots).

13. Remove all of the sewing pins and refold the skirt, this time with its front layer on top of its back layer.

Align the front and back layers at the crotch, and pin them together along the inseam lines (which are highlighted in green). As you can see, the two lines connect at the crotch, making a V shape.

14. Sew along the V-shaped line, starting from one end, through the crotch and all the way to the other end.

15. Trim off the excess fabric by cutting along the stitching that you just made. Again, be careful not to cut the stitches.

16. Turn your newly transformed shorts right side out!

Your skirt has completed its transformation into a pair of shorts!

Below are some other DIY fashion projects that may interest you:

Jeans with a DIY peace symbol knee patch
DIY Knee Patch
A white T-shirt with a DIY rhinestone design
Decorating with Rhinestones
Making a waist pouch from a pocket - upcycling DIY project
Making a Waist Pouch from a Pocket
Making Shorts Less Short
How to make a pair of Shorts less Short

Happy DIY!