Sunday, August 15, 2010

B3832 - Child's Skort

Ahhh, yes, the Skort.  Half skirt, half shorts, all girl.  I've been working on my daughter's back-to-school wardrobe, and one of the patterns I selected was Butterick 3832, which features three skort variations.  All of them have a front overlay panel over shorts, with an elastic waist and tie end closure. 

Pattern Description: Children's/Girls' Top, Skort and Shorts. I made the Skort.

Pattern Sizing: Multi-size pattern in Child/Girls' sizes 2-5 (available up to Girls' size 8). I started with the Child size 2 for my daughter, who measures 22-19.5-22 (chest-waist-hip) and is 43.5 inches tall, knowing that I would need to lengthen it to a size 5.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, although I'm still not sure if there was an error in the instructions for attaching the tie end (the instructions show it being basted wrong side up, which might show when the tie ends were knotted). I attached mine with the right side facing out.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I don't like my very active daughter wearing skirts without something underneath, but sewing matching bloomers is kind of a hassle. This skort is a great compromise - sporty and modest, as well as comfortable and feminine (OK, girly).

Fabric Used: Stretch cotton sateen (the stretch is nice, but totally not required for this design).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: If you've read any of my previous reviews about sewing for my daughter, you will know that she is of average height for her age (5), but very slim. She generally wears a size 5 these days in RTW, but ends up swimming in her clothes. This makes it very difficult for me to buy clothes for her - if I am lucky enough to find something that isn't huge, chances are she will outgrow it, height-wise, in very short order.

Since most of the Big 4 kids' patterns have huge amounts of ease, I decided to start with a size 2 through the crotch but lengthen it to a size 5 at the hem. For my first attempt, I used a pink and green poly/rayon plaid. The only thing I did differently from the instructions was to cut the Tie End (#10) on the bias, so it would match the orientation of the tie end on the Front Overlay (#11). If you were sewing this in a solid color or small print, though, I don't think it would make much difference which way you orient the tie end on your fabric.

The skort turned out quite nicely - from the front. In the back, however, I could see that the crotch hung down really low. It was wearable, but not particularly attractive. I turned them inside out and measured, and found that the crotch length (front and back) for the Child size 2 was over 20''. (Heck, *I* could almost fit that crotch length in a pair of low rise jeans!). At first, I thought I had neglected to take the diaper allowance into consideration. But then I realized I was using a Child's size pattern, and there *isn't* any diaper allowance included.

So, on my second attempt, I shortened the front, back and front overlay by 1 1/2'' (folded out 3/4'') above the crotch. I then lengthened the front, back and front overlay at the hem by the same 1 1/2''. This time the fit was MUCH improved.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes, but with a warning to check the crotch measurement of the pattern against a pair of pants or shorts that fit well first.

Conclusion: A great basic back-to-school wardrobe piece. I have already cut another version in white twill (this one will have a button closure instead of the ties on the front overlay), and will probably do another (with back pockets) in a lightweight denim. 

Read all my pattern reviews here on

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