Today I’m so pleased to be posting a project with Birds and the Bees fabric by Tamara Kate. It is her latest collection for Michael Miller and it’s just gorgeous! The multiple colours made great Fat Quarter Skirts for my girls – lots of pretty colour to match their summer t-shirts!

Birds & The Bees - Tamara Kate for Michael Miller Fabrics

I had already seen (and loved) this collection while I was following Quilt Market on Instagram, so I was happy to agree to use it when I got an email from Tamara not too long ago! When I had to decide which fabrics to use for my project, though, I had a really hard time – SO many colours and patterns!

My absolute favorite is the Love Bug print – the little hearts are “interrupted” by ladybugs every so often – and there are multiple colourways. I’d love to use the uni-directional “All the Wee Beasts” or “Honey, Honey” for a super-cute quilt back too. You will be seeing these skirts a lot on Instagram this summer! (Get the tutorial below.)

You can see lots more Birds and the Bees projects on the Tamara Kate website and Tamara’s blog.

This project was inspired by my Simple Fat Quarter Skirt tutorial, and the desire to use as many different prints from Birds and The Bees as possible. I had such a hard time picking my favorites! Since the tutorial uses 2 fat quarters per skirt, I was able to use 8 different prints. When they arrived it was so fun to mix and match them into these easy skirts my girls love to wear all summer.

The Fat Quarter Skirt PDF Pattern is Now Available!

Purchasing this fully tested skirt pattern gives you access to 5 sizes, child’s 2-6, to create a skirt that is 9-11 1/2″ (23-30cm) long. Expect lots of tips and tricks throughout, a glossary of terms, recommended best practices and instructions geared towards an absolute beginner. This pattern is truly a quick sew – allow yourself just 1-3 hours to finish, including your fabric cutting time. It’s also a great stash-buster, requiring only 2 fat quarters and a length of elastic… things you probably already have in your stash! To find out more about the pattern, click here.

Purchase the Fat Quarter Skirt PDF Pattern – $8.50 CDN

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I always regretted not adding shorts to last year’s batch of skirts, so this was the perfect opportunity to make some more. (A bit longer this time, since the girls are growing!) I am grateful that Lauren from Baste + Gather made a multi-sized free pattern for Summer Shorties. This free bike shorts pattern (sizes 12m-8) works perfectly as an add-in to the original skirt tutorial I wrote last year.

This project was extra fun because my mom helped me sew the skirts! Since my parents live quite far away, it is rare that we get to sew together. She finished the outside of each skirt and I worked on inserting the shorts – teamwork at it’s best!

How to Add Shorts to the Fat Quarter Skirt

Step 1: Follow the directions to make a Fat Quarter Skirt up to Step 4b. Also make a pair of Summer Shorties up to step 3. (It is recommended that you read through each tutorial so you are familiar with all the steps before beginning.)

Step 2: Use pins to mark the top edge of the Shorties and the bottom edge of the skirt casing in quarters. 

Step 3: Turn the skirt and the shorties inside out. Place the shorties inside the skirt, matching the backs and fronts. The wrong side of the shorties will be facing the right side of the skirt.

Step 4: Pin the top of the shorties to the bottom edge of the skirt casing at each quarter mark.

Step 5: Match and pin the top edge of the shorties, stretching to match the width of the skirt casing. Working in quarters, I used 2 or 3 pins per quarter marking.

Step 6: Serge or stitch the pinned edge with a 3/8″ seam allowance. You do not need to use a stretch stitch. Finish the edge with a zig-zag stitch if you have not used a serger.

Step 7: Turn everything right side out and fold the casing down into the skirt.

Step 8: Pin the casing to the skirt four times – again at each quarter mark – this will be the front/back shortie seam and the side skirt seams. Pin on the outside of the skirt to make sewing simpler. Pin carefully to make sure the casing will lay flat once it is sewn.

Step 9: Stretch the top of the shorties to match the width of the skirt. Pin around the bottom edge of the casing, 2 or 3 pins per quarter.

Step 10: Stitch around the skirt to make the casing, leaving a 2″ opening for the elastic. The seam allowance will be about 1 1/2″. Stretch each pinned section as you sew. Sew from the right side of the skirt. This will catch the bottom edge of the casing and possibly the top of the shorties, depending on how large and accurate your seam allowances were throughout.

Step 11: Finish the skirt top by inserting the elastic and closing the opening – Fat Quarter Skirt Steps 5 & 6. Hem the bottom of the shorties – Summer Shorties Step 5 (omit instructions for the elastic). Attach a piece of ribbon or a tag at the back, so your little one will know how to wear it.

Hooray, You’re finished! Enjoy – Go ahead and hit the playground in style.

Thread Riding Hood - Add Shorts Tutorial Final