Hello! And welcome to day one of the Parkside Shorts and Skirt Sew-A-Long! I have never done a sew-a-long here at Sew Caroline, so bare with me if everything doesn’t go super smoothly, k?
Today, we aren’t going to start sewing quite yet. Before you begin the Parkside Shorts + Skirt, there are a few things you’ll need to do.
After you’ve purchased your copy of the Parkside Shorts + Skirt, refer to this page for more information on how to download it to your computer.After you’ve downloaded and are ready to go, refer to page 4 for instructions on printing and taping your pattern piece. There is a layout guide to help you see how the “final pattern” will look once taped together.
When everything is taped and ready to go, decide which size to sew based on your hip measurements. To take your hip measurement, measure around the widest part of your bottom. the tape measure should fit snugly, but not be too tight. If you’re in between sizes, I would size up.
When you’ve decided on a size, cut your size by following the designated dashed lines marked on the pattern pieces.
The inseam of the shorts is 3.5″ and page 3 of the instructions also lists a finished length of the skirt. Determine if these lengths will be adequate for you and adjust your pattern pieces accordingly if necessary (further instruction on page 5).
Once your pattern pieces are all cut out, it’s time to decide on fabric.
For the SHORTS: fabrics such as twill, canvas, the new AGF denims, or quilting cotton can be used. Other options that I have not tried for the shorts would be a jersey knit (nothing too light weight, though), rayon, other “slinky” fabrics. I think these options could work for this pattern, but I would make a muslin first. If you use knit, you may want to size down, if you use a rayon or other “slinky” fabric, you will want to shorten your stitch length to make sure the stitching stays in place with normal wear, especially at the crotch area.
For the SKIRT: really anything goes. Voile, rayon, quilting cotton, chambray, knit, etc. This is one of those patterns that can be sewn with basically any wearable fabric and although your results may vary, the skirt will still look great. Play around with your fabric choices and be creative about what you decide to sew the skirt in.
At the bottom of page 5 in your pattern instructions there are a few charts to show you the cutting layout of your pattern. The cutting layout is assuming you are using a directional fabric. If you’re using an all-over print or solid, you have a lot more flexibility with your cutting layout. I suggest you lay your fabric out and place the pattern pieces on top of it to find the optimal cutting position. DON’T FORGET the shorts front, shorts back and skirt back pattern pieces all need to be cut mirroring one another. To do this, you can either fold your fabric on top of itself and place the pattern piece on top of the folded fabric and cut two at once. OR you can place your pattern piece on top of one layer of fabric, cut it out and then FLIP your pattern piece upside down (so the pattern markings and writing are not showing) and cut the second piece. The skirt front is cut on the fold.
After you’ve cut everything out, read through the instructions once to get the general idea of how the pattern is written. I find that it’s easiest to complete a pattern if I’ve already skimmed through it so I kind of know how things are going to be put together.