#Tutorial# Transforming the Chataigne shorts into a skirt

Written by Eléonore

After the release of the Chataigne shorts, many of you asked me if it was possible to simply transform them into a skirt.

Today, I’m very happy to share Estelle’s tutorial, which will guide you step by step in this transformation. We translated it into English, but the tutorial is also available in French as a downloadable pdf on Estelle’s blog.

Version 1: skirt with regular waist


You will need to modify 3 pieces of the original pattern:

  • piece #1 “Front”
  • piece #4 “Back”
  • piece #13 “Back waistband”

Trace these pieces and then make the modifications explained below before you cut your fabric.

Modifying piece #1 “Front”


2 lines are very important for this transformation: the vertical arrow representing the grainline and the “lengthen/shorten here” horizontal line.

For the shorts, you need to cut 2 front pieces, one for the right leg and one for the left. Here, we’re going to only need one piece for the front.

To do this, remove  the 5/8” (1,5cm) of seam allowance included for the centre seam from the top right.

Starting from this mark, trace a vertical line parallel to the grainline. Go a little further than the bottom, because you will need to lengthen your pattern piece.
The part on the right of this line will be eliminated.


Add about 3 ¼” (8 cm) (measuring from the red horizontal line). The two red marks on the illustrations represent square angles.

This way, you will obtain a skirt 15” (38,5 cm) long (with a ¾” hem allowance included) for a size 38. You can add or subtract more length according to your preferences.

On the left side, trace a line with a slight curve starting from the round mark (zipper mark on the pattern), going to the bottom.

Voilà, you modified the first piece!

Remember that this pattern piece now needs to be cut on the fold of the fabric and on grain.

Modifying piece #4 “Back”


The principle is the same as for the front: remove 5/8” (1,5 cm) of seam allowance from the top left.

Then, starting from this mark,  trace a line parallel to the grainline, making it longer than the bottom because you will need to add length.
What’s on the left of this line will be eliminated.

To avoid a point on the top of the centre back, we need to slightly modify the waistline, as indicated in the illustration.

We also need to add the 3 ¼” (8 cm) at the bottom (or the same amount that you added to the front piece).
The two red marks on the illustrations represent square angles.

step4There’s one more optional modification: Estelle didn’t make it on the first version of this skirt, but it kept forming a horizontal line under the waistband.

So, on the second version, she added darts for a better fit. She recommends this modification if you’re curvy or have a sway back. 

To help you with this step, you can use a pattern for a skirt with waistband and copy the dart placement.

Here her dart is 4” (10 cm) long and 1” (2,5 cm) wide. As you’re removing width from the top of the skirt, you absolutely need to compensate this on the side seam. Starting from the new width, retrace the hip curve.

As for the front piece, you will now need to cut this pattern piece on the fold of the fabric and on grain.

Estelle didn’t add the pocket flaps on her version, but you can sew them in their original position, of course.

Modifying piece #13 “Back waistband”


The back waistband can be cut in one piece as well. To do this, simply remove the 5/8” (1,5 cm) seam allowance from the centre side of the waistband.

Now you will need to cut this piece on the fold of the fabric and on grain.

All the other pieces remain the same, and you can follow the instructions (just skip the step “Assembling the legs”) to construct your cute little skirt!

Version 2: zippered skirt


The modifications are the same as for the previous skirt, except for the front piece.


Contrarily to the previous version, we don’t need to remove the seam allowance.

Starting from the corner on the top right, trace a line parallel to the grainline, making it longer than the original hem, because we will need to add length.
What’s on the right of this line will be eliminated.

This piece will be cut twice and it includes a 5/8” (1,5cm) seam allowance for a zipper.

The advantage of this version: no invisible zipper in the side seam! Although, an exposed zipper is very visible, so you will need to install it perfectly

Version 3: high waisted skirt


I haven’t tested it yet, but I’d love to! Definitely my next version…

I would recommend to modify the front and back as explained for version 1, but not to modify the waistband.

Which version is your favourite?


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