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How to make kids shorts - tutorial

As we’re in the middle of the summer, the timing is perfect. Here’s a tutorial on how to sew kids / baby shorts from sweatshirt fabric in just a half an hour.

For this project I am using a piece of printed sweatshirt fabric for the bottom and a piece of plain sweatshirt fabric for the waist. Sweatshirt is stretchy enough to be used as a waist strap but a piece of ribbing could also be used.

The measurements depend on your child’s age but I find it handy to measure my kids’ clothing that they already wear and add 1 cm of the fabric on each of the sides for the seam. It must look weird but I sometimes measure baby or kids clothes in shops (always carry a tape measure with me). In terms of making bottoms I always make them at least one size larger than the kids are as we want the bottoms to be baggy. Smaller kids need room for the nappy, plus if I make them bigger they will last them for longer. Kids grow way to fast!

We’ll also need the obvious equipment: a sewing machine, a thread, some pins and scissors.

Cut out two pieces from the printed fabric for the front and back. Next, we’ll need a rectangular shaped piece for the waist. It should be at least 30% shorter than the width of the main body pieces when put altogether.


On the shorter side, I normally measure at least 12 cm so it’s long enough when folded

it in half.

Use pins to give the legs the shape as on the picture (fold the edge twice outwards).




Now if you’re lucky enough to have an overlocker then A: I envy you!!! and B: your seams will look very professional and neat. For the time being I use a regular sewing machine (which I hate by the way). Using the straight stitch is enough to use on the sweatshirt fabric as it doesn’t rip (seriously it doesn’t) but you can also zigzag the seams together along the stitching line for firmer result. Some sewing machines have an overlock stich which also comes in handy.


Put the right sides of the body part together and sew. Fold the waist piece in half along the shorter edge (right sides together) and sew.

Now we’re nearly there. After turning the bottom piece the right side out and folding the waist in half along the perimeter (so that the right sides are on outer sides) we now need to sew them two pieces together.


Use a few pins to keep them together but as the bottom piece of the shorts is wider than the waist strap we’ll need to keep the waist stretched all the time while sewing. I use the zigzag stitch for this part.


And voila! These look super cute and are sooo easy to make in just half an hour.


[Edit: since writing this post I have purchased and learned how to use an over-locker :)]

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