TUTORIAL: KID Shorts

by Dana on May 16, 2011

We’ve been talking a lot about KID Pants lately.
So let’s chop them off and get ready for summer!
bye-bye to this:
Hello to this:
I’m sharing these as part of Free Pattern Month at Grosgrain. Have you been following her series? I love popping in each day for a surprise pattern by Guest Bloggers.

* Knot Shorts by Elsie Marley * A-Frame Tent by Cakies *
* Bali Bliss Cami by Sewing in No Man’s Land * Sunny Resort Blouse by The Sew Convert *

And now we’ve got simple Kid Shorts.
Owen’s gonna wear a lot of these come June, July, August (September, October, and November? You know what it’s like living in Texas….) And they’re gonna save on our clothing budget as well, since you only need about 1/2 yard of fabric!
Adjusting the pattern from pants to shorts is easy to do.

First print off the Basic Pants pattern found HERE (appx size 2-3T)
* You’ll automatically be prompted to open the 6-page pdf in Preview
* Save and/or print the doc to your home printer
* Make sure you print in LANDSCAPE!

We’ll be using the “flat front” portion of the pattern and using the Flat Front Pants tutorial to sew the shorts.

You’ll need about 1/2 yard of fabric (gingham fabric is from Joanns), 1-inch wide elastic, and your updated shorts pattern–which we’re going to make below!
To shorten the Pants Pattern you have options:
I like a Bermuda shorts length–as pictured above on my son–so I used the bottom of page 2 as the cut-off length. Then I traced the top of the old pattern onto new paper (tape a few pieces of white paper together) and drew the sides of the legs about 1/2 inch wider on each side. This keeps the shorts from tapering at the knee.
And you’re got the front of your pattern piece done!

Do the same for the back pattern piece. Use the pants pattern to trace the top of the pattern piece,
Then lay the new shorts front piece on top of that to trace the wider legs (so the front and back have matching leg widths).
Lay both pattern pieces on your folded fabric and cut two of each.
Then follow the Flat Front Pants tutorial to sew them up.
The only tricky thing with making shorts is that when ironing and turning things right-side out, it’s easy to confuse the top of the shorts with the bottom of the shorts. I know that sounds dumb. But trust me, I’ve done it a dozen times…twisting and turning, trying to remember which side is the top. But with the flat front pattern, you’ll always find the top of the shorts because one part is wider than the other (while the legs are the same width). This is how the top of the shorts should look:
When you’re done sewing, you’ve got a cool, fresh pair of shorts. Perfect for hanging out all summer.
And for a Saturday stop at the donut shop.
“Richard, do I have something on my face?”
“Right here. Not here or here so much. Right here.”
Nope. Nothing.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marie johnson January 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm

boy clothes pattern

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2 marie johnson January 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm

sorry thought i was e-mailing this ! this is awesome ! nice to have a cool pattern for boys clothes! They are far and few between

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3 Kristine Rickard February 19, 2012 at 4:51 am

Thank you for sharing this pattern! I’ve been making shorts for my son but my daughter has decided they all belong to her now. Can’t wait til winter over here so I can make them pants as well!

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4 Michelle March 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm

I LOOOOOVE your site and all your amazing patterns and tutorials and pictures and AWESOME ideas! Thankyou so much. I saw some boy shorts yesterday on another blog but w/no pattern and so I was so happy to find your pattern and tutorial! I will be sewing up a bunch for my little guy with much appreciation! :)

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5 Debbie March 19, 2012 at 11:19 am

Does your pattern leave extra room needed for a toddler still in diapers?

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6 Dana March 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

It’s mostly for a 3 year old in undies. But you could extend the bum area a bit to accommodate for a diaper.

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7 Liesel April 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Dana, I have 3 boys and so appreciate your site that doesn’t just have things for girls. Thankyou for putting up free patterns. I love making my boys funky and different pants. so cool have make them something that no-one has. love love love the photos.

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8 Latisha Farley April 19, 2012 at 9:30 am

I really admire your fabric choices. If I could find that blue striped fabric you got from Hobby Lobby, and the brown plaid, I would make those exact pants.

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9 Candice Forte May 20, 2012 at 12:33 am

I made these last year and they were awesome! I added some pockets to the sides, too, for cute cargo pockets. I was just wondering how much you extend a pattern to make a size bigger (my son is a 4)? I would love to make more of these, but I am woefully clueless with patterns.

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10 Dana May 20, 2012 at 12:50 am

I would use a pair of your son’s existing pants in a size 4 to gauge where you need to extend the pattern or widen it. That’s how I do it with my kids :)

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11 shanice May 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm

nice

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12 jessica June 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm

fabulous!! thank you so much!

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13 christy June 12, 2012 at 8:30 pm

i cannot wait to try this pattern for my little guy! …and btw, i LOVE the tommy boy reference :)

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14 Renae November 21, 2012 at 3:46 am

Nice shorts but I found the sizing way out – a better fit on my 1yo daughter as pants.
Thanks

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15 Marie April 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Hi, Thank you so much for the beautiful fabric ideas and boy’s patterns and tutorials. I love these shorts and wonder if you have made these with pockets. My 3 year old loves pockets and I wanted to add them to the shorts. I am pretty new to sewing so I just wanted to make sure that this would work out before I got started. Thanks!

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16 Heart&SweetMom April 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I enjoy reading your posts! Thank you very much for the detailed tutorials! Very easy to follow for beginners like me!

I made a pair of shorts for my six year old and it was a great success! http://heartandsweetmom.blogspot.com/2013/04/easy-boys-summer-shorts-with-pattern.html

Thanks again!

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17 niza May 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Hi Dana,thank u so much for this pattern, u are very kind & generous, I just download it, will try to make for my 2 yo boy

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18 naseem May 18, 2013 at 2:23 am

Thanks dear its good work…………………..

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19 Ramya February 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Hi Dana,

I made a few more last year with the knowledge gained from your post.

Here is the link,
http://heartyhydrangeas.blogspot.com/2014/02/celebrating-my-boy.html

Thanks!

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