KID Shorts….with KNIT fabrics!

by Dana on August 20, 2014

Sometimes I can’t believe how old this girl is getting.
Didn’t I just cut her hair?…and talk about her turning 1 year old?

Of course then she picks up a blankie and paci, and she’s my baby all over again.
Old little Clara.  Stop growing up.
(But please start talking. That would be helpful)

But enough Clara shmara.  Let’s talk about shorts.

Many of you have emailed asking, can I sew the KID Shorts pattern with knit fabrics??
And the answer to that is Yes, Yes, of course Yes!
In fact, my approach to most sewing is—YES.  Go for it!  Don’t ask; just try.
Be adventurous and ask questions later!

Or in the words of Ferris:
A – You can never go too far
B – If I’m gonna get busted it’s not gonna be (because I didn’t try sewing shorts with knit fabric)

Basically, if you’ve never sewn with knits before, never be scared.
And read THIS detailed post about sewing with knit fabrics.

Okay.  We’re all on the same page.  Jump in your crib.

And if you’re ready to sew KID Shorts, let’s get started!

This post is one of many tutorials that accompany the KID Shorts PATTERN, which you can purchase HERE.

You do not need our pattern to sew these shorts but it’s recommended. If you’re using a different pattern, or if you’ve created your own pattern, follow along with the instructions and make shorts with us!
And check out all the variations we’ve made by clicking a button below:
Knit shorts are great for any occasion but I especially love them for lounging around the house and for PJs.  Pair them with a simple t-shirt and you have a very simple (and quick) pair of jammies for your kids.

Knit fabrics can be found in most fabric stores these days.  Manufacturers are catching on that we WANT to sew with knits!

Some are interlock knits; some are jersey.   And if you can’t find any at the store, you can always use an old T-shirt for fabric, or a jersey knit bed sheet.  Read my post for more details on types of knits and sources.

Most standard knits are 2-way stretch, which means they stretch in one direction, from side-to-side (yea, it would make more sense to call it one-way stretch but that’s how the lingo goes).  Some knits are 4-way stretch, meaning they stretch from side-to-side and vertically as well.  Most knits that have spandex added in will have 4-way stretch.

The interlock knit I’m using here is from Joann Fabrics and has 2-way stretch:

You want the fabric to stretch horizonally on the shorts; the same direction that the elastic and waistband will stretch. So just follow the grainline markings on the pattern pieces, line them up with the selvage edge of the fabric, and you’ll be fine.

Then use the Basic Shorts instructions for sewing and I’ll provide some tips.

You can use a serger to sew the entire shorts.  OR
You can use a zigzag stitch for the entire shorts. OR
Here’s what I often do…a mix of both stitches:

• Use a straight stitch for sewing most of the seams since those areas don’t really “stretch”.
• Use a zigzag stitch for sewing the waistband and for hemming the legs (although that one’s optional….the legs on these shorts are rather roomy so you don’t really need to use a zigzag stitch).  But the beauty of a zigzag stitch is that it’s able to stretch with the fabric, so it gives the shorts more ease when little legs are wiggling around in bed.

Continue following the instructions in the Basic Shorts Tutorial to string elastic through the waistband….and you’re done!

Now try them out and see how nap time goes….

And since they were so quick to sew, I made another pair with another knit fabric from Joann Fabrics.  I love the whole thing only cost me a few bucks.  Cheaper than any jammies I’ve bought at the store!

Here’s at peek inside. No serger needed, no fancy tricks.

….just a little bit of this to go on top.

Yep. It’s been one of those months, so I pulled out the Don’t Worry, Be Happy shirt again to save my sanity.  And I guess it makes me happy that her shirt and shorts are homemade and super comfy (and even more happy the darn thing still fits!)

Hope you’re turning your worries into happies too!

You can easily purchase the KID Shorts pattern using the ADD TO CART button below (read all the pattern details HERE.)
KID Shorts PDF Pattern – $8
Add to Cart


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Summers in Orange County, CA as a kid always meant a visit to the OC Fair.  The fair!….this magical playground of lights and food that rolled into town for a few weeks, then rolled off to another town to enchant new kids (and empty new wallets)

I always loved the fair, and the rides and overall atmosphere.
And from the moment we arrived my brain started cataloging the treats so I could find that perfect ice cream or funnel cake monstrosity to spend my money on.
I mean, the food. The food!
It’s overwhelming.

So on our month-long adventure this summer we joined our cousins on those same rickety old rides.  And they loved it!  Owen was nervous to try the rides but was easily swayed by peer pressure…and always exited the ride exclaiming, “Best. Ride. Ever!”

We all loved the Family Fun Circus where a dude did a headstand atop a stack of wobbly chairs.

Clara wanted to touch every single toy and rubber ducky in sight.  And she absolutely loved the animals. She’s an animal girl.  It’s in her heart.

Lucy loved everything about everything and enjoyed being the “older” kid with her cousin Ava, making sure all the kids were part of the fun.  She’s always been my peacemaker kid.

And for me?
Yep. I got a treat.  And it was bacon-dipped.
But the real highlight was glancing over to see a sight that looked all too familiar…..
Another family taking pictures for a blog post.
and um….wait, look at that cute gingham dress….and those girls….Is that Ruby?

It was!  What are the chances that I would run into Ruby Ellen of CAKIES and her 4 sweet girls? (more on Ruby and her book in this post here) She is just as charming and cute and adorable as you can imagine.  A virtual friendship come to life.  I love those moments!
And her girls were perfect models.
Mine was not.
Probably because I told her to stop touching the rubber duckies.

And that was an Orange County Fair adventure.
We topped off the experience with treats all around.
And the Frozen Banana dipped in dark chocolate and bacon did not disappoint.  The bacon was actually kind of subtle, adding the perfect amount of salt to the sweet.

Till next year!


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Hello friends! I’m alive!….and back from many travel adventures.   I can’t wait to share photos from our Norway/Sweden/Denmark trip!  What a gorgeous part of the world.

In the meantime…..I’m looking for input on my blog and the new sewing show—
MADE Everyday, with Dana.
You guys are always good with the feedback.

And it’s good to take inventory of the blog from time to time.  Because YOU are the reason I love blogging and making videos and sharing ideas!  So I’d love to know how I can make things better for you.

What do you think of the site?  How do you read and follow blogs?  What projects would you like to see in the future?

And most specifically….what type of videos would you like?

We’re getting ready to shoot Season 2 of MADE Everyday, with twice as many episodes as the first batch (there are still 2 more episodes to come in this season–hopefully one later this week)  So let me know what you hope to see.  It can be a MADE classic or something new!

To make the feedback easier, we’ve created a small survey below.
If you have a few minutes, we’d love your input!
Simply toggle through the questions below, or leave a comment in this post.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

And as always, thanks for tuning in!
You guys make this adventure a fun one.
(Project photos above: Baby Doll Basket PatternKID Shorts PatternDiaper Cover free pattern and tutorialBaby Tank free pattern and tutorial)


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Scalloped + Lined KID SHORTS

by Dana on July 29, 2014

What’s more fun than a pair of KID Shorts?

How about shorts with a dainty scalloped hem?
That are fully lined??

I’m so happy to finally get this project out of my head and down on paper!….or fabric…and to see it bounce around on Lucy.  They’re just so girly and sweet.

And today I’m sharing them as part of the Shorts on the Line Sewalong, hosted by imagine gnats, small + friendly, and Kollabora.  So let’s make shorts!

This post is one of many tutorials that accompany the KID Shorts Pattern, which you can purchase HERE.

You do not need our pattern to sew these shorts but it’s recommended.
If you’re using a different pattern, or if you’ve created your own pattern, follow along with the instructions and make shorts with us!

And check out all the variations we’ve made by clicking a button below:
Now before we get started, let me share this…

It took me four tries to get these just right.
I started out thinking, oh, easy! I’ll just add a lining, cut semi-circles on the bottom, voila.
And then I learned a few things along the way.
And was reminded once again that sewing doesn’t always work out as we intend, even when we’ve been sewing for years AND using our own pattern.  But the good news for you is that now I’ve worked out all the kinks!
And your scalloped shorts are going to be fantastic.

Sew a Basic pair, a Flat Front style, roll them up, wear them down.
It’s all up to you.
And the lining inside makes them look totally professional and awesome.  Your friends are going to know you have mad sewing skills.

Okay grab your pattern and let’s get started!

For these shorts we need an Outer layer of fabric and a Lining layer. 

Feel free to use whatever fabrics spark your interest.  But I find that when sewing with a lining, it’s best to consider the weight of the two fabrics and let them balance each other out.
For instance…
If my outer fabric is a bit heavier, I tend to use a lightweight fabric for the lining.
If the outer fabric is lightweight (like this mocha dotted swiss in the shorts above) I a heavier, medium weight fabric for the lining to give the shorts more structure.
And sometimes I use Outer and Lining fabrics that are the same weight (like the peach and gold broadcloth I’m using here).
It’s all a balancing act, and not an exact science.  So just have fun and learn along away.
Select your two fabrics  and remember to always pre-wash and dry before sewing.

Now let’s move to step one:

(refer to the photos above)
Please note, if you’ve never sewn shorts before, these instructions are based on the original Basic Shorts Tutorial. But I’ll walk through all of the steps here again.

To make the scallops on the hem flow best on these shorts we’re going to omit the side seams and instead, cut the Front and Back piece as one large piece.   So, take your two pattern pieces and overlap them 3/8 of an inch at the side seam and lightly tape them together.  Now you have one larger pattern piece, as shown above.

To cut your fabric pieces, fold your fabric in half (as we’ve done in other Shorts tutorials) and cut out two mirror image pieces from the Outer fabric (mirror image means they’re opposite of each other; reflecting each other).

Then lay your Outer pieces on the Lining fabric and cut two mirror images as well.  This ensures that you’ll get a very precise cut—so the Outer and Lining layers are the exact same size (and so there’s less room for any inconsistencies)

It’s important throughout this project (and any project that deals with a lining) to be very precise with your cutting and seam allowances.  This doesn’t mean you can’t make adjustments to the pattern….but you just need to work as accurately as you can so the Lining fits perfectly inside the of the Outer.

With your pattern pieces cut, we’re going to make a few trims:
• Cut 1 inch off from the bottom hem of the outer and lining layers (since we won’t be hemming them like we normally do this time around).
• Cut 2 inches off from the TOP hem of the lining layers only (since this layer will be tucked into the waistband of the outer layer)

• If you’re making a pair of Flat Front scalloped shorts, go ahead and cut your Front and Back pieces separately, then sew the side seam, presss flat, and move on to the next step with us…..

There are a few key points to good-looking scallops:
• Subtle is best.  You don’t need deep scallops or they will end up looking more like triangles. Short and wide scallops are best.
• It looks good when the scallops start and stop at the side and crotch (I’ll explain more below)
• Small seam allowances are best.  I like to use a 1/8 inch seam allowance on the scallops so they stay more true-to-shape that I’ve cut out.

Okay. Let’s draw your scallops.

Place each Lining piece over the Outer piece, with right sides of the fabric together.  If you’re sewing with solid-colored fabric, there’s not really a wrong or a right side.  But you’ll need to keep track of which side IS wrong/right.  So make a tiny mark at the edge of the fabric to help you remember.

(refer to the photos above)
• Draw a straight line (on the wrong side of the fabric) a 1/2 inch from the bottom edge of the fabric.
• Place a mark at the very middle of the line (fold the fabric in half to find this point).  This is the “side seam” of the shorts and where we will start drawing our scallops.
• Use a small bowl or cup to trace scallops around the bottom edge.  Use a cup that allows you to trace 2 or 3 scallops on the front of the shorts and 2 or 3 on the back.  It looks best to have the same amount of scallops on the front and back.
• Start tracing the scallops from the middle point and work out toward the crotch.  ONLY draw/trace between the half-inch line marking and the bottom of the fabric.  This will create subtle scallops.  If you want deeper scallops, draw your line at 3/4 of an inch or even an inch from the fabric edge. But after making 4 pairs of these shorts, I really like the 1/2 inch point best.
• If you get to the inseam side and there’s a bit of space left, don’t start another scallop.  Just leave the remaining line flat and cut it flat.  It will look nicer than having a remnant of a scallop pointing down into the crotch.
• When your scallops are drawn, carefully cut one set of the Lining/Outer fabrics at the same time.  It’s important to be precise with your cutting and make your curves look as rounded as you can.
• When you’re done, flip the whole thing over and lay it on the other set of Lining/Outer fabrics.  Trace and cut so each side is exactly the same.

And our prep work is done!
Now we can actually sew…..

(refer to the photos above)
• With right sides of the fabric together, fold each Outer piece in half and sew each leg together at the inseam, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.
• Press your seams open and then sew/press the Lining pieces the same way.

(refer to the photos above)
• Set the Lining aside and now we’re only going to sew the crotch seam of the Outer layer.
• With right sides together, place one leg inside of the other leg, line them up at the inseam, pin them together.
• Then sew all the way around with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.
• Press your seam open flat.
• Turn your shorts right-side out.

(refer to the photos above)
• Take one of the Lining pieces and with right sides together, pull it on over the Outer shorts.
• Line it up at the inseam and match the scalloped edges up so they fit together perfectly.
• Pin the two layers together around the scallops (pin liberally so nothing shifts when you sew).
• Then sew around the scalloped edge using a 1/8 inch seam allowance.
Such a small seam allowance means there’s less room for error. So work slowly, remove each pin as you go, and lift your presser foot periodically to allow your fabric to “bounce back” and pivot your fabric as needed.  The more precise you with this step, the better your scallops will look.  Just follow the curved edge of your fabric to make your scallops look as curved as possible.

• When you’re done sewing, carefully clip the seam where two scallops come together. I like the clip the fabric three times in these spots.  Do not cut into your seam!
• Turn the whole thing right-side out and push the Lining leg down inside the Outer leg.
• Then use your finger and a butter knife (or other object) to help push the scallops into place, so the curves look nice.
• Press each scallop flat.
• Then repeat all these steps with the other leg of the shorts!

They’re starting to look like shorts!
Let’s finish off the Lining layer inside.

(refer to the photos above)
• Turn your shorts INSIDE out (it’s important that they’re inside out at this point or your Lining will get stuck)
• Now pull the Lining legs out so they’re also inside-out looking (top left photo)
• Then match the crotch seams up, with right sides together and pin them together, all the way around the crotch.  This can feel awkward at first, but make sure you have the fabric right sides together!
• Sew down the entire crotch seam using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.  when you get to the bottom of one side, just pull the fabric out from under and continue sewing (bottom right photo.  This will make more sense as you’re sewing).

Now let’s finish off the waistband!
First use your hands to smooth both layers out and pin the two layers together so there are no “air pockets” or pleats between the two layers (similar to pinning layers of a quilt together before quilting over the top of the fabric):

(refer to the photos below)
• Then just as we’ve done in our other shorts tutorials, iron the edge of the waistband over 1/2 inch all the way around, then iron it over another 1 1/4 inches all the way around, so it encloses the raw edge of the Lining layer.
• Pin the waistband in place, marking a start and stop point about 2 inches wide at the back of the waistband for the elastic to come in and out.

Note: if you’re making Flat Front Shorts, follow the waistband directions in that tutorial.

• Start sewing at the start point and sew all the way around to the stop point, leaving an opening.  Sew about 1/8 inch from the folded fabric edge.

And here’s a tip for getting the waistband as flat as possible: 
Use your left hand to continually PULL the fabric up and to the left.  This will evenly distribute the fabric in the waistband.

Final step here!
• String your elastic through the waistband till it comes out the other side.
• Make sure the elastic is not twisted inside in the waistband
• Overlap the two ends of the elastic and sew them together a couple times with a zigzag stitch.
• Sew the opening closed.

And you’re done!

To add a faux tie to the front, grab some twill tape, cording, ribbon, fabric, whatever!….and tie a small bow.
Then sew hand sew it to the front layer of the waistband.

For added fun, you can expose the Lining of your shorts by rolling up the hem and ironing it in place.
To really keep it in place, tack the hem in a few places by hand-sewing the Lining to the other layers underneath.

Now let’s go bring back summer!….the summer of scallops.

For more Shorts ideas, check out all the Shorts on the Line posts that will be coming this week and next!

To purchase the KID Shorts pattern simply click the button below (you can read all the pattern details HERE.)

KID Shorts PDF Pattern – $8

Add to Cart

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