DIY Boys Shorts

Ok, so summer is approaching (we hope), and a quick look through my little man’s drawers tells me that he hasn’t got an awful lot to wear for the warmer weather.

So I’ve decided to make him a few bits and pieces, starting with a pair of shorts, and I thought I’d share the tutorial with you all.

You will need:

  • A pair of shorts that already fit, (I didn’t have a pair of shorts so I just used some jeans turned up to the length I wanted)
  • About a half metre of fabric depending on size. I used this lovely print from Rooftop Fabrics
  • Elastic – cut to the length of your child’s waist and about a 2cm overlap
  • Paper to draw your pattern on. (It doesn’t have to be fancy pattern paper, I just used an old newspaper)

So first thing you will need to do is to take the shorts or in my case trousers, that already fit your child. Fold the shorts in half, stretch the waistband, and trace around the shorts onto your paper. I added about 1.5 cm to the side seams for my seam allowance as that tends to be how I naturally sew, but you can add more or less whatever you are comfortable with. Also you will want to allow room for hems and the waistband. I used a 5cm allowance for my waistband and for my hems, a 2.5cm double folded hem seemed about right for me, bear in mind the waistband may differ for you depending on how thick the elastic is that you are using.

Now I typically got carried away with the sewing and forgot to take pictures, so hopefully the written instructions should be enough, if not let me know where you are getting stuck and I will do my very best to help you.

Here is my pattern piece, straight from the property times section of my local paper:

Pattern Piece

Next, pin your pattern piece onto the fabric on the fold and cut 2 pieces. Pinning on the fold will save cutting 4 pieces and sewing extra seams. I’m all about making things easy for myself.

Now you can begin to sew. Start with the centre seams right sides facing together and stitch up through the middle (this is the ‘J’ part of the shorts), you can then zigzag stitch the raw edges to make sure they don’t fray, or if you are lucky enough to own an overlocker/serger (I’m not) complete your seams in this way.

Now to work those inside seams, if you start from the bottom and work your way into the crotch you will find this easier. Now we have something that is starting to resemble a pair of shorts.

For the waist band, finish your edges with a zigzag stitch again, to keep the fraying at bay, fold over your allowance and make a small tuck under to keep the seams neat (also I find they are less irritating this way) and sew round leaving a 4-5cm gap to thread your elastic through (remember to adjust according to your elastic size). I find the safety pin method the best one for me, but you will probably all have your own ways. Overlap your elastic, and sew together with a zigzag stitch.

Sew closed your opening adding a label if you so wish at this point. then stitch around the top of your waist band to keep your elastic in place and to stop it from twisting. Almost done, just the bottom hems left. I left these till last as I could get a better idea of the length I wanted, as well as making sure that each leg was the same length. So again finish your edges, fold, iron and stitch. Et Voila a funky pair of shorts:

Shorts

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Rockets and Spaceships

Recently my little boy has become obsessed with spaceships, we were walking past a building site one day when he spotted a silo and proceeded to shout spaceship at me until I worked out what he was pointing at. Also we parked in a multi-storey car park, which was… yep you guessed it another spaceship, you gotta love the imagination of kids!

After looking for a book suitable for toddlers all about rockets and space in Waterstones we found nothing so looked on Amazon, again nothing. I decided that I would not write a book as I’m not great at writing, but make him his very own spaceship soft toy. He loves it and spends quite a bit of time playing ‘Blast Off!’ 🙂

Anyway it wasn’t hard to do, and I quickly found a pattern which saved me creating one from scratch. I followed this tutorial complete with downloadable pattern omitting the pouch for the astronaut, and just used some scraps of material that I happened to have lying around. All in all it probably only took about a half hour, which was handy as it interrupted the shorts I am in the middle of making (tutorial to follow).

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I’m pretty pleased with the results, however if I had to do it again I would probably have switched the cardboard inserts in the wings for maybe some heavy duty interfacing or perhaps some plastic canvas as then it could be put through the washing machine.

Been busy

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Well after starting a blog and vowing to blog on a regular basis it hasn’t really gone to plan. I’ve been busy checking out some other lovely blogs though and making things from the tutorials posted.

It’s been about a month since I last posted anything and I have made circle skirts, and ruched bodysuits for baby (due in May), storage solutions for my fabric scraps, a Peppa pig birthday cake for my 5 year old niece, and a Thomas the Tank Engine birthday cake for my gorgeous little boy who turned 2.

I have also developed what must be an unhealthy obsession for anything Boden and have been utilising Ebay to find lots of bargains, resulting in baby having a more extensive wardrobe than my own. However much of a bargain though this is not good for the bank balance, and I need to get back into making things, so I have decided that I will try and make some cute things to get me back on track. I have a ton of fabric scraps so may just start with something simple like embellishments for bodysuits or maybe a cute pair of baby shoes. And hopefully I will remember to take some pics whilst doing so, so I can share the ins and outs of the how to with my lovely followers! 🙂

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Car Journeys

Anyone with children will know that they do not always take well to car journeys, they all have their thresholds as to how long they can stick being sat in the same position with not an awful lot to do. My little boy’s personal threshold is about 20-30mins; which is fine when we’re just driving locally, but when we wanted to go and see a friend in Bristol (about 1hr15mins) this weekend I knew we might encounter some problems. So turning to Pinterest for a little inspiration I came across a ‘car caddy’. It looked like it might be the solution and not all that difficult to make so I set about making one. I didn’t need a tutorial for this as I had my vision based on the different types I had seen on Pinterest.

I will share with you how I decide to make my version of the ‘car caddy’.

I started with a piece of fabric, folded over and ironed in some interfacing as I wanted the end product to have some stiffness to it, without this I didn’t feel he would be able to play with it as it would just fall through his lap when any pressure was applied with his toy cars.

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I also sewed this in for extra support.

Next I wanted to add the pockets or ‘garages’ for the cars, so took a piece of fabric and sewed this to the bottom of my existing piece, then it was a case of figuring out how many pockets I could fit across the length without making them too big or small 5 worked out lovely in this case.

Then of course we needed a road, so I found out an old pair of black jeans that I knew would have a purpose someday. Cutting the leg in half and trimming to size this could now also be sewn in place.

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Now to add some finishing touches and neaten the edges. I used some selvedge for my white lines, and put bias binding round the edges to stop the fabric from catching and snagging.

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The results are not too bad and Ethan loved it, kept him quiet/amused the whole journey.

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Carrier bag holder

So I’m new to this blogging malarkey, but here’s a bit about me to get started.

I’m a mum to a beautiful boy, and a little girl on the way as well as partner to a 35-year-old manchild. I have a reawakened passion for sewing, knitting, crochet and in fact most things crafty.

I have decided to start this blog to share my passion with others, and if you take something from this then great, if not it is at least an outlet for my crazy babble whilst I type out the projects I have been creating.

Firstly (that’s by no means to say it’s my first ever sewing attempt) I’d like to share with you a little problem I had. You may have had the same problem too. It involves carrier bags, we all get them from the supermarket, and we’re all told to re-use them. Great, but where on earth do you store them in between shopping trips. I’ve tried in a drawer, under the sink, in fact they lived on top of the cupboard for a while, which was not great as being pregnant made them difficult to access. so we have gone from this:

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to this:
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Using just a scrap of fabric, a little elastic, and a small piece of bias binding I have created a solution, which will have saved my sanity just a small amount.
I can’t take full credit for this one as I did use this tutorial with a minor change. The change being that I used a different size of fabric. I didn’t feel that I needed a full Fat Quarter and I had an 18″x15″ scrap of fabric handy so it just seemed right.

Any questions please feel free, and I will do my best to answer what I can.

Until next time…..