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.