Sewing for kids: cuffed shorts tutorial

cuffed shorts tutorial

Lightweight and perfect for summertime, these shorts are a cinch to make and cute to boot. I used the same pattern for Sadie's PJ shorts, so they're versatile as well. score!

Sewing patterns

You'll need:
fabric (the amount depends on your child's size) about 1/2 yard worked for these
elastic ( I used 3/4 inch no-roll elastic)
thread, sewing stuff
pair of shorts that fit your child well (loose fitting are better for the PJ's, more comfy!)

First, lay out your shorts like so and make your pattern, I left a little room around the edge for seam allowance (1/4 inch to 1/2 inch works). On the waistband area, make sure to cut your pattern a little wider on the top than the shorts are, so the elastic has something to keep up.

Cut out two pieces of the short pattern, on the fold. If you want to make cuffs, cut two pieces of fabric on the fold, as wide as the leg opening (doubled, because it will be folded) and as wide as you'd like the cuffs to be, plus about 1/4 for seam allowance. Mine were 3 inches, 1 1/2 inches folded.

If you don't want cuffs, aka PJ or normal shorts, skip the next part! Hem the bottoms normally.

Here are your two cuff pieces...make sure to straighten them out with your rotary cutter or as best you can with scissors. I did, but after I took this picture. ;)

Iron them out flat...

...and then in half lengthwise.

Now, pin your cuff pieces, raw edges down, to the wrong side of your short pieces, like so.

Sew together along the bottom with 1/4 inch seam. Finish your edges with a zig zag or serger. Don't forget like I did! oh well.

Here is the raw edge between your short piece and cuff..

fold it up like so and press with your iron. (stubby finger alert!)

Now, you can either tack down the cuff (in the middle of your short piece) with your machine, or by hand so it's invisible. I was going to put a button there later but didn't like what I had so didn't end up doing that. Either way, you'll want to attach the cuffs to the sides of your shorts so they don't come un-cuffed while being worn!

So, now put your two short pieces, right sides together, pin along the curved edges, and sew with 1/4 inch seam or so. Finish your edges with zig zag or serger.

Now pin your er..crotch pieces right sides together, like so, and sew and finish that seam too, back stitching at start and finish. I like to back stitch over the er...crotch area, for extra strength.

turn right side out and ooh and ahhh!

Now, finish up the waistband by folding the top over 1/4 inch and then another inch, leaving enough space for the width of your elastic. Stick in a little piece of ribbon for a "tag" if you like...not really necessary since there's no front or back to these shorts, but it helps Daddy dress Sadie. ;)

Sew along the bottom of your folded over portion, leaving about 1 1/2 inch space for threading your elastic through. Then cut your elastic (hold it up to your child for the best measurement), thread it through with a safety pin, sew those ends together with a zig zag stitch, and sew your gap closed!



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