Sunday, May 15, 2011

KID Shorts for Grosgrain

Hello Grosgrain friends. It's Dana from MADE. And like many of you, I've been following Kathleen's lovely site for years. So I'm honored to be a guest here today!

For the past two months, I've shared a slew of KID pants that are super easy to make and super comfy to wear.
So it was inevitable for take the pattern and chop it off!
Now we have:
My little guy'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 the 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.
* 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, 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.
Thanks Kathleen for having me!
I look forward to another week of free patterns!
For more tutorials and patterns, please visit me over at MADE.

Monday, May 9, 2011


You've mastered the Basic Pant, adding a lining, and the flat front.
Let's add one more detail...Pockets!

Adding visible front pockets to pants are easy. Of course there are fancier ways to do it (such as enclosing the top of the pocket inside a separately sewn-on waistband). But you know I like to keep it simple. So that's what we're doing here.
Simple pockets for complex kids. Oh, why does he look 16 already? The teenage years are gonna kill me.
This post is actually an updated version of the original pocket tutorial, with improved photos and....a printable pattern piece! Yay!
The pattern has two pocket sizes...
Large, which hits just above the knee (as seen here):
And Small (seen here):
and here:
But any way you make them, they're perfect for picking up rocks and tucking them away.
Let's get started!

For this pair of pants, we'll pull from the previous Flat Front Pants tutorial. Pockets could also be sewn to the Basic Pant but they look so much nicer with a smooth flat front.

Print the Front POCKET pattern HERE.
* You'll automatically be prompted to open the 1-page pdf in Preview
* Save and/or print the doc to your home printer
* If you don't have a printer, place a piece of paper over your computer screen and trace!

The pattern looks like the photo below (but you'll want to follow the download info above, so you can print it to actual size).
LARGE size
- cut along the dark solid line
SMALL size
- cut along the dotted and solid lines
You need two layers for each pocket (the outer pocket fabric and a lining fabric). You can use the same fabric for both but I like to mix it up a bit just for fun.

And with the pants fabric, lining fabric, and pocket pattern, we're ready to go!
As outlined in the Flat Front Pants tutorial, lay out and cut your pants pieces.
Some of you have asked how I get both legs to match up perfectly at the crotch. It's all in the cutting! And it's not hard. Make sure--as you cut through a double-layer of fabric--that both fabric sides are lined up and match up. Look at the photo above and you can see the edge of the bottom layer of fabric peeking out. The stripes are matched perfectly to the top layer of fabric. When you cut and sew, you end up with this:
Kind of fun.

Okay, next cut out your pockets.
NOTE: I wanted the pockets to stand out and give contrast to the pants, so I turned the fabric sideways. Now the pockets have horizontal stripes, while the pants have vertical stripes.

Fold your fabric in half (so you end up with two opposite pockets) and cut two pocket pieces. Try to match up the stripes on both sides of the fabric so your fabric print will look similar on both pockets.
Cut out two lining pieces also.
You should have four pieces, like this:
With wrong sides of the fabric together, pin each pocket and lining piece together. We're going to sew these together and turn them right-side out to create a nice, finished, pocket edge. Note in the photo below that you do not want to sew the side of the pocket. Leave it open so you can turn it right-side out.
Sew from one side, around to the other, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Snip the fabric at the curved seam a few times. This will help it to lay flat.
Turn the pockets right-side out, pushing everything out at the corners and seams.
Press with an iron.
You should have two pockets like this (the underside fabric is brown):
Now we need to finish off the curve of the pocket with a top-stitch so that it will eventually match the rest of the pocket stitching.
Sew a top-stitch line about 1/8 inch from the edge of the curve. I prefer a contrasting thread color, so it pops and stands out.
If you prefer double-stitching (but you're too lazy like me to get out the double needle), move over another 1/8 inch and sew a second line, parallel to the first.
Your pockets are ready!
Let's sew them on.
Sew your pants up to the first step--sew the two front pieces together.
Lay the pockets on top and space them where you'd like. Remember that the top waistband will be folded down about 1 inch, so account for that in your spacing.
Pin both pockets in place and don't worry that they overhang the side seam. That's intentional, to allow you plenty of room for placement (the pocket will be sewn right into the pants seam and you can trim off the excess).
Sew the pockets to your pants, 1/8 inch over from the edge of the pocket. Sew all the way around and remember that you do not want to sew the curve of the pocket closed! Do a double stitch on everything and your pockets are in place.
Continue sewing your pants together, as outlined in the Flat Front Tutorial. I also decided to double top-stitch the front and back crotch seams so it would match the stitching of the pockets.
Make sure you press all your seams and you end up with this:
Flat Front Pants with Pockets!
That wasn't so bad, right?
Time to fill them with treasures....