Monday, July 1, 2013

sewing KID Shorts: Racer Shorts

Welcome to the next version of KID Shorts....Racer Shorts.
This post is one of many tutorials that accompany the KID Shorts PATTERN, which you can purchase HERE.
Of course you don't 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!

So far we've tried:
Basic Shorts
Flat Front Shorts

Now it's time to get a little retro.
I love these funny shorts with a racer stripe down the side because they add the perfect pop of color and contrast.  And it's just one more excuse to use.....yep! Bias Tape.  We're gonna bind all the edges with it.  And my love affair with 1/2 inch wide continues.    
Racer shorts are great for girls, boys, babies.
 It's fun for everyone!
So let's get started.

You'll notice on the pattern the curved lined marked "Racer shorts".
• Cut your pattern along the appropriate size, along the curved racer lines.
• You'll notice that the pattern hemline for Racer shorts is about 1 1/2 inches shorter than the standard hemline for each size.  This is because we will not hem the racer shorts, rather they will be bound with bias tape (which we'll talk about more in a moment).
Following the same instructions for cutting your pattern pieces as we used for Basic Shorts and Flat Front Shorts:
• Fold the fabric in half (TIP: fold it with Right sides of the fabric together so your pieces are ready to sew!)
• Lay your pattern pieces on the fabric with the grainline parallel to the selvage.
• Cut. You should end up with 2 mirror images of the Front and Back 
And now let's talk bias tape.
It's all that cute colorful stuff down there.....
If you've never used Bias Tape, read all about it here.
If you'd like to make your own Bias tape, read all about that here as well.
Bias tape is my favorite sewing trim/do-dad/embellishment/binding/whatever you want to call it.  You can easily make your own or you can buy cute solid colors at most fabric stores. 

One package (3 yards) or less of bias tape will trim out any pair of Racer shorts (see the pattern for exact bias tape amounts) 
Start by sewing your shorts as we did in the Basic and Flat Front tutorials:
• With right sides together, sew the Front crotch seam, then sew the Back crotch seams.
• Iron out your seams
• With right sides together, sew the Front and Back together at the inseams.
Your shorts should look like this:
Now it's time for the 1/2 inch wide double-fold bias tape.  "Double-fold" means it's folded in half, so we can easily sandwich the tape around the raw edges of the shorts and have a polished, fun, cool look.
The photo below shows one shorts leg, laid open flat.  We're going to bind the bias tape all the way down the Front sideseam, around the bottom hemline of the shorts, and up the Back sideseam, for just a few inches. Let me show you in more detail....
First, it's important to note that the top side of the bias tape is slightly more narrow than the back side.  So when you sew this top/narrow side to the top of your fabric, it ensures that the thread will sew all the way to the back side without any gaps.  So....
Start binding your bias tape around the Front Side seam of the shorts, with the more narrow side facing up.
When you get to the racer curve, do your best to curve the bias tape and pin it in place so it lays as flat as possible.  Be liberal with your pinning.
Continue pinning all the way along the bottom hemline and then up the Back sideseam about an inch or so past the curved corner.   The Front sideseam will eventually cover the Back sideseam, so it's not necessary to bind the entire back seam (see photo below).

Now, sew the bias tape in place.  Sew about 1/8 inch from the bias tape edge and remove each pin as you sew.  This helps from getting unwanted tucks in the bias tape. 
Now pin and sew the other side seam.  This time you'll start at the Back of the shorts (you only need to start about 2-3 inches above the curved corner) and then continue around the bottom and up the entire Front sideseam to the top of the waistband.
Sew that bias tape in place.

And your shorts should look like this:
Now we're going to pull the Front sideseam over the Back sideseam.  We're NOT sewing them together as we did with Basic Shorts (with right sides of the fabric together), we're simply going to overlay one seam on the other, about a 1/2 inch and pin them together.
Start pinning at the bottom where the curves come together.  This can feel awkward, so keep your hand inside the shorts to help pin the two layers together (see photos below).  After pinning at the bottom, then pin at the top, and then pin down the rest of the side seam.
Finally, sew down the side seam.
As you get to the bottom, be careful you're not sewing any additional layers into the shorts.  And stop sewing when you get to the curve
 Then pin the sideseam on the other side of the shorts and sew down that seam as well.
Almost done!
Finish off the waistband as outlined in the Basic Shorts of Flat Front Shorts.'re done!
Time for a treat. 
Enjoy your afternoon!

Come back later this week and we'll add pockets.  Sorry it won't be sooner but we're taking a little vacation for the 4th of July holiday.  So we'll see you soon!

To purchase the KID Shorts pattern simply click the button below (you can read all the pattern details HERE.)
KID Shorts PDF Pattern - $6
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