Jonathan needed some new shorts this summer, and he needed them fairly quickly, because as soon as the weather started to really heat up in early January, it became immediately obvious that he had indeed outgrown the shorts that I made for him last year. So, I used a tried and true pattern, with a teeny tiny hack, to quickly make up several pairs.
Before I commenced into a massive sewing project, I did actually ask Jonathan what he wanted – i.e. did he want a zippered fly, hip pockets, any other pockets??. And the answer was that he just likes really basic, elastic waist, pull on shorts. So, the pattern that I chose is actually a pyjama pants pattern! The Chris and Christy’s All Season P.J. Bottoms by Snuggle My Baby Patterns.
I first used this pattern as part of a set with the Vick and Vicky’s Button Up P.J. Top. I also used this pattern last year for a bunch of last-minute, super-quick shorts before we went on holiday (never blogged unfortunately – but I made 15 pairs of shorts for my 3 different kids in 2 days!).
The pattern comes in sizes 2T-12 years, so it covers all 3 of my kids who are currently 6, 8 and 9. The pattern is a great fit and features different cut lines for different lengths – pants, capris, boys shorts, and girls shorts. And it is a really quick and easy pattern that is suitable for beginners.
A Little Bit of a Hack
Okay, so to make this project even quicker, and to avoid any pattern matching challenges with only small cuts of fabric, I made a teeny tiny hack to this pattern. This made it from 2 separate pattern pieces, into a single pattern piece – making it super quick to cut out, and even quicker to sew together when I cut it with the right sides of the fabric facing each other!
To do this, I printed and assemble my pattern pieces, then I marked the seam allowance on side seam of both of the pattern pieces, as shown here in my own simple drawing (note that this is not the actual pattern piece).
Then I overlapped the pattern pieces, matching the seam lines that I had just drawn.
And…that’s it! So easy! Now I have a single pattern piece. I will point out that they main drawback to doing this is that this large pattern piece is not as economical with fabric as the separate front and back pieces are, so although quicker, it is more wasteful.
However, quick is what I was after and I had a selection of fabrics that were either left over from other projects, or that I had previously purpose-bought, but not yet used, for shorts. This pattern, with its single pattern piece, only uses a small amount of fabric, each of these shorts used just a little bit under 1 metre.
Size and Fit
As I mentioned, I made up shorts using this pattern last year, and never blogged about them because I didn’t really get any blog-type photos of them. This is pretty much what has happened this year too. I have managed to get this good shot of Jonathan in his shorts:
I made up these shorts in a size 10, which is a size bigger than recommended in the size chart for this pattern. For casual clothes I like to get as much wear out of them as possible, so I regularly size up, especially for items that have elastic waists – because, the elastic can be cut to any length, and if I need to make it a bit longer next year, I know where to carefully unpick a section of the casing and swap-out the elastic, if I want to. I cut these shorts at the “boys shorts” length, and because of the size-up, they ended up being Bermuda length, so we really like them!
All these fabrics are from my local Spotlight. And it is completely a coincidence that they are all blue – this was not planned at all, but made for an even quicker sew as I was able to use the same thread for all of them.
This is a cotton drill in a very cool blue camo-dino print, this one I found in the remnant bin quite a while ago. I usually check the remnant bin in my local Spotlight whenever I am there (because its right near the customer service counter, and I’m there quite a lot), and sometimes I do find longer lengths.
This space print is a quilting cotton, I found this one on the discount rack (and I believe that there is still some left in my local store).
This is another quilting cotton, also from the discount rack, my kids find it endlessly fascinating that the words are all beach related.
All these shorts have a small length of ribbon sewn at the back so that Jonathan knows which way to put them on, as they don’t have a zippered fly or any other features to clearly distinguish the front from the back.
This pair are a cotton flannel. My pattern matching at the centre seam leaves a little to be desired, I will admit.
I used the selvage edge for the hem of this pair, there is a nice little fringed finish.
Thanks for reading! I did of course make a set of coordinating t-shirts to go with these shorts, including the one that Jonathan is wearing in the only modelled picture, so make sure to check back again soon!