I just had to blog about the first shorts I have ever sewn. They should fit a 2-3 year old and are destined eventually for Sew Scrumptious. Their "Dress A Girl Around The World" project is well known and they have distributed over 10,000 dresses to Africa and India. Shorts for boys are also in demand but fewer than 1000 have been distributed.
Having made my first ever pair of shorts, I am converted and will concentrate on these in future. I have the material already waiting to be recycled and I recently bought a big roll of good quality woven elastic which is perfect for waistbands.
I have many old t-shirts like this baggy, shapeless horror:
I use them for exercise classes and keep them far longer than I should because I can't bear waste. Now I can give them a new lease of life and buy some new ones. Woo hoo!
I used the following free pattern and tutorial. The pattern is one simple piece approximately resembling an inverted T. You cut two of these shapes, do quite a small amount of sewing and ...hey presto....you have a pair of shorts. I opted to make the 3/4 length shorts, though the pattern is easily adjusted to make long trousers or shorter shorts.
I can make age 2-3 years shorts from my old tops and when Hubby throws out his t-shirts I will probably be able to make age 5-6 years shorts. In fact most t-shirt material is just the right strength for these shorts and it usually doesn't fray so is easier to finish.
I noticed that this particular t-shirt had a nice notch detail at the side seams. So I decided to incorporate this into the legs. Laying the pattern piece on the material wasn't as straightforward as I expected so the side seams have ended up slightly more to the front. But I don't think this will be too noticeable when they are being worn. Actually, I was making things more difficult for myself. The pattern doesn't require outside leg seams. The material simply wraps around the leg and is seamed on the inside. In future, I will follow the pattern unless there is a really special detail on the side seams.
I liked the little appliqué detail on the t-shirt. It ended up on the unused part of the material but I didn't want to throw it away. So I added it to the hem of the shorts. It is a nice little decoration and acts as an aide memoire to little boys trying to tell the difference between the front and back of their shorts. It also draws the eye to the notch detail which I liked and wanted to use.
A skilled sewer could make these in an hour. I took my time but still finished them in an afternoon. I'm pleased with how they turned out and there will be lots more to come.