Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

First ever shorts.....

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 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.


  1. Nice job. Well laid out, to incorporate that vent in the leg. Cute.

  2. Well done Una they look great! :)

  3. What a great idea. Loved the detail by the notch.

  4. What a great idea Una, I love that you are helping others and recycling.

  5. Great job, Una! They look beautiful.

  6. Such a great idea to recycle and support others that are in need.

  7. What a great job incorporating the detail into the shorts, they look fab. Thankyou for the link to the pattern, just yesterday I was searching for a pattern to print out, without success, so thankyou!
    I read that the lady who sends out the pillowcasew dresses & shorts from the UK is going to stop fulfilling that role in December, do you know of any other place that will take them next year? Having said that I do gift most of my knitting to local charities, which avoids postage costs & helps these small local concerns. But I fancied a foray into sewing, and these are not really so suitable for local charities, so postage costs it is!
    Love your blog & always pop by, Vee x

    1. Eek! Thanks for warning me. I think Greenfields Africa would be able to use dresses and shorts. There is a link at the top of my home page.

  8. Hello Lovely Una sorry for not being around for a while - my goodness Una you have so many talents and what a busy lady you are. I don't know how you managed to fit in a holiday with your relatives and children - I hope it all went well. I love your cat Una, it looks like there is a fantastic understanding between you too. Una you always have so much on your blog it is quite amazing - the shorts are fabulous and I cannot believe that there were made out of the tee shirt, it is incredible. As always your work all goes to charity and you are a truly genuine lady Una which is why I always love to visit you. Big hugs and loves Una, Dorothyxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  9. That is my kind of make. I love making new things from old things. Always love to call in and see what you are up to. Jo x


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