A very important reminder! Today (May 17th) is your last day to use your 10% discount code for Fabric Spot! Visit Fabric Spot to check out her fabrics, patterns and books. Click here (scroll to the bottom of the post) to find the discount code. (There is more exciting news about the Fabric Spot Giveaway at the end of this post!)

Now… Fourth day of Spring Shorts Week – need I say more? Here’s your tutorial!

Simple Knit Sport Shorts with a Lining

Okay… I tried not to say more… but I can’t do it! I LOVE how these shorts came out.  I think they are my favorite by far, though yesterday’s are a close second and the photo shoot for tomorrow’s skirt was a blast (and involved ice-cream!) These look so professional and the lining works perfectly. They are a great length for a small child to run around in and the fancy curve on the back leg worked out really well to add some needed extra coverage!

Okay – Now you can have your tutorial!

You will need:

  • Outer Knit material – yardage depends on the size of your pattern piece (read through the tutorial to make sure you have enough material for the pattern piece and the casing)
  • Lining material – I used mesh similar to material that would be used for a sport jersey (yardage same as the outer knit)
  • regular sewing machine (you do not need a serger to sew knits!)
  • 3/4″ or 1″ non-roll elastic
  • Front Bow: 8″ twill tape (ribbon) to match/contrast the shorts
  • Side Stripes: twill tape (ribbon) in multiple colours (Size 3 pattern needs aprox. 20″ each of 3 colours)
  • ballpoint sewing machine needle (for sewing knits)
  • pins/glue stick/scissors/matching thread/other sewing gear
  • Shorts Pattern Piece – Make your own in any size: {How To} Make a Kid’s Simple Knit Shorts Pattern  (we will be altering the length to be shorter than the original tutorial) OR click on the following link to download the 5 page Size 3 printable pdf

Before you begin (if you are using the printable Size 3 pattern piece):

  • Print out all 5 pages of the pattern piece pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
  • Cut or fold the pages on the outer gray lines and tape/glue the pages together, matching the letters in the gray half-circles.

Tips on Sewing Simple Knit Shorts for Boys:

  • tie the twill tape in a knot instead of a bow
  • paint on a freezer paper “sport” number like these
  • top-stitch on a fake fly like these
  • use a longer length and omit the rounded curve on the back leg
Here we go!

Altering the Pattern Piece (if you made your own pattern piece this way):

These shorts are much shorter than the {How to} Make a Kid’s Simple Knit Shorts Pattern if you followed the tutorial. To alter your pattern piece and make the Sport Shorts do the following:

  1. Measure the new length for the inseam on your child.
  2. Find the distance between your current hem and the sport short hem you’d like.
  3. Make a new line on the pattern piece by measuring UP from the hem evenly across the pattern piece.
  4. If the shorts are for a girl, draw a curve on the back leg half of your pattern piece. (Download and look at the size 3 pattern piece for an example.)

Step 1: Fold your fabric in half, make sure the full width of the pattern piece fits on the fabric! Important: Check the direction of the knit that stretches the most. This direction should be parallel to the top/casing and hem of the pattern – otherwise these won’t stretch the correct direction to fit your child. Cut out your fabric.  If you have made your own pattern piece make sure you remembered to add a seam allowance before cutting!

Step 2: Follow Step 2 on the Simple Knit Shorts tutorial to measure and cut your casing. You only need a knit casing, you do not need to cut casing pieces from the mesh lining fabric.
Step 3: Locate the front on each of your main shorts pattern pieces. If your knit does not have an obvious “right side” make sure you mark the outside of your material so you have two opposite leg pieces. (1) Fold each outer knit shorts piece right sides together and match up the inseam line. Iron the fold to mark the side of the shorts. (2) Line up your twill tape on the side of the shorts to see how you want it to look. (3) Grab your glue stick and glue your twill tape onto your shorts. Use the line you just ironed to centre it on the sides.
Step 4: (1) Stitch down both sides of each twill tape piece with a straight stitch. Because the tape is not stretchy and we are sewing down the “not as stretchy” direction of the knit you don’t need to place anything behind your fabric. (However, if your knit is very stretchy you may need to place some tissue/paper/tear away stabilizer under the fabric while you stitch.) (2) Trim any excess twill tape.
Step 5: This one is easy! Tie your short piece of twill tape in a bow (you can use a lighter to – CAREFULLY! – melt the ends of the tape so it will not fray) and check to make sure you have the things in the following picture (PLUS the twill bow that I forgot to photograph!)
Step 6: Follow Step 12 of the other tutorial (link) to stitch front & back centre seams. Stitch these seams together on the knit and the mesh lining.
Step 7: (1) Turn your knit fabric Wrong Side Out and the mesh lining Right Side Out. (2) Place the mesh lining inside the knit fabric matching all seams. Match and pin the hem raw edges of the knit and mesh lining (marked in the photo). Do not pin right to the ends. Leave about 1″ of the edge unpinned (Unpinned areas are marked A and B). (3) Stitch along the hem line as marked in red on the third photo. DO NOT STITCH right to each end. Begin and end about 1″ away from the edges of your fabric.
Step 8: Stitch the other leg bottom seam. (1) Open the fabric out as shown in the photo. Note that the seams begin and end 1″ from each end.
Step 9: Stay Stitching. This helps the lining not to show at the hemline.
  1. Turn your shorts right side out.
  2. Pin the seam allowance to the mesh lining.
  3. Mark the beginning and end of the seam you just stitched with pins. (A) and (B)
  4. Stitch close to the hemline on the mesh lining. Make sure you are stitching through the seam allowance. Start at your first pin marker (A) and stop at the second pin marker (B)
  5. Make sure you do not accidentally stitch through the other leg’s fabric as you are sewing.
  6. Stay stitch the other leg.

Step 10: Closing the inseam. Now we (magically!) stitch the inseam together and finish the shorts. Hold tight through this one – you can do it! Read carefully and follow the photos.

  1. Fold your shorts so the inseams are together.
  2. Fold back the knit fabric and secure it with a pin – do this on both the back and front of the shorts knit.
  3. Pin the mesh lining fabric right sides together, matching the centre seam line.
  4. Stitch the mesh lining fabric together at the inseam with a straight stitch and a 3/8″ seam allowance.
  5. Trim the seam allowance close to the stitching to reduce bulk in the lining.
  6. Open the shorts as shown in the photo, here’s how to stitch the knit fabric together. We need to pin it right sides together. Note where the 2 green pins are. Match up these edges right sides together and pin.
  7. The purple pin in this photo indicates where the fabric is starting to be pinned right sides together.
  8. Continue pinning the fabric together, it will curve around, be patient and match up the centre seams.
  9. Stitch the knit fabric inseam with a 3/8″ seam allowance and a straight stitch.
  10. Here’s what you should have. The 1″ spaces you left in Step 7 now come in handy. Push the knit inseam into the shorts through the hole. Hooray! You did it!

Step 11: (1) Fold in the seam allowances and pin the two openings in your hemline. (2) Stitch the hemline over the opening to close the seam. This is easiest with the lining side up on your machine so you can begin and end where the stay stitching seams are.

Step 12: (1) Match up the top of your lining and knit fabric. Pin all around. (2) Baste the top of your shorts.

Step 13: Follow Steps 14-21 on the Simple Knit Shorts tutorial to add the casing and twill bow. Treat the top of your basted lining and knit fabric as one piece when following the steps.

All finished!
Okay, so the “bad thing” happened and this week didn’t go as planned! I said we’d do this every day if it worked, but unfortunately I have too much on my plate tomorrow to post the last day, so… the Last day of Spring Shorts Week will be on Made by Me this coming Monday. Come on back for the Simple Knit Ruffle Skirt with (under) Shorts Tutorial.
And… Exciting Giveaway News! (Due to technical problems that didn’t allow some people to comment – ack, technology!) You get a whole ‘nother week to Enter the Fabric Spot Giveaway, HOORAY! The giveaway now officially ends May 24th at 10pm. Go and enter if you haven’t – yes, right now! You might get this fabulously lovely bundle of Tsuru in your mailbox – for FREE! That’s worth entering a comment in!