I'm so excited because today I am the guest post tutorial over at Project Run and Play!!!
I did the tutorial on the button bow closure shorts, so go check it out. I have been following along each season from the very first week of season one and have voted every week. Even the kids get excited and want to see the outfits each week. Can you tell we don't have tv? This season though I decided to play along as well. Not sure why I picked this season, seeing as it coincided with the last couple weeks of school (we start early and get out early down here in the South). Oh well, it was a lot of fun to play along and gave me a reason to check out the amazing talent to be seen on the flickr group each week. Plus I learned something new as I sewed along.
Here are the shorts I created. The original was done for Sportswear Week. I used some of my favorite fabrics for these, but I had the hardest time finding buttons to match. I wanted something a little bolder, since the colors were so subdued, but settled for these that have a similar pattern to the pink fabric...kind of Celtic knot looking.
Now as promised, a quick how to when it comes to drafting a pattern for shorts and how to sew them up.
First what you do is you need to take some measurements, so get out your trusty measuring tape. Every kid is different and they each like different things. When they hit a certain age, you can ask them things like "Where do you want the waistband to fall?" So take that into consideration.
The measurements you need are:
OUTER LEG (from waist to where you want them to fall)
INNER LEG (to where you want them to fall )
CROTCH (from front waist to back waist--don't pull too tight)
THIGH CIRCUMFERENCE( at where you want them to fall )
From these measurements you can come up with a basic pattern. So get out a big piece of paper and sketch away.
A--Start with the waist of the front. Take the waist measurement and divide it by 4. Then add your seam allowance (I always add 1/2 inch for each seam sewn off that piece--in this case there will be 2 seams). Then depending on how baggy you want the shorts you can add more. My daughter doesn't like things tight or super baggy so I add 1/2 inch (for an inch total added to the front).
--For the back take into consideration their little backside. I add an inch, just to make sure she is comfortable sitting down. Still wearing a diaper? You might want to add an extra inch or two to allow some room back there.B--This is the outer length of the thigh. Remember when you measured it, you took it from the waist and you will be adding the waistband to the shorts, so subtract off what the width you are planning on making your waistband (usually about the width of your elastic).
C--I usually just leave this one as is.
D--The crotch (isn't there a better word for that?) is kind of tricky to get right and depends on how loose you measured. I usually just take the measurement and divide it in half. Then for the back I add 2 inches (you want some wiggle room so they can actually sit in these). For the front I just add on the seam allowances.
E--The leg band is taken from the thigh circumference, but depends on how snug you want them. For these shorts I added and inch on to the measurement.
F and G--If you are making a simple casing and want elastic all the way around, just measure the front and back of the shorts after you have sewn them up and add on the seam allowance for each piece. For the width, take the width of your elastic and add an inch. This should give you enough to fold under both sides to make the casing and top stitch.
If you are making a flat front waistband or the button bow closure:
F--Take 1/2 of waist measurement and add an inch for flat front shorts (no elastic)--you only have to cut out one piece. If you are doing the bow closure, just cut out two pieces the length of 1/2 the waist measurement.
G--Take 1/2 of waist measurement and add any where from 1 to 2 inches, depending on how gathered you like it to look.
H--Trace their hand and draw the pocket around it.
Now to sew.
First thing I do, is put a safety pin on each back piece, so I don't mix them up--they do look pretty similar.
1. Then take a front and back side and sew the inner thigh seam. Repeat.
2. Pin 2 pieces together at the crotch and sew.
3. Before you sew up outer leg seams, attach pocket pieces.
Attach one pocket piece to each piece of the shorts, 4 total. Make sure you put right sides together.
Iron seams out.
Now sew from outer pocket corner, around to the bottom of the outer leg. Don't sew the part of the pocket that lines up with the waistband.
Turn pocket in and top stitch for nice finished look.
Baste pocket to the front pieces. This makes sure they get caught in the front waistband piece.
Now your shorts are ready to put on the waistband and leg bands. You are set to follow the button bow closure tutorial:)
Here's the finished look.