You know those lovely blogs full of ingenious, fashionably-current items of summer clothing for children? The ones that have charming details and carefully-coordinated prints and which are probably part of a hip and inspiring sewalong?
Ah. This is not one of those blogs.
When each new season arrives and we dig out the clothes from last year's corresponding season, I am always astounded at how they no longer fit. How can children grow ten thousand inches in just half a year, for goodness' sake? My first strategy is always to exhume those clothes as early in the season as possible, so I can hit the shelves of Target and Kohls, and get first dibs on all the basic pieces in the sizes I want. Yes, that's my motto: Quickly Buy First, And Then You Won't Have To Sew.
Using that clever tactic, I have, in all these years, triumphantly avoided having to sew a single top for my children. Whooooooooo!!!! Extra time for mum to sew toys and make cardboard stuff!
Bottoms, though, I have not been so lucky with. This year, I have had to alter the waistbands of every single pair of shorts I bought for Emily. She likes the lengths of the store-bought bermudas, but her waist is at least 2" too small. And even after we'd bought almost every single available color of those mum-altered shorts, she was still rummaging in the dirty laundry, saying, "Can I wear these tomorrow for school? I've run out of shorts, see. These have no mud stains on them."
Right, so 2 choices:
- Step up my laundry frequency (fat chance) or
- Sew more shorts.
In my house, at least, I know which one is easier and faster.
I used my old pants pattern from here, cut it short and let it out at the thigh. Then I dragged Emily to my fabric closet, pointed out the knit shelf and said, "Pick fabrics."
And pick she did- I ended up working with everything from jersey and swimsuit lycra (this is what the pattern front looks like)
to french terry (this is the back view of the pattern - see the much deeper crotch),
with waistbands in ribbing
I made one pair just to check that she hadn't outgrown the pattern (never trust children - they surreptitiously elongate when you so much as look away) and then maniacally cut out another 5 pairs.
6 pairs of shorts in 24 hours.
Ah, the beauty of detail-less mass-producing.
Why only 5 in the photo? Because the 6th pair
is already in the dirty laundry basket.
No photos of Emily wearing them.
The fit is the same as the pants in that pants post.
So shorts done. Summer dresses next.
P.S. No pattern or tutorial for these. But here's an old knit shorts tutorial with pattern, in a smaller size. Unlike Emily's shorts above that were drafted to fit her specifically, that smaller pattern is a loose generic fit, so most 3-year olds will be quite comfortable in them. And if you prefer my new smooth waistbands to the elastic casing ones in the tutorial, you can find that tutorial here.