Sewing: Kid Shorts With Pocket Pattern

Kid Shorts With Ribbed Knit Hem

Kid Shorts With Ribbed Knit Hem

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It is summer again in Northern Hemisphere countries…. Be it to fight the heat wave or to get more sunlight to tan your skin, clothes are getting thinner and shorter, summer is sure the funnest season of the year!!! My sewing is just as fun as your summer activities, I sewed some shorts for my kids, I truly enjoyed each and every one I made!!! Get the free pattern and tutorial and enjoy your sewing too….

I’ve been clearing out my wardrobe lately and found some clothes that can no longer fit into my….. ahemmmmm… “WELL FED” body! I think it is good to recycle them into some short pants for my kids. I tend to sew shorts for my love one, eg. for my husband [pattern here] and for myself, husband & my sisters [pattern here], perhaps shorts were by far the most seen and worn apparel in my family. We wear shorts everyday at home since it is all-time hot and sunny here. Don’t envy because I have most of the sunbeam, I am hiding away from it and trying my best to cover my skin with lots of sunblock when I need to go outdoor.

The origin of this kid shorts pattern is a combination of my daughter’s old shorts plus a modification from a pattern book. I changed the original slanted pocket to this rounded pocket after referring to the pattern book. I made the pattern into 2 different sizes for my kids, 7 years old and 3 years old.

1. Cotton fabric, 3/4 yard or a woman short-sleeve blouse (at least a USA size 10 or UK size 12)
2. Knitted rib (normally used on polo-shirt collar)
3. Ribbon, short length

1. Sewing machine with matching thread
2. Serger/overlock machine or zigzag stitch
3. Printer, letter size (8.5″ x 11″) paper 6 pcs. & glue (to print and join pattern)
4. Carbon and tracing wheel
5. Scissors
6. Sewing kits
7. Iron
8. Safety pin

If you prefer to have an ordinary hem, just sew the original pattern without doing any alteration in the length. Ignore the instructions that involved the knitted rib hem.
Fold the hem and double top-stitch it in place.

kid shorts patternDownload the kid shorts sewing pattern in pdf document and print it with your inkjet printer.
Feed the letter size paper into your printer and print the patten without setting any scale on the printing.
It is a 6 pages pattern, glue them together according the page number on the corners.
Cut the paper pattern out.
{the pdf download will either open in new tab or open a small window asking you to save it as file. If you can’t find the saved file in your computer, the default folder usually is in “/downloads”}
{If you can’t download the pdf pattern, probably you don’t have acrobat reader, download the latest version for free, here.}

adjusted lengthTo adapt a knitted rib hem, adjust the length of the shorts. Shorten the pattern by 1 1/4″ from hem.
[click here for more about altering length of a shorts or pants.]

kid shorts fabric cut outCut fabric according to the shorts pattern.
If you are recycling fabric from a shirt/blouse, unpick all the seams & iron the pieces flat, arrange all the patterns on the piece to make sure you have enough to make before cutting it. Remember to follow the fabric grain directions on the pattern.
Trace sewing lines and markings on the wrong side of the fabric by using carbon and tracing wheel.

sew shorts pocketPlace pocket A onto front shorts with right side facing each other. Align, pin and sew along the curve.
Clip curve on seam allowance.

sew shorts pocketTurn to right side, press. Top-stitch near edge and approx 1/4″ from curve.

sew shorts pocketPlace pocket B on pocket A and sew. Overlock or zig-zag stitch the raw edges.

mock flat felt seamJoin the front piece to the back piece by sewing the side seam.
Overlock or zig-zag stitch the raw edges on the side seam.
Make a mock flat fell seam.

sew inseamJoin front and back on the inseam. Overlock or zig-zag stitch on the raw edge as well.
[See the button hole on the seam allowance, a great proof that the fabric is recycled from my old shirt. ;)]

join rib knit collarJoin the knitted rib to make a ring. Mark 1 1/4″ up from the edge for the sewing line.

sew rib knitted hem to shortsAttached the knitted rib to the hem of the shorts. Overlock or zig-zag stitch the raw edge.

top stitch hemTurn to right side, press & top stitch 1/4″ from seam.

sew kid shortsRepeat the sewing steps for the other side of the shorts.
Turn one piece to wrong side and the other piece to right side.
Insert the right side to the wrong side.

sew center seamAlign the center seam and match the crotch point. Pin and sew the shorts together and neaten the raw edges with overlock or zig-zag stitch.

Join the waistband into a ring. If you are using shirt for the fabric, you will need to join a few pieces to make up the waistband.
Leave an 1″ opening on one of the joints for elastic band insertion.

insert elastic bandFold the waistband into half and attach it to the short. Neaten the raw edge with overlock or zig-zag stitch.
Insert the elastic band into the waistband pocket with safety pin. Join the ends with 1″ overlap.
Close the opening.

ribbon on waistbandSpread the waistband evenly across elastic band.
Sew the ribbons onto the waistband approximately 4 “apart.
Make another 3 stitching on the left, right and back center of the shorts waistband to secure the elastic band in place.

embroidery patchEmbellish the shorts with an iron on embroidery patch.

kid shorts with rib knitted hemThe girls shorts is done. This picture was taken before putting up the iron-on embroidery patch.

On one lazy & warm afternoon….. the kids like to lay on the floor, reading books before they fall asleep. So happy to see them wearing the shorts… you feel so much closer to the kids, the feeling of this connection is just …. speechless. :)
kid shorts sewing pattern

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37 comments... read them below or add one

  1. No soy muy buena con la costura pero excelente tutorial voy a intentar hacerlo.
    Muchas gracias.

    Translation (by Google):
    I’m not very good at sewing but excellent tutorial I will try.
    Thank you very much.

  2. hi,
    this is a great tutotial! where can i get knitted rib fabric here in malaysia?

    • Hi Rozy, not easy to find it here. Try your luck on some old craft stores around you and ask them, otherwise, salvage from a of polo-shirts collar.
      I stumbled upon it by chance, it is a left over stock from a craft store I have been buying since some 30 years ago.
      If you are in Penang, I can tell you the exact store I bought from, but I am not sure if they still have any left.

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  4. Has anyone else had a problem with this tutorial? I admit I am not an expert seamstress but the first section should be putting the pocket RIGHT sides together. And unless I missed it you never specified the seam allowance.

    I do appreciate the free tutorial but I think it may need a few tweaks!

    • You are right, Maggie. I typed it wrongly, should be right side. I have corrected the typo. Sorry for the confusion!
      Thanks for reading through the tutorial and pointing out the incorrect instructions.

  5. Hi! I am so excited to try this. I have 3 girls that will adore these shorts. Is there a specified seam allowance? I have tried to find it written in the pattern but seem to be missing it. Thanks,

  6. Just wanted to say thanks for the pattern:) I just finished making 1 for each of my 2 Grand daughter’s. Needed smaller patterns than what you had so I printed yours and reduced them by 10% to make size 5T and 18 month, perfect for those sizes, I also changed the bottom by adding a 2 inch gathered ruffle with a rolled hem, I did not reduce any length.
    Also wanted to let others know what a quick easy sew this was. I mainly used my serger. Plan on making more this pattern was so quick, next time I will use more of stitch colors and design stitches. I have the time now!!!! Thank you

    • Wow, amazing, Michele!!!! Using serger sounds interesting… I will try when I am on sewing clothes again. I have some T-shirt fabrics laying in my craft room and wanted to make some shorts again… hopefully soon :)
      Is it possible to show us some photos when you have taken with your grand-daughters wearing them?

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  8. how can I add a pic here took one of my grand daughter wearing the shorts to show they came out so cute

  9. This is a terrific pattern! I just need to figure out how to enlarge it somehow for my 6 year-old granddaughter who is true to her Northern European heritage and perhaps 3 sizes larger than this!!

    But the pattern is great for adding workmanship touches that make for a very well-made garment. I’m very proud of my result & will see if these will fit the 4 year-old little boy next door! lol

    Thank you!

  10. The elastic band in the waistband – is it 1″ or what size? Thanks!!

  11. Thank you so much for this pattern, I have almost finished these shorts for my soon to be seven y/o daughter. Just have to sew the elastic together. I made them from hot pink fabric with white pin dots.
    Spent the previous weekend hunting down shorts in the shops with no luck then googled girls shorts and found your site. They are EXACTLY what I was looking for. Many thanks.

  12. I love this website! So glad I found it. I will gather supplies to make these shorts.
    Thank you for the clear step-by-step tutorial :-) very helpful for a beginner. I will actually try them first in miniature form for my doll :P

  13. I make items for charity and recycled a pair of curtains to make these shorts; its the easiest pattern I’ve every used. Thankyou

  14. I enjoy sewing for my kids. Very useful tutorial. I had been looking for a shorts pattern long time ago, yours it’s great, thank you so much. Congratulations

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  17. hello,
    looking forward to making this pattern. The only problem that I have with it is now that I have printed it off and sellotaped it all together I have no way of knowing if it is the right scale. I first of all printed it at 100% which looks quite small so was wondering if I now need to make it bigger? It could be helpful if on the pattern you had a 1″ scale or some such guide. Hopefully you can advise me soon as want to cut them out for my grandson.

    very many thanks to you for this pattern


    • Hi Marian, good question. I should have put a 1″ marking for you to measure to confirm that you are printing off 100%. If you are using “letter” size paper and print on 100% (no-scaling), you will see a border just about 1/4″ away from the edge.
      Hope this help.

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  19. Hi, great tutorial! I need one for me, but I am beginner, can you help me how to enlarge the pattern for size 12? Please! I really need them :-) Thank you very very much!

  20. Hi Joanne, first of all, thanks for this wonderful pattern! I have been looking for a girl’s shorts pattern for a while. I made a pair of shorts for my girl and she loves it but she has outgrown it. I was wondering how do you increase the pattern one size bigger? Thanks!

    • I do not have a proper tutorial on size grading. I used my mom old fashion method that I think it’s hard to present. A google search with “shorts pattern grading” keyword should give you some links to find the solution.
      Hope this help.

  21. Hello! I love this pattern: super easy and super cool.
    I used it twice: one without pockets to make a pajama shorts ( and one with pockets for Kid’s clothes week (
    Thank you for sharing the pattern. Unfortunately it comes in a few sizes :-)

  22. Thank you so much for the tutorial. Very easy to follow. Made my first pair of shorts from this pattern and tutorial. They turned out better than I ever imagined they would!

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