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Basic Kid Shorts With Pocket Pattern

Basic Kid Shorts With Pocket Pattern

kid shorts pattern

It is summer again in Northern Hemisphere countries… Be it to fight the heatwave or to get more sunlight to tan your skin, clothes are getting thinner and shorter, summer is surely the most fun 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 everyone I made!!! Get the free pattern and tutorial of the kid shorts and enjoy your sewing too…

kid summer shorts

I’ve been clearing out my wardrobe lately and found some clothes that can no longer fit into my….. ahem… “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 loved 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 every day 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 sunblocks when I need to go outdoors.

sew kid shorts

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.

kid shorts sewing pattern

[Update 2016: I have added the pre-teenage size in the tutorial]


Kid Shorts

Sewing Pattern
Download basic sewing pattern (Choose your size):
Toddler shorts (3 years old), Kid shorts (7 years old), Pre-teenager Shorts (12 years old) [update in 2016]

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 a polo-shirt collar)
3. Ribbon, short length

1. Sewing machine with matching thread
2. Serger 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

The sizing of the shorts is for Asian builds so it could be too small for other races.
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 pattern

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

adjusted length

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

kid shorts fabric cut out

Cut the 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 pocket

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

sew shorts pocket

Turn to the right side, press. Top-stitch near the edge and approx 1/4″ from the curve.

sew shorts pocket

Place pocket B on pocket A and sew. Neaten the raw edges with the zig-zag stitch.

mock flat felt seam

Join the front piece to the back piece by sewing the side seam.
Neaten the raw edges on the side seam.
Make a mock flat fell seam.

sew inseam

Join front and back on the inseam. Neaten the raw edge as well.
[See the buttonhole on the seam allowance, a great proof that the fabric is recycled from my old shirt. ;)]

join rib knit collar

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

sew rib knitted hem to shorts

Attached the knitted rib to the hem of the shorts. Neaten the raw edge.

top stitch hem

Turn to right side, press & topstitch 1/4″ from seam.

sew kid shorts

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

sew center seam

Align the center seam and match the crotch point. Pin and sew the shorts together and neaten the raw edges.

14 kid shorts waistband 1

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

insert elastic band

Fold the waistband into half and attach it to the short. Neaten the raw edge.
Insert the elastic band into the waistband pocket with a safety pin. Join the ends with 1″ overlap.
Close the opening.

ribbon on waistband

Spread the waistband evenly across the 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 patch

Embellish the shorts with an iron-on embroidery patch.

kid shorts with rib knitted hem

The girl’s shorts is done. This picture was taken before putting up the iron-on embroidery patch.



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Sandy Darty

Sunday 14th of March 2021

I was wonder what the waist and hip measurments are for the pre-teen shorts are. My 7 yr old granddaughter is a little chunckier than the regular girls are her age. She is a 29" waist and hips. I was wonder what size to print for her.

Thanks Sandy

Craft Passion

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

The maximum stretch on the waist is about 27" and the hip is about 36" for the pre-teen shorts. For your granddaughter, you probably need to add 1" to the side of the back and front pattern pieces. This will make the waist 31" and 40" for the hip. If she is a tall girl or you want to make the shorts longer, you can use this tutorial to add the length to the pattern.

Sue cox

Sunday 10th of January 2021

Fantastic free pattern, I have used it over and over . I make them for Charity and donate them , they love them. I wondered if you have got around to making bigger sizes yet would love to have them for the ages 8 to 10 , thank you so much, best tutorial for the pockets ever .xx

Sandy Darty

Sunday 14th of March 2021

Me Too!

Craft Passion

Thursday 14th of January 2021

Hi Sue, thanks for liking the pattern. There are patterns up to the age of pre-teen. You may find the downloadable pattern in the pattern section above.


Friday 27th of November 2020

this pattern looks amazing! just downloading it now as i am making the kids shorts for christmas (summer christmas here in new zealand!) thank you so much!


Monday 20th of January 2020

Hi, from New Zealand. Thank you! This pattern looks great, I wondered what your daughter's hip measurement was when you made these/she wore them? I am sewing for an 11 yr old with a hip of 80cm (32" approx). By looking at the pattern I need to decrease the width by 3/8" per piece, for a loose fitting style, without it being too baggy. (approx 3" or 7.5 cm ease) Does that sound about right?

Craft Passion

Wednesday 22nd of January 2020

Hi Haydee, I didn't record my daughter's hip measurement at that time. However, as an Asian size, my daughter is considered a petite skinny girl. I would advise that maybe you do not have to reduce the measurement since the kid is in the growing stage. If she can't wear it now, she will in month's time.

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Friday 27th of September 2019

Good blog you've got here.. It's hard to find excellent writing like yours nowadays.

I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!