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Toddler Knit Shorts

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In addition to the shorts patterns, this is the toddler-size shorts sewing pattern, as promised. This pair of toddler knit shorts have the same original design as the kid shorts with graded measurements to fit around the age of 3. If you wish to sew the toddler shorts with the original design, please refer to the kid shorts tutorial. Please scroll down to download the pdf pattern from the link in the tutorial section.

toddler knit shorts

If you have been following through all the shorts sewing in Craft Passion, from boxer shorts, fully lined weekend shorts, kid shorts, Pre-teenager shorts, and this one – toddler shorts, you should be able to handle this sewing project pretty well. I am not going to repeat the whole basic sewing for the toddler version because it is basically a repetition of the kid shorts. Today, I am going to make a little variation on the basic shorts sewing pattern that includes:

1. recycle your old polo shirt for toddler knit shorts.
2. add a ribbed band on the pocket by using a T-shirt ribbed sleeves band.
3. sew the elastic band directly to the shorts’ waist.

Go grab an old unwanted jersey polo shirt, rip it off, and sew it into a pair of knit shorts for your boy.

toddler knit shorts with elastic band

What’s Next

Toddler Knit Shorts

Toddler Knit Shorts

Yield: Upcycled Shorts
Active Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $2 - $10

As an addition to the shorts patterns, this is the toddler size shorts sewing pattern as promised. This pair of toddler knit shorts have the same original design as the kid shorts with graded measurements to fit around the age of 3. If you wish to sew the toddler shorts with the original design, please refer to the kid shorts tutorial.

Download basic sewing pattern: Toddler shorts (3 years old), Kid shorts (7 years old), Pre-teenager Shorts (12 years old) [updated in 2016]

Enjoy sewing them!


  • Knit fabric, 1/2 yard or a woman polo-shirt (at least a medium size, the bigger the easier)
  • Ribbed sleeve band (normally used on polo-shirt collar or sleeve)
  • 1 1/2″ Elastic band, length of the wearer’s waist measurement.
  • Ribbon, short length
  • Embroidery patch (optional)


  • Sewing machine with matching threads
  • 4-thread Serger/overlock machine or zigzag stitch
  • Printer, letter size (8.5″ x 11″) paper 6 pcs. & glue (to print and join pattern)
  • Carbon and tracing wheel
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing kits
  • Iron
  • Safety pin


  1. a. Download the toddler shorts sewing pattern in a pdf document and print it with your inkjet printer.
    b. Feed the letter-size paper into your printer and print the pattern without setting any scale on the printing.
    c. It is a 6 pages pattern, glue them together according to the page number on the corners.
    d. 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 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.}toddler shorts sewing pattern

  2. The original woman jersey polo-shirt of mine before turning into a toddler knit shorts.
    a. Use scissors to cut along the seams to separate out the front, back, and the sleeves.
    b. Use a seam ripper to separate the ribbed band from the sleeves, don’t cut.
    c. Place the paper patterns on the cut polo shirt, arrange them to get the best cut.
    I have to shorten the length of the shorts about 1″ in order to fit in the woman M size polo shirt. Cutting and arranging of the pattern are easier if you have a bigger & plain polo T-shirt.
    If your polo shirt has stripes like mine, aligned the stripes when pinning and cutting so that it looks neat and matched after sewn.original polo shirt medium size

  3. a. Pin and sew the ribbed band along the pocket curve on the right side of the front shorts.
    b. Cut away the extra length.jersey shorts pocket from sleeve band

  4. a. Place Pocket A onto them, with right side facing the front shorts. The ribbed band is in between the shorts and the pocket. Align and pin from the shorts side.
    b. Turn to the shorts side, sew on the first seam jersey shorts pocket

  5. a. Flip Pocket A to the shorts side, press with a warm iron.
    b. Double top-stitch near the edge and 1/4″ apart.sewing jersey shorts with rib pocket

  6. a. Attach Pocket B, pin and sew it with pocket A.
    b. Neaten the raw edges with 4-thread over-lock stitch by using a serger or zig-zag stitch.
    Personally, I like 4-thread over-locking, it gave a neater jersey shorts with pocket

  7. a. Repeat the same sewing steps to the other pocket.
    b. Join the front, back, left & right of the shorts by following the kid shorts tutorial.
    c. Neaten the rest of the raw edges by a 4-thread over-locking stitch or zig-zag stitch.
    d. Fold the hem of the shorts and double top-stitch on the seam.
    e. Measure the wearer’s waist with the elastic band, cut the exact length. Overlap the ends by 1/2″, zig-zag stitch with matching color thread to join the jersey shorts elastic band

  8. a. Cover both sides of the seam with ribbon, sew the edges with same color thread as the ribbon.
    b. Sew another ribbon approximate 3″ apart.
    c. Attach iron-on embroidery patch on the center but don’t iron, instead, stitch along the edge.embellished elastic band

  9. a. Split the elastic band to approximate 4 equal parts.
    b. Pin the elastic band evenly across the waist, approximate 2″ – 3″ between elastic band directly to shorts

  10. a. Stretch the elastic to match the length of the waist between the pins, sew a short length at a time. Sew with same color thread as the elastic band.
    b. Top-stitch another line 1/4″ above the first seam line.stretch and sew elastic band onto shorts

  11. The front view of the toddler knit shorts with rib-edge pocket.toddler knit shorts

  12. The back view of the toddler knit shorts with an embroidery patch on the elastic band.toddler knit shorts

During the weekends, I love to sit in a corner and watch them play while doing my craft, though the shouting and screaming are hardly bearable and I have to intervene to control the situation a little so that they won’t do something beyond the limit. But, all in all, I do enjoy seeing the bonding between the siblings……toddler knit shorts


Even though the material calls for knit fabric, you can use cotton to make a pair of cotton shorts.

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Did you make this project?

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Friday 3rd of May 2019

Cute shorts!! Where did you buy the hot pink windowpane fabric? It’s adorable!

Craft Passion

Friday 3rd of May 2019

Thank you, Claire. It has been many years, I really can't remember where I bought this fabric from.


Saturday 5th of May 2012

Just put a pair together for my little girl with grosgrain ribbon instead of the ribbed band and added a cute little button to give it a nice little detail...turned out sooo cute! Couldn't be happier, came together in about 2 hours and was very easy to follow your instructions! Going to try the tie variation next!

Craft Passion

Sunday 6th of May 2012

Please post some photos in your blogs when it is ready. Can't wait to see your daughter wearing them. Cheers :)


Monday 23rd of April 2012

This was a great tutorial! Thank you so much for posting it. I remixed the pattern a little and posted a blog about it on my site.

Susie Artes

Sunday 18th of March 2012

I have been looking for exactly these shorts - thanks sooo much! Can't wait to make them for my gandchild! Susie


Tuesday 13th of September 2011

Thanks for this free pattern! I used your great pattern as the base for my own. I wanted something a little more fitted for my 4 year old daughter to wear for P.E. at school. I also wanted no side seams. So I didn't cut out the pocket on the front panel and lined up the bottom seams, and slided one over the other until I got a tighter fit, then drew a new waist line. Then I traced around the new pattern, so that I still have your pattern to make her some cotton shorts. The whole process (cutting pattern, editing pattern etc to sewing in a name label), was about 2 hours. Now I have two shorts patterns!

Craft Passion

Wednesday 14th of September 2011

That's fast, Ruthie :)

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