Toddler Gym Shorts

toddler shorts diy
We went to Paris recently with our little ones and whilst exploring came across a whole street of fabric shops in Montmartre. I don’t think I’ve been that excited in a while. After spending ages looking at all the pretty material, I bought some to make something for my Little Button. After spending a few weeks deciding, I followed this excellent pattern and tutorial for gym shorts here. The back material was up-cycled from a lightweight denim shirt (thanks for the hand-me-down Mum).  The sizing below relates to shorts for a three-year-old.

For this project you will need:

– 0.5 metre fabric (for the front)
– 0.75 metre fabric (for the back and waistband)
– 1 inch thick elastic, 20.5 inches long
– Sewing thread to match fabric
– 33 inches of co-ordinating bias binding
– Safety pin

1. Begin by cutting out your pieces from the template. Cut 2 front pieces, 2 back pieces and a waistband from the backing material measuring 4.75 inches wide x 24 inches in length.


2. With the front pieces of fabric, pin right sides together and sew along the inseam with a 0.25 inch seam allowance. Press the seam to one side and do the same with the back pieces.


3. Pin the crotch pieces right sides together and sew with a 0.25 inch seam allowance.


4. Pin the bias binding around the edges of the front and back of the shorts and sew in place.


5. To sew the sides of the shorts together, have right sides of the front and back of the fabric facing up. Overlap the front fabric over the back so the bias binding overlaps. Sew down each side and stop when you get to the curves at the bottom of the shorts.


6. To make the waistband, fold the waistband material in half with wrong sides together and press to create a crease. Then open it up and fold again so the two ends meet the centre fold. Press in place. Then open up the waistband and sew the two short ends together with a 5/8 inch seam allowance.  To attach the waistband to the shorts, turn the shorts inside out, then pin with right sides together the bottom of the waistband to the top of the shorts and sew in place.


7. Turn the shorts the right way out and fold over the waistband so the raw edges are hidden. Make sure your waistband is wide enough to fit your elastic in. Pin and sew the waistband down along the bottom edge. Leave a 1.5 inch gap at the back of the waistband.


8. Attach a safety pin onto one end of your elastic and use it to thread the elastic through the waistband making sure you don’t lose the other end! Check the shorts fit your Little Button and hand sew the gap shut.


9. I decided to add a final touch of a bow onto the front of the shorts. To make the bow, cut two strips of fabric (one from each of your fabrics) measuring 1 inch wide and 10 inches long. Sew with right sides together along the long edges. Turn out.
10. Cut the top and bottom of the bow diagonally. Then tuck in the raw edges and top stitch them in place. To attach the bow to the shorts, pin it vertically in the centre of the front of the shorts with your front fabric on top. Hand sew in place. shorts13
11. To finish, tie the bow. My Little Button really loves wearing her shorts. I’m tempted to make a matching pair for me.

toddler short tutorial little button diaries 1 toddler short tutorial little button diaries 1

If you are interested in sewing, The Purl Bee has a range of excellent tutorials. They are easy to follow (even for newbie crafters) and there is a lovely range of projects. It’s good to share the craft blog love around!

~ Laura xx ~


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