Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shorties - A Short Tutorial

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend and she mentioned how she wished she could find some little shorty shorts to cover her daughter's underwear - it seems as though 2, 3, and 4 year old girls aren't very good at NOT showing off their panties when they wear dresses or skirts.

  I agreed and looked at different options online and decided that those little bike shorts are the best option.  They don't look like diaper covers (that would look strange on a 4 year old) and are long enough to modestly cover gapey, toddler panties.  I decided that I should get some since Claire is so rambunctious at church but had a hard time finding them under $5 and even then I couldn't find the colors I needed. So, as usual, if you want something plain and simple, without butterflies, Dora, ugly colors or monkeys you must make it yourself.

I cut apart a pair of garanimals shorts that I had and used it as my pattern.  Each pair I have made is slightly adjusted.  I think I finally got it just right for Claire.  

If my machine doesn't act up (sewing on knit is not its favorite thing to do) I can turn one of these guys out in about 20 minutes.  Here's how!

I used a TJ's bag to make my pattern now that I got it the way I want.  I cut this white pair out of a cami that I never wore. 
 Pin with the right sides together.
 Turn the shorts so the the seams you just sewed become a seam down the front and the seam down the back.
 Then pin the crotch/legs together and sew.
 Fold the legs and waist over and pin. The great thing about knit is that it won't unravel so there is no need to serge the edges or double fold them over.

Now, in order for the waist and leg holes to retain the stretchiness of the fabric, it is important to use a double needle.  Here is a great explanation and tutorial for using a double needle.  It is very easy.  Here is how I set the spools up on my machine. 
 The thread does tangle but I've never had to affect the stitches.
Sew all the way around the legs and waist, but leave a space so you can thread the elastic through.
I learned after my first pair NOT to use regular elastic. Pajama, knit of this soft fold-over elastic are all fine to use.
Thread it though the waist band casing, sew the elastic ends together and of course close up the opening you had left for the elastic done. 

Done! Each pair cost about 68 cents  since I used only material that I already had.  Then only cost was the elastic.

 Now she has shorts to go with any dress.

 - So jump, dance, run, 
crawl, or roll to your heart's content Claire! 

(Not that you didn't before)

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