Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gathered Pocket Shorts Tutorial and Pattern



Well I finally did it. I managed to get the tutorial completed that I promised a week ago here. Really, that is the easy part. It's the pattern that was a pain. I had no idea how difficult it was to put a simple hand drawn pattern on a blog. Congratulations to all those have done this. I have a new appreciation of all your hard work. 

Regardless of my reasoning I am sorry that this has been delayed. I hope you like the pattern and my instructions are easy to follow. 

To download the 2T pattern click here. Print it*. Match up the shorts front on page 1 & 2 and the shorts back on page 3 & 4. Tape it together and cut it out. 

*Note: I have a MacBook and found it impossible to print right using the Preview Software. It is best to use adobe reader. Be sure to turn off the scaling when you print.

You might find the shape of the pattern to be usual. The back of the shorts have a high sweep up. I did this to get better coverage of my little one's bottom. I have had problems when making shorts & pants using patterns that have the same front as the back. I don't know about you but my front is definitely not the same as my back. I don't understand why this is done for little ones since you have a diaper that clothes need to fit over. That being said you should not have any issues with your child bending over and their shorts sliding down unless your elastic is too loose.

MATERIALS
1/2 - 3/4 yard (depending on width) of fabric, pretty much any light weight cotton will work 
3/4" wide no roll elastic, approximately 20".
15" twill tape (you can skip the fake draw string if you prefer)
coordinating thread
basic sewing notions
serger helpful but not necessary.

SEAM ALLOWANCE 
1/4" unless stated differently in the instructions.

TUTORIAL
I apologize if its hard to see the details in my pictures. I didn't pick the best fabric for that. I used the white thread to try and help.

1. Cut out two of each pattern piece from the fabric (be sure to follow the grain line markings on the pattern pieces). Most all fabrics have a front and a back, so be sure mirror the shorts front and back pattern pieces when cutting them out.

2. Pin together the inner leg edge of one shorts front and one shorts back with the fabric fronts facing each other. Sew the inner legs together. Repeat with the remaining front and back pieces.


3. Open the two short sections. Lay the fabric front facing each other. The shorts back should be on shorts back and shorts front should be on shorts front. Be sure to match up the inner leg seam you have just sewn. Pin the crotch/rise front and back.



4. Sew the entire section front to back. Its a good idea to do two rows of stitches here to reinforce. I used the serger to do my second stitch but a sewing machine straight or zigzag will work fine.



5. Open and fold at the inner leg fabric fronts facing. Pin the front and back together at the sides. Stitch up both sides. 




They should start looking like shorts. If you haven't been using a serger, it's a good idea to finish your seams with a zig zag stitch or pinking shears at this point. Press all of your seams. 

I don't show it here but I serged/finished the leg and waist of the shorts since my fabric started fraying badly.



6. With your sewing machine set to the longest stitch. Sew a gathering stitch across the top and around the bottom of both pocket pieces. 



7. Lightly pull the bobbin thread on the gathering stitch on the bottom on the pocket. Pull just enough to help you fold an even 1/4" hem. Iron the 1/4" fold all the way from one side to the other. Repeat with the other pocket.



8. Fold and press the long part of the pocket band 1/4" on both sides. Then fold in half and press. Repeat for the other pocket band. 



9. Pull the bobbin thread for the gathering stitch across the top of the pocket. Gather pocket top to fit 1/4" in from the sides of the pocket band. Open the pocket band folds and line up the raw edge of the pocket and band with the front of the fabric facing each other. Pin in place. With a normal length stitch, sew along the 1/4" fold of the pocket band. Repeat with the other pocket.



10. Fold the pocket band over the raw edge of the gathered pocket. Press folds of the band again. Edge stitch the pocket band closed across the front of the pocket being careful to catch the back of the band. Since this will be the finishing stitch for the pocket band be sure to use the coordinating thread. Repeat with the other pocket.



11. Press raw ends of the pocket bands over 1/4". This should be even with the sides of the pocket. Pin to hold the folds in place. 




12. Right side out, lay shorts flat with the side seam facing you. Center the pocket on the seam 2" from the bottom of the leg. Pin the pocket in place. Again with the coordinating thread sew the pocket in to place. Repeat with the remaining pocket on the other side seam.


(Sorry guys couldn't bring myself to use white thread on the finishing stitches so its hard to see the pocket on the shorts.)

13. Fold the leg bands in half so the two short ends meet. Sew together using a 1/2 " seam allowance. (I gave a little extra length if your little one has really cubby thighs like my little one or if you would prefer a little less gathering - I used the 1/2 in seam allowance for the shorts pictured)

14. Length wise fold and press the leg band in half. Open fold then fold and press a 1/2" hem on both sides. Repeat for the other leg band. 

On this pair, I did only one 1" hem and then serged the other side. The serged side will be on the inside of the shorts.
15. Set the sewing machine to the longest stitch again and sew a gathering stitch around each leg. Pull the bobbin thread to gather the leg to fit the leg band.

16. Open the center fold of the pocket band pin the inside half of the band to the inside of the shorts. Sew in place. Repeat with the other leg.



17. Fold the band over the front of the shorts. Pin in place, then edge stitched closed. Repeat with the other leg.

18. For the elastic waist band casement, fold over the waist band edge 1/4" press. Fold again 1" and press. If you do not wish to do a fake drawstring skip to step 19.



19. Before sewing the casement turn the shorts right side out and mark two lines 3/8"down from the folded waistband and 3/4" apart straddling the front short seam. 



Open up the folded casement and do two button hole stitches. Make sure you are only going through one layer of fabric. Using a seam ripper carefully cut open the buttonholes and thread the twill tape through the buttonholes. 




20. Fold the waist band back in to place for the casement. Pin in place and edge stitch leaving a 2-3" opening. Measure your child's waist and add 1". This will be the length that is needed for the elastic. (my little one has a 19" waist so I cut the elastic 20") Using a safety pin thread the elastic through the opening. Work it all the way around being careful not to pull the other end through the opening. 




Connect the end by overlapping the elastic ends by 1" and running a zig zag stitch back and forth a couple times. Sew the opening in the casement closed being careful not to sew the elastic to the shorts.



Your done! Now you have a spiffy new pair of shorts for your darling. 








If you have any problems please leave me a comment and I will do my best to get back with you as soon as possible. Any general feed back is welcome too! This should go without saying, but please be kind, there is a human at the other end of this and I am new and still learning. 

Thanks for stopping by the nest!
Darla


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