Introduction: A Pair of Childs Shorts From a T-shirt

About: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.
Cheri at, is a very creative young mother with 2 boys and a little girl on the way.  Recently she did a tutorial on how to make shorts for her boys out of a t-shirt.  Brilliant I thought.  I can do that.  I went through my shirt drawer and pulled out a few shirts that were beginning to show wear.  Then I borrowed my 4 year old grandson’s pajamas to create the pattern.  This is how I did it.

Step 1:

Paper (I taped two 8.5 inch x 11inch pieces together)
Safety pin (not shown)
Pants or shorts (an elastic waist band is best to make the pattern from)
Sewing machine
Matching thread
1 inch wide non-roll elastic (20 inches for this boy’s waist)

Step 2:

Fold the pair of pants (or shorts) in half, length wise.   Lay it on the paper.  Use the marker to trace outside of the edges of the pants.  Trace it at least ½ inch way from the edge.  Allow enough room at the waist for the elastic to gather the waist in.  Usually there is a difference in the front and back crotch length, but with this pair of shorts, it doesn’t seem to matter.

Step 3:

Cut the pattern out.

Step 4:

Fold the t-shirt to make the bottom hem as even as possible.  Fold in half, so that you will be able to cut the two pieces you need, with only one cut. 

Step 5:

Lay the pattern on the t-shirt.  Have the outer edge of the shorts legs on the fold and the bottom (hem area) along the hem of the t-shirt.  That way the shorts will already have a hem. Yes, one less step. 

Step 6:

Cut out the shorts.

Step 7:

Unfold the two pieces and place them right sides together.  The first 2 seams to be sewn are the front and back crotch seams.  All seams were ½ inch wide.

Step 8:

Next refold the shorts so that the legs are on the left and right of the crotch seams. 

Step 9:

Sew the inseam from the hem of one leg clear over to the hem of the other leg.

Step 10:

Now you need to make a casing at the waist band for the elastic.  Fold down the top of the waist band. 

Step 11:

Make sure there is enough room for the elastic to fit once you sew the next two seams. 

Step 12:

Sew down the top edge of the waist band, then sew down the  bottom edge, leaving an area open, to that you have a place to thread the elastic through.

Step 13:

Stick the safety pin into the end of the elastic. 

Step 14:

Safety pins first, stick the elastic in the opening and thread it through the casing.   Don’t let the safety pin-less end loose its way inside the casing. 

Step 15:

When you have both ends of the elastic outside the hole, make sure they are flat all the way through the casing, overlap them about ½ inch, and sew them together.  Let them slip into the opening and sew the opening closed.

Step 16:

Turn the shorts right side out and they are done.

Step 17:

 Now comes the test, will the grandson wear them?  Here I made a mistake; I forgot to get a picture of the finished shorts before the grandson tried them on.  Once he had them on he wouldn’t take them off.  In fact this is the only picture he would let me take of him with his new shorts on.    Yeah, he likes them.  Enjoy!
(Yes, it is an Instructables T-shirt, which is beginning to show wear.  I will save the robot for another project.)
Fashion Contest

Participated in the
Fashion Contest