Saturday, 16 July 2016

Completed: DIY pocket shorts & bonus birthday t-shirt

Small Boy is in desperate need of some shorts. Most of the shorts he is currently wearing are age 3-4, and he turned 6 last month. To be honest, they do still fit, but I felt that he probably was due some new ones.

We had a look through my stash, and he chose a fabric. This is not the fabric he chose. The pattern required a few changes to meet his specifications and I wanted to make a wearable muslin pair to make sure I hadn't messed it up. And then I kind of got carried away with details. I didn't have time to make both pairs before we went on holiday.
The pattern is the free Oliver and S Sunny Day Shorts, which I've made before as PJs for both boys. They are a very basic, elasticated waist pattern. The changes I made were to lengthen them to below knee length, and to add front and back pockets. The back pockets are patch pockets and I copied the size from another pair of shorts, changing the shape slightly. For the front pockets, I drafted pocket pieces and bags and made it slightly more challenging by adding a 2 piece facing - I don't know the proper name for this, sorry. It's like the pockets you get in jeans, where the exposed top part of the facing is denim, but the lower portion of the same piece is the pocket lining. Do you know what I mean? I did this because by then I realised I had just enough of this denim for the shorts, which I knew would be too bulky for a full pocket facing.
This is what I mean
The denim is left over from this Inari dress, and I had to cut it all on the cross grain to fit it in. The pockets and waist band facing (yeah, I "drafted" that too, again to cut down on bulk) are made from chambray left over from my midi skirt. As I was cutting it, I was thinking it was a pity I didn't have any cool boyish fabric to use, when I came up with the idea of letting him design them himself. I cut the pieces and then let him draw on them with fabric pen. Of course I forgot to tell him which way up the pieces went, so some of the are now on their sides, but that doesn't matter too much. For info, each piece is themed. We have Tom & Jerry, Star Wars, Edinburgh Zoo and Dragons of Berk. The waistband says his name and then From Mummy and Daddy, Thank You. 
I finally managed to use the selvedge on this denim, on the back pockets and I sewed them on wrong side out for fun. All topstitching is done in turquoise thread, although as it's normal thread it's pretty subtle, which is a shame, because it's pretty good! I did bar tacks at the pockets to strengthen them, which turned out well. I also did a fake fly, which I free handed, because without it, the shorts looked a bit meh. It's subtle, but I think it makes them.

The fit is quite a bit baggier than he usually wears, but it works. I could slim the legs down, but I'd also need to start fiddling around with the crotch curve and I'm not prepared to do that for boy's shorts. The thing about boys is that they grow, so any changes I make, I'll only have to make again in a year or so. It would be easier just to buy a different pattern.

The boy is delighted with these and I am too. He wore them 3 days straight on holiday, where these photos were taken. We went to Dunoon on the West of Scotland for a week, and these were taken at Inverary Jail, where we spent a day. He is wearing the shorts with his birthday tee, which I have realised I haven't blogged. I didn't make the tee - it's M&S - but I did the stormtrooper stencil using my usual method. I think birthday tees are becoming a tradition. This one I made in good time, so the ink would have plenty of time to cure. I found the stencil on Pinterest, here. He also loves this. Double win!!!
He takes his modelling very seriously. To a point.

And then his brother wanted to join in.
Coincidentally, he was wearing his Milk t-shirt under that fleece! Home-stencilled tees FTW!

Cuties steal my heart every time! 


  1. Oh your boys are just too gorgeous!! It's nice to be able to sew for them too, since there's so little that is interesting available in RTW eh!

  2. That last photo needs to be framed!!!! Love the additions you made to the pattern!! And that shirt is perfect.

  3. I think the pocket bags might be the best part on this! I love that he gave each one a different theme!!

  4. I love all the additions you've made to the shorts. I've got a pair of olvier + s sketchbook shorts cut out & they've got that false fly too, and pockets. I'm too lazy to attempt to changes myself!
    Your stencilling is so good as always, I'd be very happy with that T-shirt too,in fact I'd wear it myself!

  5. These are lovely, I have made these shorts a few times but always in a mad pre holiday rush so never look as professional as yours. Love the pockets!


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