Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New obsession: Boys shorts.

Back in January, one of the things on my list of projects for 2011 was figuring out how to make a version of Mini Boden's knit shorts (for a fraction of the cost).  Done and Done.  And then done some more.  I'm kind of addicted (what's new?).

The problem with making these shorts?  Fabric selection.  I wanted a heavy cotton knit, and I was looking for something with stripes.  Let me save you some time (for all readers who are local)--this doesn't exist in St. Louis.  Also.  I didn't want to buy fabric online without ACTUALLY seeing/feeling it, and I sure didn't want to spend upward of $10 per yard, because while it would still  be cheaper than Mini Boden, it didn't (in my mind) justify the cost of KNIT PLAY SHORTS.  I mean, we're not talking about a 14 karat gold tuxedo here, people.

Every few weeks, I regularly peruse some thrift stores that are close to our house, because there is ALWAYS some piece of 2nd hand goodness that I have to have.  In this case, I was looking for old sweaters to recycle into new, smaller sweaters (tutorial HERE).  And that's when I came across the women's shirts.  And oh, there was my heavy knit, striped fabric--enough for one pair of shorts--for $2.

Oh, the knowledge.  I now feel like I have an entire thrift store worth of fabric.  I am in LOVE.

I went back for round #2, and decided to try working with a polo fabric--not pique, but a softer, brushed cotton? This pair of shorts (they look solid blue in the picture, but are actually very thin stripes) is lighter in weight, but it worked just as well.  And I can imagine that they will be delightful come August and the full force of the summer sun in its 117 degree glory. 

(pardon the threads...I was in a rush to get this picture while there was still natural light out)

I can't even begin to tell you how to make shorts--I give all the credit to Dana at Made for creating an EASY tutorial, for this very purpose (link HERE).   Her tutorial is for pants, but I will share a little secret:  If you're making shorts, just cut the pattern SHORTER.  I will tell you that making shorts or pants in this style is very easy--especially since I was going for a baggy, mini-boden style.  I'm still tweaking my pattern, because I think I want the legs slightly less flowy, however, I truly fear that doing so might inadvertently create a pair of knit, skinny capri pants for my boys.  It's a fine, fine line. 

The only thing I will add on to Dana's tutorial?  Because I was using an already-sewn garment as fabric?  Well, I decided to save myself some time and energy, and I used the bottom finished seam of the shirt as the bottom of my pant legs.  Make sense?  When I created my pattern (out of banner paper), I made sure to place the bottom of the pant leg directly on to the bottom of the shirt.  NO HEMMING.  And you have a perfectly finished seam, the way the big dog clothing manufacturers would do it.   And now I think my brain is starting to atrophy, because that is the best idea I ever had in my life.

For size reference:  My boys are 6 and almost 5, but they wear the same size (roughly a size 5).  The olive green striped pants were made from a women's XL knit shirt, the blue and white striped pair were made from a man's XL golf polo.  There were scrap bits to spare, but not enough for another pair of shorts (but would make GREAT scraps for embellishing a matching t-shirt...).

I feel a craft night coming on, because my boys could use 67 more pairs of these.


Dale Beachy said...

oh yeah- you are awesome! much better then my $22 pair of mini bodens I just purchased (on SALE).... i'm in on that craft night!

Dale Beachy said...

btw... dale wanted me to mention that it wasn't HIS comment but MINE :)


Jen @ Dear Mommy Brain said...

Fantastic! Where do you do your thrifting? I can never find good stuff around me...

Lisa S. said...

When is that craft night??!!

Becky said...

Awesome. Love how you got the fabric, amazing to me.

Greta said...

SO when I first read that title I thought it said boy shorts and I was thinking grownup in hot pants, way better when I actually read it correctly and those shorts ROCK! I am going to have to stop reading your blog though because now I am following 6 more blogs you have listed and I have a dozen more projects I want to do. In my next life I will have a craft room and a housekeeper.

Melanie said...

I'm definitely in on this craft night! Will start hunting for knits are a genius. :)

birds_nest said...

A month in Oahu? I am so jealous!!
We were there in October and I fell in LOVE with it! We stayed near North Shore-Haleiwa

Ted's Bakery was awesome- they have really good burgers too!

Ted's Bakery
59-024 Kamehameha Highway
Sunset Beach, Hawaii 96712

Kelly Grant said...

You are GENIUS...just like Ned. XO Ort