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Simple Knit Shorts with Side Pockets {tutorial}

2013 May 14

Day 2 of Spring Shorts Week coming right up!

Simple Knit Shorts with Side Pockets

Today’s tutorial is largely based on yesterday’s shorts’ construction, you will be omitting the knee pads and sewing on side pockets instead. Use THIS tutorial for the bulk of the construction, so it might be nice to have it available for easy reference – but don’t worry, I will walk you through it!

These came out super cute, I’m really happy with them! I had an old t-shirt that worked perfectly for the pockets and I used some brown double-knit that was hanging around from another project.

 You will need:

  • knit material – yardage depends on the size of your pattern piece (read through the tutorial to make sure you have enough material for the pattern piece and the casing)
  • contrasting knit for the pockets
  • regular sewing machine (you do not need a serger to sew knits!)
  • 3/4″ or 1″ non-roll elastic
  • 1/4″ braided or knit elastic
  • 8″ twill tape (ribbon) to match/contrast the shorts
  • tissue paper, paper, or tear-away stabilizer
  • ballpoint sewing machine needle (for sewing knits)
  • pins/scissors/matching thread/other sewing gear
  • Shorts Pattern Piece – Make your own in any size: {How To} Make a Kid’s Simple Knit Shorts Pattern OR click on the following link to download the 5 page Size 3 printable pdf
  • Pocket Pattern Piece – click HERE to download the printable pdf

Before you begin:

  • Print out all 5 pages of the pattern piece pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
  • Cut or fold the pages on the outer gray lines and tape/glue the pages together, matching the letters in the gray half-circles.

Tips on Sewing Simple Knit Shorts with Side Pockets for Boys:

  • tie the twill tape in a knot instead of a bow
  • Use tall rectangular pockets instead of pleated ones
  • don’t use elastic on the leg hem, use a straight hem all the way around
  • paint on a freezer paper “sport” number like these
  • top-stitch on a fake fly like these

Step 1: Follow Steps 1 and 2 on the Simple Knit Shorts tutorial to cut out your fabric and casing.

Step 2: Cut out your pockets using the printable pattern piece. Also cut 2 Pocket bands that are 2″ tall by your pocket width (these will be cut shorter later, so if you are short on fabric read on and cut them when you do your “stretch test”).

Step 3: This one is easy! Tie your short piece of twill tape in a bow (you can use a lighter to – CAREFULLY! – melt the ends of the tape so it will not fray) and check to make sure you have the things in the following picture.

Step 4: Locate the front on each of your main shorts pattern pieces and lay them out. If your knit does not have an obvious “right side” make sure you mark the outside of your material so you have two opposite pieces (see photo).

Step 5: (1) Mark the pleats on your pockets with pins. (2) Fold the pocket in half right-sides together and mark where the 2 pleat pins line up. Also make a mark 1″ down from the top near the fold. (3) Stitch 1″ down the pockets at the pleat marking, stop when you reach your 1″ marking and back-stitch to hold it in place.

Step 6: (1) Fold the pleat open evenly on both sides of the stitching and pin it open on the wrong side of both pockets. (2) Fold your Pocket bands in half lengthwise wrong sides together and give them a quick iron to hold it in place. (3) Stretch the pocket band as much as it will stretch and cut the “fully stretched” length to match your newly pleated pocket width. (See the photo – the band I am stretching is the same length as the band above it when it is not being stretched.)

Step 7: (1) Stretch and pin the folded band evenly to the right side of the pocket. (2) Stretch and stitch the band to the top of the pocket with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Use a ballpoint needle and a thin long zig-zag stitch. (3) Open up the band and press the seam allowances down to the pocket side.

Step 8: Place the pocket on your shorts. If you are using the printable size 3 pattern, use the placement lines on the pattern piece. If you made your own pattern, centre the pocket on the centre of each shorts leg piece. (Again, make sure you have 2 opposite leg pieces!) The pocket is 2-3 inches above the hem-line.

Step 9: Stitch around your pocket, leaving the top “cuff” open. I used a double needle and stitched about 1/8″ away from the edge. These pockets have raw edges and won’t fray because they are knit. Back-stitch a little extra at the beginning and ending of your stitching so the pockets don’t tear out when they are used. Place tissue/paper/tear away stabilizer behind the pocket so your stitching does not stretch the fabric and cause a wavy seam line.

Step 10: Follow Steps 9 through 21 of the Simple Knit Shorts tutorial to finish these shorts.

Hooray you are done!

And… There’s more to come tomorrow - Simple Knit Shorts with Oval Knee Pads and Easy Hem!

Oh… and before I forget – don’t you forget to enter the giveaway from Fabric Spot. It’s over on Friday and you’ll miss out on that Tsuru! Go and get it!

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. The Husbandly Wolf permalink*
    May 14, 2013

    Nice Pants!!

  2. May 14, 2013

    These are adorable! I love the big side pocket look and they look so comfy too.

  3. June 4, 2014

    Love these, so hip!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. {How to} Make a Kid’s Simple Knit Shorts Pattern | Thread Riding Hood
  2. Made by Me Monday – Simple Knit Skirt with (under) Shorts {tutorial} | Thread Riding Hood

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