Clothing + Fashion T-shirt sleeve shorts tutorial (1 of 1)

Published on May 28th, 2012 | by Julie Finn

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Sew Two Pairs of Shorts from One T-Shirt, Tute #1: Comfy Shorts from Upcycled T-Shirt Sleeves

shorts sewn from upcycled T-shirt sleeves

Want to sew clothes for kids that are really, truly cheaper than purchasing them even from your favorite thrift store?

Upcycling is ALWAYS the answer. Using one XL T-shirt (total cost: $1, plus tax, from Goodwill), you can sew two pairs of shorts for any size up to your average early-elementary kid. Your kiddo will be so comfy in her soft jersey-knit shorts, she’ll love the awesome appliques taken from the T-shirt’s front, and you will have clothed her quickly and cheaply for the win.

Read on for the first tutorial in this two-part series: how to sew your first pair of shorts using the sleeves from your upcycled T-shirt.

lay a well-fitting pair of knit shorts over the sleeves of the upcycled T-shirt

To make these shorts, you’ll be using a well-fitted pair of pants as a template. Iron the pants if needed, then fold them exactly in half, front sides together, and smooth them out. See that sticky-outy part at the butt in the photo above? That’s the crotch curve, and it’s very important.

Also iron your upcycled T-shirt until it’s perfectly smooth, and fold it exactly in half, back sides together, taking special care to perfectly match the sleeves and to keep the underarm seams flat.

Arrange the pants so that the point of the crotch curve is even with the underarm seam of the sleeve, but is about 1/2″ over onto the sleeve–that 1/2″ is going to be your seam allowance when you sew. Trace the waist of the pants up onto the shoulder of the upcycled shirt, keeping your seam allowance, and add an extra inch or so to the top of the waist so that you can sew a waistband for your shorts.

Cut through all layers along your traced lines.

Next >>


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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



3 Responses to Sew Two Pairs of Shorts from One T-Shirt, Tute #1: Comfy Shorts from Upcycled T-Shirt Sleeves

  1. Pingback: Sew Two Pairs of Shorts from One Upcycled T-Shirt, Tute #2: Capri Shorts from the T-Shirt’s Body | Crafting a Green World

  2. Pingback: How-to: Recycle Crayola Markers | Crafting a Green World

  3. Pingback: T-Shirt Crafts | Crafting a Green World

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