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.
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.