With a few simple sewing techniques, you can upcycle one XL T-shirt into two pairs of shorts for your average kid under ten.
In my first tutorial, I showed you how to sew a quick-and-dirty pair of kid shorts from the sleeves and shoulders of an upcycled T-shirt. This tutorial requires a little more sewing, but the shorts are also a lot cuter and, depending on your kiddo’s height, they could be made to be as long as capri length. Here’s how:
As with the shirt sleeve shorts tutorial, you’ll be using a well-fitted pair of your kid’s 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 front is lined up with the side edges of the shirt, with the butt of the pants facing the middle of the shirt. The bottom hem of the shirt will be the bottom hem of your T-shirt shorts, so position the pants to get the length that you want. I always sew the shirt sleeves shorts first, so that I won’t accidentally overlap any of the shirt’s shoulder area, but if you aren’t making shirt sleeve shorts, as well, then you simply need to keep the pants template below the shirt’s armpit.
Trace a line around your pants template about 1/2″ out, so that you’ll have a 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.