Clothing + Fashion

Published on May 29th, 2012 | by Julie Finn


Sew Two Pairs of Shorts from One Upcycled T-Shirt, Tute #2: Capri Shorts from the T-Shirt’s Body

capri shorts sewn from an upcycled T-shirt

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:

lay a pair of pants over the body of the T-shirt

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.

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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.

4 Responses to Sew Two Pairs of Shorts from One Upcycled T-Shirt, Tute #2: Capri Shorts from the T-Shirt’s Body

  1. Pingback: Sew Two Pairs of Shorts from One T-Shirt, Tute #1: Comfy Shorts from Upcycled T-Shirt Sleeves | Crafting a Green World

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