Hey, everybody! Kelly here from Handmade Boy and I’m back this month with some shorts I sewed for my son. He really, really needed new shorts this year! Most of his shorts from last year were actually from the year before. The kid’s waist hasn’t changed in for.ev.er. He just keeps getting taller. But this year, his shorts were just tooo short, so new ones were a must! I already owned the patterns that I am reviewing. Actually, I did test all the patterns that I am reviewing. However, I tested different sizes than I am reviewing today.
So, my kid is really skinny. That means that I usually have to blend sizes to get a good fit on him. I did do that with these shorts today and will note what I did to get his pants to stay where they belong. I did stick to recommended fabrics for all the patterns. Let’s get this party going.
Gracious Threads Starfish Shorts
This is listed as a unisex pattern. However, I do prefer my son’s shorts to be a bit on the longer side, so I increased the inseam to match the size 8, two sizes larger than he measures for. I used the size 3 width and blended with the size 6 rise. And I used the size 3 elastic length as well. Did you follow all that? I nearly used every size available in this pattern. It ranges from 2-8yrs.
Since posting this morning, I have found out that I do NOT have the latest version of the Starfish Shorts. The size goes up to a 12 now since it was updated earlier this year.
The fit was really good going off of his measurements. I tested this pattern for my niece; who I believe was a size 2 at the time. My sister LOVED the ones I made my niece! But, because I prefer a longer short, I had actually never made these for Thomas. I tend to see these more as girl’s shorts. But I know that is me. That said, I really like how they turned out for Thomas! Definitely not girly!
The shorts feature a flat front with elastic in the back. The actual construction of the waistband makes adjusting the elastic for the perfect fit a bit challenging. But, using Thomas’s measurements, they did fit perfectly.
I liked the rise and they aren’t super baggy and sloppy, but still have plenty of room to move and run around in, even made with woven fabric.
To keep the pocket flap in place, I did topstitch it down to the pocket before sewing the pocket in place. Hey, that means less ironing.
Overall, these were a quick sew and went together smoothly. I would say a confident beginner could handle these. The pattern features actual pictures and uses the same fabric throughout. However, the fabric used for the main fabric does not have an obvious right/wrong side. The wording is clear and does state how to place the fabrics. The trickiest part in construction is how the waistband is formed. It isn’t difficult, just not your basic turn down and sew a casing waistband. The finish inside the waistband is nice and clean.
I am really happy with how these turned out. Thomas liked them and was happy with them. The chore will just be keeping the light colored fabric he picked out clean. 😛
Peek-a-Boo Patterns Coastal Craze Baggies
Great shot of the fit, huh. Okay, up front, these are my favorite shorts. They are comfy, easy to sew and look like ready to wear. I tested a size 2 or 3 in these for Thomas when this pattern was being developed. The sizes range from 3 months to 12 years. That’s a lot of shorts you can sew from this!
Thomas has approximately 200 pairs of these shorts. Okay, just kidding. But really, he has four or five. The pattern states it is for knit, but you can do these in woven without issue. I have and I did not even upsize to do it. You do have to keep the waistband in knit.
I make the size 5 with 6 length and cut the elastic to fit Thomas’s waist. I sewed these per the directions, minus topstitching the seam down that attaches the waistband. I just prefer the look of it without the topstitching. The seam doesn’t bother Thomas at all and he is rather funny about seams and tags. Thomas is a huge fan of the pockets and I like the faux fly and pocket binding. It makes the shorts look more ready to wear with that touch of detailing. A confident beginner could tackle these. The waistband with the elastic encased is the trickiest part and does include a small bit of hand sewing, but the directions are clear. I did do my waistband differently. I made a loop with my elastic by sewing the ends together and slipping that into the waistband, then sewed the waistband onto the shorts. You have to adjust the elastic before construction, if you are unsure of the length you need (for example, you have a really slim kid). The pattern features actual pictures and the fabric does change for a step to help show that step more clearly. Uses different fabrics throughout a tutorial doesn’t bother me personally but I know others may have a different opinion on this.
The inside has a nice clean finish. And for those keeping track, these exact shorts have been worn over a dozen times this summer before taking these photographs.
The waistband has elastic all the way around and you can adjust the fit as needed during construction. The pants are really easy to move and climb in and stay up where they should. No underwear flashing happening.
Terra’s Treasures Long Beach Board Shorts
These shorts are great. Pattern sizing goes from 3/6 month all the way to a 14. You can make this pattern for a long time! They have two length options and I went with the longer length. I tested the shorter “girl” length in a 10 for my daughter last year. And while I had put the pattern aside planning to make some for Thomas, I just never got around to it. Totally kicking myself for that now!
I love the piping detail on these. If you haven’t worked with piping before, this would be a good starter project. The directions are clear and easy to use. The instructions use actual pictures and use two different pairs of shorts to illustrate the steps. There are digital elements added where needed to highlight where to topstitch or sew. Don’t have piping, but want to make the shorts, you can omit it without any problem! The pattern is for woven fabrics.
There are no pockets for this pattern, but honestly, Thomas didn’t seem to mind. Kinda surprised me actually.
I sewed a size 5 for Thomas. I did topstitch the front side seam (a step not included in the directions) out of personal tastes and instead of hemming them per the instructions (fold up 1/2″ twice) I serged the raw edge and folded up 1/2″ once. This was out of laziness. 😛
The shorts have a flat front and elastic in the back. The technique for constructing does allow for adjusting the fit as needed while you are sewing these up. The inside is finished nicely also.
The rise is a good rise and doesn’t come up too high, but keeps underwear hidden. Even though underwear can be super cute!
And a quick round up of all three shorts.
You can find all the charts for each pattern’s features on the intro to the kid’s shorts page here along with the other shorts we are reviewing.