I’m baaaaack!! I’m sure some of you were beginning to wonder if I had become one of those blog-abandoners, but I’m still here. After the paid project I mentioned in my last post, I kinda lost my sewing mojo for a bit, then we had an impromptu family vacation to Chicago, which helped motivate me to make a few things to use for the trip (stupid, yes, but don’t all we sewists do this??). While pondering what projects I could eek out the fastest, I got such an awesome shock that Dana FINALLY released her KID Shorts pattern! So, it was fully decided then and there.
You may remember I used her free pattern for KID Pants as my main pattern for Little Man’s pants through the winter months. Right after perfecting the fit of the rise and such from having to grade it up a size or two, he had yet another growth spurt that I had zero motivation to deal with. I was over grading that pattern, and decided to wait it out until she produced a graded version of the pattern, which, by the way, I would’ve happily paid $40 for, because her pants pattern worked out so well for us! But don’t worry it’s actually only $6, and you if you have a hard-to-fit kid, you should absolutely give it a shot!
Though I normally try to use thrifted adult-sized clothes for anything I make for LM, he had requested yellow shorts, and Goodwill had none I could utilize. I had passed this neon yellow stretch denim at Joann a few times and always thought LM would love wearing something made out of it. It wasn’t until his yellow shorts request that I decided to just go for it. And this fabric is so yellow! I don’t think the photos even really do it justice–the woman at the cutting counter even commented about how bright it was and perhaps one would need sunglasses when looking at it. But LM loves it, and that is always what matters!
I prefer the board shorts look, but I made them as long as I could without the risk of his knees catching them when he’s climbing around like a monkey. And though I love the color for him, the stretch of the fabric was a pain to sew. My brain kept thinking “light weight denim!”, but my machine was obviously sewing something more kin to a knit. The back pockets–which I made too big to begin with–ended up slightly stretched at the corners, and there was a row of topstitching at the bottom of the hem that I had to rip out from waviness. Might I also take this opportunity to announce that topstitching is officially my KRYPTONITE. I suck at it on so many levels. When doing the front patch pockets, I somehow managed to make the inner row of stitches so far inside that there was a good half inch between the two rows. So to pretend it was intentional, I added a third row in between them. I don’t like it, but luckily the thread color is close enough that it’s not too noticeable.
As far as the pattern goes, I obviously love it! But if I’m being completely honest, I will share the few downsides I find with it.
-The only sizing help she offers prior to printing is the finished waist measurement. There are no finished hip measurements or sizing help here at all. She does offer the finished length, but that’s something you adjust after you find the proper hip/waist size. I printed out and taped together one set of sizes just to find it was identical to the size that he had just outgrown. So I had to print out another size and tape all that together, too. Though only having two or three sizes per print out makes it easier if you don’t have a color printer, it’s a pain for finding the proper size. We ended up with the 5Y size even though LM is only 3 years old. But he’s huge for his age, and I wanted room to grow, so I would consider this okay.
-If you loved her free pants pattern from the Celebrate the Boy series, I think this fit is nearly the same. But if you are comparing your pattern to the new one, note that she has shifted some of the front piece’s ease onto the back piece. It doesn’t effect the fit at all (I don’t think), but be sure to actually measure both the front and back pieces to find a total measurement for your comparison. I first only compared the front pieces and was surprised to find it smaller, but the back piece was bigger. (I hope this rambling makes sense…)
-All directions for sewing these shorts is on her website. ALL OF IT. While I love that she is opening up her pattern to a plethora of free tutorials you can do with any basic shorts pattern, I don’t like having to go online to find so little as a seam allowance for a pattern. **UPDATE: In the comments, Dana pointed out that the seam allowance is printed on the back pattern piece for all sizes. I don’t look much at patterns after cutting, so that must be how I missed it! Thanks, Dana!** I also was ready to add back patch pockets to his shorts, but she hadn’t posted the fresh tutorial yet–she has an older tutorial for her standard KID PANTS pattern, so you won’t be completely in the dark there. I will likely have to just print some info from her site to have that handy for future reference. (We live out of normal WiFi range, and we literally pay by the gig for our internet, so I try to avoid excess internet use.) I would love to see at least the instructions for the basic advertised pattern included in the file download.
-The shorts seem very long. It could just be me, I folded up inches of excess into the hem. Granted, I can let that hem down next summer after LM grows again, but there seems to be drastic differences in length between sizes. However, this is minor, since it’s not hard to shorten a pattern. (Some may even wager that the size I chose is too big to begin with, so it may not affect you at all!)
You can still see a bit of that waviness on the bottom hem here where I ripped out the topstitching. Hopefully after more washes it will shift back into place. I’m also hoping that bit of flared-ness shrinks up…
Even with all these things, I still love this pattern. It has awesome versatility and can last for many years with gobs of variations (my favorite kind of investment!). And the best part is these are the first shorts he has worn that I haven’t had to tug on throughout the day! I realized near the end of our day in Chicago that I hadn’t had to pull them up or fix them even once since putting them on him that morning (except bathroom breaks, of course), and we were on the move all day! I’m also thinking I will just trace the crotch curve onto the Parsley Pants Pattern to make for some perfect pants, since that was the only flaw I really had with Rae’s pattern!
I’ve also already made a second pair of shorts as a birthday present for my nephew. I used thrifted plaid shorts for them, but the original shorts weren’t big enough to fully “harvest” fabric from; so I made a one-piece shorts pattern from the Kid Shorts pattern and kept the original side seam and hem intact (I’ll get pics later). This pattern is great, people! Buy it! I’ll be back soon with a post about Little Man’s new shark shirt.
Thanks for looking! 🙂