Welcome back to our KID Shorts series. Today we’re adding more details….pockets!
This post is one of many tutorials that accompany the KID Shorts PATTERN, which you can purchase HERE.
So far we’ve tried Basic Shorts, Flat Front, and Racer Shorts (click a button for the full tutorial):
Of course you don’t need our pattern to sew these shorts but it’s recommended.
If you’re using a different pattern, or if you’ve created your own pattern, follow along with the instructions and make shorts with us!
Today we’re adding simple Front Pockets, which will work with any of our shorts styles. They’re sorta like pork chop pockets, sewn right on the outside of the shorts and incorporated into the top waistband and side seams.
And when it comes to sewing shorts for my kids…this might be all-time favorite combo:
Flat Front + Front Pockets
With little added effort you get really cool, store-bought looking shorts, that my kids love to wear. Plus they’ve got somewhere to stash those little rocks and acorns from our park adventures.
Let’s get started!
–Use a 3/8 inch Seam Allowance for this tutorial (except where indicated for the pocket)—
Along with printing and cutting out the shorts pattern in your desired size, print the pocket pages as well (refer to the pattern for details). Fold your fabric in half and lay out your pattern, with the grainline parallel to the selvage and cut out your pieces.
For the pockets, you’ll need 4 pieces—2 Main pieces that will be on the outside of the shorts and 2 Lining pieces for the inside of the pockets. You can use the same fabric for all 4 pieces OR cut the lining from different fabric. It all depends on fabric weight and look. For these particular shorts, I’m using orange denim which is on the heavier side. So I chose a light-weight flannel for the lining pieces.
And though you won’t totally see the lining fabric on the finished garment, bits of it may show
at the pocket edge and I like that tiny bit of contrast:
Okay, you’ve got four pattern pieces cut:
• Place right sides of the Lining fabric together with right sides of the Main fabric, and pin the pockets together.
• Sew along the two curved sides of the pocket with a 1/4 inch seams allowance (this is the only time we’re using a 1/4 inch SA. A smaller SA will make the pocket edges less bulky when we turn them right-side out)
• When you’re done sewing, clip little lines in the curved portions of the seam so those areas have more “give” and will lay flat.
• Turn the pockets Right side out and iron them to remove the wrinkles.
You’ve got pockets!
They look sorta long and skinny, but remember, they’re going to be incorporated into the waistband and much of that neck will be folded down…..
…..so that they look like this:
Now. Let me mention some other options.
If you don’t like the look of pocket tops folded into the waistband, you could finish off the top of the pocket pieces and sew the pockets below the waistband like this:
You’ll need to trim the top of the pocket down (place them on your shorts to gauge the placement and to determine how short you’d like the pocket tops to be). Then, while sewing the Main pocket to the Lining pocket, sew around the top of the pocket as well, as shown by the red dotted lines below:
• Another fun option is to play with the fabric pattern and direction of your pockets. With striped shorts it’s interesting to cut the pockets so the stripes run horizontal, (contrasting it with the vertical stripes of the main shorts–like the blue fabric above).
• You could also use a contrasting, completely different fabric for your pockets.
• Or…. with gingham, you might try cutting the pocket on the Bias so the little checkers are now diamond shaped:
Cutting on the Bias, means you’re cutting the fabric on a 45 degree angle, relative to the selvage (read more about Bias here). So place and cut your pocket pieces like this:
Let’s talk about pocket placement.
Note the small dots at the top of the Front pattern piece. This is where the edge of the pocket should be placed, with the top of the pocket flush with the top of the shorts. Use a marker or pen to place a small mark on your fabric, indicating this spot (the marked area will never be seen in the finished garment, since it will be folded into the waistband)
Now before I even start sewing my shorts together, I like to play with the pockets a bit to see if I have the look that I want. Sometimes I don’t even know what look I want….so this process helps. Note that my shorts are not sewn together yet, I’ve simply pushed the two Front pieces together at the crotch seam, placed the pockets on top, folded the waistband down, and now I get a sense for what the finished product will look like:
You can flip your pockets over to see if maybe you like the lining fabric on the outside instead??
And then play with thread colors. We’ll be sewing a Topstitch on the pockets, which is simply a visible stitch on the outside of the fabric. So it’s fun to use a contrasting thread color, to give a small pop of color. I couldn’t decide if I wanted yellow or blue, so I laid both on my pocket…and in the end went with blue.
When you’ve selected a thread color, sew along the curved pocket opening, about 1/8 inch from the sewn fabric edge.
Set the pockets aside for a moment and Start sewing the shorts together (as outlined in the Basic Shorts)
• Sew the 2 Front pieces together at the crotch seam
• Sew the 2 Back pieces together at the crotch seam
—-and iron out your seams—-
NOTE that the sides of the pocket will hang over the sides of the shorts a bit. I designed the pocket this way—with a bit of overhang—to give you some wiggle room with pocket placement. If for some reason you want the pockets closer to the center of the shorts, just move them in. Or if you want them spaced further out, you can do that too. When sewing the Flat Front version of the shorts, you’ll have even more pocket overhang on the side seam because the flat front pieces are cut more narrow.
ALSO NOTE: If you’re sewing GIRL Shorts with Pockets, I recommend placing the pockets about an inch above the waistband edge. This gives you more room for sewing the hemline on each leg, since the Girl Shorts are a shorter length:
With the pockets pinnined in place, sew them to the Front of the shorts. Use the same contrasting thread color we used above. Start at the top of the pocket, sew about 1/8 inch from the fabric edge, sew down around the outside of the pocket, and sew along the side of the pocket. Do NOT sew pocket opening!
Trim off any pocket fabric overhang:
Now continue sewing your shorts as we did in the Basic and Flat Front Shorts
• Sew the inseams together and iron
• Sew the side seams together and iron
Then iron the waistband down. This can feel awkward when ironing the front where the pockets are, so do your best to keep the top of the pockets flat as you iron.
I recommend pinning them in place once they’re ironed.
Sew your waistband in place and string elastic through, as outlined in our other tutorials.
Then hem the two legs.
Sweet looking shorts, with sweet little pockets.
Come back next time and we’ll add pockets to the BACK pockets as well.
So many options!
Have a great weekend!
You can purchase the KID Shorts pattern HERE in the SHOP.
(and you can read extra pattern details HERE.)
KID Shorts PDF Pattern – $8