Knit KID Shorts

Sometimes I can’t believe how old this girl is getting.
Didn’t I just cut her hair?…and talk about her turning 1 year old?

Of course then she picks up a blankie and paci, and she’s my baby all over again.
Old little Clara.  Stop growing up.
(But please start talking. That would be helpful)

But enough Clara shmara.  Let’s talk about shorts.

Many of you have emailed asking, can I sew the KID Shorts pattern with knit fabrics??
And the answer to that is Yes, Yes, of course Yes!
In fact, my approach to most sewing is—YES.  Go for it!  Don’t ask; just try.
Be adventurous and ask questions later!

Or in the words of Ferris:
A – You can never go too far
B – If I’m gonna get busted it’s not gonna be (because I didn’t try sewing shorts with knit fabric)

Basically, if you’ve never sewn with knits before, never be scared.
And read THIS detailed post about sewing with knit fabrics.

Okay.  We’re all on the same page.  Jump in your crib.

And if you’re ready to sew KID Shorts, let’s get started!

This post is one of many tutorials that accompany the KID Shorts PATTERN, which you can purchase HERE in the SHOP.

You do not 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!
And check out all the variations we’ve made by clicking a button below:

Knit shorts are great for any occasion but I especially love them for lounging around the house and for PJs.  Pair them with a simple t-shirt and you have a very simple (and quick) pair of jammies for your kids.

Knit fabrics can be found in most fabric stores these days.  Manufacturers are catching on that we WANT to sew with knits!

Some are interlock knits; some are jersey.   And if you can’t find any at the store, you can always use an old T-shirt for fabric, or a jersey knit bed sheet.  Read my post for more details on types of knits and sources.

Most standard knits are 2-way stretch, which means they stretch in one direction, from side-to-side (yea, it would make more sense to call it one-way stretch but that’s how the lingo goes).  Some knits are 4-way stretch, meaning they stretch from side-to-side and vertically as well.  Most knits that have spandex added in will have 4-way stretch.

The interlock knit I’m using here is from Joann Fabrics and has 2-way stretch:

You want the fabric to stretch horizonally on the shorts; the same direction that the elastic and waistband will stretch. So just follow the grainline markings on the pattern pieces, line them up with the selvage edge of the fabric, and you’ll be fine.

Then use the Basic Shorts instructions for sewing and I’ll provide some tips.

You can use a serger to sew the entire shorts.  OR
You can use a zigzag stitch for the entire shorts. OR
Here’s what I often do…a mix of both stitches:

• Use a straight stitch for sewing most of the seams since those areas don’t really “stretch”.
• Use a zigzag stitch for sewing the waistband and for hemming the legs (although that one’s optional….the legs on these shorts are rather roomy so you don’t really need to use a zigzag stitch).  But the beauty of a zigzag stitch is that it’s able to stretch with the fabric, so it gives the shorts more ease when little legs are wiggling around in bed.

Continue following the instructions in the Basic Shorts Tutorial to string elastic through the waistband….and you’re done!

Now try them out and see how nap time goes….

And since they were so quick to sew, I made another pair with another knit fabric from Joann Fabrics.  I love the whole thing only cost me a few bucks.  Cheaper than any jammies I’ve bought at the store!

Here’s at peek inside. No serger needed, no fancy tricks.

….just a little bit of this to go on top.

Yep. It’s been one of those months, so I pulled out the Don’t Worry, Be Happy shirt again to save my sanity.  And I guess it makes me happy that her shirt and shorts are homemade and super comfy (and even more happy the darn thing still fits!)

Hope you’re turning your worries into happies too!

You can purchase the KID Shorts pattern HERE in the SHOP  (and read extra pattern details HERE.)
KID Shorts PDF Pattern – $8

  1. Love the fabrics! I saw the pink/flower fabric at Joann’s and tried to convince my 7 year old that she liked it. It didn’t work…but she might just end up with with jammies made from it anyway! Thanks for sharing!

  2. 2) Hannah

    This is my go to shorts pattern for my kids, I just love it! I’ll have to try it in knit now.
    My 2.5 year old doesn’t talk either, hopefully soon! 🙂

  3. 3) Penny

    super cute, Dana – the shorts and Clara! thank you for showing them made from fabric from Joann’s – I never know what kind of knit to buy and now I can look at the store and refer to the fabrics you used. agreed – will be great to make them to use as jammies. thanks, too, for keeping all of us motivated to sew on!!

  4. 4) HokieKate

    I love the pattern and have made at least half a dozen pairs so far for my daughters. However, I found them to be too roomy in the legs for knits. Is there any way to narrow the legs for the short girl shorts while maintaining the width in the hip? I have a cloth-diapered daughter that will be one next month, and it’s time for me to make up a batch of 18m size because she’s outgrowing the 12m.

  5. 5) Lauren

    I guess I should stop complaining how little my 19 month old talks! Haha. Clara is getting SO BIG! Wow. She looks a lot like her daddy, dontcha think? So adorable!

  6. Why didnt i think of this?!? She needs shorts to easily pull up and down on her own and the woven is a little too stiff for her to do on her own. Thanks Dana! And i have been hoarding the triangle fabric haha

  7. 7) Bree

    “Many of you have emailed asking, can I sew the KID Shorts pattern with knit fabrics?? And the answer to that is Yes, Yes, of course Yes! In fact, my approach to most sewing is—YES. Go for it! Don’t ask; just try. Be adventurous and ask questions later!”

    I admire your can-do approach to being adventurous while sewing. However, for those of us with limited resources (e.g., money, time, patience, etc.), it’s a good idea to ask questions beforehand so you know your efforts aren’t wasted. It’s so disappointing to start a project and not have it work out because you used the wrong fabrics. I do love your blog and videos, and appreciate all your hard work. I’ve been a follower for over five years.

    P.S. Please, please, please tell me the brand of iron you use! I can’t find it listed any where on your blog and can’t see that brand name in any of your photos. Many thanks!!

  8. 8) Alice McGary

    This is the best shorts pattern of all–easy to sew. I’ve made many pairs of them in the entire size range for an orphanage in Uganda.

  9. 9) Petra

    Dana, very cute fabric and so is the model – she’s growing so fast 🙂 On another note, love your tiles on your stairs – do you have more pics of your new home 😉 !!!

  10. 10) Jennifer N.

    I actually just used your tutorial on your regular shorts to make some knit ones for my son. And they have turned out great. I actually used the bottom of my husband’s old t-shirts so I didnt have to hem the legs at all! (It was actually left over fabric from your t-shirt video-only I used the top of the shirts to make use of the original neckline).

    Thanks for always being so encouraging and posting helpful things!

  11. 11) Rike

    I love this pattern, so far it always fitted perfectly with any fabric I used. My boys started ordering, which shorts they need next…. I extended the legs to make them long pj-trouseres out of “thick” knit. They are the only ones that survive whole rainy sunday mornings playing lego without getting holes at the knee-part immediatly.
    Thanks for all your great inspirations!
    Greetings from Germany.

  12. I thought maybe it was a dumb question but you answered it anyway. Thanks for that!! I love this pattern. It’s my go to quickie pattern!! I even drafted a seam pocket because my son asked for real pockets. What!! Since when do five year olds get an opinion?!? O yeah, since they were born!

  13. 13) Jacqui

    Hello, fantastic patterns thank you ! I just purchased the shorts patterns…. Just a question that I have with your patterns and other patterns.. When It says “sew with a 3/8 inch seam allowance” does that mean that it is accounted for in the patterns ? I have always wondered … I think that it does but my ‘little’ 14 kg 86 cm 11 month old always makes me re-adjust every pattern anyway! he he 😉
    Many thanks xJ

Leave a Comment