Have you ever wondered what to do with all the t-shirts your little ones have outgrown? Are they just sitting around in bags or boxes waiting to be given away or turned into rags? Well, don’t throw them away! How about turning them into a cool pair of up-cycled patchwork shorts?
I’ve had this patchwork shorts project in various stages of completion since I finished this Patchwork Tunic Top for my daughter. I finally got the short done for him, and boy is he happy!
- 5 or 6 old tees (you could use more or less depending on the size of the shirts and variation you want.)
- Rotary cutter/cutting mat
- Your favorite shorts pattern (If you don’t have a short pattern, I will include instructions to draw your own pattern at the bottom of the post)
- 1/2 inch elastic
- Ball point needle (always use a ball point needle on knits!)
- basic sewing supplies
Cut your t-shirts apart at the seams and use your ruler to cut out 4 inch squares. Pay attention to the designs on the shirts, you may want to center your squares over certain areas to preserve a design or word. (Depending on the t-shirt and where I placed the 1st cut, I was able to get 12 to 18 squares from each shirt, I cut fewer squares on the shirts where I tried to preserve a design or word.)
After cutting the squares, arrange them into a pattern you like. Use your shorts pattern to determine how big the fabric panel needs to be.
|*update* I pulled the shorts out of the dryer for this photo. (It is one year later and the have held up very well.)|
To create the casing, fold the top edge of the shorts over 1/4 inch and press. Fold the edge over another 3/4 inch and press again.
Sew along the folded edge, leaving a 1 1/2 inch opening to slide the elastic through.
Cut a piece of 1/2 inch elastic. (start with the waist measurement plus 1 inch.) Attach the elastic to to safety pin and run through the casing. (To ensure a good fit, I always try the shorts on before sewing the elastic together.)
Sew the elastic together using a zig zag stitch, taking care to ensure the elastic is not twisted. Then stitch the opening closed.
How fun are these shorts? If you make anything with this tutorial, I would love to see your results!
Instructions on making your own shorts pattern:
Fold the shorts you’re using for pattern tracing in half, with the back of the shorts facing out. Make sure to flatten out the back crotch seam as much as possible.
Trace around shorts on to the paper. Extend the top of the shorts up, in a straight line as shown above.
After you have traced the shorts, add a 1/4 inch seam allowance along the sides of the pattern.
Add 1 1/8 inches to the top of the shorts for the elastic casing and 1/2 inch at the bottom for the bottom hem.
Fold the shorts over so the front side is facing out, and repeat these steps for the shorts front pattern.
Cut out both patterns.
If you like this type of project and want to see more, you can follow along using the Google Friend Connect widget, through a reader, or signing up via email. Just click on one of the icons below:
I will be linking up to some of the linky parties listed here.