Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gymboree Shorts Tutorial

This is my first tutorial so please be kind!  I made my version using 2 Ottobre Design patterns...#10 Knit Shorts in the Summer 2007 issue and #12 Tulip Pants in the Autumn 2009 issue. 

Gymboree Shorts Tutorial

I've always been fond of Gymboree's little knit shorts ever since my oldest daughter was a baby.  However, with 4 kids and a tight clothing budget I'm not able to pay $12.75 for one simple pair of shorts.  I think I've come pretty close in duplicating the look with this tutorial using patterns that I already owned.  For this pair, I used a cotton interlock from Chez Ami. 

I used the Ottobre Design Summer 2007 #10 Knit Shorts pattern as the foundation of my tutorial.  I'm sure any basic shorts pattern could be tweaked to produce the same (if not better) result. 

This is how the pattern looked originally. 

I cut the pattern along the grain line mark and laid the 2 pieces out with enough space in between to use as seam allowances.  You should have 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces after cutting them out.

I used the pockets pattern from Ottobre Design winter 2009 #12 Tulip pants.  I seem to have lost the front pocket binding pattern piece so I used the back pocket one instead and ended up cutting it to about 4 inches in length.

For the waistband, I originally cut it out using the exact pattern piece.  It turned out that the knit I used for this pair isn't very stretchy and once I sewed the waistband in a circle there was no way it would go over either of my little girls' hips.  I eyeballed it and added 5 inches to the length.  That worked perfectly for my needs.  I also trimmed the width to fit my inch wide elastic with a 1 cm seam allowance.  For the pair of shorts I made last week, I folded the waistband pattern piece in half lengthwise to use as my new waistband pattern piece.  That worked perfectly using 3/4 inch wide elastic.  I also didn't need to add any length since I used a purple rib knit with plenty of stretch.

Start off by stitching the leg inseams together.  I'm using a walking foot which I find works well with knits.

Pin and stitch crotch seam.

Using presser foot as a guide, topstitch the crotch seam.

Measure 1 1/4 inch from the front crotch seam and make a mark on both sides.  This is where the top edge of your pocket will be.

The instrusctions for the pockets are pretty self explanatory if you're using the Tulip pants pocket pattern. In a nutshell, you stitch and gather along the opening between the pattern marks, put the binding on, stitch easing stitches along the outside curve of the pocket, turn under seam allowance and press. I used a pocket template cut from card stock from another pattern to help with pressing the curve.

I then took my pockets and lined them up with the marks I made earlier and basted them on along the top.

I fiddled with the pockets until they were laying somewhat flat and measured both sides to make sure they were placed evenly and then pinned them at the side seams.

Next up is sewing the pockets on.  I used the presser foot for a guide again and stitched close to the edge of the pocket.

After sewing the pockets to the shorts front panel, stitch the leg outseams together.

The next picture is a little blurry but I had sewn the center-back seam of the waistband and then folded it in half lengthwise.  After pressing it, I then pinned the waistband to the shorts. 

I left a small opening while stitching the waistband on so that I could thread elastic through the waistband.

After checking that I'd used the right elastic length for my middle daughter I stitched the elastic together and sewed my hole closed that I'd left for the elastic.  Then I topstitched the waistband seam.

Last but not least, I hemmed the shorts using a double needle.


I think she likes the shorts!

The shorts from last week...


  1. Thanks for the great tutorial, I'll definitly use it if we ever get the weather! Cold and foggy here in Ireland at the moment!

  2. Way cute!! Good tutorial - very clear and easy to understand. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Very cute adaptation.

  4. Really cute hack, very nicely done! I will be making a few pairs like this :)

  5. I love this! Thanks so much for doing this tutorial!

  6. Thanks for all the kind comments!:)

  7. So glad to have found you! These are precious!! I can't wait to try this myself!
    ~mandy from Burkett Blessings

  8. Those are great. If you were to do the bow on the pocket, is that a ribbon or is the the fabric sewn into a tube with top stitching? I have 8 kids so I won't even walk in the store.

  9. I can imagine that it wouldn't be easy shopping with 8 kids...I'm reluctant to take my 4!

    On the green example pair, it's ribbon. They also had used elastic to gather the edge of the pocket. Hope that helps!

  10. I like these shorts, Cindy! Thanks!

  11. These look great, Cindy - great job!


Thanks for taking the time to comment!