Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sandbridge Shorts

This is a tutorial for a pair of 5/6 knit shorts that I originally shared over at Kitschy Coo as part of the 'Make it in a Metre' series.

Sandbridge Shorts Tutorial

Sandbridge shorts
Materials needed: knit fabric, small amount of interfacing, ¾” wide elastic

Print off pattern pieces HERE
Make sure you have the printer set at LANDSCAPE and ACTUAL SIZE. 
Cut out the pattern pieces, you should have 5.

Tape 1a and 1b together to make your front pattern piece and 2a and 2b to make your back.

Cut out 2 fronts, backs, and pockets from pattern pieces. Also cut a strip of fabric (I used ribbing) approx. 21” long and 2 ½” wide for the waistband. For the contrast ruffle at the top of the pocket, you need 2 strips of fabric 1 ¼” wide and 8” long.
Before you start sewing, apply interfacing over the dots that mark where the pocket placements are on the front and back of the shorts. I used 1” by 1” squares. This is to reinforce where the pockets will be attached to the shorts. Very important if your kid actually uses the pockets like mine do.J

Pin a front and back piece right sides together along the outer edge and sew with a ¼” seam. Press the seam towards the back panel. Repeat for the other front and back.

Next up is the pocket. Take your contrasting frill strips and finish one of the long edges with a rolled hem. On my sewing machine, I use a narrow zig zag ( .5 stitch length, 2.0 stitch width). To prevent the fabric from getting sucked into the feed dogs, I gently tug the thread ends from the back.

Next, you want to gather the 8” long strip by basting along the length so that you can gather it to fit your pocket edge.

1. Pin the strip to the pocket’s top edge with right sides facing and the rolled hem edge facing down. Stitch with a ½” seam.

2. Flip the sewn edge to the wrong side and press.

3. Topstitch 2 rows with a straight stitch lengthened to a 3.

4. Stitch ½” from the edge of the pocket with a basting stitch all around the outside edge. This will help you shape your pocket.

Press the seam allowance to the wrong side, tugging on your basting stitch as needed to get the pocket as evenly shaped as you can.

Match up the top edges of the frill with the dots you transferred from the pattern piece and pin the pocket to the shorts. Working with knits for pockets can be a little tricky at times and you might find that the pocket doesn’t perfectly fit the width of the dots. In that case just make sure that the pocket’s middle lines up with the outseam. Half of your pocket should be on the front of the shorts and the other half should be on the back. Also, double check that the pocket is the same distance from the top on both sides.

Stitch the pocket to the shorts close to the edge with a 3 straight stitch. Do a second line of stitches approximately ¼” away from the first. I used my presser foot as a guide.

It’s smooth sailing from here on out!

Sew your inseams together with the wrong sides facing.

Place one the short’s legs into the other, right sides facing.
Stitch the crotch seam with a ¼” seam.

Now to the waistband. Take the 21” x 2 ½” strip and stitch the short ends together to make a circle. Fold the circle in half and press.
Mark the waistband into fourths. Pin the waistband to the top of the shorts, matching the seam to the shorts’ center back seam. Match the other marks accordingly (center front seam, side seams). Stitch with a stretch stitch, leaving an opening to insert the elastic.
Thread elastic through the waistband and join the elastic together with a zig zag stitch. I’ve read all the guidelines about judging the elastic length…most places say to cut it the same as your child’s waist measurement. I’ve also read to cut it a couple of inches smaller. I make my kids’ try on the piece of clothing and I adjust the elastic based on that. I’m mean that way!J
Stitch the opening closed and press the seam allowance towards the shorts. Turn them right side out and topstitch. I used my presser foot as a guide…it’s ¼”.
Lastly, the hems. I use a twin needle (also sometimes called a double needle) to hem. Per Katie from Kadiddlehopper I use wooly nylon (bulky nylon) thread hand wound in my bobbin. That increases the stretchiness of the hem, especially important in a stretchy knit fabric.
1. Fold the bottom edges of the shorts ½” to the wrong side.

2. Using a stretch twin needle, stitch your hems from the top side.

3. There’s your hem!

4.  And here's the underside.

Voila! You now have a pair of knit shorts!



  1. REALLY cute Cindy!! I keep debating about making Miss A a pair of shorts and trying to decide if there is enough "summer" left to bother....I'm not quite ready to say goodbye yet so maybe :).



    1. Thank you, Christy! I feel like summer went by way to fast here...hard to believe school will start shortly.:(


  2. So cute, Cindy! Thanks for the tips on making a rolled hem without an overlocker and also using bulky nylon thread with the double needle. Do you know why you would only use the thread in the bobbin and not for the upper thread? Do you know the thickness of the thread? Do you only hand wind it because it comes on a big reel or is there another reason? Sorry for all my questions and thanks for a fabulous, very helpful post!!!

  3. The pockets are a really cute addition to the simple summer shorts.

    1. Pockets are a necessity for my kids!

  4. Great tutorial Cindy!
    Thanks so much!

  5. These are so adorable! Especially that sweet ruffle pocket and look so comfortable!

  6. How cute are those?! I saw that they were named the Sandbridge shorts and I immediately had to check them out! They are adorable!!! Thank you so much for sharing, and for linking them up to SewSet! love the pockets especially!

  7. You are truly the Queen of Knits:)

    1. I'll start wearing my crown while I sew.;)lol


  8. Really adorable shorts! Definitely going to make a pair on my own :-) Thank You so much for sharing!


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