General ramblings

T-shirt shorts and a Sewing Bee…

We had our second Make It Better…Charity Sewing Day this weekend. A Sewing Bee no less..!

We had a variety of projects available for people to make, including more of the pillowcase dresses we made last time. But being the mum of 2 Small boys I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for all the little boys living in poverty in the developing world, and how they must feel when the girls get all their pretty new dresses. Why does no one show that they are loved and thinking about them too?
There is a section on the Sew Scrumptious blog (Louise is the UK co-ordinator for the Dress A Girl Around the World charity) for making shorts, so I had a little look.
And it all looked a bit complicated.
So I hit Pinterest, and found a great You Tube video for making shorts from an old t-shirt-right up my street 🙂

So this is what I did.

And then I made up some instructions for the lovely Sewing Bee-ers so they could do some too.
A quick Freecycle and Facebook alert for some old t-shirts was answered by some fabulous people and we were sorted 🙂

These are honestly super quick and super easy.
I think I might make some for the Smalls as PJ bottoms and hubby has even been eyeing them up (in a bigger size..)

This is what you need:

  • T-shirt
  • Elastic
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Old shorts to use as a template

 This is what you do:

  • Turn the t-shirt inside out and then fold it in half
I've been 'monkeying' about with PicMonkey after finally discovering it about 5,000years after everyone else...See where I've added text for no apparent reason :)

I’ve been ‘monkeying’ about with PicMonkey after finally discovering it about 5,000years after everyone else…See where I’ve added text for no apparent reason 🙂

  • Fold your template shorts in half and then place them so that the folded bit of the shorts (by the fly) is placed on the fold of the t-shirt and the bottom of the shorts in line with the bottom of the t-shirt (saves hemming later..!)

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  • Cut around your shorts-you can mess about with the size at this stage, making them bigger or smaller than your template, or the same if you want the same size! I allowed about 2cm (1/4”) seam allowance
  • Open out the t-shirt fabric and you should now have 2 weird rhomboid shapes with curved edges!

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  • Pin and sew along each of the curved edges

mT-shirt shorts05

  • Lay your ‘shorts’ out with the seams you have just sewn in the middle and it should start to look vaguely like a pair of shorts

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  • Pin and sew up each of inner leg seams. I was careful(ish) to match up the hems and the crotch at either end first and then pinned along the middle. Make sure your sewn lines go completely to the end at each end otherwise you will have a holey crotch…

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  • Then all you have to do is make a waistband:
    -you can either make a casing (fold over 1-2cm and then sew close to the edge) and thread elastic or a drawstring through (not sure if it is against ‘Elf & Safety’ to have drawstrings on children’s trousers now?) and sew over the elastic at each end;
    -OR pin and sew your elastic on to the waistband using a shallow zigzag, and then fold the fabric over and sew again to make it look neater!

I guesstimated at the amount of elastic used at about 2/3 the length of the waistband, and did the second method. It wasn’t that pretty-a fair amount of wonk, but will be better next time..
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And there you have ’em, one pair of shorts! From a t-shirt 🙂

mT-shirt shorts11

If you fancy making a pair for the Dress A Girl (and boy) around the world project, you can find out where to send them at Sew Scrumptious. Or why not do what we did and hold a Sewing Bee and see how many pairs you can make?!

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  • Reply Holly u June 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I have made pillowcase dresses for that charity, but as mom to a boy I like the idea of making for the boys as well! Thanks!

    • Reply Jen June 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      That’s how I felt too Holly 🙂

  • Reply vickymyerscreations June 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Great:) Planning on holding a sewing bee for making pillowcase dresses. First the builder needs to finish, and I need to have a practice run!! Four pillowcases at the ready, but shorts look a great alternative:) I have plenty of t-shirts!

    • Reply Jen June 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Yay! We have had such a lovely time on both of our days-would highly recommend!

  • Reply hmk71 June 10, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I was thinking the same thing about the boys too 🙂 With a boy and girls, I always feel he gets a raw deal when it comes to clothes. I was going to find a t-shirt to practice on, so thanks for simplifying the instructions 🙂

    Said son needs some new PJ shorts, so he might be first guinea pig…
    And incidentally, not sure about Elfin Safety of drawstrings, but in the US you can’t call things nightwear unless it’s been treated with a fire retardant 🙁
    Thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case here, as long as it’s a low flammability (is that a word?) fabric (don’t think my childhood brushed nylon nightie would pass that test) and it’s labelled ‘Keep away from fire’, which is a bit of a relief. I haven’t got the energy to worry about anything else…

    • Reply hmk71 June 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

      Not sure why my comments have reverted to being from hmkn71…


    • Reply Jen June 10, 2013 at 11:15 am

      These would make brilliant PJ shorts! Give them a go and let me know if the instructions make sense.. 🙂

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  • Reply Natasha June 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    This is a fantastic idea! I wish I was better with a sewing machine I’d love to help out with this

    • Reply Jen June 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      They are such simple projects, you don’t need to be a whiz! You could still make one even if you’ve never used a sewing machine before-they are a great 1st project 🙂

  • Reply Sew Scrumptious June 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Yey! Thank so much. Thats fab!!

  • Reply Hilary June 9, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    What a good idea to make for the boys as well! You can buy elastic with slots in, if you sew a button on one end of it ,thread it through the casing then it would mean the waist size could be altered! Hope that makes some sense! Very poor description!

    • Reply Jen June 9, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      I know the sort you mean-they have it in their trousers! Was going to make them some. And maybe hubby too..!

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