DIY Shortalls


How badly do you want to put a little one in a pair of shortalls right now? This is Maude maudeling (ha) them for me – and yup that dip dye hair of hers is all na-tu-ral. These DIY Shortalls are not very hard to make at all. I wanted to give them a little extra style so I went with a bubble shorts look. Not into the straps? Ditch them and you’ve got yourself a cute pair of bubble shorts with a belt. Word on the street is that cool weather is on its way. Not. A. Problem. Tights would look adorable under these, or even a pair of knee-high socks.

Ready to start sewing?

Check out the DIY Shortalls tutorial after the jump…

DIY Shortalls 

If you are new to sewing shorts you might want to start by taking a peek at our Operation Sleep Cute: Sleep Shorts Tutorial.

Fold your fabric and lay a pair of folded shorts onto it for tracing.  I placed the shorts in about 2″ from the fold. Cut 2 pieces and leave extra all around. You want them to be extra big for the bubble look.

Sew the shorts together. Refer to the Operation Sleep Cute: Sleep Shorts Tutorial if you are unsure how. Finish the edges with a serger, sewing with a zig zag stitch, or cutting with pinking shears (I didn’t do that until later, but I don’t recommend it).

For the cuffs you will want to cut two strips of fabric. I went with 2×10 inches, but you can make them larger or smaller.  Keep in mind that the cuff should be about 2″ smaller than the leg opening on the shorts so that it can gather to have the “bubble” look.

Sew the ends of the cuffs closed and set aside.

Fold the top of your shorts over 1/2″ and then again 1″ and iron. Pin down to keep in place.

Keeping the shorts flipped inside out, sew them all the way around, but make sure to leave a small gap open to thread the elastic through.

Baste stitch the leg opening and gather. If you are unsure about gathering check out our post on How to Gather Fabric.

Flip the shorts right-side-out. Match up the gathered leg opening to the cuff pieces and sew around.

Flip the cuff pieces out. This is how you get the bubble look for the shorts.

Fold the cuff pieces over a 1/2″ and then another 1″. You can sew it down or just iron it down. I chose to just iron them down.

Cut three 1 x 2 inch pieces of fabric for the belt loops.

Fold the sides so they meet in the middle, then fold it over again.

Sew around all the edges.

Fold the ends under and sew the belt loops onto the shorts. I put two in the front and on in the back, but you can do as many as you’d like.

Now for the elastic, cut your elastic about 2.5″ longer than the child’s waist measurement. Thread it through the waist and sew the ends together. Stitch the opening on the shorts closed.

You’re almost done!

I decided to make a belt for mine and used the same technique to make the shoulder straps too. I’ll explain next…

You will need two strips of fabric for each strap and the belt. Start by cutting the strips to 1.5″ x 25″. I chose 25″ because that was about as long as it needed to be to fit the child. This length can be adjusted to fit your child.

Sew along the edges keeping the ends open for the belt. Sew three of the four edges closed for the shoulder straps.

Flip the strips right-side-out.

For the belt, cut the ends at a diagonal. For the straps you can just keep the open end cut straight across.

Fold the ends in for both the straps and belt. Sew closed.

For the straps – lay the shorts out and mark where you want the straps to go. Will they criss-cross or go straight back? That’s completely up to you. Finish by sewing them down to the inside of the shorts. 

Check out our other shorts tutorials – Nautical Shorts, How to Turn any Shorts Pattern into Ruffle Shorts, and How to Turn a T-Shirt into Striped Jersey Shorts. Happy sewing!

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