sewn toddler shorts...in february?

so, i'm a bit ahead of the seasons. it's twenty something degrees outside and i'm sewing shorts. i couldn't help myself. i blame snowy evenings, a stash of woven fabrics, and coming across this ridiculously cute box pleat shorts tutorial. it was meant to be. and shorts can be made into cold weather-ish wear with the addition of tights...or so i'll tell myself.

this was only my second time sewing bottoms, and the first time was so simple that i'm not even sure they count. i've come a long way with my sewing courage since those leggings though, and i was excited for the challenge.

the tutorial was super thorough, and even included a pattern in the correct size (eighteen to twenty-four months), so i didn't even have to start from scratch. the pattern includes some really cute details that let me add to my growing bank of sewing skills--like the front box pleats, faux-fly, and gathered leg holes. i particularly love the faux-fly for toddler pants. an actual fly is unnecessary, but the look of one really puts the cuteness through the roof (like tiny grown up clothes). i'll definitely be using this feature in future shorts and pants making.

i did make some mods though, because i have no self control. i added both front and back pockets, as if margot could actually use them, and trimmed them out with bias tape in a contrasting floral fabric (which you've maybe seen a time or two). i put the back pockets on a bit low though, which makes the pants look like they're constantly sagging. oops.

also, instead of fully encasing the elastic in the waistband, i made an adjustable waistband using button hole elastics, like in this tutorial. i was pretty worried about the fit, since margot is on the small side, so this was pretty good insurance. this is another feature i'll likely include in future shorts.

and, most proudly, this project forced me to conquer my buttonhole foot! i'm not sure why it took me so long, because my machine has an automatic buttonhole foot, but long long ago, when i first got my machine, i tried using it and failed repeatedly. i remember it well--there was much weeping and throwing of things and abandoning half sewn pillows. i was so miffed by the experience that it took me until now to try again. and, alas, success! three times in fact since i needed two buttonholes for the adjustable waistband.

overall, i'm super happy with how they turned out. they fit pretty well and will hopefully fit though the summer, which is lucky because i may have accidentally cut about an inch and a half off the back piece's width (note, the back piece is supposed to be wider than the front piece when you sew the two together...don't ask me how i know that). it was a happy accident though because without it, that adjustable elastic would be working hard to keep those orange shorts up on that tiny bum.

i have also figured out that dum-dums make a better photo shoot bribe than cookies (as long as you're ok with drool marks down shirt fronts). margot approves of this discovery and would now like there to be more photo shoots. she's in luck, because i have a second pair of shorts almost done and a third pair already planned out in my head, not to mention the many other yet to be blogged about margot related projects. it's the cruel truth of the cold months that my productivity peaks at the same time that opportunities and patience for photo taking is at a minimum. oh well.


  1. The first thing that came to my mind when I first saw her standing there in those adorable shorts was the Von Trapp family from the Sound of Music. Not sure why. You didn't make her shorts from curtains, did you? :-)

  2. haha. nope. not curtains. this time.