Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bubble pocket shorts and ruffled skirts...

Did that title make you wonder what's up? These are the cutest shorts I've ever seen. And they're not for me, they're for my almost-3-year old grand-niece :-)  I came across the pattern one night at Elegance and Elephants, and just had to get it.

I made the size 4 in a mid-weight cotton jersey knit from Fabric  Mart. The pattern suggests wovens, but the knit worked fine. And I like the idea of knit shorts for little ones, so comfy.

Just a few little changes:

I used 3/4" elastic in the waistband instead of 1". Seems more reasonable for such a small garment and body.

The pattern suggests cutting the waist elastic so that it finishes 1.5" shorter than the child's actual waist measurement.

I checked with mom: J.'s waist is 19.5", but her rtw size 4 shorts have a waist of 20.5".  hmmm. A lightbulb - I found a great resource on the web,  childrens size chart. It has everything - all sizes, all kinds of garments, for boys and girls. And it confirmed that the waist on a size 4 is 20.5". I compromised at 20".

The pattern suggests sewing the cuff on as a band, as one would sew a neckband. However, that would leave a kind of bulky seam on the inside. 

Instead, I sewed the cuff to the outside, right sides together. Then I folded it to the inside, and stitched in the ditch on the outside along the seam line. The inside is nice and flat and smooth.

All the seams are sewn with an elastic stitch, then serged. These little shorts will hold up to lots of play!

Since I had so much fun with the shorts, I went looking for a little skirt pattern. And look what I found! This adorable ruffled skirt is free as an online tutorial from Tanya Whelan at Grand Revival Design.

It's made with four bands of fabric of varying lengths and widths, and is super-easy to cut out and sew. What a nice tutorial - good illustrations and instructions.

Fabric measurements are given for size 5-6. I reworked the numbers for size 4 with a length of 8.5" (above the knee). My numbers assume .5" seams, 1.5" waistband allowance, .5" hem allowances, and 3/4" elastic:

1 @ 4.5" x 25" Tier 1 band and waistband
1 @ 4.0" x 44" Tier 1 ruffle 
1 @ 2.5" x 25" Tier 2 band
1 @ 5.5" x 44" Tier 2 ruffle


It doesn't take much to think of ways to use this skirt pattern - applied ruffles, lace trims - oh, my :-)

So cute. I used fabrics I have in the loft, not terribly girly (although the green in the skirt is a pretty lime green, not sage the way it looks here). I'll ask J. what she might like for her next shorts and skirt. Birthday in June!

Ciao! Coco


  1. These are adorable! I love the pockets on the shorts. Thanks for the size chart link - that is really handy.

    1. Thanks, Adrienne. Isn't that a neat size chart? could not believe it even had skirt lengths for little girls, above the knee, at the knee, mid-calf, and floor - talk about fashionistas!

  2. how sweet are these - you fooled us with your title I thought the shorts looked a little small for you ha ha

  3. My grinchy heart is bursting! Soooo cute!

    1. Thanks, Anne. wouldn't they be cute on a doll? I'm going to ask if she has one, not sure she plays with dolls. Big brother has lots of pretty fun super hero stuff.

  4. They are so cute - I love the bubble pocket shorts.

    1. Thanks, Robyn - me, too! I can just imagine Cheerios and raisins in those pockets...

  5. Thank you for today's dose of cute Coco. I'm sure the little one and mom treasure these.

  6. My favorites too, Val. I've already made a second pair, kind of fun to sew something that comes together so quickly and doesn't need french seams or facings :-)


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco