kcw presents: summer staples

summer staples: shorts

Welcome to the pre-kcw party! This week some lovely bloggers are stopping by to talk about summer staples to sew. There are just a few things that kids wear in the summertime: shorts and tee shirts pretty much everyday, a dress now and then, and a hat to top it all off! Today, Ashley from the blog everything else we do is here to tell you about her favorite shorts patterns and tutorials, and give you a sneak peak of some amazing shorts she’s made.

ashley from everything else we do

Ashley is a relatively new to sewing, but it’s hard to tell looking at the beautiful clothes she’s made for her children. I fell in love with this amazing dress she made last kcw and have been hooked ever since. Her blog is funny and full of great sewing, do check it out! Without further ado, here’s Ashley…


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greetings fellow casual seamstresses and obsessive sewers alike! i’m ashley from everything else we do, and it’s my distinct pleasure today to present a brief dissertation on shorts. i doubt i need to extol the virtues of this summer wardrobe staple and its importance in your sewing repertoire, so instead, i would like to present three main topics to help incite shorts domination of the kcw site next week: patterns, references, and examples.

first, an introduction to four excellent shorts patterns lighting up the blogosphere lately to help you along on your shorts-making endeavors. i wanted to select a variety of styles to suit different tastes and genders, highlighting independent designers (yeah!). i’m defining “shorts” loosely here, since i’m sure many of you live in areas with fluctuating summer temperatures, and any parent knows the importance of versatility!

coastal cargos

1. the coastal cargo pant by blank slate patterns; this awesome version comes from louise at feelin crafty. i love the bright colors and contrasting details. speaking of details, are you appreciating what’s happening here?! i think these have about every possible kind of pocket–welt, cargo, and slash, not to mention belt loops AND a working fly! it’s like a year of sewing school in one pattern. while this version is pictured on a boy, i think the pattern can work for girls as well, and runs from 18m-8y.

harem pants

2. ok, ok, i opened a little strong(ly). if you’re intimidated by a lot of bells and whistles, this next pattern is for you. these little cuties are the harem pants pattern by venus at suburbia soup, the versions seen here sewn by the charming sanae ishida. this one has it all, folks…ease of construction, clear and diagramed instructions, comfy, cute, and trendy results for a girl or boy. two versions are available for FREE download! the pattern runs 18m-4T in a woven fabric, but the versions pictured here are made with stretch fabrics which fit the six year old model. really, there’s no good reason not to make them, so i’m expecting to see many versions of these next week!

bubble shorts

3. this one probably requires no introduction since they are all. over. the. internet. these pretty little things are the bubble pocket shorts by elegance and elephants, the version here sewn by maja at her eponymous blog. but believe me when i tell you i spent a far greater than appropriate amount of time trying to whittle the selection down to just one. so many amazing versions out there! i love the classic silhouette and am a sucker for sailor closures (see below). and imagine the goodies that could fit in those roomy pockets! while i haven’t made the pattern personally, i have read over and over that it has excellent instructions, makes a quality garment, and goes from 6m-8y! get these on the queue!

prefontaine4. last but certainly not least, the prefontaine shorts by made with moxie (this version sewn by venus at suburbia soup). these are great, versatile shorts for either a girl or boy. apparently they’re a snap to sew, and require only 1/2-3/4 yd of fabric! you probably have enough fabric laying around to make several versions of these, so what are you waiting for?!

are you getting excited about sewing shorts yet?! now i’d like to take a moment to point out some indispensable technique resources for you. any discussion of shorts would be woefully incomplete without mentioning rae and dana, two powerhouse makers and bloggers who both recently released shorts patterns (rae’s parsley pants and dana’s kid shorts). if you’re looking for a solid, basic, workhorse of a shorts pattern, either of these will fit the bill. it’s nice to have a basic pattern that you can make confidently and quickly a million different ways to amp up that summer wardrobe.


whether or not you use their patterns, their tutorials will impart so many broad and useful skills to apply to any basic shorts pattern, and beyond! dana is currently posting tutorials to replicate every version of her basic shorts pattern as pictured above, while rae will show you how to make shorts from a pants pattern, how to reinforce your seams to stand up to kid play, and even how to draft your own shorts pattern, so really my friends…what are you waiting for?!

well, i don’t know about you guys, but all this shorts talk got me fired up to make some of my own! i obviously got a bit carried away since my daughter hates shorts and categorically refuses to wear them (this might be genetically inherited from me), but, i tend not to do anything halfway. anyway, at the risk of boring the shorts off you, i will keep it brief and save details on construction, fabric, etc. for next week!


1. oliver + s sailboat pants. while these patterns are on the pricey side, they turn out a professionally made, high quality garment (though the thorough techniques don’t always lend themselves gently to burning the midnight kcw oil). these cropped pants are super cute for girls and boys.

2. self drafted rainbow capris with cloud pockets, using the aforementioned tutorials (self drafting shorts, super seams, flat front). i like to dress my kids in clothing *i’d* like to wear if i had *my* own personal seamstress, but i would never wear these. honestly, i think they’re awful, but given that my daughter despises shorts (and skirts. and dresses.) and is rarely permitted to wear “fun” kid clothing, i thought i’d give her a break this time. unfortunately, given the intense seaming, these will probably last forever.

3. self drafted cropped pants, also using the aforementioned tutorials. for my little guy, who loves bright colors. happily, they too are made to last. i think they have no fewer than 20 flat fell seams worked into them.

4. oliver + s picnic shorts. i made a version of these for my daughter this spring, and they are among my favorite things i’ve sewn for her. after wearing them once, she decided she would never wear shorts of any kind again, ever. this is probably less related to the awesomeness of the shorts than to her being three. they’re so cute (and well made, and fit perfectly, sigh) though, i couldn’t resist making another pair.

and i fear this has to be the end, as i’ve already taken so much of your time. come on over and say hello some time–i get *very* excited when people besides my mom pay me visits. and if you haven’t already, sign up for kcw! just do it! tell your friends to do it! it’s magical and inspiring. i will be checking regularly to see all the fabulous shorts (etcetera) you guys come up with–can’t wait. happy sewing!

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Thank you so much, Ashley. Those cloud pockets are killing me! I can’t wait to hear more about them next week. Happy KCW!

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  • Reply Brigitte July 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Shorts will be on my sewing list, thnx for the inspiration post 😀

  • Reply Jennifer O. July 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I also really like the Oliver + S Puppet Show shorts.

  • Reply Mel @ Adventures of a Subversive Reader July 9, 2013 at 1:30 am

    We’re flipping the seasons here in Australia, but the best bit about living in the sub-tropics is getting to make shorts even in the middle of winter 🙂 I have a couple of pairs on my list . . .

  • Reply MammaNene July 9, 2013 at 1:36 am

    great! I’m planning to sew shorts me too! Great round-up 🙂


  • Reply Suz July 9, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Thanks Ashley!

  • Reply Nienke July 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Great kick-off, especially after reading the torture behind the scenes 😉 Getting ready for KCW here, hope to include at least a pair of shorts as well…

  • Reply sanae July 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks for the shout out, Ashley – such a fabulous round-up of shorts!

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