The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree Shorts

OK, so it’s a long name, but it’s fitting: You take a bunch of shirts or boxers from dad’s closet and chop them up, then put them back together to make a great pair kid shorts. I should have posted this eons ago, but honestly I just plain forgot about it *facepalm*. Sometimes that just happens around here. You know what made me think of it? The fact that he’s wearing them, today, in Florida (we’re here on our annual family vacay). He loves these shorts, mostly because everything in them used to be his daddy’s. Plus they’re supercomfy. Double yay.


This tutorial was published earlier this fall as part of the Fall Issue of Petit Purls, a great online kids’ knitting mag (this was their Sewing Issue) and it’s still fall, so in a sense it isn’t late at all. But in the sense that it’s just now starting to snow in the Midwest, maybe not so much. Ack. Oh well, perfect timing for those of you in Australia, who are just now starting your summer sewing, right? By the way, that will never not be weird to me.


I should also point out that if you followed the tutorial but used a pair of pants for your pattern instead, you could make a seriously cute pair of pants for winter!! Flannel plaids would be SO GREAT for this pattern. One last thought: if you’re cleaning out the husbeast’s summer clothes drawer to make room for sweaters now, start saving a few shirts for a pair of shorts next spring. OK, I’m finished trying to convince you that you need this now. If it’s snowing by you, save it for later.


So the tutorial consists of three parts. First you trace a pattern (you could do this with shorts or pants):


And then you make the “fabric:”


Then you turn them into cute shorts! (or pants!)


Did you catch the incorporation of shirt-pockets to shorts-pockets? Clever, eh?? Can I get an Upcycling high-five?


And of course, you could use the basic instructions with any fabric, even if it’s not pieced. I think you’ll find this tutorial to be really useful!!


For the full tutorial, head over to Petit Purls to check it out (scroll down to find it under the “Patchwork” heading). You’ll also find an awesome interview with Liesl Gibson there as well as plenty of other free tutorials and patterns for sewing and knitting. Fun!!


29 thoughts on “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree Shorts

  1. Oh, these are so cute! Love the idea, and we can TOTALLY still use this in Southern California. It’s freezing in the mornings, but by midday we’ve hit mid-80s.

  2. Ace.
    I have NO EXCUSES not to try something like this.
    Time to be brave and start trying a bit of sewing – these are so fab.

    And I endeavour to use the word ‘husbeast’ in a sentence today.

  3. They look so cool! I’m in the UK but I’m such a slow sewist, I’m thinking that maybe I should only follow Southern Hemisphere sewing blogs, and that way I might actually finish things in time for the right season. If you carry on posting out-of-season tutorials, I can keep you on my reading list :-)

  4. Love it!! I have a bunch of shirts awaiting the chopping block and this is such a worthy destination for them! My son also really gets into clothing made with fabric that has been worn by people he loves. :-)

  5. These are really cute, but I would say that for the beginning sewers out there, it is important to know that you need to add probably an extra inch to the height of the pattern if you are going to fold over the waist and put elastic in it. I didn’t see that mentioned so I thought that I would mention it in the comments. The same can be done for the hem at the bottom of the shorts.

    • Hi Vicky!

      The full tutorial over at Petit Purls (this is not it, this is just a preview post) is quite a bit more involved and definitely shows in detail how to add a casing for the elastic. Check out my link above!!


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