Make your own - Children's Simple Unisex Summer Shorts FREE PDF Sewing Pattern

Every kids wardrobe needs a practical pair of shorts - and these simple, unisex and super comfy elasticated waist shorts are perfect for whipping up in an afternoon! In this tutorial we’ll be showing you how to sew up our free simple shorts pattern, which you can download for free on our website - Free Simple Children’s Shorts Pattern.

This pattern is super quick to make, and all sizes under 4-5 years can be made using just two fat quarters - sizes above will need between ½ - ¾ of a metre. These are also great for upcycling old trousers or skirts (adults trousers usually have the width across the thighs just right for the front and back of this pattern!), and if you make them from a cotton fabric or similar, can be really easily washed and dried, perfect for summer and taking on holiday!

This is a great beginners project, and experienced makers will love how easy and quick they are to stitch up!

You Will Need:

  • Fabric (see amounts above)

  • A basic sewing machine

  • Sharp scissors, or a rotary cutter and mat

  • Pinking shears

  • Pins or quilting clips

  • Iron

  • Hand sewing needle

  • Tape measure

  • Coordinating thread - machine spools

  • 2cm/2.5cm wide elastic for the waistband


*Note - all pattern pieces include a 1 cm seam allowance, and should be sewn with such unless otherwise stated*

1. Cut out all of your pattern pieces. You should have;

1 x pair of front shorts

1 x pair of back shorts

2. Take your matching front and back main shorts pieces and pin together down the long side seam, and the shorter inner leg seam.

3. Stitch in place using a 1cm seam allowance.

4. Overlock or zig zag the seams to finish them.

5. Next you need to sew the legs together. You can simply match up the crotch points and pin the two legs together, or - turn the right leg so the wrong side is facing out, and leave the left leg facing right side out. Put the left leg inside the right leg. The right sides of the legs should be together if using this method.

6. Stitch in place using a 1cm seam allowance.

7. Overlock or zig zag the seams to finish them.

8. Fold the hem up 1cm, press, then fold up another 1cm and press again. Stitch in place using a 1cm seam allowance.

9. Repeat for the other shorts leg.

10. Fold over the top of the waistband of the shorts by 1cm, press, then a further 3cm and press again. Topstitch in place along the fold. Leave a gap a few cm long to insert the waistband elastic.

11. Cut the elastic to length, using your child's waist measurement for the most comfortable fit. Insert the waistband elastic through the hole, and secure the ends of the elastic with a line of stitching. Tuck the elastic inside the waistband hole, and topstitch the opening closed.

And you're done!

If you do make our Simple Children’s Shorts Pattern, be sure to tag us on social media @little.fig.handmade -also check out our Ashley Unisex Shorts Pattern for some more great beginner-friendly techniques on a more advanced pair of shorts!

- Charis