Take a look at these great free kids shorts patterns for inspiration to sew up a pair, plus our Pinterest board full of inspiration for sewing up kids shorts! You could also use these patterns to make a basic pair of shorts (or short pyjama bottoms) for yourself. Stretchy waistbands tend to suit kids clothing or leisure and sleep wear best.

Love sewing for little ones? Check out this list of FREE sewing patterns for babies

Free Patterns for Kids Shorts!

Sewing up shorts for kids is much easier than you think.  You can also sew up a pair of simple elasticated shorts without having to buy a pattern.  

How to make a simple pattern for a pair of kids shorts

Step by step guide to making your own pattern for a child's pair of shorts

You will need:

  • 1m of woven fabric such as cotton or denim
  • Matching thread
  • Elastic for the waist and a safety pin to help you thread it through the channel
  • Erasable fabric marker or tailor's chalk
  • A pair of non-stretch shorts or trousers which fit your child well

Step 1: Turn the shorts/trousers inside out and fold them in half so that you have the shape of one leg piece.
Step 2: Lay your fabric flat, folded with RS tog.
Step 3: Line up the straight edge at the outside of the shorts/trousers with the fold at the edge of your fabric.
Step 4: Trace around the shape of the shorts, leaving a single seam allowance at the cuff, inside leg, and crotch, and seam allowance plus 2cm at the waist so that you have enough fabric for the elasticated waist channel.
Step 5: Cut out along your tracing lines. Then use this first leg piece to make a matching piece for the opposite leg.
Step 6: With RS tog, sew the inside leg seams.
Step 7: With RS tog, sew the crotch seam.
Step 8: Fold over the waistband twice to create a channel for the elastic and sew around, leaving a 2cm gap.
Step 9: Attach one end of your elastic to a saftety pin and use this to thread the elastic through the channel. Tie in a secure knot.
Step 10: Finish all seams and press.

More free patterns!

We've found these great tutorials which show step by step photo instructions for sewing up your pattern pieces and adding in the elasticated waistband.

kids shorts pattern

There are so many AMAZING tutorials on the website Dana Made It, tutorials not just for kids shorts, but all kinds of varieties and also sewing up kids trousers and lots more.  If you can sew shorts, you're only a few inches of fabric away from creating a pair of trousers! (or kids pants as the American sewing bloggers call them!)

kids shorts tutorial elasticated waistband

This pattern for a pair of cute summer shorts is from Caila Made - She has really clear step by step photos for each stage of sewing up a pair of kids shorts - Kids shorts pattern