Kids Shorts with Free Sewing Pattern & Tutorial

I have a fun and easy sewing project for you today using a free printable sewing pattern. These pull-on shorts feature no side seams and a no casing elastic waistband making them super quick to sew, that you’ll be able to make several pairs in no time! You can use breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics to make these shorts so your kiddo will be comfy and cool chilling at home or playing outside in the hot summer days ahead. 

I drafted this simple one-piece pattern for my little boy who is 9, but these shorts are perfect for both boys and girls. If your kiddo wears a size M (8-10) from Target, then these should fit him/her comfortably. 

Also, be sure to share pics of your finished projects by tagging me @sew_zune on Instagram or post on the Zune’s Sewing Therapy Facebook. I’d love to see your creation!

Let’s get sewing!


  • 3/4 Yards of Knit Fabric (Interlock, Jersey, Single Knit, Spandex Blends, Two Way Stretch, French Terry, Double Knit)

 *Extra fabric needed to match plaids, stripes or one-way design fabrics.

  • 3/4” Wide Knit Elastic – 22” 
  • Ball Point or Stretch Sewing Needle (recommended)
  • Twin Stretch Needle (optional for hemming)
  • Matching Thread
  • Ribbon for Tag/Clothing Label – Desired width, 2”- 3” long. 
  • Print Pattern – This FREE pattern is kids’ size M (8-10) and is available to all my newsletter subscribers. Check your inbox or junk folder for the confirmation email. Be sure to have your pop up blocker disabled. 

Video Tutorial – Coming Soon!

1. Cut out two mirrored pieces from your fabric – one will be for the right side of the body and the other the left.

2. With RIGHT sides together, pin the short (front) and long (back) curves. Zigzag/Serge with a 3/8” seam allowance.

3. With RIGHT sides together, match and pin the front and back center seams together. Then, match and pin the leg seams. Zigzag/Serge with a 3/8” seam allowance.

4. Butt the ends of the elastic together, and use a wide zigzag to join. Divide the elastic into quarters. Also, divide the shorts waist into quarters. 

5. On the WRONG side of the shorts, match and pin the quarter markings of the elastic to the quarter markings of the shorts waist. 

6. Zigzag/Serge the elastic to the shorts waist, stretching the elastic (not the fabric) gently between pins. If you’re using a serger, be careful to NOT cut the elastic. 

7. Fold the elastic down towards the inside of the shorts. Stitch along the bottom of the elastic to the shorts with a wide straight stitch.

8. Fold and press the hem up 3/4” towards the inside of the shorts. Use Twin Stretch Needles or a narrow zigzag stitch. Lastly, press and steam the seams to remove any waviness.

You’re all done! 

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  1. Thank you looking for kids shorts pattern in stores and almost non existent. My one need is to make these in a small size (5-6) Can you offer any direction into reducing size of pattern to fit my little grand daughters. So look forward to making them. The kids are also going to use bubbles to “paint their matching shirts”. Looking forward to your direction.

    1. Hi Sue!

      You’re very welcome! Using bubbles to paint shirts sound so interesting and fun! I will definitely have to look that up.

      Regarding sizing, you can use the slash and reduce method to grade down. I also have another free pants pattern which goes up to 5T. It has a finished waist of 24″. The 5T is actually quite similar to the size 5-6 from Target.

      Here is the link to the pattern below. I have used this pattern to crop it to different lengths.

      If you have any questions, please contact me any time. Happy Sewing!

  2. I am unsure what “use the slash and reduce method to grade down” is. Can you clarify. I will also look up the pattern you suggested.
    I too have RA, and Celiacs, which has really limited my activities away from home. I’ve recently borrowed my daughters sewing machine to make masks.
    I read about adding food coloring to bubbles, and letting the kids blow the colored bubbles at clothing for a unique look. Have a couple of white T-shirts for them to try it on.

    1. I just Youtubed bubble painting and what a creative way to paint! Those t-shirts are going to be perfect for summer!

      I’m so sorry to hear about your RA and Celiac – it is extremely frustrating not just dealing with the pain but also the stress of being limited in what one can do, even the simple everyday tasks. I am really glad to hear that you are sewing because it is so important to have a stress-relieving hobby to help you relax as well as boost your mental health. Keep sewing and creating beautiful things, Sue! 🙂

      Currently, I don’t have a grading tutorial but I have plans to do a blog post about it. It will be a simple tutorial on how to grade a pattern up or down. Meanwhile, here’s a post from Threads Magazine which gives a quick reference:

      What are your granddaughters’ waist sizes? I can give you a better technique suggestion if I knew how much you are wanting to reduce.

  3. Hi Zune,
    The grand kids stopped by, they have 20″ and 25″ waist, Not sure what inseam I will use, measured to about 3-4″ above knee, and figured about a 4-5″ inseam. May shorten but this will give me some wiggle room! Thanks Sue

    1. Hi Sue,

      My daughter also has a 20″ waist so I use the 4T pattern for her which has a finished waist measurement of 23″. For the 25″ waist, I would take the shorts pattern (the one I used for my son), trim around the boxes and overlap each page. There are 6 pages – so overlap the waist pages, overlap the leg pages, and then overlap the leg pages to the waist. I hope that makes sense. If it sounds too confusing, please let me know. I can make a quick short video and post it on the Zune’s Sewing Therapy Facebook page.

      As for the inseam, it is best to measure from the pants’ crotch.

    1. Hi there,

      The finished garment measures 29.5″ for waist and 31.5″ for hips. As long as the child’s body measurements are about 4″ smaller than the finished garment measurements, and that he/she can comfortably pull the shorts over the hips then no adjustment needs to be made to the pattern. Otherwise, you may need to enlarge the pattern to allow for more ease.

    2. Hi zune!

      It’s j Michelle from Facebook! Can you please post a video? My daughter wears a 5t and her waist is about 22 inches. How much am I too overlap?

      1. Hi J Michelle,

        It is a bit hard to give the exact measurements since elastics are have different qualities based on the types and brand quality. However, I normally cut about 1-2″ less than the waist and overlap the ends by 1/2″. If I were sewing directly on the elastic, I would reduce the length even more as it stretches during sewing. Another suggestion is to simply wrap the elastic directly on the waist and adjust the length accordingly. I hope that helps and happy sewing! 🙂

  4. i need help to get the free pattern, it told me to sing up and i did but i did not get any thing. plzs do help me.

    1. Hi there,
      Did you check both your inbox and junk folder for the confirmation email after signing up? If you have confirmed your email, but is stuck in the sign-up look then it is your browser setting. Be sure to turn off the pop up blocker on your internet browser in order for the pattern to open in a new tab.

      1. I’m an adult but I’m short and skinny (5’3 100 lbs). I normally wear a kids large, but would these shorts fit? My waist is 23.5”, hips are 31”. I literally have the body of a child even though I’m 29 lol. I wear kids clothes often and would love to print out this pattern if you think it’ll fit!

        1. Hi Super Skinny Girl,

          No judgment from me, gorgeous! I believe ALL body shapes and sizes are beautiful! 🙂 The shorts have a finished hip measurement of about 38″. Perhaps, you could make a toile, or test garment, out of a cheaper fabric that is similar to the final fabric you want to use. That way you can see how it would fit you and make changes according to your taste. I like making wearable toiles, they make pretty good loungewear. 😉

  5. Hello!
    Your model is a boy. Would these shorts work for a little girl as well? She wears a size M in Target clothes (for girls that’s 7-8) but she’s about to move to L (girls 10-12, so 10 eould be perfect for her).

    1. Hi Madalyn,

      These shorts are unisex, so they should work well for both boys and girls. If she is just about to move to girls’ size L(10-12), these may be a little loose on her at first. However, she will have room to grow into. I recommend making the shorts along with the tutorial and see how they fit her. You can always make them more fitted by widening the seam allowance of the inseam and crotch by 1/2″-5/8″. Happy sewing!

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