I love sewing for my boys, almost as much as they love wearing things I have made them. I have a few patterns that I love, that are my go-to patterns but I am always on the look out for new patterns to try. I am no stranger to making shorts for my boys, I usually make a few pairs each year from cotton or cord fabrics but this year they’ve been wearing shorts since April and needed a few more pairs, so I wanted to make them some different ones, from Jersey knit fabric. My favourite summer shorts to wear myself is the capri version of the Halla Lounge Pants, so I was really pleased to see a kids version of this pattern.
Halla patterns are instant download PDF patterns, so once you’ve purchased them you just print and then stick the pieces together. You can see all the patterns on their website here, and my favourite thing about them is that it is so easy to line up the patterns which means you can get down to the sewing so much quicker. One of the things I liked most about the Halla Lounge Pants pattern was that it has loads of options – I really like the board shorts, and I know the long version will be great for some winter cosy trousers. My son decided he wanted capri length shorts with a jersey cuff, so that’s what we went for. I also love that the pattern is in sizes 0-12 so I can use it for almost all my boys, and there are enough pattern options they will all look like they are wearing totally different trousers. All my boys have really lovely shorts from Boden that are slightly heavier weight and I wanted something similar to that for these, so when 42 Custom Fabric gifted me a meter of their new fabric I chose a French Terry option – slightly thicker than Jersey and with a looped back. It just gives the shorts a bit more weight and hopefully they’ll wear them right through to autumn too.
I usually just add a jersey waistband but this time I had a request for pockets… previously I have avoided them as I had convinced myself they would be tricky or take too long but decided to go for it this time. The pattern has great instructions with photos to go through each step, and it only added a couple of minutes. It was actually much easier than I thought, the only slight faff was that I had to set up the sewing machine to do the top stitching but it was absolutely worth it and really only took a minute or two longer.
I cut size 8 for my 8 year old, he is a pretty standard size and wears age 8 clothes. They were a perfect fit for him, in the waist and the length of the Capri, even though I used french terry weight fabric for the main part of the shorts. I used jersey cotton knit for the waistband, cuffs and pocket edges and it worked perfectly together. I also love that with this bright fabric the solid colour of the cuffs really look great. One thing to mention was the stripes – I am a bit of a neat freak when it comes to stripes and I need them to match – I took care when cutting to make sure I cut the pieces out really straight ( I am usually quite slapdash) and I used lots of clips to hold the pieces together as I sewed them – I was pretty pleased with the results! I use these clips, and they are one of my favourite sewing purchases ever ( click here to see) .
Of course, just as I finished these a little face appeared asking for new leggings – Halla have a free leggings pattern that I haven’t tried yet, so I decided this was a good reason. If you join the Halla Facebook group you can get a code to use on the website, its a great way to try the Halla patterns and get a feel for them – I think they are really easy to use with really easy cut marks for the patterns and really in depth instructions with great photos The leggings are written for jersey so I made sure to be careful when cutting and not skimp on the fabric, I cut a size 5 for my 5 year old as I wanted them tight fitting anyway. The waistband looked a bit small so I measured and found I needed to cut a slightly bigger waistband, and others have said the waistband runs skinny on these leggings so keep that in mind. They also come out quite long, so if you have a slightly shorter child you may want to cut an inch or two off. I like the extra growing room though! These were a really quick make – around 15 minutes once I had cut the fabric, and they would have been quicker if I had chosen a plain fabric where I didn’t need to worry about matching the stripes. The thicker weight fabric means they are perfect for wearing under waterproofs to keep warm without too much bulk in the winter too, but for now they make a great cosy option for cool evenings or pulling on after playing at the beach. I am going to make a few more pairs to keep in my bag as spares and I think they would make a great quick gift too. I mean, who doesn’t love funky, custom made leggings?
I find I have to look a bit harder for interesting fabric for my boys so I was really pleased with this 42 Custom Fabric. I am also always looking for new and interesting patterns for boys too so if you know any, please share!
I was gifted a metre of the fabric to try, in exchange for photos of the finished item, but all thoughts on the fabric are my honest opinions. I am a regular customer of 42 Fabric designs because the quality is superior to anything else I have tried and I love their limited ranges.
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