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DIY Guide: Sew Adorable Patchwork Shorts for Your Little Ones

Updated: Jan 14

Put your own stamp on the popular patchwork fashion trend this summer with these adorable patchwork shorts. Not only is it a fun way to use up small pieces of fabric, but it also means that each item you make is totally individual and unique!

This tutorial can be applied to any sewing pattern you choose ranging from kids to adults, even accessories such as bags. The amount of fabric needed will differ depending on the size of the pattern pieces so make sure if you’re making larger items, you have enough fabric!

I’ll be explaining how to make kids shorts from a pattern from Ikatee using a 5 fat quarter pack of cotton fabric.

What you’ll need:

Fabric - I’ve used a 5 fat quarter pack of Snoopy cotton

Lining fabric – this can be a lightweight cotton or a soft muslin

Sewing pattern – I’ve used the Ikatee ‘Dakar Shorts’ pattern (for girls)


Rotary cutter and cutting mat

Fabric glue spray – I’ve used Odif 505


Have all your pattern pieces cut out before cutting the fabric.

1. Cut the fabric into 3” squares. Use your first pattern piece to decide how many to cut.

2. Use the pattern piece as a guide as to how big to arrange the squares. Allow an extra 5cm or more around the edge of the pattern to allow for the seam allowances.

Remember that if your pattern says ‘cut 2’ then you’ll need 2 mirror images of the pattern piece.

3. Sew the squares right sides together in rows. Press the seams flat.

TIP- Press the seams of each row in alternating directions. This will make it easier to line up the seams when you sew the rows together.

4. Sew the rows right sides together, matching the seams of the squares.

5. Pin the pattern piece on top of the fabric panel and cut.

6. Use the pattern to cut the same shape from lining fabric.

7. Use a fabric glue spray to adhere the lining to the back of the shorts panel.

8. Repeat with the remaining main pattern pieces.

9. If your shorts pattern has pockets, cut the pieces from the left-over fabric (this doesn’t need to be patchwork as it isn’t visible.)

10. Cut the waistband piece also from the left-over fabric. (Join the fabric together to create a long enough piece if needed.)

11. Construct the shorts as per the instructions of the pattern. Use an overlocker/serger on the seams if possible, alternately use pinking shears or zigzag stitch over the raw edges to avoid fraying.

And they are finihsed! Now you can apply this technique to any sewing pattern you'd like.

Happy sewing :)

P.S Here's my daughter Vienna-Rae wearing her new shorts! For this particular pattern I did extend the length of the short legs to give a little more coverage. I'm sure you can tell from her face that these were a hit and she doesn't want to take them off!

Fabric commissioned by The Craft Cotton Company for this project


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