Kid’s basic elastic waist shorts (1-8 years old) – free PDF sewing pattern



I have been asked to make more patterns for children, especially from moms who are new to sewing. And of course I am happy to fulfill the requests. Let’s start with the unisex kid’s basic elastic waist shorts.

I have made these shorts in dozens every year for my son. And as summer is around the corner, I feel the urge of making more for him. Easy, simple and quick – you can make a lot for him in just one day 🙂

kid's elastic waist shorts

The best thing about these shorts is that it requires only a small piece of fabric – sometimes the left over fabric from your bigger project will be enough to make one or two pairs of these shorts. And they are almost fool-proof! I have seen no one saying they failed making them! So new sewists, roll your sleeves and jump on in!

This pattern is made for kids from 1 to 8 years old. Choose the size proper to the age of the kid that you want to sew for!

The pattern is made using layered PDF, please check for your desired size before printing so you won’t waste your paper. I have included a first page with many details about sizing and printing, so please first read the first page and make sure you know what size you need! If you still do not know how to print a layered PDF, please check for the instruction here.

You can print this using your home printer and A4/Letter paper. I calculated the printing area so that you will be able to use either type of paper to print the pattern out perfectly. Always print the first page first and check with the test square if you are printing at the right scale before you print out the whole pattern – avoid waste of ink and waste of paper, save the earth!

Some PC may print smaller than actual size even when you choose 100% scale – I don’t know why this problem exist, but my HP laptop cannot print true to size. I have to scale up to 103% to get the right size. You may need to check with your PC to see if it prints true to size, if not, scale up a bit.


This is a beginner project, so no advance skill is needed. You just need to know how to sew a straight line. Of course, for stretch fabric, you will need to be a bit more careful!

You will need

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Some elastic for the waist
  • Scissors, pencil or fabric marker, ruler, pins
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

What fabric can be used for this project? As it is a cozy sized piece of garment, you can choose either knit or woven fabric. I prefer using jersey for it as it is soft and gentle to the skin.

How much fabric do you need for this piece of garment? Not too much, I use my scrap fabric for this project all the time 🙂

Cutting instruction:

After printing out and taping all the pattern pages together, you will get something similar to this image:

You will see that there are 2 sets of lines on each pattern size. The inner lines are sewing line (and you sew along these lines), and the outer lines are cutting lines (you cut the fabric along these lines, remember the folding lines where you have to fold the fabric before cutting). The distance between sewing line and cutting line is seam allowance, and it varies from point to point. For example, the side seam allowance is about 1/2 inch (1.2cm), and seam allowance at hemline is 1 inch (2.5cm). This is the reason why I do not remove the sewing lines from the pattern. Please use it as a guide to know how much seam allowance you need to give at each seam.

Fabric will be cut into following pieces:

  • Front – 2pcs
  • Back – 2pcs

Make sure to mark all notches and other design features such as pleats etc. from the pattern piece onto your fabric. When sewing the garment, pay attention to notches, they must match up.

Sewing instruction:

1. Serge the fabric to prevent fraying. If you use non fraying fabric (like fleece or knitted fabric), you can skip this step.

2. Place Right Front Piece and Right Back Piece right side facing. Pin and sew the side hem. Repeat with the left side.

3. Pin and sew the inseam of the pants.

4. Turn one leg inside out. Push it into the other leg. Match the seam, pin and sew the crotch seam.

5. Fold the waistband down toward the wrong side of the pants. Sew the elastic casing. Leave about 2 inches (5cm) to insert elastic.

6. Insert elastic from the opening. Sew two ends of the elastic – make sure the elastic is not twisted in the casing.

7. Close the opening at the waist. You can stretch the waistband and sew another line right at the middle of the elastic to prevent it from getting twisted (optional).

8. Hem the shorts. And you’ve made it! You can also attach a piece of cord for decoration.

And here is the download link:


Happy sewing! And don’t forget to share your project on my Facebook page: Tiana’s Closet Sewing Patterns


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