Friday 13 February 2015

Refashion Friday: Men's T-shirt to Toddler Retro Running Shorts

Refashion Friday is back and it feels good! Recently I'm feeling really excited again about reusing existing garments for my sewing projects so I'm sure Refashion Friday'll become a more regular feature round here again. Today I'm going to go into detail about one of the two projects I undertook last week as part of the upcycling edition of the Kid's Clothes Week challenge. So let's talk about these retro running shorts! 


I started the beginning of 2015 by whipping up about 10 pairs of baby/toddler leggings (that I didn't bother to blog about specifically because I used a pattern I've written about on here before). It gave me quite a high to be so productive so I was looking for another quick-fix jersey project for part of the KCW challenge to make use of some of my stash of unwanted t-shirts. I decided to use the Prefontaine shorts pattern designed by Made with Moxie, which I was lucky enough to receive from my involvement in a previous Perfect Pattern Parcel blog

Aside from the awesome retro vibe, I also like how the pattern encourages the maker to repurpose old t-shirts for the binding. The pattern states you can make these shorts in pretty much any type of fabric, but personally I felt it'd work best in some kind of knit. 

Now don't get me wrong, I really do love this pattern and will definitely use it again at some point, but it wasn't the quick-fix project I was hoping for. I was probably being naive in thinking it would be. To get all that binding looking nice and neat made the project take a lot longer than I'd anticipated, even given the fact that I was making two pairs at the same time in a mini-production line. 

I think one of the reasons I expected this to be a quicker project because there's something slightly less polished about this pattern than some of the other downloadable sewing patterns out there. I mean no offence to anyone here, lord knows I'm aware how tricky drafting, grading and publishing a sewing pattern can be, but I need this review to be honest so I'm telling it how I found it. 

For example, I found sticking the pattern together to be a little inaccurate because there are no inner boxes to line up the edges against. Also, the pattern pieces have no grainlines on them which I think most sewers would expect to see. And one more thing is that the length of the inside leg seam is the same for all the sizes. So size 1 (approx. 18-24 months) and size 5 (approx. 7-8 years) have the same inside leg seam measurement which feels a little odd to me, and something I'd probably alter if I were to make the larger sizes. Don't let those things should put you off from purchasing the pattern if it appeals to you though. It really is a great little pattern and the instructions for construction are excellent.  

I made the size 1 (approx. 18-24 months) hoping that they would fit Dolores this summer (she's 16 months right now). The judo pair is intended for her and the Oxford university pair for her friend Arthur. However they have come out much bigger than I anticipated. She is on the slightly skinnier end of the baby-spectrum, but slightly above average height and as you can see from the pics in this post they look like a bit like this one her:

As I was nearing the end of the make I realised they were coming up big so I made the elastic on the larger size so they can be worn in summer 2016 instead. 

Fabric and Notions:

The main fabric started out as a ma-hoo-sive second-hand men's t-shirt that I snaffled a few years back. It had obviously been worn, but barely, and the colour was still incredibly vibrant. When I initially saw it I thought it would be fun to incorporate the university logo into whatever I made from it, and it nearly became a pair of pants (undies). I'm glad I didn't use it for that purpose because the thick, sturdy jersey would have worked much better for this project. And what a win being able to just about squeeze not one but two pairs of shorts from one unwanted garment! 

The judo patch on Dolores's pair also came from my stash. Back when I was 18 or 19 I used to drag my-then-boyfriend to the jumble sale that took place at the school next to his house. I would buy ridiculously things for 10p each on a whim, filling up whole bin bags that it was his job to lug about the hall and hold open for me. One of those purchases was a child's judo outfit (!). I have no idea why I bought it, but I unpicked this little logo before donating it back to charity. 

The strips of white jersey that formed all that binding was harvested from an old t-shirt that I also already possessed. Literally nothing new was purchased for this project. I even printed out the pattern on paper that had previously been used on the other side!


I am totally in love with these shorts! I must admit to being disappointed that I have to wait over a year to see them in action, unless Dolores or Arthur perform some kind of insane growth spurt in the meantime. But the great thing about making kid's clothes is that, when they come out too big, they will fit them eventually at some point. Especially now she's out of the stage where a particular garment only fits her for what seems like a matter of weeks. 


Sewing by Shirley said...

What a great refashion!

Knitlass said...

Great refashion. Just on shorts and sizes - the change from nappy wearing to pant wearing makes a huge difference, so leggings and shorts actually have a very looooong lifespan in my experience. Just as an example i picked up some shorts for my daughter in a charity shop a while ago. She is quite slim, and tall - and I eyeballed them for size. She was 4 ish, and I knew they would work as shorts to wear under skirts/dresses in the summer. (Flashing your pants when you twirl/climb is never a good look, even at 4!) anyways - they fit her perfectly - but the label was aged 9-12 MONTHS!!

So zo, hang onto the leggings - once you say goodbye to nappies they will all fit again (Capri length) ! How brill is that?

Unknown said...

I just love these shorts! The retro vibe is so cute. You have certainly inspired me to get back into refashioning. I have a baby on the way and I can't wait to start making little clothes for them - love seeing what you make for Dolores (who is getting cuter every time I see I new pic)!

Knitwitsowls said...

I always hang on to my lil bits shorts becuase when they come out of nappies they fit again! He's pretty slim aswell so his legs always outgrow his trousers before his waist does, he now has about ten pairs of 90s style denim cut off shorts

Agnes said...

I love these! So cute, and so stylish! I have been sewing briefs from T-shirts too recently :)

Cucicucicoo: Eco Crafting & Sewing said...

Oh my gosh, those are the cutest things ever! Nice refashion! :) Lisa

Claire said...

Awww - she looks like a little basketball player! The Judo label was an excellent save too.

R said...

They look absolutely great, so professional. I love the colour combination and the logo placements. The good thing about waiting until 2016 for her to fit is her growing may have slowed down slightly so they could fit her for 4 weeks rather than 2!

Summer Flies said...

Too cute..agreed. Once the nappies are gone, the shorts will work for ages.

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That is adorable. Running shorts are the best because they can be used for an intense workout as well. I've recently bought running shorts for men from the New Balance India website. Check it out if you're looking to buy new ones.

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