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shorts for toddler

fabricholic | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am trying to fix a shorts and pants pattern for DGD and the pattern crotch length needs to be add 3 1/2″ in back and taken in 2″ front crotch length. The crotch depth is 5 1/2″ and I added 1/2″ for ease. Is 1/2″ too much for a toddler? How much can I add in back length before it messes up the pattern? Should I try to add 1″ to the back leg and the rest to the back crotch length? I want to make her a lot of pants so, I want this to be right. Please help.


  1. starzoe | | #1

    You say your DGD is a toddler - does she still wear diapers? Patterns for smaller children are designed to accommodate a diaper and this is what your pattern sounds like.

    1. fabricholic | | #2

      Yes, she is still in diapers although, she just turned 3 years old. That might be the reason for the strange measurements. 10" back crotch length and 4" front crotch length.

      1. Teaf5 | | #3

        Toddler shorts are fairly shapeless, like baggy tubes with deep, low crotches (and very short inseams!)  If she is three, she may potty train fairly soon, and her size will be completely different overnight.  If you can get a tracing of a pair that fits her now, you'll have a much better idea of her proportions, which are completely different from a child's or adult's.

        1. fabricholic | | #4

          I guess I could do that, checking the size myself. I asked my daughter for a pair of pants one time, to fit GD and she gave me a pair, which I went by. I tried on the new pants and they were very low in the front. That's the way my daughter wears her pants. I was so upset, to spend that much time (did the french seams and everything), and they not fit. I'll just check the fit myself this time.

  2. sewslow67 | | #5

    You don't really need to get a crotch measurement on a toddler or any small child under the age of about 5-7.  Truly ...especially when they wear diapers.  Even small children don't need that kind of perfection.  If the fabric is cute and they are comfortable around the waist, that is all that counts ...aside from the length of course.

    All the children's pattens are the same - a front and a back; they take about an hour to cut out and sew up and bingo ...you've got a happy child on your hands.  So forget the perfection and save that for the adults you sew for, including yourself.  Let the fabric and the loving stitches be the reward for grandma.  ;-)

    1. fabricholic | | #6

      I just don't like the crotch to hang way down and that is usually what happens if I don't adjust pattern. The front is easier than the back to adjust. I don't have a skinny little GD here. She isn't fat, but she is thick.

      1. Crazy K | | #7

        Usually you can just take a bit off the top........they'll still fit and you won't be beating yourself up trying to adjust the crotch angle!  I've even resorted to using a smaller size for the rise length.........and the regular size for the width and leg length.  Little kids don't need lots of fitting........and I've sewn for many different shapes with 20 grands!

        1. fabricholic | | #12

          Thanks everybody for your replies. DD is trying very hard this week to potty train her so, it's probably all for not.

      2. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #8

        The thing with the little ones is more comfort than looks. It may look good, but if they cannot move easily, they will tug at their clothing and take it off. The looser hanging pants actually give them more freedom to move in, and that is important for the smaller children as they move more awkwardly. This is also why so many children's shorts are elastic at the leg. Cathy

        1. Crazy K | | #9

          I have to agree with you on that.  I did have one grandson who was slender and had loooooong legs for the rest of him.  I did have to shorten the rise just a bit or he had the crotch hanging near his knees and THAT he did not like.  I still left him plenty of room for all his silly antics!  He's the one that had the size 6 pants with a size 4 rise & width (like a slim)!!  it worked!  Since he's grown some, we don't have to go to that extreme now.  I make mostly pj pants so looks aren't important.........comfort is!

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #10

            Two of my nephews are like night and day. One is built solid but short, his brother is very slim and lanky. I have always cut their shorts/pants patterns half and half, one with the longer length with the shorter rise and narrower hips, the other with the wider hips, longer rise and shorter lengths. The lanky lad is still wearing a very small hip, just getting much taller. I don't think I have changed pattern size for about 4 years for him. This will be the first year in a long time. His older brother is in adult sizing now, but I will have to adjust a lot for crotch depth and leg length. They will still not wear any tight clothing. If it itches or feels tight anywhere, game over. Cathy

          2. Crazy K | | #11

            Yup........no two exactly alike!  DGS......the thin long legged one........doesn't like the crotch tight either but he also doesn't like it hanging to his knees........most anywhere in between is just fine!  He's still very slender.  I did have a couple of grands that were quite chunky as toddlers.........they ran it off quickly tho!  One guy had such chubby legs that it was hard to find things that weren't too tight.  He is now a tall, slender teen!

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #13

            They grow so quickly....my youngest just informed me this week that she wishes to move out to live away with her sister. I had expected her to live at home for one more year....oh, dear....an empty nest....Cathy

          4. Crazy K | | #14

            We've been empty nesters for over ten years now.  They do grow up fast.  After 28 years of having children under my roof, it was a change........but not all bad.  I can use the bathroom when I need to now!!  ha ha


          5. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #15

            I have been mentally prepping for this day for a while, but it has taken DH by surprise. So many changes for us in the last year and a half. I think DH is a little lost right now. This too shall pass, right? Cathy

          6. Crazy K | | #16

            Yes, it passes.  It takes a while to realize that you have the house all to yourselves again..........after all those years.  You'll have time for those hobbies that were always....."someday" things.  You'll feel lost for a while and then the grandchildren start arriving...........if they haven't already.  We had grands before the youngest flew the coup!

            We're retired empty nesters and finding it to be a wonderful time........and no we aren't wealthy but we're comfortable and our wants are minimal.  We're just enjoying time to sew, time to garden and all those 'fun' things that weren't possible when kids and jobs took center stage.

            Give DH a hug.........time will ease his feelings.


          7. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #17

            We did not wish to give up the cows, and he is feeling their loss badly still. I do not think he ever thought past having kids. Although we still farm, cash crops do not fill the hours like cattle do. The last of the heifers we were raising left this week also. I guess we are still just hurting all the way around. Time will heal, and we will find our way. Cathy

          8. Crazy K | | #18

            I guess I'm missing something.........you have had major changes in your lifestyle.  That would be much more difficult.  When my youngest left home......way too young, it seemed.......we were running a mom and pop motel in a busy tourist town and we both worked way too many hours each day.  I guess I didn't have time to feel lost!

            I grew up on a small family-run dairy farm so I understand the change of going from cows/milking to just field work.  Dad decided to sell the farm when I was a senior because mom's health wasn't the greatest and me being the only child, and a girl, he didn't feel I would stay on and farm with him.  If you are life-long farmers, you will feel lost.  You'll find things to fill your days..........it will just take time. 

            Best of luck to you..........


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