Unfancy Pants Hack: Bubble Shorts!

Hey everybody! I’ve got a fun little tutorial for the cutest, most comfortable bubble shorts your little girl will ever have 😍

So, I was lucky enough to be a pattern tester for the Unfancy Pants from Unfancy Designs.  As I was sewing up the pants, I couldn’t help but think that they would make the cutest bubble shorts. The front panel and the pleats are just too perfect. Not to mention, we’ve been having unseasonably warm weather here in the Pacific Northwest (think 85 degrees in April!) so we are already in need of some warm weather clothes.

Anyway, once testing was over I didn’t hesitate to ‘hack’ the Unfancy Pants pattern to make my little Anna a pair of shorts. It was sooo easy and they turned out so well, I couldn’t wait to share it here with you! (with Karry’s blessing, of course) 😍

So, without further ado….

~’Unfancy’ Bubble Shorts Tutorial~

First thing you’ll need to do (if you don’t have it already) is head on over to Unfancy Designs and get the Unfancy Pants PDF pattern. I suggest making a pair of the Unfancy Pants before attempting this tutorial. That way you can get the sizing down and see how they fit first. Plus, the pants are super versatile and will prove to be a wardrobe staple anyway. Win, win 😍

Here is Anna’s pair. Aren’t they cute?

😍 Btw: The pockets are such a nice feature on these. She collected so many seashells, I couldn’t believe how many she fit in there! lol

Never mind the boo-boo over her nose. This little monkey was jumping on her bed and….well, I’m sure you can guess what happened next 😍

*Note: The Unfancy Pants pattern has the wonderful option of using knits or wovens. This tutorial is meant for use with knits.

Once you’re familiar with how the pants fit, you can determine how short you want the shorts to be. Measure down from the crotch to your desired length and add 1 in. to account for seam allowance. For example: I decided to measure an inch down from the crotch and added 1 in. seam allowance for a total of 2 inches for Anna’s pair.

😍 Draw a line straight across your pattern and cut. Do this for both front and back pattern pieces.

(Tip: To make sure the front and back are the same length, use the first pattern piece to trace your line on the other one.)

From this point, go ahead and follow the Unfancy Pants sewing instructions to construct the shorts. Once you reach the point of hemming, come on back here to finish up…….


Now that you have your shorts put together, let’s make a couple of leg bands. These will be sewn in place of a hem to create the “bubble” effect. 😍

First, measure the child’s thigh and add 1 in. For example: Anna’s thigh measured 13.5 in. around. Plus 1 in. for a total of 14.5 in.

Make 2 strips: 2.5 in. high and (your determined measurement) wide. 😍 Make sure the stretch of your fabric is with the width of your strips.

At this point, you should have a constructed pair of shorts and 2 strips for leg bands:

With right sides facing, fold your strips in half and sew together with 1/2 in. seam allowance. Press seams open:

Now fold them in half, length-wise with wrong sides facing and press: 😍

Pin the bands to the leg openings, matching up the side seams. Sew with 1/2 in. seam allowance, stretching the band as you sew. Finish seam allowance with a serger or zig zag stitch.

And you’re DONE! Wasn’t that easy? 😍

I used luxurious french terry knit from Raspberry Creek Fabrics for this pair. So, so comfy. These bubble shorts are perfect for a day of play…..

…or, dress them up! 😍


Of course, dressing up doesn’t stop this girl from climbing trees and getting dirty… 😍

BONUS: Feel free to play around with different lengths too. Above the knee could be a cute option. As well as below the knee for super cozy loungers.

Also, I based this tutorial off the knit version of these pants. But if you wanted to try it with a woven material you could probably swap the leg band for 1/4 in. elastic. I would also suggest going up a size to create more “bubble”.

The possibilities are endless! 😍

We would love to see your versions of the Unfancy Pants and the Bubble Shorts. Post your photos in the Unfancy Designs PDF Pattern Group on Facebook, or on Instagram: #unfancypants

Happy sewing! 😍

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *