Monthly Archives: June 2016

Swim and Surf Shorts by Gracious Threads

It’s that time of year….time for swimming and surfing. Okay, I don’t surf, and nor do the kids. But, we love to swim and play! Jessica from Gracious Threads has done it again. She’s designed another pattern and this one is just stellar…The Swim and Surf Shorts, release sale price is $5!


I made 4 pairs during testing and they are already the new favorites.  Grandma has seen them all and keeps telling us how great they are, so we know they are keepers if GM likes them :). My board short fabric from Peek A Boo Fabrics just arrived, so once I’m finished with the other 2 pairs I have cut out, I’ll be making pink, gray, and black for the kids!!

The Swim and Surf Shorts has so many great options. You can make them short or long, each with set-in swim bottoms. The kids can go from the pool to the swings without stopping!! You can make long or short bottoms with board short material to wear over your swim suit for quick drying or you can make them from whatever cotton you have sitting on your shelf for cute play shorts.


You noticed that gorgeous bias tape accent didn’t you?? I made my own! Why not!!   🙂              I had the perfect fabric to go with the Hawaiian print E picked out. Bias tape is really easy to make.  Dana taught me how to make bias tape *wink-wink*.  Here is her video tutorial. This is 3/8 bias tape and this was the only thing that took any time to construct-I used the slow method. If you buy it, it’s even easier. But homemade bias tape can be so much more fun than the solid colors in stores. Now, if you have a bias tape tool, it’s really easy. But, bias tape  can be constructed by simply ironing. A tool like this makes it go a lot quicker. I made all my bias tape for testing via the folding method to keep with the 3/8 bias tape during testing. However, 1/2 inch double fold will work just fine which is what my tool makes.  Here is a nice tutorial from Melly Sews on making your own cardboard tool.


Since E liked this pair so much, we grabbed another Hawaiian print from my stash and I added pockets to this pair. She’s a pocket girl. They were really easy to do and will be for you if you have sewn pockets before. *Pocket tutorial coming soon!


As always, Jessica’s instructions are fabulous and easy to follow. This pattern comes with layers for easy assembly of the pattern.  With bias tape ready, I can get a pair done in less than a half hour or 20 min uninterrupted. I love a quick sew.

Q had to have a pair too. He picked his cherished Mabel Madison Vintage Garage fabric that I won for his first pair. Too bad I accidentally grabbed the the size 8 back and attached it to the 10 front. Oh well. I just made them shorter. Here they are as a work in progress….great comfy shorts for around the house and bedtime.

Fabric: Vintage Garage from Mabel Madison found here.

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A few nights ago in the midst of testing, I was walking the dog around the block and my friend’s daughter had a pair of shorts on that looked just like Swim and Surf Shorts only they had two stripes down the sides. Fun!!  So, we had to try it. I pulled out E’s beloved Star Wars fabric. E is a rather new Star Wars fan. She and her twin friends are making their way through the movies. She’s really enjoying wearing this pair.

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I played around with the bias tape and they are pretty cute!


And here they are finished and ready for action! Yea, Q’s comfy house shorts made it outside! 🙂 All of E’s shorts are size 10 with 12 length for my long legged kids. Q’s is a mix up mash, but his next pair will also be a 10 and 12 mash.


The pattern calls for 3 rows of elastic. Why? Because when you are swimming, you don’t want your shorts falling down do you? Eep, no!!  I made two pairs with 3 rows of elastic, just like you see below. *Please ignore the two unruly threads.*

These shorts aren’t going anywhere!! (These shorts are on my gf’s little girl, size 8)

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On two subsequent shorts, I used 1″ elastic and the channel was perfect for it. I did center stitch one channel(stretched) for E to avoid it turning.

So here’s the deal: you have a few options: swim bottoms inside, no swim bottoms, and multiple fabric choices too.

The Swim and Surf shorts are really an awesome pattern to make and wear! They are on sale for a few more days, here or on Etsy here. $5 is such a bargain!! I love when patterns are at this price point upon release. <3

Jessica’s post on her shorts can be found here.

Our summer is just getting started!! How about winning this pattern for free? (if you have already purchased, Jessica will refund your purchase price. Sweet, right?!

Comment below and tell me where your vacation plans are taking you this summer….tropical island? local swimming hole? backyard sprinkler?





Coming next: more summer Swim and Surf Shorts and Racerback tank for girls!