I am pretty sure there is only one time in your life when you can have things sewn or painted on your bottom, and have it actually be really cute…lol – BABY time :). Who doesn’t love a baby bum? Especially when it has cute animals on it as they scoot by?! Gah – I die. Tara of the Sewing Rabbit Team is here with a fabulous sewing DIY tutorial for these adorable bear butt baby shorts that I know you are going love. They make the perfect baby shower gift, and will have every new Mom swooning from cuteness overload.
Bear Butt Baby Shorts DIY
Hello Sewing Rabbit readers! Tara here from Girl Like The Sea here today with a cute, unique little embellishment for a pair of toddler summer shorts or pants.
Ok, so I’ll admit…..initially, at least half of the allure of making these shorts was in being able to say “bear butt“……But seeing these shorts cruising by on my baby – SO CUTE.
With some fabric scraps and a shorts pattern, you can make a pair for your little snuggle bug too! For my shorts I used the free Oliver and S sunny day shorts pattern, so if you need a good shorts pattern to start with, you won’t have to give up any of your fabric money!
I made a pair of these shorts for Hawthorne before this version in the exact same fabric (Kaufman double cloth chambray. The most amazing fabric EVER) and loved the fit, but wished I had embellished them somehow. That’s where the idea factory for appliques came in.
I almost got this entire project finished (from cutting the fabric for the shorts and applique out to hemming) while he napped, and that includes time spent doing other things with his big sisters. So this is a pretty quick! Especially if you don’t spend half of your sewing time with a seam ripper like I do.
How can you not smile when this goes scooting/toddling past you?
Technically I probably should have kept him from wearing them around until after I’d done photos, but once he tried them on for fit, there was a revolt from his sisters over the idea of taking them back off. They had a valid point.
Credit for the loose ears idea goes to my friend Cherie at You and Mie. She made a tutorial for a panda raglan with little ears coming out of the sleeve seam, and I totally had to use that as inspiration for this project.
Just because this kid deserves to have his face shown at least once in this post……
Are you ready to get started?
Bear Butt Baby Shorts
- Shorts pattern and fabric
- Additional fabric (scraps are enough) for bear face and snout – I did mine in some scraps of black linen, and black yard dyed essex linen…It could be done with interlock or french terry knit also!
- Fusible interfacing
- Fabric paint or sharpie depending on your fabric color
- Glue stick
First we will draft a bear face pattern that fits onto whatever shorts you are making
- Cut out your shorts pattern and grab just the back for now. Also set out your fusible interfacing and bear face fabrics. I would suggest fabrics that can withstand the stress of being scooted around on the floor all day if you have a crawler. I used heavy-ish linen for mine. I think that a sturdy knit would also work fine. Just nothing tissuey or drapey. Interlock or french terry.
- Sew the back seam of your shorts and finish seams. Press well
- Take a mental note on where the rise begins to curve out on the shorts. You don’t want your applique going past this point and ending UNDER your kid’s butt. I’ve pointed to the spot on my shorts with the pen. Wherever your seam begins to curve up and not lay flat on the floor is where you will want to avoid.
- Lay a piece of paper (I’ve used a piece of butcher paper from a huge costco roll) over the back of the shorts and fold along the center seam of the shorts just so you know you’re centered.
- Make sure your paper isn’t all the way up into the seam allowance of the top edge of the shorts. If you’re using a pattern with a separate waistband like I am, avoid the top 3/8″ or whatever the SA is. If you’re doing the fold over waistband, keep your pattern down past the big seam allowance on that (probably 2 1/2″ or so?). Also mark where your shorts rise spot is.
Now you’ve established your working area.
- Next, draw something that resembles a bear face shape to you. It clearly doesn’t have to be perfect. Lol. You really only need one side to look nice anyway because you’re just going to fold your paper over and cut along half of the circle. Figure out what looks right to you, proportionally speaking, and go with that.
- Draw ears on that bad boy too. I totally forgot and did it after cutting the face out. NBD. It still works fine that way too.
- Add seam allowance to the curved part of the ears because they will be sewn right sides together.
- Cut your paper pattern out.
- Iron some interfacing onto the back of your fabrics.
- Trace one of the face and four of the ears onto the interfaced side of your main fabric.
- Using the face pattern piece, draft a snout piece on it and cut that out. I just drew a makeshift face on there for context.
- Trace it onto the secondary fabric.
- Cut it all out!
- Grab your glue stick and rub some on the back of your snout piece. Stick it onto the main face where you want it.
- Stitch it down with a short, wide applique stitch. I think I had mine at almost buttonhole length and 3 width.
The glue stick is really helpful. Way easier than using pins for this part. It’s my new favorite applique tool!
- Lay your ear pieces right sides together and stitch around the curved part with whatever seam allowance you added for yourself when cutting the ears out.
- Trim close to the stitching.
- Turn right side out and press well.
Now you get to be artsy!
- Grab some fabric paint that contrasts well with your chosen fabric, and a fine tipped paintbrush.
- Sketch your face lightly with pencil or disappearing fabric marker.
- Paint your eyes, nose, mouth. Add some texture to the ears and face with brush strokes.
- Wait for it to dry and then heat set it.
- Pin the ear under the face, overlapping about 1/4″ and applique stitch it on (very wide, short stitch again).
- Making sure that the shorts are laying nice and flat, pin the bear face centered on the back. I used a lots of pins and just kind of bullied it all into laying nicely.
- Applique stitch it on and give it all a good press.
- Finish shorts as per the pattern instructions!
- Freak out over how adorable it looks on your kid’s butt.
As always, thanks for reading! Until next time…