Boys clothes can be really boring, but its easy to add fun details to make something unique and interesting. I've noticed that most sewing patterns are overall the same thing with variations on details, so instead of buying pattern after pattern to get different looks, I choose a well fitting pattern that already comes with a few variations, and then add all kinds of details to get different looks. For this pair of shorts, I added several details to make a boring basic pair of red shorts into something special that you will never see in stores. You don't have to add all of these different details on one piece of clothing, sometimes I just pick one or two and that is enough to make it more interesting!
For these shorts, I used the Linden Shorts by Sew a Little Seam. This is a shorts and skirt pattern that I tested a while back. I like it for its multiple finishing options, 2 lengths, multiple waistband options, and recently a new set of "extras" came out like cargo pockets, a real fly, and a board shorts option!
I made size 8, which is a bit big on Levi, so these should last him a while if he doesn't destroy them. Fabric is corduroy, some cotton woven scraps, and I did a simple knit waistband.
Fun stitching: For the pockets, instead of a simple straight stitch, I chose this uneven wave stitch. My machine has lots of different stitches so why not play around with them!
This is something I almost always add - on back pockets of shorts/pants, button down shirt front pockets, side seams of shorts and shirts (on t-shirts put it near the bottom of the shirt), etc. I cut a small scrap of one or two ribbons, fold in half, and tuck into the seam or like in this example, under the edge of the pocket. This gives a little pop of color and another fun detail. Sometimes I use twill tape instead of ribbon and sew a tiny little button onto the tab, I love buttons too!
Another fun one is to cut a small strip of ribbon, turn the ends under and stitch the short ends down, I most often do this one at the bottom of the back yolk on button down shirts, or at the bottom of a pocket.
I like to topstitch everything! Not only does it make clothing more durable, but it can add a bit of fun color as well. If you match your fabric, it hides the stitching, so I prefer to use contrasting colors. I also sew up some of the project and then switch to another color. You can see here that I used yellow first and then switched to green to finish.
Speaking of buttons... On this pair I added buttons to the back pockets, if your machine is cooperative with button holes (which my new machine thankfully is), then adding buttons is a quick easy add on. I often let the kid choose a button or two to add. On this pair I added one to the front as well. Sometimes I put them on the bottom corner of a pocket as a little detail. A group of buttons placed somewhere can be fun as well.
Also shown here are patches. For these, I sometimes do raw edges, sometimes applique them on (a tight zigzag stitch around the edge, and sometimes use a quilters applique technique like I did here. For this method, take 2 squares (or circles, triangle, rectangles, etc) and sew them right sides together, all the way around with no gap. Then, clip the corners, and cut a generous snip through the middle of ONE layer and turn everything inside out. The snip will be hidden underneath when you sew the patch down, use any stitch you want to sew on the patch!
Stitching as detail:
On pockets in particular, but sometimes randomly across a leg of shorts or some other random place, I do a line of stitching. Here I used the same "wave" stitch to do a line across the back pocket before turning the edges under and attaching it. I also added TLSS (The Little Sewing Shop) on the pocket (branding!)
The Linden shorts have a bunch of pocket options, but not zips. I saw these on a pair of mini boeden shorts and used that as inspiration. Experiment with different pocket shapes and mix it up! You can do can do different pockets on each side, like a patch pocket on the right and a regular pocket on the left. Or a square back pocket and a pointed one, or one with a flap and another without....
Try unusual shapes too, Max California has a tutorial for a fun dripping pocket for example. I save inspiration for fun pockets on my pinterest like this and this. There are tons of ideas out there!
This is another example of Fun Stitching, I used an "x" shaped stitch to topstitch the pocket shape.
Hope that gives you some inspiration to add fun details!
Here are the finished shorts: