How to sew SHORTS- {3 Free DIY Patterns & sewing tutorials}

Shorts is nothing short of a necessity during warm weather. You have sunny weather and the shorts is not far behind. What can be more cooling than wearing a comfy shorts in the heat.Some girls even get away with wearing them to the office. The cool and trendy look that shorts gives you is what you are looking for this summer.

Checkout the 17 types of shorts in this post here

I have 3 patterns here – One is the easiest – a simple comfy pajama shorts with elastic waistband  and then a more fitted one with elastic waistband and the next one has a fitted band in the front and an elastic band in the back. If you are looking for a shorts which look more like a skirt , check out the tutorial and pattern to sew culottes (divided skirt) 

culottes sewing pattern

or to make and sew  men’s Boxer shorts pattern, checkout the tutorial here

mens boxer shorts pattern

 

how to sew shorts

shorts pattern

I have one policy when wearing shorts. Solid colours tops with printed shorts and printed or patterned tops with solid coloured shorts. But this rule is not followed by many fashionistas. They combine patterns and prints with their tops and shorts and look fantastic.

The shorts can be made in any material you want but a natural woven fabric like cotton and linen works best,especially when sewing summer shorts. Bold patterns, stripes, eyelet fabric, lovely prints, small embroidery – all can add interest to this simple pattern. 

You can pair your shorts with any style of tops ranging from basic tees, fitted tops, Kaftans, crop tops, denim jackets and camisole top, button down shirts and tank tops.Halterneck tops and shorts are the best combo to beat the heat. A day frolicking on the beach in a cotton shorts and an  off shoulder top is definitely my idea of fun.  Flat sandals suits shorts the best but many may disagree

How much cloth is needed to sew shorts ?

It depends on the hip measurement and the length of the shorts. Till about 40 inches ( Hip round – the widest part ) you can make a shorts in about 1 meter fabric (.91 yards). Add some .25 meters above this. 

1. Pajama shorts pattern

Take two fabric pieces of length = equalling the length you need for the shorts + 4 inches . Fold by the center . Keep them stacked so that you have 4 layers of cloth. Mark on the top cloth and cut. 

You need to Take the hip round measurement and mark the pattern as below

A-H is the folded side of the fabric. Mark A-B as 1/3 of the hip round measurement plus 1 inch.From A mark down on the folded side  C – 1/3 of the hip round measure plus 3 inch . Mark D on this line so that it is the same measure as A-B. Add 1.5 inches outside to F. Now mark from C to down – this is the length of the shorts . I would mark this 6 inches or so ( This is short shorts , not bermudas. If you want longer add more length)

sew pajama short

Mark 3/4 inch diagonally to E from D. Join B -E-F in a soft curve. This is the crotch line.

Cut through A-B-E-F-G-H.

You have two pieces cut now – for both the legs of the pajama shorts

Pajama shorts pattern

 

Take one of the leg pieces. Keep the piece rightsides in and sew the leg inseam together. Do this for both the legs

sewing pattern shorts

You will have two leg pieces like this

girls shorts pattern

Now join the crotch line of the two leg pieces together, ensuring that the front is joined to front and back to back (front has a dip in the front) .

Keep the edge together and sew the whole stretch. Make two stitching lines and finish the edges as well – this is a very taxing seam  :).

pattern for shorts

You have your piece like this now

pattern for shorts

Hem the leg bottom edges. I hand sew the hem as the polyester fabric was behaving badly when sewn

pattern for shorts

Take a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch elastic (length equalling your waist round) . Sew the edges together to make a ring. I have decided to add the elastic like this instead of threading with a safety pin as I usually do

pattern for shorts

Keep it inside the shorts’ top edge. Turn under the edge and stitch in place from the inside

make your own shorts

As you sew , move the fabric so that you can sew the waistband without creases; as shown in the picture below

sew a shorts pattern

 

 

sew a shorts

You can make any addition to this pattern like pretty patchpockets in a contrast colour or add a lace trim to the leg edge ; You can also make cuffs at the hem or embellish with pretty applique or embroidery flowers

2. My favourite shorts pattern

This is another easy shorts pattern – this is now my favourite pattern.This one has two more seams than the first pattern. You need to cut two pieces of the back  and two pieces of the front ( This way you get a slightly raised curve in the back waist top edge as well as better fit in the crotch area)

Back pattern – cut 2 pattern pieces.

how to sew shorts

Front Pattern – cut 2 pattern pieces

shorts pattern

How to sew this shorts

Cut out the two back pieces.

sewing shorts

Keep them together (right sides inside) and sew the crotch area together with a 1/4 inch seam allowances. Finish the edges with a zigzag or serge finish

how to sew shorts

This is what you get. Press seams

make shorts

Cut the front pieces.

shorts sewing

Keep them together (right sides inside) and sew the crotch area together with a 1/4 inch seam allowances. Finish the edges with a zigzag or serge finish

You have the front piece of the shorts ready

Now finish the bottom edge of the legs – I turned under 1/4 inch twice and stitched. If you want a wider hem, you should leave more edge at the cutting stage.

sewing a shorts

Keep the back and front pieces rightsides together and stitch the side seams and the inner leg seam ( as in the picture below – the red line)

The top edge will look a little awkwardly pointed. Turn under the top edge for a 1″ inch casing for the elastic. You may have to slightly gather the casing as you turn under. When you insert the elastic it will all come allright. Leave about 2 inch unstitched. Insert the elastic through this opening and you are good.

how to sew shorts

3. A fitted shorts pattern

 

The pattern given below will give you a defined waist as it is fitted on the front draping comfortably around your hips with a fitted waistband fastened with pant hooks and zipper on the side seams and in the back you have an elastic waistband which will give you room for movement and ease.

Fitting shorts sewing pattern with Elastic waist band in the back.

how to sew shorts

Body Measurements needed

  • Waist round 
  • Hip round
  • Thigh circumference or flair of the leg
  • Length of shorts

 

Draft Back pieces of shorts pattern 

 shorts-pattern-1

Mark the width of the back piece of shorts at 1/3 of the hip round ( 1-3)
Mark 2 inches to the inside to point 2

From 2 mark up 1 inch . Join 1 to this point at 4 (1 -4) 
From 1 and 2 mark down .5 inch at D & E. This is seam allowance for joining the waistband 
Mark the crotchline from D

D- A = E-C = F-B = Crotch line should be marked differently for different sizes
For kids – 9 inch ; Adults – medium – 10 inch ; large – 10.5 inch ; XL – 11 inch
The width of the crotch line A-B = 1/3 of hip

D- I = Height of the shorts + 2″ hem allowance
I-H = Thigh circumference +2 inch  ( This can be increased as per your choice for flair)
Join all the lines
You have to cut two pieces of this back pattern

Draft Front pieces of shorts pattern 

how to stitch shorts

Mark the width of the back piece of shorts at 1/3 of the hip round + 3 inch
Mark 3 inches to the inside
For joining the waistband you have to leave 1/2 inch seam allowance on top
Mark the crotch line

D- A = E-C = F-B = Crotch line should be marked  differently for different sizes
For kids – 9 inch ; Adults – medium – 10 inch ; large – 10.5 inch ; XL – 11 inch
The width of the crotch line A-B = 1/3 of hip + 3 inch

D- I = Height of the shorts + 2″ hem allowance
I-H = Thigh circumference +2 inch ( This can be increased as per your choice for flair)

Mark 1-G, A-J & I-K 1/2 inch inside
Join all the lines
You have to cut two pieces of this front pattern

Waistbands

Front waistband
After joining the front pieces at the crotch line together measure the top edge. Add 2 inches to this measure for length. Width – 3 inch
Back waistband
After joining the back pieces at the crotch line together measure the top edge. Length should equal this measurement. Width – 3 inch

Zipper facing pieces 

2.5 inch wide and 8 inch long fabric pieces – 2 numbers. 

How to sew the shorts

Step 1

Join the crotchlines of the front pieces keeping them right sides together; Join the crotchlines of backpieces.You now have two pieces of the shorts pattern – front & back pieces. 

how to make a shorts pattern

Step 2

Fold in zipper facing pieces by half lengthwise.

On the right top edge of the front pattern piece,keep the zipper . On top of that keep the facing piece to the inside, raw edges together.i.e sandwich zipper between facing and fabric edge.  Stitch with a zipper foot along the sides of the zipper, Joining the four layers together. 

Turn facing to the other side . Press in place. Now zipper is joined to front pattern piece. 

 

Step 3

Make the front waist band by folding the waistband piece by half lengthwise. Turn under 1/4 inch from the raw edge inside. Press in place. Stitch one of the sides together by keeping them right sides together. Turn inside out for neat turning.

Pin the waistband to the top edge of the front pattern piece.Open the zipper and keep left side zipper inside the waistband and stitch. leave the other zipper coil. This will go to the other side of shorts.

shorts sewing pattern diy

Step 4

Join the facing and the other coil of zipper to the left side of the back pattern.

Keep the facing piece, on top of that zipper backside up and on top the fabric edge wrong side up.Stitch along the edge.This will create a facing for the zipper so that even if the zipper comes undone your skin will not show.

Now the zipper is attached to both front piece and back piece.

shorts

Step 5

Make a back waistband for elastic by folding the waist band piece by half lengthwise. Turn under 1/4 inch from the raw edge inside. Press in place.

1/2 inch extra should be left at the left edge for turning under after inserting the elastic.

Join to the back piece top edge, by top stitching in place.  Ensure that the facing piece and zipper top along the side of the back pattern is enclosed in the waistband. 

Step 6

Cut an elastic (3/4 inch wide) of length = (waist circumference /2) minus(-)1 inch.Insert the elastic with the help of a pin. Stitch at the edges to keep in place. 

Step 7

Sew the side seam of the shorts from inside, from the bottom edge to the zipper joining. Join the other side seam and inseam of the shorts.

Step 8

Stitch a pant hook and metal bar on the waistbands.

Sew this easy summer shorts pattern and discover a piece of garment you find you cannot do without

Checkout other free sewing patterns in this site here. 

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