Shorts are not for everyone. However, you can’t deny the comfort they bring, especially during the hot summer months. They are available in different types of materials and you can pair them with numerous tops, footwear, and accessories.
Making shorts may seem like an intimidating project if you’re a beginner sewer. But learning how to sew shorts is easy and fun. All you need is a bit of patience, time, and work, you’ll be able to create a pair of comfortable elastic shorts.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Sew Shorts For Women
- 1.1 Step 1: Make your pattern
- 1.2 Step 2: Pin the pattern to your fabric
- 1.3 Step 3: Cut the material
- 1.4 Step 4: Pin along the seams
- 1.5 Step 5: Stitch the seams together
- 1.6 Step 6: Flip the shorts over
- 1.7 Step 7: Sew the inner thigh seams
- 1.8 Step 8: Make the waistband
- 1.9 Step 9: Feed the elastic through the waistband
- 1.10 Step 10: Hem your shorts up
- 2 How To Sew Shorts For Men
- 2.1 Step 1: Download a pattern
- 2.2 Step 2: Pin your fabric to the pattern
- 2.3 Step 3: Cut out the material
- 2.4 Step 4: Prepare and stitch the two back pockets
- 2.5 Step 5: Prepare and stitch the two front pockets.
- 2.6 Step 6: Sew the crotch.
- 2.7 Step 7: Stitch up the rest of the seams
- 2.8 Step 8: Hem your men’s shorts.
- 2.9 Step 9: Sew the waistband lining
- 2.10 Step 10: Sew the elastic waistband together
- 2.11 Step 11: Fold the elastic into the lining
How To Sew Shorts For Women
Step 1: Make your pattern
You can quickly make a simple shorts pattern from your favorite pair of shorts that fits you well by tracing its outline on craft paper.
- Fold your shorts in half, ensuring the front pockets are on the outside.
- Add about 1 inch of seam allowance around the sides and bottom of your pattern. Also, add 1.5 inches to the top for the waistband.
- Cut your shorts pattern with a pair of scissors.
Step 2: Pin the pattern to your fabric
Fold your fabric in half. Then, lay the pattern you made on top of it and pin it in place. Place the pattern’s center or long side along the folded edge of your fabric.
Step 3: Cut the material
Cut along the outline using sharp sewing shears. Now you have one full side of your homemade shorts. Repeat the same pinning and cutting technique to create another piece.
Step 4: Pin along the seams
Unfold the two pieces of your shorts. Next, line them together and make sure that the right sides are facing each other while the wrong sides are facing out.
Pin together, particularly along the two rounded seams of both pieces. You will be stitching these seams together in the next step. Hence, it’s vital at this point to keep them aligned as evenly as possible.
Step 5: Stitch the seams together
With your sewing machine, sew along the rounded seams, leaving a 1-inch seam allowance. If you will sew by hand, it is advisable to apply a backstitch. At this stage, you will have something that looks like a single connected tube of fabric.
Step 6: Flip the shorts over
Turn your fabric over so that the stitched seams sit in the center front and center back of your fabric.
The sewn seams will be on the outside edges after you have sewn the two pieces of your shorts together. You must rotate your shorts so that the seams are down the vertical center and evenly aligned with each other. These sewn seams are what will form the crotch of your DIY shorts.
Step 7: Sew the inner thigh seams
Flatten your fabric to make sure that you’ll be able to see the opening under the centerline of the crotch easily. Then, pin along each side and sew together using a zig-zag stitch and a seam allowance of 1 inch. This will create both legs of the shorts.
Step 8: Make the waistband
Fold over the upper edge of your fabric and leave enough room for the elastic band. Pin this in place, then sew along the raw edge to stitch the waistband down. Folding over the top 2 inches is enough room for your elastic waistband.
- Sew using a straight stitch with your machine or a backstitch if sewing by hand.
- Do not forget to leave a small hole along the seam. This is where you will thread the elastic through.
Step 9: Feed the elastic through the waistband
The size of the elastic should be around the same size as your waist, minus approximately 3 inches. To stay secure, elastic needs to stretch, and that additional space will ensure that your shorts will stay snug on your waist.
Insert the elastic through the opening in the waistband. Push it along the waistband until it reaches all the way around. When you’re finished, sew the opening in the waistband closed. To make the process of feeding the band easier, clip a safety pin to one end of your elastic. Or you can tape a chopstick to it.
Pull both ends of the elastic through their corresponding openings along the waistband. Hold them firmly and sew them together and the opening closed with a zigzag stitch.
Step 10: Hem your shorts up
Fold up the bottom edge of both legs by around 1 inch. Pin them into place and then sew around the leg opening to create the hem, using a seam allowance of about half an inch.
Now your new pair of shorts is done. Turn it right-side-out again and try it out to see how it fits you.
How To Sew Shorts For Men
Step 1: Download a pattern
This is the easiest and fastest way to make a pair of athletic shorts or boxers for men. Once you’ve downloaded a pattern, print it in an A4 paper, ensuring that the scale printing box is not checked.
Simply follow the instructions that come with your pattern when piecing everything together. All corners are usually labeled with numbers, and you can make the entire pattern by matching these together. Then, cut the pattern pieces and tape them together at the proper places.
Step 2: Pin your fabric to the pattern
Lay the pattern on the wrong side of your fabric and pin it in place. You may want to use a sewing pencil or chalk when sketching the pattern’s outline for added accuracy.
- Most patterns include the seam allowance needed.
- Fold the lining fabric so that it becomes a double layer.
- For the waistband lining, pin the pattern with the fold marking lined up with this folded edge.
Step 3: Cut out the material
Cut along the sewing lines until you’ve cut out all the pieces using sharp sewing shears. Make sure to cut the pieces in reverse order, meaning the last piece you need should be the first one you cut out. Doing it this way allows you to stack the pieces together with the first piece on top of your stack.
Step 4: Prepare and stitch the two back pockets
Press all four edges of the pocket pieces with an iron. Then, pin the pocket pieces onto the right parts of the pattern of your shorts as marked on the pattern itself. Apply a double topstitch when sewing the sides and bottom of the pocket in place.
Step 5: Prepare and stitch the two front pockets.
Apply the same method you used on the back pockets for the front pockets. Use a double top stitch to sew the sides and bottom of the pocket in place.
Step 6: Sew the crotch.
Pin the back pieces of your fabric together and sew along the crotch part of the pattern.
- Trim one side of the seam to 3/8-inch using sharp sewing shears.
- Clip curve the bottom of the crotch seam.
- When sewing the crotch seam, use a flat felled seam.
Step 7: Stitch up the rest of the seams
Sew both the inseam and side seams. Use a flat felled seam style when sewing the side seams. Also, make sure the right sides of the fabric pieces facing each other. When you’re done with the inseam, overlock or serge the edge to prevent any excess fraying.
Step 8: Hem your men’s shorts.
Fold the bottom hem up and apply a double topstitch to hold it together. Afterward, use an iron to press its bottom hem to make a sturdy fold.
Step 9: Sew the waistband lining
Stitch the waistband lining to the waist with the right sides facing each other.
Step 10: Sew the elastic waistband together
Use a zigzag stitch to sew the raw ends of the elastic together. Make sure to overlap the edges by roughly 1/2 inch.
Step 11: Fold the elastic into the lining
Pin the elastic to the center of the back waist of the shorts. Then, fold the band in half and pin it to the center of the front waist. Divide the band into a few other equally spaced points along the lining, pinning it to the fabric in another eight to ten places.
Fold the lining edge in the band with the wrong side facing out and sew along the edge while stretching the elastic band gently. Turn your homemade shorts so that the right side faces out. Gently stretch the elastic and double topstitch around 1/4 inch away from the top and bottom edges to complete your shorts.