How to make summer shorts

I love shorts and once i started sewing I knew I had to learn how to make them! It is so convenient and easy on the pocket. No more going to forever 21 or some other place and paying a bomb for shorts. It is so much fun that now, everytime I make something and have some cloth leftover, I make shorts like these ones.

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Ok so lets get started! It is actually quite easy so if you are a beginner, you should definitely try this. Today, I am going to explain the easiest method to make shorts. Once you get a hang of this, you can try different varients like ones with pockets (front, back, side) or ones with waist bands or with zippers.

You will need around 1 metre cloth, scissors, pins, chalk, a pair of shorts you own that fits you well, elastic and ofcourse a sewing machine.

First, lay out your fabric. Be sure to have your selvage line lie on the length. Selvage line is basically the finished edge of the fabric. It will be slightly thicker and may have these threads on the edge (See top end of the picture below).

Fold it in half length wise as shown below. I have taken the left side of the fabric and folded it on the right. So now, the right side of the fabric is open ended.

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Fold your shorts and lay them down on the folded edge of the fabric as shown below. Leave some allowance on the top for the waistband depending on the width of the elastic you will be using for the waistband (Keep in mind you will be folding the top twice). I normally keep this at 2 inches. Trace the shape of the shorts using tailer’s chalk adding a 1 inch seam allowance (or howmuch ever seam allowance you are most comfortable with). One important thing to remember is that while tracing the area from the crotch to the waist, do not trace exactly as your shorts are lying down on the fabric. Remember that the elastic in your shorts has gathered the fabric so while tracing from the crotch till the waist, first trace the crotch curve and then instead of tracing diagonally (as your shorts are), trace a straight line upwards.

Another important aspect while tracing the crotch area is to be sure that there is enough curve at the crotch end. If the curve is too less, you will end up with shorts which you can’t wear because they ride up or are too tight in your crotch area. When in doubt, always make the crotch curve a little longer because if it’s too loose, you can still fix it unlike when it is short and you are left with no fabric to fix it.

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Once you have traced this piece, cut it out. Now, move downwards on the folded fabric. Use the piece you just cut out as a guide and trace and cut another piece just like it.

You should end up with 2 identical pieces of fabric. Open up both the pieces and lay them down together wrong sides up. (i.e lay out first piece right side up and then lay down the other piece on the first piece wrong side up).

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Pin down both the sides from the waist till the crotch to hold the pieces together to sew. Pin from the edge at a distance of what you kept as seam allowance, in my case, 1 inch. DO NOT pin the area from the crotch till the bottom. Pin only from the waist till the crotch. (See below).

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Sew along the pin line (taking the pins out as you sew. Do not sew over the pins) using a normal straight stitch. Once done, you can use a zig zag stitch and sew along the seam line to prevent the cloth from fraying. Your edges will look something like this. (Sorry my sewing machine skipped one or two stitched in the zig zag stitch.)

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Now that you have sewed the sides together, place your fabric such that the seams fall in the centre. You still have your wrong sides up. Now, properly align and pin the crotch area till the bottom as shown below at a 1 inch seam allowance. Sew a straight stitch along the pinned line and a zig zag stitch on the seam allowance.

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You can now try it on and check once if the crotch area is too tight or too loose and fix accordingly. Next, you need to hem the bottom around half an inch.

Now, coming to the waist. You are going to fold the top twice thick enough for your elastic to fit inside comfortably.

Folding once….

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Folding twice…

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Now, sew a straight stitch right on the inside edge of your fold. Sew all around the waist line leaving a spacing of around 3 fingertips right before you reach the end. This is where you will put your elastic in.

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Now, take the elastic and place it around your waist (where you want your shorts to sit). Stretch the elastic and cut it out at the point where you think it will be most comfortable. (I usually measure my waist and take an elastic piece which is atleast 3-4 inches smaller than my waist measurement).

Take a safety pin and pin it on one end of the elastic. Insert the safety pin along with the elastic in the waist line through the three fingertip opening you had left earlier. Make sure the other end of the elastic hangs outside the opening. Once both the ends of the elastic are out, overlap the two ends of elastic around half an inch or 1 inch and sew a square on it to secure the two ends of the elastic together. Once this is done, release the elastic such that it sits within the waist line. Now, sew the opening with a straight stitch just like you stitched the rest of the waist line.

TADA! Your shorts are ready! These are the most comfortable pair of shorts that i own! You can wear these to bed or you can wear them to the beach.

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Hope this helped! If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you guys liked this tutorial, please don’t forget to like this post and follow our blog and follow us on facebook and instagram. Most importantly, if you do make shorts using this tutorial, we would love to see how they turned out! Cheers!