I’ve made new pattern and photo instructions for you. This time it’s pattern for women’s shorts made from thinner fabric (thinner knit ideally). Shorts are simple and elegant with rounded sides. There are no pockets and structured parts, this makes shorts very comfortable and suitable for leisure, sleep and exercise.
I recommend using one-piece or double-faced knit of medium grammage (about 200 g/m2). You can also use thinner uncombed tracksuit fabric (with elastane!), sports knit, premium functional knit, etc. Next you need elastic waistband with width of about 2,5 – 3 cm. I’ve made these shorts from cotton knit bought from Důmlátek.cz, available here: Cotton knit with diamond shapes – light pink.
Sub-liner can be made from same fabric as rest of the shorts, but you can also use sub-liner fabric or any other thinner fabric. I’ve used thin sub-liner fabric (which is not elastic) and it works too.
You can sew parts of the shorts with overlock, but regular sewing machine is fine. You can clean seams with zigzag stitching for example.
Step-by-step instructions for sewing the shorts
- 2x back piece
- 2x front piece
- 2x back piece sub-liner
- 2x front piece sub-liner
Iron all 4 sub-liners. I recommend putting them back to the paper pieces of the pattern right after, so you don’t mix them up.
Clean shorter sides and loose sides (inner part of the curve) of the sub-liners.
Place all ironed and cleaned sub-liners on their respective pieces (face side to face side) and pin them.
Sew pinned sub-liners.
I recommend trimming the seam allowances – cut seam allowances of the sub-liners in half.
Cut little triangles to the seam allowances on the curved areas of the pieces. Jagged seam allowances will allow for smoother edge once you fold the sub-liner over the pieces.
Fold sub-liners over to the back side of the pieces completely and iron the edges thoroughly.
Procedure is the same for all 4 pieces.
You can make the inner sub-liner seam invisible by hand sewing it. Use the needle to pick only one thread from the back side of the shorts at the time – stitches won’t be visible on the face side of the shorts. Attach the sub-liner by sewing through the left side of the overlock seam.
This is how hand sewed sub-liner looks – there is nothing noticeable about it.
Seam is running along the cleaned part of the sub-liner and attaches it to the top pieces by one thread at a time.
Piece from the face side – again, nothing noticeable about it.
If you don’t want to deal with hand sewing, you can just topstitch sub-liners from the face side of the shorts. Sew about 1,5 cm away from the edge of the pieces.
You can hem the shorts in many different styles.
Mark side seams of front and back pieces in the area where they cross each other (those points are indicated in the paper pattern).
Lay front and back pieces next to each other (face sides up) and then side seam of the front piece over the back piece.
Now carefully fold front side of the front piece over front side of the back piece. Seam allowance of the front piece sub-liner should be sticking out.
Pin the seam allowance of the front piece to the back piece.
Sew the sub-liner of the front piece to the back piece near the fold of the front piece.
Use short seam near the waistline to fix pieces in place.
This is how the side seam of the overlaid pieces looks like. Front piece is on top of the back piece.
This is back side view:
Cut off the surplus part of the seam allowance of the back piece.
Sew the other set of front and back pieces in the same way. Fold legs (front sides in) so you can pin the inseams.
Instep hems of the legs must be aligned. Use regular sewing machine first if you are worried that you won’t be able to prevent layers from slipping when sewing with the overlock.
Fold the seam allowances of the inseam towards the back piece and sew it in place (using lock seam or few stitches of the straight seam) through the face side of the back piece. This will strengthen and flatten the inseam. Leave longer thread chain near the hem of the leg, unravel it and pull it under the loops if you are using the overlock.
Now is the time to do the crotch seams. Turn one leg inside out and insert the other one (which is not turned inside out) into it. Align both crotch seams (front and back) and pin them.
Clean the cutting edge of the waistline. I always start with the cleaning from the back crotch seam, which is where I also end with the cleaning. Again – leave longer thread chain near the hem of the leg and pull it under the loops if you are using the overlock.
Now fold the waistline to the inside of the shorts and pin it. Size of the folded part depends on width of your elastic waistband – fold 3,5 cm of the waist for 2,5 cm wide waistband and 4 cm for 3 cm wide waistband.
Sew the waist from the face side with the elastic seam (I.e. with double needle). Sew 3 cm away from the fold if you folded the waist by 3 cm or 3,5 away if you folded it by 4 cm.
Don’t forget to leave small opening so you can insert the waistband later. I usually leave this opening somewhere near the end of the crotch seam on one of the back pieces.
Determine the correct length of waistband by wearing the shorts and winding waistband around yourself. Stretch the waistband around your waist so it is neither loose nor too tight. Cut the waistband and insert it through the opening. Be careful not to twist the waistband when inserting and sewing it. Sew the ends of the waistband flat and close the opening.
Hooray! Shorts are ready!
What do you think of these shorts? Do you like it?
Have a lovely day, Peťa.