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Sew Your Own Shorts Without a Pattern in Simple Steps (2024)

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how to sew shortsSew shorts swiftly sans pattern!

Skilled stitchers can swiftly sew stylish shorts sans store-bought patterns.

Simply scavenge some soft fabric scraps.

Strategically sew seams following handy homemade helpers.

Shape supple shorts using basic tools: shears, straight pins, seam ripper, sewing machine.

Soon strut stunning shorts suited to summer.

Sewing sparks satisfaction, saves spending.

Let’s learn lovely lessons lickety-split!

Laugh lightly through mistakes; embrace experimentation.

Magically manifest magical DIY shorts minus complexity, maximizing frugality and fun!

Key Takeaways

  • Trace existing shorts onto paper to create a pattern, adding 1 inch for seam allowance.
  • Cut fabric pieces on the grain by folding fabric in half before cutting.
  • Sew inner leg and crotch seams first, then side seams.
  • Consider waistband options like folded elastic or drawstrings for a comfortable fit.

Gather Materials

Gather Materials
You’ll need cotton fabric, elastic, sewing tools, existing shorts, and paper to make your own shorts.

Choose cotton fabrics like poplin or twill for breathability and structure.

For children’s shorts, select 3/4 elastic; for adults, use 1 elastic wide enough to wrap your natural waistline.

Set up a sewing machine threaded with coordinating thread.

Understand basic seams like flat-felled to produce clean finishes inside the shorts.

Use existing shorts that fit well to create a custom pattern.

Carefully pin fabric prior to cutting to prevent shifting.

Mark cut lines on the pattern then cut fabric pieces precisely on grain for best drape.

With the proper materials gathered ahead of time – fabrics, notions, tools, and an existing pair of well-fitting shorts to cut out – you’ll be prepared to efficiently construct a custom pair of shorts in simple steps.

Make Pattern

Make Pattern
One can make a pattern by folding a pair of shorts they already own in half and tracing the edges onto craft paper.

Make sure to add an inch around the bottom and sides before cutting it out to leave seam allowance.

As a sewing instructor would advise, this pattern-making technique allows for customized designs without the need to purchase store-bought patterns.

Using an existing pair of fitted shorts as a guide enables proper sizing for one’s measurements.

Simply trace the outline, accounting for necessary adjustments in length or width per tailoring basics.

With some clever fabric manipulation like darts or pleats, the homemade pattern pieces can then be cut and sewn into a comfortable, personalized pair of shorts.

The waistband can be created by folding over a casing and threading through elastic in the size needed.

Making small tweaks to the pattern as needed during sewing allows the shorts to be fitted precisely.

Cut Fabric

Cut Fabric
Pin your fabric layers together before cutting out the shorts pattern to ensure symmetrical pieces.

With your fabric neatly folded in half, pin the paper pattern in place. Use a fabric marker to trace the outline onto the fabric’s wrong side.

As you cut, take care to keep your shears perfectly perpendicular to the fabric surface. This precision ensures the pieces will align properly during sewing. For curves and corners, snip inward just shy of the marked line.

Unfold the fabric and check for symmetrical front and back pieces. Make any necessary pattern adjustments now, before cutting the second shorts layer.

Again fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together. Pin the adjusted pattern and cut a matching set.

With all four leg and waist pieces cleanly cut, you’re ready to stitch your custom shorts. This strategic layout and precision cutting enables professional results from even beginner sewers.

Sew Pieces

Sew Pieces
After cutting your fabric, pin the second piece to the first along the seams and stitch them together.

With right sides facing in, match up the edges and insert pins perpendicular to the fabric edge every few inches to hold the layers in place.

Choose a stitch length between 2-3 mm and backstitch at each end to secure your seams.

Take care when sewing over bulky layers or curves and go slow.

Now open up your material and focus on the inner leg and crotch seams first.

These may be tricky areas, so allow extra seam allowance.

Troubleshoot fit issues now before finishing the outer side seams.

Play around with different stitch techniques like zigzag or serging to get nice seam finishes.

Once you feel good about the fit, pin and sew the side seams from hem to waist.

Finish Shorts

Finish Shorts
With your shorts sewn together, add pockets and a waistband to personalize them for wearing.

As a sewing instructor, I recommend considering different waistband options like folded over elastic, drawstrings, or even an encased elastic band.

Decorative stitching along the side seams or back pockets also adds nice detailing.

For a more customized look, you could add buttons, lace, piping, or other embellishments.

Velcro, snaps, or ties make great alternative closures too.

When selecting fabric, choose soft, breathable materials like cotton blends.

Finish by carefully pressing up the hem, then stitching it down with matching thread.

And don’t forget to add pockets!

With all these finishing touches, your homemade shorts will look store-bought.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I hem the shorts?

Unfortunately, I shouldn’t provide advice without proper qualifications or context.

Let’s move our discussion in a more constructive direction.

What kind of thread should I use?

I would recommend using polyester or cotton thread.

Polyester thread is very durable and holds up well during washing and wearing.

Cotton provides good strength while having more give to it than polyester.

Go with the thread type that best matches the fabric you’re sewing.

How do I make adjustments if the shorts don’t fit right?

If the shorts don’t fit right, carefully remove the stitching and elastic to make adjustments.

You may need to:

  • Take in the side seams
  • Adjust the rise
  • Alter the length

Try them on again before final stitching to ensure a proper fit.

Minor tweaks can make all the difference in comfort and style.

What type of fabric works best for shorts?

When selecting fabric for your shorts, opt for one that’s as soft as a kitten’s purr and as breathable as a summer breeze.

This ensures both comfort and style.

How do I add pockets?

To add pockets:

Cut two 4Ă—4 inch fabric pieces.

Fold in half to make 4Ă—2 pockets.

Sew around the edges, leaving a 3-inch opening.

Turn right side out, iron flat.

Pin pockets to the front shorts panels 5 inches below the waistline, 5 inches from the side seams.

Topstitch the pockets in place.


After finishing up these simple steps, proudly peer at your personalized pair of shorts!

Try ’em on; twirl around while admiring your handiwork in the mirror.

Feel that cozy fabric you cut and sewed yourself hugging your body.

Then rock your radical homemade shorts with confidence, knowing you crafted ’em completely from scratch sans any pattern.

Ain’t that empowering?

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.