DIY Scalloped Shorts

Friday, October 4, 2013

(I am also reposting this from my old blog because this is one of my favorite projects I have made and still continue to love them!)

I did it! I made my first pair of shorts ever.  I had this idea that I wanted scalloped shorts and they somehow worked out.  I spent a total of around $7 and it took a couple days. I will share with you how I made them since there is not a good way for me to reproduce and sell them.

My first attempt- I first bought a large (size 12) pair of shorts with a stretchy waste band in the back from Salvation Army for $2 and scoured the web on patterns for making shorts. I wanted them with pockets and a fly in the front. So I totally deconstructed the shorts, attempted at making my own pattern with pattern paper and and old pair of shorts. I liked my old pair of shorts so I didn't want to take them apart for an exact pattern so my paper pattern ended up being a rough approximation. I sewed all the piece together and, it was 5 inches too short in the back, I put the front panel on backwards, 3 inches to tight in the front and just didn't work. I couldn't even take a picture of them because they don't even cover some parts of my body.

Second attempt- Luckily the thrift store was still having their '50% off red tags sale' and they had another pair of the same pink stretchy shorts so I bought one more pair for $2 and tried again. I gave up on putting in a fly and pockets of any kind for now.  This time... I took out the waist band (just cut as close to the elastic as possible. If your shorts don't have the elastic sewed into it then you can just simply pull the elastic out by taking out a few stitches). My shorts had side pockets on the hips, so I took those out too.  Then I just started sewing... I took in the seams on my sides along my hips, I took in the seams  (by like an inch at first) along my inner thigh and crotch and left the extra length alone (both toward my tummy and toward my knees. Make sense?? Like I left the length in the waist band super high waisted till later and the length of the shorts super long to my mid-thigh). I just kept slowly taking in along those two seams mentioned above (mostly the side hip seams) until they fit pretty snug to me (to where I could still slip them off).  I also ended up taking in a small 1/4 of an inch along the back (butt) seam from the top of my bum to the waistband.

So once all of these seams were about done... I needed to take in one last time to get it snug and put a zipper in. I also needed to make the waist band. So before my last stitches I marked (with a washable marker- you could use anything that will wash out) where I wanted the top of the shorts to fall on my waist. I slipped them on carefully, measured how much needed to come in to be a snug fit, slipped them off and sewed them in. I then ironed the side-hip seams flat, rolled in the waist band and stitched it in place. Then, since the seams are flat, I inserted an invisible zipper using a method similar to this... except I didn't baste stitch, I had a real stitch which I preferred. I sewed in my zipper with a zipper foot, finished it and picked the stitch of the shorts where the zipper was. Now, I had a zipper in my shorts and I could try them on and they fit right in my legs, right in my hips, the waist band was done... now to the scallops.

I used this tutorial for the scalloped edges. I had to do a little measuring to make sure that my shorts would be the same length on, but I didn't have any problem scalloping in a circle around the leg. If I could do it again I would probably do 1 or 2 fewer scallops but otherwise I think it turned out well. I did at first not like that the scallops were so deep, so I sewed them shallower, and then zigzagged around the edges of them.  Sewing scallops is actually kind of difficult once you turn them right side out and I realized my shorts may fall apart if I don't top stitch the scallops in place. Also the top stitching would help holding the shape after I wash the shorts.

Now I am thinking about adding a back pocket and maybe some belt loops... but other than that, that was my adventure making shorts. It really just was buying a big pair and sewing them in to my size. Good luck and let me know if you try it out!

Lilly Pulitzer ShortJ.Crew Short

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