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DIY- draft your own pattern for summer shorts & make them while you’re at it.

I’d like to preface this with saying, you CAN sew. Every one can, you just have to practice. I’m tired of people saying they couldn’t possibly sew. Bull shit. Try. I believe in you. And with that said….

Want to keep cool through the hot hot heat. Well feed them legs some sun girl. Learn how to draft your own shorts pattern with your own measurements then make said shorts to wear proud.

Start out with some paper, either normal size or you can use big paper, tape, tape measure, ruler, scissors, writing utensil.

first off, because I didn’t have big paper, i taped together four normal sized pieces of paper.

so now that you’ve got paper to make your pattern on, think about the way shorts are shapped. This next pic here is a nice little guide to shorts. It tells you what parts of your body to measure for what sides and then gives you the general shape of a nice pair of shorts. The first one is the back. ***remember on all these measurements you take add 1/2 inch for seam allowances***Now all the measurements are exactly (with that 1/2inch added) how long to make the corresponding lines when you draft the actual pattern.  Measure around your waist where you want the shorts to hit (i like a higher waist, belly button or about) then divide that measurement by 4 and use it as how long the waist line (B)is. (A) Measure from your belly button or wherever on your waist you want these shorts to hit all the way down the front of you to in the middle of between your legs crotch area. (C) Measure the length from on the side of your waist to the side of your leg where you want your shorts to hit, keeping in mind adding an extra few inches for hem purposes. (D) measure half way around your leg for the leg opening measurement. I like to sit down flat on a chair and let my leg get as wide and large as it can for wider leg shorts, they’s more comfy anyways. (E) measure the length from your middle of legs crotch area to where you want the shorts to hit on your leg, once again keeping in mind adding the extra few inches for the hem.

now with your measurements in hand, apply them to a life size drawing of the downscaled image above to make a full size pattern to use as the back. And remember when you finally do get to cut fabric to cut 2 of these. Use your ruler here for the straight lines.

Now you can use the fabricesque tape measure that you took your measurements with to make the curve of the, no better way to say it that i can think of, crotch line.

Now that you have that all drawn up on your big girl paper, label it. The letters will help later in putting it together. Also half way in the middle of line B (waist) make a little 1inch wide and 3 inch long v to make a dart. I’ll get to the dart later, just label it for now. Also, about 10 inches down from the top of the waist (A) on the outside leg seam (C) make a little line or dot or heart or whatever to know where to stop sewing later to be able to install a zipper.

Next is the guide for the front of the shorts. Use the exact same measurements from the back for ease purposes. Also notice the curve of the top waist band (A)? its slightly more curved than the waist line of the back of the shorts. Also the line for the crotch area is a little more “stand up” than the “laid back” one on the back of the shorts. Go look at the two. ok moving on.

Transfer your measurements to draw out the real size pattern of the front, remembering to once again make a little mark of some sort where the zipper will start (about 10 inches down)

Now cut those out from the rest of the paper and its time to start actually making the shorts. Now go get some fabric. I used a 100% cotton curtain i found at the salvation army for 1.99$ and the rest of the lace from my shoes diy from a bit ago. Get some straight pins, thread, and either a sewing machine or your fingers and a sewing needle. Either ones fine.

Got all that? ok Go Time! Fold your fabric in half (for training purposes my fabric will be lace on the “right side” and greenish solid on the “wrong side” I’ll use the terms right and wrong sides more so keep this in mind) and pin down your patterns onto the fabric. If you fold the fabric in half and have 2 layers under your patterns then you will have already cut the two that you need, being four pieces of fabric in all  2 pieces of the front and 2 pieces of the back.

ok now cut it out.

ok now with the back, make that dart. I am a self taught sewer so this may not be/probably is not the proper way to make a dart but whatev. Bring the two corners of the “V” together and on the wrong side of the fabric sew a little diagonal line to make the dart. it will look a lot like the next pic when alls said and dones. You can also just google how to sew darts. Google and youtube taught me every crafty thing i know by the way.

Now, lay the 2 back pieces together, right sides together, and sew up A (the crotchy line) where I’ve pinned.

if you lay it out flat with the right sides facing up it should look like this…

Set that aside, and grab your 2 front pieces. Lay them right sides together and sew up B ( the front’s crotchy line ) where i’ve pinned like so.

lay it out  and it should look like the back one but with out the darts…

ok nooooow, take the front piece and the back piece and lay them right sides together and sew up the outside leg seams… ***don’t forget on one side to stop sewing where the zipper dot is***

ok the next part, is the inside leg seam. See where’s I’ve pointed with the scissors? That’s where you should start pinning and end pinning, just follow the line in between. 

Pin up that line, then sew it.

Did you do that part, if so it’ll look like this….

Now, turn it right side out and look! its shorts! or they’re shorts. either which grammar you like.

Soooo, to finish her up, you can either just fold the top line down a couple turns and sew it to make a nice little hem (or as i’ve done, you can add a nice higher waist band, I don’t want to give you all the info, sorry but i gotta keep you coming back for more right),  and add a zipper, if you click the z-ed word it’ll take you to a nice little lady’s blog who’s better with words about zippers than i could ever be, she’ll teach you how to put it in. Also think about your leg holes there, do you want to just roll them and sew? or let them fray? or put a band in? or maybe even go a little crazy and scallop edged on them? who knows. the possibilities are near endless. the point is now you have a good basis on how to make a pair of shorts and you can run amuck with it.

So go make some shorts! (see how i put waist and leg bands, i was too lazy for my original want of scalloped edges) then wear them proud!

Filed under diy tutorial shorts lace summer pattern drafting custom jessicafreed sewing pattern drafting how to

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