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Today we will show how to make pockets and how to sew shorts. Yes, it’s cold autumn and who needs shorts right now? But the instructions are excatly the same if you sew pants, only legs are longer. Check out last week tutorial about copying pattern from your favourite shorts, you will find there also instructions on how to turn this pattern into sweatpants: LINK – how to copy shape of your favourite shorts.

Those colorful tops that Ewa, Laura and Ikuko are wearing on the photo are just a simple oversized tops (LINK – sewing instruction) dyed in three different ways, all are described in my SEWING BOOK :) one of them is also available on this blog:  LINK – Dye on ice.

This tutorial is a debut of my assistant Monika, so I am very excited! Next week I will show how to make pants with a stripe on side and a different kind of pocket. But for now, check out the last week post, copy shape of your shorts, and sew new ones with the instruction below. So I am out, and I leave you in the hands of Monika!


To make the shorts you will need: 

  • 70 cm of knitted, elastic fabric 150 cm wide. This form is suitable only for knits, because I won’t describe sewing zipper in pants. I choose light grey melange color, but I will dye shorts into blue, so I will use blue threads, as they do not dye well.
  • 25 cm x 100 cm of thinner fabric for pocket bags.
  • Scissors, measuring tape, threads, tailor’s chalk and pins.
  • 1 m of rubber band 3 – 4 cm wide.

I will use mainly overlock machine but some seams must be made on the regular machine. If you don’t have an overlock, then use a regular machine sewing with zig-zak stitch. Copy pattern from your favourite shorts using instruction from previous post (LINK). If you want to sew well-fitting shorts, use similar one to copy the shape.




Janek used „boyfriend fit” type of shorts to copy pattern – they are not well-fitting, and a little loose. So I started with adjusting the pattern on the hips.  I cut off a stripe along the outseam of each leg. If you will make that too keep in mind that:

  • the sum of the bottom edges of the front and the back leg should be equal to your desired circumference of bottom of the leg.
  • on the hips level (pink line on the photo above) the sum of the front and the back leg should be similar to 1/2 of your hips size.
  • If you will also cut a piece at the top edge, remember to change the length of the waist belt. Waist belt will be gathered by the rubber band.
  • Last step is to even length of the outseam (the side seam / hips) of both legs (front and back).

Shape of the back pocket is up to your design. Prepare paper form to check the size of this pocket.  All the elements need to have 1 cm seam allowance allaround. Remember that you need left and right leg, so all elelemnts except the belt must be cut twice of the fabric, as a mirror image.




Pin the pocket bag to th front leg of the shorts at the pocket opening edge. Put them together so, that the right sides of the fabrics are touching. Then fold the pocketbag to the left side of the leg. If you don’t use overlock, cut seam allowance across, to make it spread after folding the pocket bag. Iron the pocket opening and add seam at the edge.




Overcast the edge of the facing of the pocket (as on the photo above) – The facing is the part of the pocket which will be visible at the pocket opening, in previous post about pattern it was marked by the orange color. Next put it on the last piece of the pocket, so that their top and side edges align with eachother. Sew them up, only on the edge with the overlock seam.




Adjust this layer of the pocket bag to the front leg, in such a way that the facing will fill the missing part of the leg (as on the photo above) and pocket bags underneath will align. Next pin both layers of the pocket bag on edges.




And sew them up. It is hard to sew such curves with overlock, I suggest first to do some practicing on the swatches.




Do all the same with the other front leg. Now put both front legs together (right side of the fabric inside) and sew up the front rise – this is the seam which will be in the middle of front, and in the crotch.




Start sewing the back with the pockets. Overcast all edges with overlock, tie the ends of the seams, and iron them to the left side. Next fold the top of the pocket to make placket, sew the edge of the placket with regular machine. If you don’t use overlock, juts fold and sew the placket, or make it from another piece of fabric folded into half. Next fold and iron all edges of the pocket from right to the left side by 1 cm.




Pin the pockets on the back leg of the shorts. Place it in the middle of the buttock. Sew it on the edges in the middle of the overlock seams. When you do the same with the other back leg, put both legs together and sew up the back rise (where the pins are on the photo) – this seam will be in the middle of the back.




Now it’s time to connect the front and the back of the shorts. Put them together with the right sides touching. Sew up the outseams (hips) and inseams (crotch).




Fold the waist belt in half, so that the shorter edges align. Sew up the shorter edges. Now fold and iron the belt along in half, so that the right side of the fabric is outside.




Pin the waist belt at the top edge of the shorts. In such a way that it touches the right side of the shorts, and so that the raw edges of the belt are in contact with the raw edge of the shorts.




Sew up belt and shorts. Remember to leave 8 cm long split through which you will put rubber band inside of the belt. Put the rubber inside by the means of a safety pin. Check if the rubber is not twisted inside the belt. If the rubber is alright, sew up the endings of the rubber and place them inside belt. Sew up the split.




Overcast the bottom edge of the legs. Next fold it twice to the right side and iron press it. Pin it and make small bar tacks at the inseam and at the outseam to prevent it from unfolding. DONE!

On the photo below you can see my shorts, and the dyed version. In blue version I have made cuffs in legs in a different way – same as cuffs in sleeves of a dress from previous post (LINK), and I added seam imitating zipper in the middle of front. Good luck with the sewing!




This tutorial was prepared for you by Monika: