June 12, 2012

Floral pleated shorts with a bow

I'm loving the high-waisted, pleated shorts trend these days. Unfortunately I can't indulge for many reasons, biggest being I can't fit my belly into them no matter how hard I try. But, that can't stop me from making them. Little did I know that they were pretty dang easy to make. Can't wait to try these bad boys on after I loose all the baby weight. 

When my sister-in-law Emily moved out of Provo I had to find someone else non-prego and luckily for me there was Jeehee...my soon to be sister-in-law in August. Isn't she the cutest little thing?! So excited about my new little model. Thanks Jeehee!

Check out Kate's Summer tutorial she posted today...here!

1 yard of fabric
1 yard of lining
sewing machine
flexible measuring tape

**Cut 2 pieces of fabric and 2 pieces of lining. The front piece of lining and fabric should be 1/2 the waist size + 1" of seam allowance + 8"+ for pleats. For example, If your waist size is 28" then 1/2 of waist size is 14" + 1" seam allowance + 8" for pleats = 23"  which is length of each piece. NOTE: After measuring the measurements out make sure to add them together to see if your hips are bigger then the measurement. For example: if your waist is 28" and you calculated the pieces together to be 44" (minus the seam allowance) then you NEED to measure according to your hip size or the shorts will NOT go over your hips....in this case instead of measuring the waist in the above calculation, measure the hips. The length of the shorts depends on how long you want them plus 2"-3" of seam allowance (always make them longer and wider then you think, better safe then sorry).
1. Sew the fabric piece's ends together and the sew the lining piece's ends together. Creating 2 tubes.
2. Sew the lining and the fabric right sides together, RST.
3. Open newly sewn piece to show a long tube.
4. Pull the fabric into the lining wrong side together, WST and iron down the fabric just a half inch from the top.
5. Measure the pleats to be a 2 inches apart with a 1.5" gap between them. Place them where you feel they would look best on the shorts.
6. Sew the pleats closed, then topstitch them down outwards toward the side seams.
7. Measure and cut elastic to comfortably fit the back of your waist. Then slide in the elastic to the top, back of the shorts, between the lining and the main fabric.
8. Stitch the sides of the elastic into the side seams on both sides.
9. Pin the elastic evenly spaced with the fabric into place. 
10. Then stretch the elastic until flat with the fabric and sew a few rows of straight stitches.

***TRY ON WHAT YOU HAVE FINISHED SO FAR. If all fits well already then great! Proceed. And then measure where you want the crotch to comfortably sit. If you make the slit too long, then the shorts aren't going to be high waisted or you are going to have perma-wedgies.
11.  Cut a little slit in the lining and the fabric, make sure not to cut too much or it will not be high waisted anymore. I took the length from my natural waist (where the top of the shorts will hit) to the crotch plus 3 inches for seam allowance and to allow for non-bunchiness and looseness. NOT to be confused with the slit length...just the length to the crotch or top of slit. You don't want to have the crotch part riding up and cramming into areas. Then I cut a piece of fabric that was as wide as your inner thigh  (Like I just measured mine and it is like 5-6"...so then the front and back of the short's grain is completely headed down the leg. It bunches when the grain is pointed toward the inner thigh) and the same length as the slit's length when measured out (about 3" - 5" depending on how long you want the shorts). 
12. Pin/sew the front piece's slit to the rectangle, and pin/sew the back piece's slit the the other side of the rectangle, RST...this makes the inner thighs of the legs. **This very important because it helps to prevent the nasty bunchiness! (LOOK AT PIC AT BOTTOM)
13. You can repeat with the lining RST.
14. To make the cuff, cut out 2.5 " wide piece and make them the length of the leg + 1" for seam allowance.
15. Fold them in half and iron.
16. Open them back up and sew the ends together, RST to create a tube. Then fold them back down again.
17. Pin and sew the raw edge of the cuff to the end of the leg, WST. 
18. Flip it outward, iron, and sew permanent tacks around the cuff to keep it up and in place.
19. Cut the lining to be an or so shorter then the legs.
20. Serge or hem the bottom of the lining.

21. Cut 2 ties out, make them the length you desire with 4.5" width. I wanted the ends to be pointed so I cut it into a point at the end. 
22. Fold them in half and sew up the point and one end, RST.
23. Turn right side out and iron down.
24. Attach the raw edges of the ties to the side seams with pins.
25. Sew the ties ends so they are pointed backwards.
26. Then flip them back toward the center front of the shorts and topstitch the now folded end down.

Step 12 detailed picture. My rectangle was even wider than this one.
thank you reader for sending in this picture...mine was not good enough!


  1. Super cute and perfect for summer :)

  2. what do they look like when they're done?

  3. Yeah Id love to see an after pic if possible :D

  4. I love these!
    You make every step look so easy and simple. Thanks! :) I might have to try making a pair, not that I'll be able to wear them for a few months - It's winter here :(

  5. What a gorgeous model you got there! Max is one lucky boy! xoxo

  6. I must do something like this :) Thanks! :)

  7. they look so nice! I think I'll try it :)

  8. These are great! And you make them seem so easy to make! Definitely gonna try making them next summer.

  9. Definitely going to try these--I will probably have to add pockets--that will make them perfect!

  10. Wish I were better at sewing or pretty much anything crafty. They look super pretty. Excited to have discovered your blog.


  11. Living in Hawaii, I'm addicted to shorts. These are so cute! Since they are lined, I think I will do a scallop edge at the hem just for something different. I make a lot of shorts and nowadays I line them with a different fabric and make them reversible! Two for the price of one! Yeah! I would have to figure out the bow, but maybe a buttonhole would work so they could slip to either side. Oh my, you are inspiring!

  12. Jeehee's lookin' smokin' hot! Super cute Liz. xo

  13. So cute! I am putting these on my Shorts on the Line Sewalong kick-off!

  14. AMAZING blog ! All the best from Estonia !

  15. I LOVE these!! I'm still confused with the whole sewing the rectangle into the crotch thing.

  16. It's adorable, thanks for tuto!!!

  17. I just did it, it was a little hard for me, cause I am a begginner but I am satisfied with the results!!!

  18. I read your blog few months ago and love your diy. I made this one to go to holidays. Thanks a lot for the clear explanations.
    you can see my project here : http://le-capharnaum-de-piu.blogspot.fr/2012/09/short-facile-couture-wax.html

  19. Hi, I really like your blog, always follow. Your son is so cute.

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  20. i still don't fully understand step 12. . .where do you sew that rectangle?

  21. Is the lining a true "lining" fabric, slick and shiny, or is it a plain simple cotton? LOVE the tutorial!

  22. Where did you get the fabric? I love love love them!

  23. Love these! Made a few changes but they turned out adorable. You can see them here on my blog.