Hey, folks! Today on Sewing Circle we have a question from 15-year-old Tess that's perfect for updating your summer wardrobe. I sometimes feel so boring in shorts, but this would be a great and creative way to update a pair!Q: I have been wanting to make some cut-off shorts for a while now, but I want them to be special. Unique to me, you know. I attached pictures of some shorts I really like, but can't quite figure out how to make. Can you or any of your followers help me?
A: Those shorts are totally cute, and what a great idea to use up some smaller, super cool pieces of fabric! I’m not sure exactly the best way to make them, but I can offer a few suggestions.
Basically, the fabric is sort of appliquéd on, but the edges are turned under, it seems, so you don’t have raw edges showing and will have to cut the pieces about ½” larger than the area you’ll be putting them on. The tricky part is that the shorts may not lay perfectly flat, and you’ll need the fabric (especially if it’s a woven instead of knit, as all three examples appear to be) to not be too tight so that it moves along with the shorts.
The basic idea is to cut pieces of fabric a little larger (seam allowance) than the area you’re covering but the exact same shape (plus the seam allowance), then turn the edges under and then I would topstitch all the way around. You can do this by hand or by machine, but by machine will be stronger—although go very slowly, since that’s a lot of layers of denim to sew through (use a denim needle or strong needle) and try to keep your stitches even in length. At the pocket, obviously, you don’t want to sew through all the layers or you won’t be able to use the pocket! So you may have to hand-stitch there.
To help in keeping the fabric still, you could put spray adhesive on the wrong side of the print/contrast fabric before you lay it on top of the shorts. Actually, you could do this before you cut the shape out, but then it will be hard to press under ½” and you’d have to do it as you go, sort of finger-pressing. Play around with it both ways, I guess, and see which feels more comfortable!
Hope that helps. I've actually seen a pair of something very similar on Pinterest, I think, but I don't remember where it was from originally. Maybe my readers have some ideas?
Readers, how would you make a pair of shorts like these??