With a teenage brother in the house, there are always piles of outgrown t-shirts begging to be used for something, and after realizing I have no comfy shorts for the summer, I decided to put those unused shirts to good use.
Things you’ll need:
- Sewing machine (or thread and needle)
- One XL t-shirt (or other size depending on how big your shorts are going to be)
- Matching thread
- Pins and pin cushion
- Sharpie for tracing
- Something to trace you patter onto
- A pair of shorts to create your pattern with
- Optional: Iron, something for the drawstring, accessories such as lace or paint to decorate the shorts with
Step 1: Create Your Pattern
Start by folding your shorts in half and putting them on your pattern paper. Trace around the shorts with your marker. Your lines don’t have to be perfectly straight, because you are going to add your hem allowance. Next, take your ruler and measure your desired hem allowance from the line. I made mine ½ an inch, but for the waist and legs of the shorts, I would suggest doing 1 inch to make it easy to hem. Draw the hem allowance all the way around your pattern and cut it out. Now you have your pattern!
Step 2: Making the Two Panels
Take your shirt and lay it on a flat surface. If there is a logo on the shirt, turn it inside out. (There was a logo on my shirt, but it was pretty thin, and it didn’t affect the comfort of the shorts.) Put the pattern on the shirt. Make sure that there is enough room on the shirt for two of your patterns, because you are going to need four panels in all. Also, if there is a pattern on your shirt (like for example, the tie-dye on mine,) try to put your pattern piece on a part of the design you like best. Pin on the pattern, and cut it out. Repeat once. Now, you should have four identical panels.
Next, pair the pieces together so that you have two doubled panels, right sides together, and pin along the straight side that is across from the curvy one (see picture.) Open. Now you have your two panels
Step 3: Constructing the Shorts
Before constructing your shorts, you might want to iron you seams open. It makes it easier to sew later, and it also helps the new seams look cleaner. Take your two panels and line them up, right sides together. I lined up the seams in the middle first, then pinned the sides. Sew. Next, lay your pants on a flat surface, and pull up the top layer with the middle seam (see picture). Smooth out, and you should now have something that actually looks like a pair of shorts! Pin and sew the crotch. Trim all of your seams.
Step 4: Finishing
Next, you need to hem your shorts. I would recommend trying on the shorts inside out, then folding and pinning the waist hem while they are on. That way, you can adjust the shorts some if they are a little too big. Fold and hem the legs of the shorts (your iron is your friend in this step, it makes the hems cleaner.) Sew all of the hems.
If you want to make a drawstring waist, sew a seam on either side of the hem on the waist of the pants so that you have a tube. Cut two small slits in the tube on the front of your pants (make sure you only cut through one layer) and feed you drawstring through. If you attach a safety pin to one end of the drawstring and feed that through the tube, it makes it a lot easier. If you don’t want a drawstring waist, you can make it an elastic waist by sewing on a piece of elastic (make sure you stretch the elastic as you sew) or any other waist you want.
Step 5: You're Done!
You’re done! If you want too, you can now add lace to the bottom, or freezer paper stencil some cool design on them. I hope you enjoy them.