elastic waist linen shorts

This elastic waist linen shorts project is something that has been requested by quite a few of you by email.  I appreciate the kind request.  Sometimes I forget that the majority of the readers of this blog are beginners.  So sometimes I need to dial back my impulses and to simplify the projects.  However, that does not mean that we are going to be making an ugly pair of shorts, nor will I be promising that you can make it in two stitches, and just by magic you’ll have a pair of elastic waist summer shorts like so many videos on YouTube promise.

elastic waist linen shorts

These shorts are designed to be worn over your swimming suit, to hang around the pool and garden, or relax on the terrace.  Be sure to make them in linen or good quality, loose weave cotton so they can drape on your hips and be worn through the summer comfortably.

elastic waist linen shorts

Please have a look at my fabric suggestions, they are the four pictures that look like advertising, you do not need to buy from that site although it helps me with the affiliate program to keep going at giving you free patterns.  At least please read the type of fabric and the description so you know what I am talking about.  This part is often forgotten, yet it is crucial to use the right fabric to be successful in the project.

elastic waist linen shorts

These elastic waist linen shorts have a type of slanted patch pockets.  Yes I know, I had to go and add a little challenge for you.  How else can we make it more interesting?  The pockets are optional of course and can be subbed out for any of your choosing.

elastic waist linen shorts


  • 3/4 to 1 yard of 56″ linen (see fabric suggestions below)
  • Thread to match
  • A small strip of fusible interfacing for the pocket facing
  • 1 1/2″ elastic, enough to go around the waist of the shorts
  • 3/8″ cotton cord, the amount depends on our waist plus 16″
  • Two large beads with a 3/8″ hole


  • Sewing machine or hand needle
  • Scissors
  • Pins

Sewing Level:  Advanced Beginner

You should have knowledge of grain line, seam allowance, how to sew a straight stitch, and some knowledge of fitting to your own body shape.

Fitting your shorts: the most important detail is that the waist stretches as far as the widest part of your hips and the elastic rests comfortably around 1″ above your belly bottom.

Do you need to make the shorts larger?  Then check out the first part of the Walking Shorts sew along where I go into detail on how to do it.

Walking Shorts Pattern & Sew-Along – Part One

Fabric Suggestions From Fabric.com

How To Print Your Elastic Waist Linen Shorts Pattern

Use Adobe Reader to download and print the pattern.  Print on Landscape and use the Actual Size setting.  Do not scale at all.

How To Download Your PDF Pattern

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Thanks so much in advance for helping us out. You can use any credit card and you don’t need to have a PayPal account, although you can certainly use one if you have one.

Pattern Download

Download HERE

Pattern Layout

elastic waist linen shorts

Body Measurements

Size Waist Hips Length
S 27-29″ 33-35″ 15 1/4″
M 29-31″ 35-37″ 15 3/8″
L 31-33″ 37-39″ 15 1/2″
XL 33-35″ 39-41″ 15 5/8″

How To Sew Your Elastic Waist Shorts

The seam allowances are not included in this elastic waist shorts pattern, so please add an amount according to your level of skill, beginners 5/8″ and everyone else 3/8″.

Sewing The Pockets

Iron a piece of fusible interfacing on the facing of the pockets.  If you do not have fusible interfacing you can use a piece of thin cotton fabric.  We are trying to stop the pockets from gaping since the opening is on a bias.

elastic waist linen shorts

elastic waist linen shorts

Fold the facing and stitch the facing down using a double stitch.

elastic waist linen shorts

Follow the steps in the photo below.  The amount of fold will depend on your seam allowance. elastic waist linen shorts

  1. Fold the corner
  2. Fold the bottom of the pocket
  3. Fold the side
  4. Align the side of the pocket with the side of the front of the pants and stitch the pocket down very close to the edge.

elastic waist linen shorts

elastic waist linen shorts

elastic waist linen shorts

elastic waist linen shorts

Topstitch again 1/4″ from the first stitch line.  Repeat on the other side.

elastic waist linen shorts

Joining The Fronts Together

Place front sides together and sew just a little past the curve.

elastic waist linen shorts

Joining The Backs Together

Sew the two backs together ending a little past the curve.

elastic waist linen shorts

Serge all the seams including the hem and iron open the inseams.

Sewing The Front And Backs Together

Here is where I change the print of the fabric.  If you have been following me on Instagram you would have seen some carving on linoleum to make prints for sharing with you guys.

Place front and back print side together, then sew the sides together using the seam allowance you have chosen.

Sew the inseam on each leg.

elastic waist linen shorts

Sew the rest of the crotch closed, making sure to keep the seam allowances of the legs open.

elastic waist linen shorts

Making The Waistband And The Hem

Measure the waistband on your shorts.

elastic waist linen shorts

Take the measurement of the waist of the shorts X 4″.  Iron the strip lengthwise.  Sew the strip to form a band.  You need to divide the band in four, front back and sides.

elastic waist linen shorts

Pin the waistband placing the seam on the back.  Sew the waistband from the outside to the inside.   Sew the band from the outside to the inside.

elastic waist linen shorts

Attach a small amount of fusible interfacing on the front of the band and either insert some grommets or make two buttonholes to be able to add a cord to your elastic waist linen shorts.  Make a band with the elastic.  The amount of elastic depends on your waist, but make sure that the elastic is large enough to go over your hips.

Insert the elastic through the pants.  Please watch the video on How To Make Short Pajamas from minute 10:40 to 13:00.  Here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P_idySKaiY


Pin the band to the edge you have already sewn.

elastic waist linen shorts

Start sewing the band at the back of the shorts.  Put the needle down and pull the waistband front and back.  Be careful not to catch the elastic.

elastic waist linen shorts

elastic waist linen shorts

Finally, fold the hem up 1″ and sew.  Insert the cord and iron your shorts!

I hope that you can make good use of these elastic waist linen shorts since so many of you guys have been asking for a pattern like this one.  The perfect top to go with them is the linen V-top which is also a free pattern.

Thanks for reading, And Until Next Time, Happy Sewing!

Need a pair of dressy shorts? Something more elegant to get back to school perhaps? Try the ones below.  Or maybe you want some walking shorts, these ones are a three-part sew-along starting by altering the pattern to fit your body.

Women’s Dressy Shorts Pattern – Great For All Ages And Seasons

recycling old placemats


elastic waist linen shorts

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