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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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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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.
Fold the facing and stitch the facing down using a double stitch.
Follow the steps in the photo below. The amount of fold will depend on your seam allowance.
- Fold the corner
- Fold the bottom of the pocket
- Fold the side
- 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.
Topstitch again 1/4″ from the first stitch line. Repeat on the other side.
Joining The Fronts Together
Place front sides together and sew just a little past the curve.
Joining The Backs Together
Sew the two backs together ending a little past the curve.
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.
Sew the rest of the crotch closed, making sure to keep the seam allowances of the legs open.
Making The Waistband And The Hem
Measure the waistband on your 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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