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Shorts, a nice idea for summer. There's just one issue. Cute, comfortable shorts with decent sized pockets are impossible to find. Cute and comfortable? Hard but not impossible. Comfortable with decent pockets? Guy's athletic shorts. All three? Apparently they don't exist. Thus, for the past 2 summers I've only worn dresses or jeans. I like my dresses, I like my jeans, but it really would be convenient to have some shorts I liked too. Finally, last week, I came to a realization. I can make shorts! Well, of course I can, I do sew after all. Just for some reason the idea of making shorts had never occurred to me.
Now, I have never sewn a zipper fly and the prospect scares me so I decided to start simple with this shorts making mission; elastic waistband, no zipper fly needed. Simplicity patterns were on sale the week I decided I wanted to make shorts so I went and bought Simplicity 1165. An elastic waistband and pockets, just what I needed!
I decided to use some camo twill fabric from my stash for the first pair. A fabric I would happily wear if the shorts turned out well but I wouldn't mind to much to have wasted if the shorts came out unwearable.

So, one evening I sat down with my fabric and pattern to give this shorts making thing a go. I made view D, the shorter shorts, from the pattern. I added back pockets (included in the pattern for the other views, just not D) and enlargened the front pockets (since pockets were the main reason I decided to sew shorts I made them as big as I could), then set to sewing.

The shorts went together easily. I added some top stitching so that they had the appearance of having a fly then attached the waistband. Rather than inserting one piece of elastic in the waistband and stitching over it (when ever I have to sew down elastic it's never as even as I want) like the instructions called for I made two casings, one on top for narrow elastic with one right below for the wide elastic. This turned out well. Then came the real test, I tried on the shorts.

They fit! They were wearable! 

Meet Hickory! He wandered over while we were taking pictures so I decided to include him.  He didn't complain :)
The front waistband came up a bit higher than I wanted (while the back fit perfectly), but that's my only complaint, and I'll still wear these shorts regardless. 

I wore these shorts all day and by evening I knew I needed another pair. So, out came my pattern again along with a blue poly/cotton blend bought especially for making shorts off the clearance rack at Joann's.

Since the center front seam was too long in the camo shorts I fixed that issue with this pair by taking some tucks in the pattern piece. I also decided to add a fun detail, a scalloped hem.

I had to do a hem facing rather than a hem due to the scallops, but other than that this pair went together just like the camo pair. Thanks to my pattern alteration these fit perfectly! The waistband sits where it's supposed to all the way around.

Comfortable and cute with pockets big enough to carry both my phone and multi-tool, no complaints about these! (other than that it was getting dark as we were taking these pictures so they came out grainy, sorry!)

I think it was worth making myself some shorts! These two pair fulfill my requirements much better than anything I have seen at stores. Now I think I'm ready to try out some other patterns that don't have an elastic waistband. I have a pattern for sailor style button front shorts that I have high hopes for. But, if those don't turn out well, it's good to know I have my elastic waist pattern to fall back on!

So how about you? Do you find finding shorts you'll wear to be a chore, or am I alone in my issues? What are your requirements for shorts? Comment and let me know!


  1. How fun that you're branching out into making shorts! I have a hard time finding shorts that fit, too. I really like how both pair of your shorts turned out! My favorite are the blue scalloped hem pair! ��

  2. Super cute, but I also have the same requirements and they are on sale at old navy right now! Modest with deep pockets! Just bought them last week. In case you needed more. ;)

    1. Sweet! All the old navy jeand I've come across have had really shallow pockets so I didn't even consider checking there for shorts. Really good to know for future reference!


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