Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY shorts

What a glorious Oregon morning it is! As promised, here I am with the tutorial on how I made my lovely shorts for the Color Run.

  • Fabric for shorts (Remember, mine was a bed skirt)
  • scissors
  • seam ripper
  • sewing machine
  • pen/ pencil
  • elastic (at least 1" wide)
  • 1-2 safety pins
  • comfy fitting shorts to trace (just like with the DIY shirt)

1. If using a bed skirt or something similar, detach the skirt portion from the rest. You can do this by simy cutting it away or by taking a seam ripper to it. I opted for the seam ripper to save as much material as possible. It took for an entire episode of Battlestar Galactica to go around the whole sheet.

2. If you bought your material from a thrift store, I strongly suggest washing your material at this point. As always, I also suggest ironing the material to insure a straighter cut.

3. Take your comfy shorts, fold one leg into the other, and lay on top of your fabric. Folding one leg into the other will allow for easy tracing. Keep in mind that you will need 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces (front and back are not the same!)

Yeah, I used pajama shorts
4. Trace (if the waist of the shorts is elastic, remember to stretch it out/ trace straight up) and cut

Front trace
Front pieces cut
The crotch piece of the back side is longer so you may have to move your shorts around to trace the whole thing
Viola, back pieces cut
5. Take 1 front piece and 1 back piece, right sides facing, and sew along your straight side (this will be the outside of each leg). As with other clothing pieces, do the zigzag stitch, then go back and sew a straight line (I would've taken a picture but white thread on white material wasn't working so well). Repeat for other set of front/back pieces.

Sorry, not the greatest picture
6. Taking your now two pieces, with right sides facing (front piece to front piece; back piece to back piece), sew along the curve from top to point. When you're finished sewing, you should have an awkward looking skirt.

7. With your entire project inside out, with front pieces right side facing your back pieces, sew the 'V' (the crotch area of your shorts)

At this point, your shorts are complete with the exception of the elastic to hold them onto your waist. Try your creation on to make sure all is fitting right. I got lucky and had the fancy stuff at the bottom of my material. If you don't have this, go ahead and hem along the bottom of each short leg by folding the material inward and sewing 2 straight lines close to the edge as with step 8 for the DIY shirt.

8. With your project inside out, measure the width of your elastic band + 1/2", fold the top waist over (for me it was 1.5") and pin.

9. Cut a small slit straight up where you will eventually insert the elastic band. I placed mine on the side of my shorts but if you later intend to insert a draw string, the front would also work.

10. Now get to sewing! Sew all the way around your band, close to the bottom raw edge. I broke my nifty hem needle so I had to go around twice. I did this by aligning my needle to the far left, sewed all the way around, then middle aligned the needle and sewed around, following the raw edge the entire time.

11. Measuring your elastic approximately 3/4 of the waist of your shorts (or stretch around yourself for a comfy fit), place a safety pin into one of the elastic and string through the band.

12. Finally, when your elastic band it all the way through, sew the two raw ends of the elastic together. I prefer to sew a rough rectangle so I'm not sewing along the same line, breaking up the elastic.

I know, it's difficult to see  

And there you have it! Your very own customized shorts. What's great is that while I made this particular pair specifically for the Color Run, I made another for pjs and they are crazy comfy.

Shorts in action
Thanks for tuning in for another "that kinda makes sense" DIY tutorial. Check back in on Thursday for some tips on how to cut back on everyday things to stretch that penny a little further. Until then, crafty readers, live long and prosper!

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