Wednesday, February 8, 2012
DIY: high-waisted shorts
These High-Waisted Brown Shorts are pretty simple to make. I took a trip to my local Salvation Army (favorite place for a thrift junky) and scored a pair of high-waisted flood pants. With the legs still attached, the pants were a really awkward length and a strange width... tight at the ankle but kind of balloony along the thigh.
If you plan to make shorts, you can ignore how the pants look. Pick a pair based on where they hit you - I prefer mine right above the navel - how you like the color, if the material is comfortable/attractive, and how tight they are through the butt and upper thigh. If they hug as pants they will hug as shorts too. I tend to be very active so I looked for a looser fitting pair. They fit much nicer as shorts and the flair at the bottom makes them comfortable for sitting and moving around.
Again, this is one of those projects I finished before starting this blog, so I'll have to explain the process in steps without pictures. Let me know if you don't understand some part!
1. Put on the pants inside out and decide how long you want the shorts to be. I wanted mine pretty short, but not absurdly so. My rule of measurement was to make a fist, and to mark on the shorts where my knuckles hit my thigh. Mark this measurement with chalk, a pencil, or a pen that won't bleed through to the other side of the fabric.
2. Take the pants off, and continue your mark with a line that goes around both legs (still on the inside of the fabric) so that it is even on both sides. Shorts tend to fit best if you make the lines at a slight V with the lowest point on the inner thighs, extending up towards the highest point at the place where you knuckles hit the sides of the shorts.
3. Because you will hem these, you DO NOT want to cut along the line you've made. Measure and mark another line 1 inch below the first one. You will cut along this second lower line, and your shorts will be slightly longer at this point than they will be when you are finished hemming.
4. In order not to make your shorts too short, you will want to put them on again at this stage to see how long they are and to decide how short to hem them. They should still be inside out. Roll the hem upwards and pin it all the way around both legs so that they are the length you want.
5. Carefully take the shorts off and measure to make sure both legs are even. Adjust any pins that aren't the same length.
6. I did this on a sewing machine, but you can also sew these by hand it just takes a bit longer. My material was stretchy so I chose a zigzag stitch which allows some pull to the fabric. I then sewed around the hem, half an inch from the bottom all the way around. The rolled hem should be on the inside, so from the outside (when you put the shorts on to go out) you will only see the stitches, not the rolled fabric. Pick a color thread that compliments because you will see it! I went with black, but a brighter color could be fun if you're a little more color adventurous in your wardrobe.