Make a Custom Pair of Shorts - Sewing For Dudes (and Ladies) No. 3.

It's hot outside. Don't let your fear of showing off your knees prevent you from dressing for the weather. Sew your own pair of shorts, and they'll be as long or short as you please.

A pair of pants
Sewing machine and thread
Combination square

1. Take off your pants. Put on the trousers that will become you shorts, and determine where you’d like the length of your shorts to fall. Add 1.5”, and mark on both legs.
2. Take off those pants, and lay them flat. (Whether you put your originals back on is up to you.) Line up your square with the side hem of the pants, and begin to cut across the leg. Once you’ve gotten to the pleat/half way, slowly angle you scissors so that you eventually cut about .5” lower than where you started. See the photo.

3. Turn the shorts inside out, and fold a small hem. The lowered inside will make this step easier. Pin, iron, and sew a straight stitch. Repeat for the other leg.

4. Now, fold up the hem until you’ve reached the desired length, and then pin, iron, and sew. Repeat for the other leg. 

5. Turn your shorts right side out, and enjoy the sunshine.

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Caya123 on Jun 29, 2007:

Yes it's called a blind hem stitch. That is done by hand but can be done by most machines. I only know how to describe how it's done by showing someone, but a person could look up "how to do a blind hem stitch" in Google & come up with something I think.


Oh & BTW, yes of course that was a speed square, not a T-square like I had it- hahaha!!! I make it a policy never to use machinery that could kill me if I use it wrong (the car excepted) like woodworking machinery so I don't know such things!

lafemmedramatique on Jun 28, 2007:

Bruno- This would be quite easy to do w/o a sewing machine... my biggest tip is to make sure you iron them, and iron them well! And don't skip the pinning! I'm not even joking, if you try to hand stich them otherwise, you'll be so frustrated!

Also, not sure what look you're going for, but if you're going for something more professional, try stitching it so that the stiches don't show on the outside... I can't remember what this is called (I'm a rebel sewer... i just teach myself by looking at stuff that's alredy made and then figuring out how it's put together... hehe) but it's done by sewing little loop stitches instead of straight stiches, and they're so tiny they don't show up.... maybe this is called a blind hem? I can't recall...

If you're wanting a more casual, or possibly a look that says without a doubt "I made this, I'm awesome" kind of look, then you could try using an embroidery floss in whatever color you wish, and making slightly larger stiches, or even stich a design in... this is a much more casual look, obviously, but still fun... just a thought :)

DIY Maven on Jun 26, 2007:

Dude--LOVE the speed square!

bruno on Jun 26, 2007:

Great tip. I'm going to see if I can do this sans-sewing machine!

Caya123 on Jun 26, 2007:

I love the T-square detail. A very GUY thing to use- hahaha- Nice little tutorial though, you have all the basics down :-)

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