How to make shorts with elastic waist and pockets

how to sew shorts with pockets

How to sew Shorts with elastic waist and Pockets: Learn how to create stylish double pocket shorts with an elastic waist, all in a fun and informative manner. Get ready to unleash your creativity and embark on a rewarding sewing journey!

This step-by-step tutorial is perfect for beginners and does not require a pattern. Get ready to explore the world of sewing and make your own fashionable shorts!

Welcome to this beginner-friendly guide on making very easy double pocket shorts with an elastic waist. As an experienced fashion designer, I understand the excitement and satisfaction that comes from creating your own clothing.

In this tutorial, I will take you through the process of making trendy and functional shorts without the need for a pattern.

Whether you’re new to sewing or have some experience, this step-by-step guide will provide you with all the essential information to create stylish shorts that fit you perfectly. So let’s dive in and unleash your creativity in the world of fashion!


1. Selecting the Right Fabric and Supplies

Before we start cutting and sewing, let’s gather the necessary materials and select the perfect fabric for your shorts.

Fabric Selection

For this project, consider using lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or chambray. These fabrics are beginner-friendly, forgiving, and comfortable to wear, especially during warm weather.

Supplies Needed

  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Elastic (1-2 inches wide)
  • Sewing thread (matching the fabric color)
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Chalk or fabric marking pen

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2. Taking Accurate Body Measurements

To ensure the best fit for your shorts, taking accurate body measurements is essential. Let’s go through the process step-by-step:

Step 1: Waist Measurement

Using a measuring tape, wrap it around your natural waistline. Make sure the tape is snug but not too tight, and keep it parallel to the ground. Note down the measurement.

Step 2: Hip Measurement

Measure the fullest part of your hips, keeping the measuring tape parallel to the floor. Take note of this measurement.

Step 3: Inseam Measurement

To measure the inseam, start from the crotch area and extend the tape down to your desired shorts length. Repeat this process for both legs and record the measurements.

3. Preparing the Fabric

Now that we have our measurements, it’s time to prepare the fabric for cutting.

Step 1: Preparing fabric for sewing, Washing and Ironing

Before cutting the fabric, make sure to wash and dry it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles and create a smooth surface for cutting.

Step 2: How to fold fabric for sewing, aligning fabric edges.

Fold the fabric in half, aligning the selvages (finished edges) together. Smooth out any creases and ensure that the fabric is flat and even.

4. Cutting the Fabric

Now comes the exciting part – cutting the fabric to create your shorts.

Step 1: How to mark waist measurement on fabric, creating waistline.

Using chalk or a fabric marking pen, measure and mark half of your waist measurement from the fold of the fabric. This will be the top edge of your shorts.

Step 2: How to mark hip measurement on fabric, creating hip line.

From the waistline mark, measure and mark half of your hip measurement. This line will determine the width of your shorts.

Step 3: How to mark inseam on fabric, creating inseam line.

From the hip line, measure and mark the desired inseam length for your shorts.

Step 4: How to mark hemline on fabric, creating bottom edge.

From the inseam line, measure and mark the desired length of your shorts. This will be the bottom edge.

Step 5: Drawing shorts outline on fabric, connecting marked points.

Connect the marked points to create the outline of your shorts. Make gentle curves from the waistline to the hip line and down to the bottom hem.

Step 6: How to cut fabric for sewing shorts, following outline.

Carefully cut along the drawn outline, following the curves and lines you created. Take your time to ensure precise cutting.

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5. Assembling and Sewing the Shorts

Now that we have the fabric pieces, let’s assemble and sew them together to create the shorts.

Step 1: How to sew side seams for shorts, joining front and back panels.

With right sides together, align the front and back panels at the side seams. Pin the edges in place and sew along the sides, from the waistline to the bottom edge.

Step 2: Making double pockets for shorts, sewing pocket edges.

To create the double pockets, cut two rectangular pieces of fabric and fold them in half. Place them on the front panel where you want the pockets to be and sew along the sides and bottom, leaving the top open.

Step 3: Making elastic waistband for shorts, sewing waistband casing.

Fold the top edge of the shorts twice to the inside to create a casing for the elastic. Sew along the lower fold, leaving a small opening to insert the elastic.

Step 4: How to insert elastic in shorts waistband, securing elastic ends.

Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through the casing. Adjust the elastic to fit your waist comfortably, then sew the ends together securely. Close the opening in the casing.

Step 5: How to hem shorts, finishing shorts edges.

Fold the bottom edge of the shorts twice to the inside and hem them in place. This step adds a polished finish to your shorts and prevents fraying.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can I use a different fabric for my shorts? Absolutely! While lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen are recommended for beginners, you can experiment with other materials based on your preferences and the desired look of the shorts.
  2. Do I need to be an experienced sewist to make these shorts? Not at all! This tutorial is designed for beginners, and the steps are explained in detail to ensure a smooth sewing experience.
  3. How can I customize the length of the shorts? You can easily adjust the length by marking a different inseam measurement during the cutting process. Just make sure to measure accurately before cutting.
  4. Can I add embellishments to the shorts? Absolutely! You can personalize your shorts by adding trims, embroidery, or other embellishments to make them unique.
  5. How do I care for the finished shorts? To keep your shorts in great condition, follow the care instructions of the fabric you used. Generally, machine wash with like colors and tumble dry on low heat are common care practices.
  6. What if my elastic waistband feels too tight? If the elastic waistband feels too tight, you can replace it with a longer elastic or slightly adjust the waistband by creating a larger casing.

Click here to Learn: how to sew shorts with pockets


Congratulations on completing your very easy double pocket shorts with an elastic waist! In this guide, we covered fabric selection, measuring your body, cutting the fabric without a pattern, assembling the shorts, and adding practical pockets and an elastic waistband.

Remember, sewing is an art that gets better with practice. Don’t hesitate to experiment and make these shorts truly your own. With each project, you’ll gain more confidence and skills as a fashion designer. Happy sewing!