A while back on my Facebook page I asked about making myself a Retro Romper with the leftover fabric I had from the samples I made for pictures. I was half joking, because I’m not a fan of rompers on adult women because I don’t want to strip to go to the bathroom.
Well, luckily I didn’t have to make that call, because I only had enough fabric for shorts anyway. So I made a pattern and sewed these up to pacify my nostalgia. And I’m going to be using this pattern next week, too, for something totally different.
Want to make yourself some (maybe you have a nostalgic streak too)?
- 1/2 yard of knit fabric. I used stretch French terry.
- 1 package of 1/2″ (Extra wide) double fold bias tape
- 1″ (25mm) wide elastic, 27 inches or so
I’ve got two options for you to get the pattern, which is in a women’s size small, for hips up to 36″ and waist 28″.
Option 1: Download for free.
To download the pattern for free, subscribe to the Melly Sews Weekly Newsletter. AFTER you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email – and you have to confirm or my email service can’t send you the free pattern access email. But once you do confirm, you’ll get access to not just this but several other free patterns. Woot!
(PS – if you have trouble finding the pattern as a subscriber, check this post)
Please note that all my free patterns are licensed for personal use only (no selling items made from this without a limited production license) and by downloading you are agreeing to this license.
Option 2: Purchase this PDF pattern in sizes XXS-3X
Use this link or the button below to purchase a pattern file. You’ll be emailed a download link for a file that includes the instructions in this tutorial and the pattern pieces. You’ll also be able to download this file in my shop. Please note that the purchased pattern has a separate waistband piece, but it also includes instructions to attach that. And it has POCKETS!
OK, after printing, taping and cutting out the pattern, you’ll take one front and one back and sew them right sides together at the inseam. USE A 1/2″ (12mm) SEAM ALLOWANCE. When you open the shorts out flat, they’ll look like the picture shown below.
Repeat with the other front and back piece. Then you’re going to pin bias tape on. (Want to make your own bias tape? Check this post) With wrong side up and the bias tape opened flat, pin around the edge as show below. The bias tape should be even with the edge of the fabric. It doesn’t look like that in the picture because it was curling, but it is.
At the curves, ease the bias tape around, making sure the fold line in the tape is flat.
Stitch on the fold line of the bias tape that is closest to the edge of the fabric. Repeat this on the other leg.
Fold the bias tape onto the right side of the fabric, covering your first stitching line. Stitch it down close to the edge, so your bias tape is now securely wrapped around the raw fabric edge.
Now place bias tape on the side seam of the front side of the shorts over the bias tape on the side seam of the back side of the shorts with right side out. Pin in place to where the side seams start to curve away from each other. Stitch down the unstitched edge of the bias tape on the front piece to secure the side seam in place. Repeat with the other shorts leg. Be careful not to sew through the other side of the leg as you sew the bias tape edges on top of each other.
Place one shorts leg wrong side out, with the curved raw edge side facing right.
Place one shorts leg right side out with the curved raw edge side facing right.
Put the right side out leg INSIDE the wrong side out leg.
Match the curved raw edges in a U shape. Sew them together, creating the center crotch seam.
Turn shorts wrong side out. Fold down the top edge 1/4″ (6mm).
Fold down the top again 1 1/4″ (30mm) and pin. Stitch the bottom edge to form a casing for the elastic. The casing might be rather thick at the side seams where the bias tape is – you might want to hand crank your machine here. Leave an opening in the casing so you can insert the elastic.
Use a safety pin to feed the elastic through the casing, being careful not to twist it. Sew the elastic ends together, then sew the casing closed.
And take them out for a run! (Note – I totally did my hair and makeup for this picture – I typically run with a ponytail and a VERY red face).
Also, these shorts might have magical faster running properties – look at my hair fly!