Draft a Mens Shorts Pattern

How to draft mens shorts pattern -

Long ago, when my husband and I were newlyweds, I made him a pair of lounging around the house shorts. He worn them to shreds. So I made him another pair. And these are SO EASY, so today I’m going to show you how both how to draft a mens shorts pattern and how to sew it. Bonus: you don’t even have to make him stand still for measurements (or take measurements on yourself if you’re one of my male readers) – you can get the measurements you need for these shorts from a pair of pants. Bonus number 2: If you like loose fitting shorts, you can also use this method to draft a pair for women.

To start, get a pair of pants. These should be pants that fit on their own, not pants that are a few sizes too big or too small and held up with a belt. Note the pant size – for example, 32×34 means that the waist is 32 and the inseam is 34. You’ll need those two measurements.

Next, lay the pants out flat and get a hip measurement.

Get measurements from pants - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

And then fold them as shown and get a rise measurement.

Measure the rise - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

Now you’ll need a big piece of drafting paper. I use this (affiliate link), but you can tape printer paper together or use wrapping paper or freezer paper or anything else that works.

Now draw a rectangle that is 1/2 of the hip measurement plus 4 inches wide, and the depth of the rise plus 2 1/2 inches tall.

Find the center of the bottom line of the rectangle, and draw a line down extending 1/3 of the inseam length.

Step 1 - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

Next measure from the corner of the rectangle to the center, and divide that measurement by 4. Measure out from one side of the rectangle that amount. On the other side measure out the amount listed in the image below. Label the front and back of the pattern as shown below.

Step 2 - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

On the front corner, draw a 1 inch line at 45 degrees. On the back corner, draw a line that extends 2 inches at 45 degrees.

Step 3 - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

This is how I use my ruler to create a 45 degree mark. And who said high school geometry would never be useful?

45 degree angle with quilting ruler

Create a curve that touches your mark for both the front and back. Then add lines (1/3 of the inseam) down from the crotch point you’ve created – see the image below. These will be your inseams.

Step 4 - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

Finally, move the bottom of the front inseam line in 1 inch toward center. Move the back inseam line 2 inches in toward center. Connect the lines and you’re done drafting!

Step 5 - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

Cut out two of this pattern, with the fabric folded so you get a right and a left leg. You can use knit or woven fabric – these are loose fit, so either will work. I used a medium weight knit jersey.

Now the way I’ve had you draft this pattern, a 1/2″ seam allowance is included already. To sew your shorts, start by stitching the center front and center back seams with right sides together.

Next, fold your shorts so the two seams you’ve sewn lay one on top of the other. Match the seams and sew the inseam in one long seam as shown below.

Sew inseams - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

Fold the top edge over 1/4″, press, then fold again 1 1/2″ and press again to form the elastic casing. Stitch close to the bottom fold, leaving an opening to insert the elastic.

Sew Casing - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

Insert 1″ wide elastic with a safety pin. Sew the ends of the elastic together, then sew the casing closed.

Insert Elastic - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

To hem the bottom, fold up 1/4″ then 1/2″ and stitch close to the folded edge. You’re done!

These shorts might make a great surprise Father’s Day gift.

Great Father's day gift - make him some easy fit shorts

They’re great for both yardwork and sleeping after yardwork.

Make these shorts - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

Or pretending to sleep. Bean’s smile is a telltale giveaway.

Perfect for lounging around the house - How to draft mens shorts pattern -

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  1. Dee says

    Great shorts pattern, I’ll be making these very soon for the guys in the family and probably myself as well, they look exceptionally comfortable. Side note, our youngest was always called Bean too, (he’s 28 now and six feet tall but he’s still “the Bean” to us.)


  2. says

    Thank you so much for the easy to follow tutorial. The pictures are simple and straight forward. I love it. These are my husbands FAVORITE kind of shorts, but he’s a big guy and hard to buy for. These will make him very happy. CHEERS!

  3. Victoria says

    Thank you so much for this! It has helped loads in making some shorts for my xxxl husband! One question; he hates elastic at the front of the shorts as it rubs on his tummy… any suggestions on how I can alter it for that, or where I can find how to do a fly waist pair instead? Thank you again for a great post x

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