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.
And then fold them as shown and get a rise measurement.
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.
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.
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.
This is how I use my ruler to create a 45 degree mark. And who said high school geometry would never be useful?
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.
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!
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.
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.
Insert 1″ wide elastic with a safety pin. Sew the ends of the elastic together, then sew the casing closed.
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.
They’re great for both yardwork and sleeping after yardwork.
Or pretending to sleep. Bean’s smile is a telltale giveaway.
Hooray - you read the whole post! Wanna hang out more? Check out the best sewing pins with me on Pinterest, join our Facebook discussions, get your daily sewing fix and behind the scenes scoops on Instagram, and your weekly updates/free pattern access through the newsletter.