Last month the Coach and I got to take a short vacation without the kids, and like all sewing people, I spent my time when I should have been packing sewing instead. So welcome to July, when I get to both relive my vacation for this month’s theme of Shorts! I’m kicking it off with these linen chambray and lace shorts.
And for those of you wondering what the difference is between linen and chambray, linen is a fiber (made from flax) and chambray refers to a weave that mixes white threads in the weft with colored ones in the warp. Though chambray is typically cotton, it can also be woven with other fibers.
But honestly, who cares about the specifics when these shorts were just perfect for a day beach combing?
Another bonus? The elastic waist slips on easily over a swimsuit and is forgiving if you overindulge on all-inclusive dining.
And pockets. Because every pair of shorts should have pockets, amiright?
So, want to make your own? You’ll need:
- 1 yard of fabric
- 2 yards of lace
- 1 yard of 1 inch wide elastic
- The pattern
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 size small 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.
Cut out your pattern pieces – you should have 2 fronts, 2 backs, and 4 pockets. You also need to cut a waistband that measures 42 inches by 3 3/4 inches.
Use 1/2 inch seams unless otherwise noted.
Start by placing 1 front and 1 back right side together then sewing the inseam. Finish this seam (see this post for help with seam finishes). Repeat this with the other front/back pieces. If your fabric looks the same on both the right and wrong sides, check that you have two mirror image pieces at the end of this step.
Sew around the outer edge of each leg with an overlock or faux overlock stitch (see seam finish link above) and then press the finished edge 3/8 inch to the wrong side. There will be wrinkles on the wrong side around the curves, but as long as the right side is flat, it’s OK.
Place pocket pieces right sides together with each side seam on each leg, lining up the top edges with the top edge of the shorts at the side seam corner as shown below. Stitch each pocket along the side seam (yellow line below).
Press each pocket to the wrong side along the seam.
On the right side of the shorts, pin the lace starting a few inches up from the curve on the side seam of the back piece, then around the hem and all the way up the front side seam. Sorry – my camera cut that part off on the right of the picture above, but imagine the lace going all the way up. Stitch the lace to the shorts. This will also topstitch down the front pocket flap.
Fold the leg so that the pocket pieces are right sides together. Stitch around the edges of just the pocket as shown below, and finish this seam.
Push the pocket toward the front part of the shorts leg, lining up the top raw edges with the shorts front. Baste or pin the top edges together.
Then fold the shorts as shown above, overlapping the lace from the front side seam on top of the back side seam. Topstitch the side seam together from the overlap point at the hem up to the pocket opening, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end. You may want to do this on both sides of your lace to make sure it doesn’t wrinkle up when worn or washed. If this is confusing, take a look at the Bias Tape Shorts – I’m doing the same thing here, just not stitching up the entire side seam.
Repeat the above steps with the other shorts leg, so that you have two. Then place them so one is right side out and one is wrong side out, as shown below.
Take the right side out leg and place it inside the wrong side out leg, lining up the U shaped crotch seam. Make sure to match the inseams. Stitch this seam and finish it as shown below.
Sew the waistband into a loop, then pin it right sides together over the shorts as shown above, matching the waistband seam with center back of the shorts. Stitch.
Fold the raw edge of the waistband 1/4 inch to the wrong side and press, then fold the waistband to the inside of the shorts and cover the waist seam with the pressed edge to create a 1 1/8 inch waist casing. Stitch around the waistband in the ditch of the waistband seam. Make sure to leave an opening to insert elastic.
Measure the elastic on your body where you want the shorts to sit (which was well below my natural waist) and subtract 1 inch, then cut it. Thread the elastic through the waistband casing, stitch the ends of the elastic together, and sew up the gap in the waistband. And you’re done!
Now take yourself to the nearest beach for photos! Or, you know, lounge around the house, because these linen and lace shorts are perfect for lazy lounging. But then – pockets, in case you have to leave the house! Everyone wins.