Sunday, 29 July 2012

From Scratch Scalloped Shorts Tutorial

As you are hopefully now aware, I go through phases of loving trends (the ombre phase is slowly... eh... phasing out), and my new one is scalloped hems. I just think they add an extra bit of sophistication and elegance to an outfit.

You are also probably now aware that I LOVE shorts (7 pairs of denim ones alone, at my last count). What better way to make myself happy than to combine these two loves?

I am trying to be a bit more adventurous with my sewing, so rather than give a pair of shorts I already own a scalloped hem (I also didn't want to alter any of the ones I have), I decided to make a pair of shorts. From scratch. I also didn't have any suitable stretchy material, so I also had to make the executive decision of also inserting a zip in order for my booty to actually get into them. 

I had a slightly satin-esque material that I'd wondered recently what to do with, and as I wanted these shorts to be more formal, going-out shorts, it was the perfect choice.


Here's what you will need:
A pair of shorts you like the fit of
Tailor's chalk
Matching thread
Pinking shears
Sewing machine (zipper foot optional)
Seam ripper
A mug!

How to:

First I traced around a pair of high-waisted shorts that fit me really well. They are made from stretch denim, so I left plenty of seam allowance so I don't bust out of them when I move!

Make sure you lay your shorts folded in half on the fabric (which is also folded in half) with each fold next to each other, like so: 

This means you get one whole piece which will wrap around your bum and leg. Cut two of these, as you probably have two legs.

I also added a bit of length to both the waist and the legs, to ensure they were high-waisted enough for me (enough to cover my bellybutton), and long enough for the scallops (in case I made a mistake!)

Then I laid them flat, right sides together, and pinned and sewed the curves:
Then, you need to lay them out again as they were above, and pick up one layer at the bottom, in the middle,  and lay them so they look a bit more like shorts, like this:

Pin and sew the bits were yours legs go, still with the wrong side facing outwards. I then made a waistband with two lengths of material and pinned and stitched them to the top of the shorts like so:

Now it's time for the zip! Lay your shorts down in front of you so that the wrong side fabric of the back of the shorts is facing you. Lay your zip face down on the middle seam, and pin and sew each side of the zip to the corresponding seam allowance (I didn't bother using a zipper foot):

Now you need to get your seam ripper (hello, old friend!) and open the seam from the top of the back of the shorts, to just above where your zip finishes. Add a hook and eye at the top. Hooray! Now you can try them on and tweak them if necessary.

Now for the scallops. This is the time consuming bit. Turn your shorts the right way out, and turn the hems up and out, and pin:
Now, with your mug (see, there IS a reason), draw half circles at the bottom of the hem (this should be on the wrong side of the fabric) all the way around the bottom of your shorts leg. Sew a curve where you have drawn.
Then, take your pinking shears and cut around the bottom of these half circles. Turn them all inside out (i.e. right way round) and iron. You may need to spray them with water and poke them a bit to get them to properly turn out, but it's worth it! 

Trim all excess material on the inside of the shorts, and all stray threads.

Now, that wasn't so bad, was it?

I still have to add a hook and eye to mine, but I hope you like them, because I LOVE them :)

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