Tutorial: Elastic Waisted Shorts {for boy or girl}

My little girl loves to wear skirts.... and here's why... no snaps or zippers to fuss with! She likes leggings, but let's face it, leggings only hold up so well to spunky little kiddos!

So, what's a mom to do? Make her some elastic waisted shorts!

Now she can wear shorts to school worry-free! No help needed with those silly buttons or zippers! PLUS, I made mine out of light-weight denim so they will be long lasting and comfortable!!

The great thing is that these shorts are simple! You can add to them if you want something a little more girly or leave them as is! Perfect for boys or girls!! I am loving the almost bermuda short length too!

Want to make some on your own? Here's how:

Grab a pair of shorts that fit your kiddo. Fold them in half and trace around them. I wanted extra length for mine {since my girly is tall} so I added a couple inches at the bottom. Then, you need extra at the top to be able to add the elastic and fold it all over. How much you leave will depend on your elastic width. Mine was 3/4" elastic, so I left an extra 1-1/2 inches {elastic casing and seam allowance}.

Then fold your fabric in half and in half again with your traced image on top and cut through all 4 layers.

You will end up with 4 pieces. 2 with the curvy side on the left and 2 with the curvy side on the right.

Grab one piece from each pile and match right sides together. Then pin them along the curvy edge.

Then serge or zig-zag stitch along the curve. If you are zig-zag stitching go back over it with a straight stitch to reinforce the inside edge of your stitched {creating a serged sort of look}. Mine is serged.

Grab your iron and iron your seams open {this helps to set the stitching as well as making the next steps easier}. Then take your two pieces and place them right sides together.  Pin both sides of the shorts together all the way down.

Serge or sew the sides together.

Now it's time to work on the waistband. {I did it here as well when I repurposed pajama pants.} Start by serging {or zig-zag stitching} around the top of the shorts to create a fnished edge.

Then fold over the top edge to create a casing for your elastic. Make sure your elastic will fit by using either your elastic or a ruler to measure te width of your fold. My elastic was 3/4" I folded my fabric over 1-1/8" to fit my elastic and allow my a 1/4" seam allowance. Iron your fold in place. If you are a pinning person, go ahead and pin it in place... I like to work sans pins whenever possible!

Then sew your casing. Make sure to leave an opening in your stitching so you can feed your elastic around. I always mark my stopping point with double pins so I remember to stop sewing there.

Now, grab your elastic {trimmed to the right size} a safety pin, a good movie, a comfy chair and start feeding it through!

Sew the ends together and stuff it all back in. Then sew your gap closed to keep your elastic tucked in! Now it's time to finish the legs of the shorts!!

Pin together the small side of the shorts. You will want it to look like this so that it is creating the two leg holes.

Serge or zig-zag stitch it together.

Then serge the ends of each leg hole and fold over a 1/2" hem. Iron in place. Then sew your hem about 3/8" from the edge of your fabric.

Iron all your seams to fortify your stitching and there you have it!

The perfect pair of shorts for playing outside, going to school, and everything else!

Now you can add flowers, trim, paint, or whatever else you want to customize them!

Great for boys or girls!

What projects are you up to today!!?


  1. I would love to use this tutorial to make some pants.

  2. Wow, your tutorial took me back to long ago. I remember making these shorts when I was in school. Even I could do it, it was so easy. I always hated sewing in home economics. lol But these were so easy to make I had tons of them.


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