Adorable Pleated Shorts!

These shorts are so cute, but they take a little determination and patience.  There’s a really simple way to do this: Just take some shorts that you really like the fit and trace the separate pieces onto a piece of paper. To do that, flatten out your shorts (VERY FLAT) and try to keep them in the same shape as the pattern seems to be.  After you have traced both a single front pattern and a single back pattern add about 2 inches to the top of the front pattern piece on the outside and taper down to the bottom of the pattern. Now just add a 1/2 inch seam allowance around all the edges. This will allow you to fold under a half inch while your sewing so that there are no raw edges. The pattern piece for the fly is simple: just make a 2×4 rectangle (if you feel like it needs to be a little longer, make it 5 inches). Just look at a zipper on some jeans and make the fly long enough to fit that plus about an inch. Another necessary pattern piece is the waist band. For this,  figure out the length around your waistline (where you want your shorts to sit), add an inch and another 2 inches for the button overlap, and make a rectangle that-lengthx2. This will leave 1/4 inch seam allowance on the top and bottom, and a 1/2 inch seam allowance on each end.  Cut two each of the back pattern, front pattern, waistband, and one fly. Now you can finally sew! Sew the two back pieces together (lay aside). Sew the two front pieces, starting at the crotch, until you get to where your fly must be inserted. Insert it and sew the zipper on. Then sew the back to front by sewing on the inside of the leg all the way. Also, sew along the outside of both legs. If you want ( I recommend it), you can sew a half french seam on both the inner and outer legs.  I promise it pays off. But, seriously, I’ve been a professional seam-ripper ever since that day:) Just don’t give up; it will leave you with a NICE seam on the inside, so that you can roll them up and look super chic! Now, all you have to do is sew the waistband together along one (long) side, insert it onto your shorts, and sew it on.  WAIT… First be sure to add your pleats into the front part.  Just fold it to desired pleatness ;) and then you can sew over them.  If the shorts are too wide (before you put the waistband on), add a dart onto each side of the rear part. Now stitch a buttonhole where it needs to be to close your shorts. And, of course, stitch in the button in the correct spot. If you want, you can easily sew on some little belt loops, too.Voila! You can now go prancing around town (or your house) in your adorable pleated shorts. Oh, and as far as fabric choice goes,well, I used an old granny skirt from a garage sale. Isn’t that totally amazing? A dollar-fifty, boutique-worthy pair of shorts!

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