DIY Easy Shorts With Pockets Sewing Tutorial

Sew She Roamed
by Sew She Roamed
8 Materials
2 Hours

As usual, my inspiration comes from finding a gorgeous fabric at the thrift store. Today, it is a vintage cotton sheet with flowers. I want to turn this fabric into easy DIY shorts.

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Pair of shorts (with a stretch waistband)
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Elastic
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Tailor’s chalk
Sew DIY shorts

Trace your shorts 

Turn your shorts inside out and fold them in half. Fold your fabric in half as well and then place your shorts on them flatly. Make sure to pull the crotch out. Leave about two inches of seam allowance on the top and an inch seam allowance around the rest of the shorts. Now, trace the shorts using tailor’s chalk. When tracing the shorts, pull the elastic band out to its full size.

Easy DIY shorts

Cut and repeat 

Cut out the shorts - keep the front straight. Then, turn the shirts over and repeat the same process for the back piece. 

Basic DIY shorts

Make the pockets 

Fold your fabric, right sides together, and draw your pockets onto the fabric. Then, cut your pockets out. Once you have two pockets, flip them over and place them onto your fabric. Cut two more pockets using them as a stencil. You should end with two pairs of pockets. 

Beginner DIY shorts

Sew the shorts 

Place the front pieces of the shirts, right sides together. Make sure to line up the crotch seam. Pin to secure. Next, sew all the way up the shorts using an overlocker stitch. If you don’t have one, you can also use a zigzag stitch. Repeat with the back pieces. 

DIY shorts pattern

Sew in the pockets 

Place the edge of the pocket at least two inches down from the top of the shorts, right sides together. Pin into place and sew along the edge using a straight stitch. Next, fold the pocket over and use a straight stitch to topstitch down the front edge of the pocket. Repeat this with the other three pockets. Make sure you are taking extra care to ensure that all the pockets are at the same exact height. 

DIY shorts tutorial

Connect the front and back

Lay the front and back of the shorts, right sides together, with the pockets laid out flat. Line up the two pieces and pin all the way around. Next, stitch the shorts by following the outer edge using a zigzag stitch. Go down the edge, around the pocket, and back up the inseam. Repeat on the opposite side.

How to sew DIY shorts

Sew the crotch 

Line up and pin the crotch from the middle out. Using an overlocker stitch or zigzag stitch, sew the crotch closed. Next, turn your shorts right side out. Take note that the waist should look way too big for you at this point. 

How to make DIY shorts

Insert the elastic 

Double-fold the top edge of your shorts and iron it down. It should be about an inch wide - large enough to fit your elastic. Next, sew all the way around your fold (at the bottom of the folded edge), leaving a two-inch gap by the back. This gap will be used to insert the elastic. After that, sew a top stitch by the top edge - make sure to leave enough room for the elastic in between the two stitches (as demonstrated in the image above). 

Make DIY shorts

Measure your elastic around your waist and cut out your elastic. Next, attach a safety pin to the edge and insert your elastic through the gap. Use the safety pin to bunch the fabric and weave the elastic through the shorts. Make sure to keep the elastic flat. At the end, overlap the elastic and connect them using a zigzag stitch and then finish off the bottom seam with a straight stitch - securing the elastic inside. 

Finished DIY shorts

Side view of finished shorts

To finish the shorts, simply hem the bottom by each leg. Double-fold the edge, iron it down, and sew using a straight stitch. I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial and came out of it knowing how to sew DIY shorts. I made these for a friend of mine, so keep in mind that sewing also makes for great gifts! 

How to fold shorts

Want to learn the best way to fold shorts? Check out this post on How to Fold Shorts to Save Space!

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Shorts
  • Pins
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 5 comments
  • Sheila Sheila on Aug 04, 2021

    That was the first time I have watch one of your videos. I love that you up cycled the sheets into something new. good job

  • Carol de la Fuente Carol de la Fuente on Mar 25, 2022

    They look great and I love the fabric!!! Thanks for sharing!!!