Learn How to DIY A Stunning Pair of High Waisted Shorts

7 Materials
2 Hours

I absolutely adore a good pair of high waisted shorts! I had been looking for the perfect pair when I decided to just go ahead and make my own. This DIY was so easy and the end results are just amazing! If you are looking for the perfect pair of high waisted shorts to add to your closet essentials, this tutorial is up your alley! Learn how to create the perfect piece to have you looking super stylish all summer long! Follow my step-by-step guide and get started on making this gorgeous, fashion-forward pair of shorts.

DIY high waisted shorts

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Elastic
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Tailor’s chalk/pencil
  • Thread 
  • Measuring tape 
Use a pair of shorts

Trace the pieces

To get started on this super cute pair of shorts, we are going to have to get our fabric pieces just right. Use another pair of shorts you already have as a pattern. Turn the shorts inside out so that all the seam lines and shapes are visible. Add an extra inch or so to the seam line when you’re tracing and make sure to add length to the waist if you are using a pair of low cut shorts.

Cute DIY high waisted shorts

Once you have traced this piece, cut it out, and use it to trace a second piece for your new pair of stylish shorts. These two pieces will be used for the back of the shorts. 

Trace the front

Now it’s time to get the pieces you’ll need for the front of your shorts. Take your pattern shorts and turn them over. Trace around them making sure to leave the same amount of seam allowance as you did before and also add the same amount above the waistline. Once again, use the piece you cut as a template to cut out another piece of fabric for the front. 

Measure the elastic

Measure the elastic

With all the pieces cut out, it’s time to prep the elastic. Measure around your waist with the elastic. Make sure it’s tight enough around your waist and still comfortable. Once you have the measurement, add a few inches, and cut the elastic. 

Sew the inner seams

Sew the shorts

Finally, it’s time to start sewing! Start by sewing the center seams on both the front and back pieces of your new shorts. 

Sew the crotch

It’s just amazing to see these shorts coming together so quickly! Place your front piece over your back piece, right sides together, and make sure that all the sides are aligned. Pin the pieces in place and sew the sides and crotch together.

Make a hem

Now that your shorts are almost finished, it’s time to move on to the waistline. Make sure your shorts are inside out and double-fold along the waistline, pinning as you fold. Try to make this hem as small as you can. An inch or two will do! 

High waisted elastic shorts

Add the elastic waistband

Now that your hemline is finished, you can start preparing for the waistband. First, measure the width of your elastic so you know how big to make the tunnel. I always add a little bit extra to the width just in case. 

Measure the tunnel

Fold over the waistline to create one giant hem. Measure to make sure that there will be at least half an inch of material on either side of the elastic.

Mark the tunnel

Pin along your new oversized hem and mark where the elastic tunnel will be as you work along the waistline. 

Sew along the tunnel

Sew along the top of your fold, just above the elastic tunnel. This will ensure that your elastic doesn’t move around and will also give your new shorts a really nice, professional finish. Repeat this on the lower mark you made for the bottom of the tunnel. Make sure to stop a little over an inch from where you started so that there is a gap to feed the elastic through. 

Attach a safety pin

Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic band and start threading it through the small tunnel. 

Overlap the elastic

Once the other side is through, remove the safety pin from the elastic. Overlap the two ends and sew them together. I usually use a zig-zag stitch to hold the elastic together securely. Make sure to do one final stitch to close up the gap you left in the tunnel.

Hem the bottoms

Add the finishing touches

Now it’s time for the finishing touches! If you want a nice, clean finish on your amazing new shorts, add a hem to the bottom. If you are looking for a more grunge style, sew a straight stitch across the bottoms, leaving the material below the stitch to fray a little. 

DIY cut high waisted shorts

I can’t believe how gorgeous these shorts turned out! How would you style this amazing piece? Let me know in the comments below! 

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
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
See all materials

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2 of 4 comments
  • Finula Finula on Aug 02, 2022

    It's so nice to see someone showing basic and straightforward work. New sewers often think they need magic accessories to do anything. A pattern, a cutting board, etc. Excellent job!

  • Finula Finula on Aug 02, 2022

    This also reminds me of the cullotes my mother used to make us when we were young. Just extend those shorts another foot, widening a bit as you go.