ruffle shorts: a pattern hack

Hello!  Remember when I made confetti shorts and promised to show you how to do it?  Well, I'm finally following through.

In this post, I'll show you how I took a shorts pattern (specifically the Oliver + S Puppet Show Shorts Pattern) and changed it up to make these ruffle shorts, which look similar to the Oliver + S Class Picnic shorts.  It can be applied to just about any shorts pattern.

I am not providing printable pattern pieces, dimensions, or a complete sew-along tutorial.  This is merely to show you how I changed up a pattern piece I already own for a different look.  Hopefully this will be helpful to those of you who are looking to modify your own patterns!

Okay ... to start, you'll need a trusty shorts pattern.  For these shorts, I prefer a pattern that is one single piece for each leg (verses one that has a front and back piece for each leg).  It will look something like this:

Fold the pattern piece so the leg inseam meets.  Use this fold as a guide to where you will mark the ruffle line down the front of the shorts.

I marked a line approximately 1 1/2 inches from the fold.

Cut the pattern piece in two along the line you just drew.  You now have a front and back piece.

Retrace the front pattern piece, adding about an inch to side you just cut.  This will be where the ruffled pieces overlap and are sewn together.  You can discard the smaller pattern piece.

Adding a ruffle to the bottom of the short instead of hemming will make them longer.  Shorten the pattern piece about an inch (use a ruler to mark along the bottom edge and cut on the line).

Round off both the front and back pattern pieces.  A bowl makes a good template.

And you are ready to cut fabric!  Your revised pattern pieces should look like this:

It's always a good idea to label your pattern pieces.  :)

Cut two of each pattern piece, making sure to cut opposites for each leg.  The attach a ruffle to the long curved edge.  The front piece needs a ruffle the whole length of the curve (see below).  The back piece doesn't require a ruffle on the whole curve - just about halfway towards the waistline, because the pieces overlap.   Pin the ruffle in place, then sew and press.  Top stitch about a half inch from the seam line.

Using your original pattern piece as a guide, lay your front piece overlapping the back piece and pin in place.  The pieced leg should match the width of the original waistline.  Join the pieces together by top stitching in the seam line of the front pattern piece.

The completed leg pieces will look like this:

Sew the leg inseam and attach the waistband according to the original pattern's instructions, and there you have it ... a snazzy new style of shorts.

All that's left is to find a cute kid to model them.

I made another pair for Ruby in denim.  She needed something a little more wardrobe friendly than those crazy confetti shorts.  I found the denim to be a little too thick to ruffle, so these have really more of a pleated trim.

I also added some back pockets.  Is that a cute little bum, or what?

If you made it all the way to the end of this long-winded post, I am impressed!  Happy sewing.  :)


kristin said...

SO CUTE. i love the siestas and sewing ruffle shorts but don't have the class picnic shorts pattern. i DO have the puppet show pattern! yay! thanks for the tutorial.

la inglesita said...

These shorts are awesome!! thanks for sharing. I´ll definitely give them a try

gail said...

wow, these are great, thanks so much!!

Mandy Pellegrin said...

Um, can I make these in my size? ...and would that be weird? :)

Angela said...

These are so cute! I need to find a shorts pattern

Emily said...

Adorable shorts and girls!!!

NanouQc said...

Thanks for this great tutorial! I really like your denim version with the pleated trim!

Christina said...

I don't know which is cuter: your girls or the shorts you came with up for them. : )

Unknown said...

Its soooocute that I had to read it all !

ladaisi said...

That is so adorable, Jill! I am an incredibly creative person ... but sewing eludes me. I wish I had your abilities ;)

Ladaisi Blog
Ladaisi Etsy

Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

I am loving both versions! so adorable...feminine and simple.

Bren said...

Hey! I've been reading your blog for a little bit...and I recently nominated you for a blog aware (details on my blog...if you are interested).

I really wish I was better at sewing! Your have so many ideas! I'm still working on my playhouse!

Tamara @31dates said...

So good Jill!

Eric and Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing. Before reading this I'd never have been brave enough to change up a pattern that much. But it's really not that hard!

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

Those shorts are absolutely scrumptiosus. And I love natural linen.

sebclar said...

You are amazing. These are so cute. How do you have time to make multiple pairs of shorts with three children??!? In awe.

la inglesita said...

As I said before I DID SEW THESE SHORTS!!! I´m very happy you shared the tutorial because it was exactly the king of design I was looking for.
If you want to have a peek they´re in flickr
Thank you again!

Sylvie said...

Oh my dear those are DARLING!!!