Ruffled Shorts Tutorial

Friday, April 6, 2012

There were a couple of requests for a tutorial for the ruffled shorts from the Vintage Play Set I blogged about here. This is going to be brief, but if you have some sewing background, you shouldn’t have any trouble.


I started with the basic shorts pattern from Simplicity 5118, but any basic shorts pattern will work. I shorted the length of the front and back pieces by 1/2” since I would be adding the ruffle. Next, round out the front and back pieces at the outer leg seam. I used a roll of masking tape to get an even curve. Cut out your front and back fabric pieces.


Then I cut four 1.5” strips of contrasting fabric using the entire width of the fabric. You will not need the entire width, but I started with this and trimmed it up later.


Now you are ready to sew. First, sew one front piece to one back piece right sides together at the inner leg seam. Repeat for the other front and back pieces and finish your seams.


Place the front and back pieces right sides together and sew around the crotch. Finish the seams.


At this point, I like to go ahead and press my elastic casing at the top of the shorts. Use the casing measurements based on your pattern.


Join two strips of the contrast fabric. Repeat with the two remaining strips. Finish one long side and one short side of your contrasting strips with a rolled hem. (You will need to cut a wider strip if you want a folded hem here.) Ruffle up both strips.


Next, finish the side edges of the front and back pieces from the curve up to the top of the piece.


Pin one ruffled strip to the bottom of the shorts leg right sides together. Start the finished short side of the strip at the curve at the BACK of the shorts. Continue the strip all the way around the leg and up the side seam of the front of the shorts to the top. Trim the excess ruffle and sew in place.


Finish the seam.


Press the ruffle out and top stich 1/8” from the edge of the seam.


Next, overlap the front piece with the back piece at the side seam. I aligned my seam allowances as much as possible, so I would not change the width of the shorts. Your stitching should start at the top of the shorts and end just beyond where the ruffle stops at the back of the shorts. I stitched on top of the existing top stitch.


Repress your casing at the top and stitch leaving a gap for inserting your elastic. Insert the elastic and close the casing.


Now you have a little sassy ruffle added to a very basic pair of shorts. Everything is better with ruffles!


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