Guide on How to Sew Shorts (With Pockets and Buttons)

Learn how to sew shorts at home with these detailed instructions.

DIY shorts are a great way to save money and be creative. You can make shorts in any color, style, and size.

The best part about sewing your own shorts is that you don’t have to pay for them! All you need is a pair of scissors, some thread, needles (or a sewing machine), and the fabric you want to use. The possibilities are endless!

You can even make shorts for yourself, or you can make them for friends, or you can even sell them on Etsy!

Want to know how to sew shorts at home in no time?

In this guide, we’ll show you how to sew a pair of shorts using a sewing machine and some fabric that’s available at any craft store. 

We’ve also included instructions on how to sew a pocket into the front of your shorts so that they’ll fit any size phone or wallet without looking bulky in the front.

Let’s get started. 

Step by Step Instructions on How to Sew Shorts

Are you tired of paying top dollar for different types of shorts that don’t fit? Or your favorite pair of shorts is starting to stretch out and fade. If so, try sewing your own!

Sewing shorts can be a pretty intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow the steps below to learn how to sew shorts. 

Sewing shorts tutorial

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Step 1: Supplies You’ll Need

Before you start, be sure to gather all of the basic sewing supplies, materials and tools that you’ll need. These include:

    • A pair of shorts that fits well and is comfortable
    • A sewing machine
    • Matching thread, needle, and scissors
    • Measuring tape or ruler
    • Different types of Fabric (for example, denim or cotton)
    • Iron
    • Pins
    • Waistband/elastic waist
    • Safety pin

Step 2: Make Your Pattern

The first step in learning how to draft your own pattern and how to sew shorts get a pair of shorts that are similar to the ones you want to make. For instance, if you want to make a pair of shorts with an elastic waistband, get a pair of shorts with an elastic waistband. 

Shorts sewing tutorial

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If you want to make a pair of shorts with buttons and buttonholes on the side seams, get a pair of shorts with buttons and buttonholes on the side seams.

Measure the inseam length from crotch to leg opening along one leg of the shorts and add 1 inch for seam allowances. 

For example, if your inseam measurement is 10 inches, add 1 inch for seam allowances. This is how long you will cut each leg piece for your pattern piece.

Kid shorts sewing tutorial

Image Source: Made Everyday

Measure the width across both legs at their widest point. This is how big you will cut out each leg piece for your pattern piece. For example, if your measurement is 8 inches, cut out two 8×8 inch squares from paper or cardstock. 

Step 3: Cut Out the Pieces

Now it’s time to cut out the pieces. You’ll need to cut out two legs and one waistband. 

If you want to learn “how to sew cycling shorts, ” you will need to keep the crotch curve.

If you don’t have a pattern, use a ruler or measuring tape to take your measurements from an existing pair of shorts that fit well enough for this project. Be sure not to make them too tight, as they’ll be super uncomfortable!

Now cut out a square piece of fabric for each leg, 5 inches wide and as long as you want. We’d recommend cutting two separate pieces if it’s any longer than 24 inches.

How to sew shorts

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For the waistband:

Measure around your waist where it would hit when wearing the pants. You can also measure from buttonhole to buttonhole if using existing types of clothes as reference material.

Remember that it needs some wiggle room so that everything looks nice and smooth once sewn together without being constricting or uncomfortable. 

Step 4: Sew the Sides of Your Shorts Together

This is the most critical step of the “how to make shorts” tutorial. You will want to sew from the bottom to the top and use a straight stitch for this part.

If you’re using a sewing machine, choose a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Repeat these steps on other leg pieces until they are joined together. Don’t forget to leave one side open so you can flip it inside out once finished! 

Step 5: Sew the Crotch Curve

You can learn to sew the crotch curve with a straight stitch, a zigzag stitch, or even a serger. 

If you’re using an overlock machine (coverstitch) to finish your crotch seam, you’ll need to chain-sew two stitching lines to form the crotch curve. 

Step 6: Hem the Shorts

The last step of “how to make shorts” is to fold the hem under and sew a straight stitch. 

How to sew shorts hem

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Make sure the hem is even, as you will have to sew it again if it’s not. If you use a thick fabric, use a zig-zag stitch instead of just a straight stitch for better durability.

With this step, you have just completed your tutorial on “how to sew shorts.” You can use this as a base and make your unique shorts at home. 

How to Sew a Button on Shorts (With Pictures)

Sewing a button on your shorts is a simple task that can be done in just a few minutes. 

All you need is the button with its corresponding thread, a needle, and some scissors. Follow these steps to learn how to sew a button on shorts: 

How to sew buttons on shorts

Image Source: Angel Sews


Use the tip of your needle and thread to pierce the hole where the button would be placed in your shorts. Then, pull your needle through to the other side of the fabric, so it emerges through the same hole again. 

Thread the Needle

Thread one end of your thread through the eye of your needle and tie a knot at the end to secure it in place. This will ensure that your thread stays put while you’re sewing. 

How to sew a button on shorts

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Push the Threaded Needle     

Insert your needle into the second hole (the one where you want your new button to go). Pull it through until there is about an inch or so left sticking out from underneath the fabric. 

Now you will need to pull it back up again until about half an inch remains outside of the fabric’s surface area. This will allow enough room for another stitch. 

Strengthen the Button

Thread your needle through both layers of fabric and knot it at one end, so it doesn’t come undone while sewing. 

Before pulling tight on either strand, ensure that both sides are even by checking against each other. Do not catch any threads inside or outside this stitch line! 

Repeat the above steps until all four sides are sewn in place! You’ll use this thread to sew in place later! 

Sewing buttons on shorts tutorial

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To finish this tutorial, ensure you have enough thread to tie off the ends. Tie off both sides of your stitches, then cut off any excess thread.

As you practice this method, you will get better at knowing how to sew each buttonhole size and style. 

6 Simple Instructions for How to Sew Shorts With Pockets

Pockets are a great way to add some extra storage space to your clothing. 

They’re useful for keeping your hands warm in cold weather. Sometimes you want pockets on your shorts. So how do you make that happen?

How to sew shorts with pockets

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In this section, you will learn how to sew shorts with pockets or add pockets to ready-made shorts. No matter what kind of shorts you have, the process of adding pockets will be the same: you’re going to sew them on!

Follow the steps below to get started. 

1. Supplies

First things first: gather your materials. You will need a pair of shorts, some thread, a needle, scissors or shears, and whatever kind of fabric you want to use for the pockets. 

Supplies for sewing shorts

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2. Pocket Placement

The next step of “How to sew shorts with pockets” is to determine where the pockets will be on the shorts. 

Start measuring from either side hem of the shorts and mark a point for each pocket about 3 inches down from the top hem. If you want two pockets, mark them 4 inches apart from each other instead of three inches apart. 

3. Cutting the Pattern

Cut out the pattern for the shorts (if you’re using a pattern). 

Sewing shorts with pockets instructions

Image Source: Oliver + S

Make sure you leave room for two or three inches of lining, depending on how thick you want them to be. This step is essential for any sewing project, such as “how to make clothes with pockets.” 

4. Sewing

Sew around the edges of the pocket pieces and then fit them into the shorts. Sew across the top of each pocket piece so it can’t fall out of place when worn.

Now, you will need to sew along the bottom edge of each pocket piece. This will hold it in place against your leg when worn! 

5. Pressing and Topstitching

Turn inside out and press well to get rid of all wrinkles from sewing.

Topstitch around all four sides of each pocket piece, making sure not to catch any other part of your shorts in your stitching. You will want them to be as flat as possible! 

How to sew pockets on shorts

Image Source: Threading My Way

6. Finishing

Make sure the finished result looks nice from any angle!

If you want to make your pocket shorts look more professional, then don’t forget to use clothing labels from Super Label Store.

Clothing labels can add a level of professionalism to any garment and make people take notice. Whether you are looking for the perfect label for your pocket shorts or something else, we have a label for everything. 

Our woven labels, care labels, and hang tags come in all different sizes, styles, and shapes so that you can understand what works for your requirements.

Superlabel woven label design

Super Label Store offers high-quality clothing labels at affordable prices so that everyone can afford them. Whether you’re looking for something simple or fancy, there’s something for everyone here at our store! Explore our collection today! 

How to Cuff Shorts Without Sewing

Cuffing shorts without sewing is a great way to add some creativity to your wardrobe

It’s also a great way to ensure your shorts are well-fitting and flattering without having to pay for expensive alterations or wait for months for a tailor.

How to cuff shorts without sewing

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Here’s how to cuff your shorts without sewing:

    1. Take a pair of pants that are your size, and cut off the pant legs right above the knee.
    2. Cut off the bottom of the pant legs so it’s only a few inches tall.
    3. The next step of “how to make jeans into shorts or to cuff your shorts” is to use an iron to flatten out and smooth out the material, so it doesn’t look like a jagged edge. 
    4. Then take some scissors and cut a straight line along the hem of your pants. Make sure they’re still attached at one end but also separate on each side at the other end.
    5. Decide how high up you want your shorts to sit on your leg. Now fold down that part of the pant leg until it reaches that point on your leg and pin it in place with safety pins or bobby pins until it dries completely. With that, your shorts are ready to wear now. 


How much fabric do I need to sew shorts?

Generally, for a pair of shorts with a standard width of around 45 inches (114 cm), you will need approximately 1 to 1.5 yards (0.9 to 1.4 meters) of fabric. If the fabric is narrower or you are making a larger size, you may need more fabric.

To get a more accurate estimate, you can take a look at the shorts pattern you plan to use for the shorts. Most patterns will provide a fabric requirement chart that will tell you how much fabric you need based on the size and style of the garment.

Can I stitch cycling shorts?

Yes, you can stitch cycling shorts. Before you start, it’s best to use a sewing machine with a stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch to allow the seams to stretch. Usually, ballpoint needles work well with stretchy fabrics as they slide between the fibers rather than piercing them, reducing the risk of tearing. A polyester thread with a bit of stretch is a good choice for sewing cycling shorts

Can I put side seam pockets on the shorts?

Yes, you can put side seam pockets on shorts. Adding side seam pockets will help you to store and carry small items like your phone, keys, or wallet without having to carry a bag or purse.

To add side seam pockets to shorts, you will need to cut two rectangular pieces of fabric and attach them to the side seams of your shorts. Once the pockets are attached, you can sew the side seams of the shorts, being careful not to catch the pockets in the seam.

Can I sew a waistband on shorts?

Yes, you can. The process of sewing a waistband will vary depending on the type of waistband you choose. There are different types of waistbands you can choose from, such as elastic bands, drawstrings, or button and zipper waistbands. Sewing a waistband onto shorts can be a bit challenging, but with the right tools, techniques, and practice, you can achieve a professional-looking finish.


Sewing shorts at home is not a difficult task. One of the most significant things is to have the right tools and materials, and then you will be able to sew your own shorts.

In this article, we have looked at how to sew shorts at home. You can also customize your shorts with a variety of fabrics and styles.

If you are interested in sewing shorts at home, we recommend starting with a simple design. If you have already made a couple of mistakes and learned from them, try making something more complicated.

As long as you have the right supplies and a little practice, it’s pretty easy to make some shorts for yourself or your family.

If you want to sew unique shorts at home, check out our other articles about shorts sewing patterns!

Happy sewing!