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Elastic Backed Shorts June 24, 2009

Filed under: sewing — stephres @ 7:02 pm
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I think what I love the most about making Megan’s clothes is that she actually gets clothes that fit. I love that I can customize the outfits for a perfect fit every time. She happens to love elastic waist pants and shorts but I was trying for a more “big-girl” look with the elastic only in the back.

Start with your favorite pants pattern. Mine is Easy Fit Pants by Carla. You can purchase her patterns at This is my absolute favorite pants pattern and it’s the only one I use for both kids. It is super quick and easy.

Anyway, start with your pattern piece and fold down three inches. You are going to add a yoke so you don’t need the extra fabric at the top for the waistband.

Cut out two pieces, as directed. Then you are going to cut out two yoke pieces. The length is 5 inches. The width of the yoke pieces will be the waist measurement plus 6 divided by 2 (for the 2 pieces). Megan’s waist is 22 inches, plus 6 is 28, divided by 2 is 14.  So I cut two yoke pieces, 14 by 5 inches. Basically you want it bigger than the waist but not as big as the pants.

After you have the pants and yoke pieces cut out, line them all up on top of each other. Make sure all the folds are matching and everything is straight. Draw a line with a marking pencil from the where the yoke starts down. I usually start at the top and then stop at the end of the yoke material and draw a diagonal line.

Cut along the line you drew, cutting through four layers of fabric.

So, now you should have four pieces of fabric cut out, two pants pieces and two yoke pieces.

Now put together the pants as directed. You can sew everything except the top so go ahead and sew the front and back, crotch seams, and bottom hem. Don’t sew the wrong side to the right side like I did and it shouldn’t take you that long!

Sew your two yoke pieces together. Because I am using Carla’s pattern, I use a 1/4 inch seam because that is what she directs for the pants. So use whatever seam allowance your pants pattern instructs so they will line up. Iron the seams out flat.

After you do that, fold over and iron wrong side together so you have two raw edges together.

You are going to sew a casing one inch from the folded edge from side seam to side seam. Do not sew it closed.

You might have to play with the elastic length a bit. I used 3/4 inch elastic, at about 8 inches. This works out to be the waist (22 inches) divided by 2.75. I like the safety pin method of threading the elastic through the casing.

 Tack the elastic down by running a stitch at each side seam.

The last step is sewing the yoke to the pants. Just line up the side seams and pin carefully.

Sew and then serge or zig zag stitch around the raw edge. I also like to stitch around the top of the front of the pants and iron and topstitch the seam up toward the yoke. And that’s it: just like a mullet it’s business in the front and party in the back!





19 Responses to “Elastic Backed Shorts”

  1. Cathy P Says:

    Wow…how inventive are you…love the yolk idea with the easy fit! And what an adorable outfit for Megan!!! Love it!

  2. Kelli Says:

    SOOOOO cute!!! I really love the outfit. The shorts look great! Very professional. I choked on my diet coke when you compared these shorts to a mullet…seriously Steph, you never fail to crack me up!!!

    Megan doesn’t look like a happy model…or is she going for the moody pensive shot? She’s so cute!

  3. Jessica Says:

    I LOVE this! I love the entire thing! It it so super cute! The fabrics, the outfits and the elastic waist!! I am going to try this once I have a second!

  4. Mindy Says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Steph you are just sooo smart! I am def. trying this on my next pair of easy fits!

  5. Shannon Says:

    GENIUS! Love this idea – it IS like a mullet!

  6. Teresajoy Says:

    Steph, thanks for the tutorial!! I love the way those shorts turned out! I’m with Kelli though, why does Megan look so down?? She still looks cute, but what did you do to make her so sad! 😉

  7. Heather Says:

    Wow, how cool! Those look so professional! I am going to have to try that.

    I love your humor, Steph. You always crack me up! I am in love with this outfit. I hope Megan outgrows it quickly. 😉

  8. Jeanne Says:

    Love the outfit Steph! Those shorts are great! You are so good at coming up with smart ideas!

  9. Kelly Says:

    Wow Steph! I love ’em. Thanks for the tute. I’m gonna give it a shot!

  10. stephres Says:

    Only from you Heather, would saying that you hope she outgrows it would be a compliment! LOL!

    I’m so glad you guys like it; I hope you can duplicate it too!

    Megan was going for a serious look; I did NOT pinch her Teresa!


  11. ...t. Says:

    Wow Steph! I would never have thought of that. Great idea and excellent tutorial, thanks for sharing w/ us!!

  12. Tammy Says:

    How cute!! and OMG – that mullet comment made me laugh out loud!

  13. Kell Says:

    Steph, love these shorts! I love the flat front, so cute for the older girls. And the mullet, LOVE IT! hahaha Crackin me up over here. Gonna have to give this a try for the Peach this weekend. Thanks!

  14. Mom Says:

    The outfit looks really cute! I love everything about it – the colors, the patterns, the buttons and the adorable little appliques. You are very creative and your sewing skills have progressed tremendously. The topstitching looks great and it’s not easy to get it straight and even.

  15. Amy Says:

    Wow, I LOVE that outfit! I think it may be my favorite one from you ever. Thank you for the tute. I’ve been looking for another more grown-up option for Megan and tried a wide knit waistband recently but that didn’t work as planned. This looks even better.

  16. stephres Says:

    Thanks! Amy, I had been looking for more grown-up ideas too. I was thinking about a knit waistband and was going to tear up one of Megan’s storebought shorts when I decided to try this first. They just can’t wear the never ending ruffles (not to mention that they are not practical for rough and tumble girls). I think this is a perfect compromise, cute but playable!

  17. Stacy Says:

    Thanks for the tute Steph. I cannot wait to try this out. J needs a pair of red pants/jeans for his halloween costume. I refuse to buy red pants that he will never wear again. I bet these will pull it off (much cheaper too)! Love the fabrics in the outfit as well. As always, Megan is a doll!

  18. holly jaycie Says:

    wow!every one of your paterns and inventions are absolutelty amazing!

  19. teresajoy Says:

    I just used this tutorial to make a really cute pair or Mickey Mouse shorts!!! Thanks Steph!

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