Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bright Shorts from Buttondown Shirts

I've been seeing so many fun-colored bottoms, whether it's colored denim, or a dressier material, like the ones shown in the picture below from DailyLook, that I decided that I had to get my hands on a pair, too.  Then, when I was out shopping, I found a bright pink XL dress shirt for $5, that I knew I could transform into a fun pair of these brightly colored shorts!  Unlike most of my DIY posts, I won't be able to go through and tell you exactly how I made them, but I can try and walk you through how I made mine.


  • Pair of old shorts you can rip up
  • Seam ripper
  • Old pillowcase or paper (to make a pattern)
  • Buttondown shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing materials
  • Use a seam ripper to take apart the seams of an old pair of shorts so that you have 1 front half, 1 back half, 1 upper back half, and you know the thickness of the waistband.
  • Trace these pieces onto an old pillowcase or tracing paper to make a pattern.  It is easier to use these when you're cutting the pieces out of your buttondown shirt than the old pair of shorts, because there is a lot of creasing from where the shorts have been sewn.
  • Using a seam ripper, take out the pieces of fabric holding the buttons and the buttonholes from the buttondown shirt, and set these aside for later.  Then, continue taking apart the rest of the shirt so that you can use it for fabric.
  • Figure out how to get all the needed pieces for your shirts from the buttondown shirt fabric.  You'll need 2 front half pieces, 2 back half pieces, 2 upper back half pieces, and a waistband.  Use your patterns to trace out the different pieces, and cut them out.
  • Sew the front portions together, and then sew all the back portions together (including the upper back and waistband) as if you were reconstructing your old pair of shorts, but do not join the front and back pieces together, yet.
  • Use the buttonhole and button fabric strips you set aside earlier to form the sides of the shorts - this is a difficult step to explain, so it may just take some playing around with to get it the way you want.
  • Once the buttons are on, they are ready to wear!  Enjoy your brightly colored shorts this summer!

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