Brown Cord Board Shorts + well defined cuffs tutorial

I have been sooo busy making shorts that I haven’t gotten around to actually blogging about them-oops! The pattern I used is one that I keep going back to over and over: the Big Butt Baby Pants by Made By Rae and the pattern costs just $10 and includes sizes from 0-3months to 2T. I wanted to create a board short style length and I started off with cutting the trouser legs to the length that the pattern suggests if you are adding separate cuffs. I used the US size 18-24 months as that equates to about a 12-18 months in the UK.

I used the “no itch seams” technique in growing up sew liberated to finish off the rear, crotch and inside leg seams. This worked really well as by using a contrast sewing thread (GOTS Organic Cotton Sewing Thread of course!) it produced a lovely double seam on the shorts. Plus it makes the shorts really hard wearing. I used to try and just sew an item as quickly as possible and I figured, well no one is gonna see the inside and anyways you will be able to tell that they are homemade so why bother?! Now that I am getting a bit quicker and learning more techniques, I like to think that the garments I make are actually going to last and I want them to look really good, so that people are surprised when I say that I made them myself. So really focusing on construction techniques makes all the difference!

I finished up the waistband and then tried the shorts on Isaac. By folding up the legs I could guage what I felt to be an aesthetically pleasing length. I took the shorts off (legs still folded up) and measured the inner seam of the leg from the crotch. I double checked this length on Isaac with the tape measure holding it up to the bottom of his nappy. Once satisfied I hadn’t messed it up I added 2 inches to the length and trimmed both legs.

Although I made these shorts out of a Fairtrade organic cotton corduroy (hoping to be stocking a few colours of this in the shop autumn/winter 2012), It is quite a lightweight babycord and I wanted to have well defined cuffs. Here is my quick how to!

  1. Measure the circumference of the leg cuffs
  2. Cut two, one inch wide, strips of medium weight interfacing* to this length
  3. Iron the interfacing onto the bottom of the cuff
  4. Turn the cuff over 1 inch (use the interfacing as a guide) and iron
  5. Turn over one more inch and iron (encasing the raw edge)
  6. Top stitch on the right side of the fabric three quarters of an inch from the bottom (I find it easier to do this if you leave the shorts inside out-see photo above)
  7. Using the presser foot as a guide sew the second line of stitching a quarter inch away from the first line.

*I used Vilene Medium White Iron-on Interfacing (I know it looks like they haven’t changed their packaging since the eighties or something!)

et voila… beautiful cuffs that keep their shape!

I have wondered if I ought to maybe have added a little applique on on of the legs of these shorts, but I think I like them just the way they are!

Here are a few of my favourites so far from the shorts on the line flickr pool

Mom-on-the-go shorts

Polka dot play shorts

Summer Seersucker shorts

One thought on “Brown Cord Board Shorts + well defined cuffs tutorial

  1. July 15, 2012 at 12:45 am

    These are so frickin’ cute!! Love the brown cord, and yes, the nice finishing really makes a difference! I also started out my sewing career too impatient to finish things nicely, and I have also learned from experience that it’s worth it to take your time and do it right. Forget looking “professional” or whatever – you’ll just be more likely to wear and use things you feel good about.

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