So if you guys don't know by now I love re-coning old button down shirts. I love how they are crafted and they add for a lot of flare when re-coned. I've made things from rompers, dresses and baby jackets out of button downs. And alot of you have been asking for tutorials. So I whipped this baby's up today and took snapshots along the way. The tutorial is long but they take about twoish hours to make, you'll have these simple hot shorts in no time. And no one will know that you made them yourself!!
[Mind you this is my first tutorial that I have ever done so feed back is great if any improvements need to be made]
Here is what the final project looks like:
-button down that is pretty big in size [can be either long sleeve or short it doesn't matter, I used a short sleeve for this one]
-a pair of shorts/pants you own that you can slip on [pj pants work great for this]
-iron and ironing board
-long shoe lace (optional)
Take your seam ripper and remove all front pockets and set aside for later. Lay out your button down shirt flat with button's up on a flat surface. Fold your shorts or pants that you own in half so the right side is in the front. Pull the crotch outward. With the legs together, you're going to use this as your pattern.
Lay your short/pants on top of the button down. Make sure that the buttons line up in the middle of the shorts. Now we're going to mark our leg pattern. You want to add 3" to the bottom of the shorts to allow for the cuff and add 1.5" to the top and you want to add 1.5" to the sides for seam allowance. [The shorts that I used were too short for my liking so I extended the bottom to my desired length than added 3"] After it's all been marked cut your piece out.
a) We are now going to use this leg for rest of the pieces. Lay this piece on top of the shirt again and trace it and cut out the piece. It's okay if you run into an already seamed line it gives the shorts really cool flare.
b) Now take either one of those pieces and flip it over and place it on the button down [the right sides should be facing each other]. By flipping the piece over you're creating the other side of the leg. Trace the piece.
Now we need one more of those to complete our pieces, repeat the last directions, now you'll have something like this [plus one more piece that's set aside so 4 in total]:
c) cut out your pieces
a) We are now going to make the pocket for the front left side of the shorts. Find the piece that J's in to the right when right side is facing up (you'll have two of these either one will work). We are now going to measure out our pocket length. Lay the piece flat on the ground. Take your measureing tape and eyeball how far in you want your pocket and how far down. [I liked mine at 6"x8" but do it to your liking, I also pinned up the bottom to where the cuff will roughly go so I could get a better measurement]
b) Add 1" to your measurements and mark the rectangle on the shirt and cut it out. If you have plaid you can get creative here and cut it so the plaid is diagonal.
c) Place the rectangle on your top left corner of your shorts. Mark where you would like your opening to go on the top band and the side. Then cut it off adding 1/2" to the mark for hem allowance
d) we're now going to hem the what will be opening of the pocket. Fold over the now diagonal piece of your rectangle. Now sew it down. you want to get as close as you can to the folded part of the hem. Once you have done that you're going to sew another line about 1/4" underneath that one. This creates a double stitched and finished look
e) next we're going to sew the pocket on the the piece. fold over you're right edge and bottom edge and pin to the shorts. You only have to do these edges because the other to will be sewn in later.
d) Now sew them onto the shorts using the double stitching again. [so stitch really close to the folded edge all around then go back and stitch again 1/4" away from the first stitch] I know double stitching can be a pain but in the end it gives it a finished look. This is what the pocket will look like when sewn on.
a) Yay, we're now ready to assemble our shorts! You should have four pieces that look like this
Now match up your pieces, take your piece with the buttons down the middle and pair it up with the piece that when flipped over to the wrong side, matches. So when you lay them wrong faces together they line up. Do this to the other two pieces as well.
b) take one match and place the pieces right side together and pin at the side without the curve. repeat that step with the other match
c) sew the pinned side together (for both 'sets') leaving a 1/2" seam allowance, this is seam allowance is extremely important.
d) Time to get out that iron! Once both 'sets' are sewn we need to iron the extra fabric from our seam flat against the inside of our shorts. This is important because we'll be sewing the extra fabric to our shorts and we need it nice and flat. Also ironing will open up our seam line making a more professional look in the end. So, lay one of the pieces on the ironing board wrong side facing up to you. Now take your iron and iron both 1/2" pieces of the extra seam fabric to the right side and pin it to the shorts. Repeat on other piece. [we're not done with the iron quite yet so don't turn it off]
e) We now have the extra fabric pinned to the side on both pieces, time for more double stitching! Flip the piece over so the right side if facing you and double stitch the extra fabric down [so top stitch once as close as you can get to the left side of the seam, then top stitch again 1/4" away from that line] Remember this is really important if you're going for a professional look. Repeat this on the other piece. In the end both of your pieces should look like this
a) Promise we're getting closer to the light at the end of the tunnel! Take your two pieces and lay them right sides together and pin at both sides of the curve. We will be sewing both curve lines together. [I marked in chalk where we will be sewing, this isn't necessary] When sewing the curves together allow a 1/2" seam allowance
b) Once the curves are sewn together we're going to sew up the crotch. So with one hand pinch one of the double stitched side and with the other hand pinch the other side and pull your hands apart, your shorts will now look like shorts.
c) Now line up the crotch (it will be like a v) make sure the right sides are still facing each other. Pin it together and we're going to sew the 'v' up. [once again I marked in chalk where we're going to sew, not needed] Allow a 1/4" seam allowance because we don't need to double stitch this seam up.
d) back to the ironing board!. We are now going to iron our extra seam fabric [the curves we sewn just prior to this in step 5a, not the crotch seam we just sewed]. So go back to your iron. You want the front of the shorts seam to be ironed to the right and the back of the shorts seam ironed to the left. This will make sure that when we double stitch them they are laying on the same side. Iron and pin [still not done with the iron]
e) Once you are done with that bring the shorts back to your sewing machine, turn the shorts so they are right side out and double stitch the seam line. You're going to sew from front to back passing through the crotch.
You're shorts should now look like this