PJ Summer Shorts Tutorial


These were made for Gemma my beautiful step daughter (hate how that sounds so distant) any way I needed something that was small, lightweight and easy to post to Ireland.  So after discovering this left over Ikea curtain material I thought they would make a cute pair of PJ shorts. I found the Pattern at EHow which is for the easy boxer shorts by the very talented Jessica Abbott from The Sewing Rabbit.  This is a great pattern because it has sizes XS to XXL. My version is slightly different in that I didn’t use elastic choosing ribbon as a drawstring waist and I added a little turn up to the hems and the sweet little bow detail all without altering the pattern 🙂 So lets get started.

What you’ll need :


Beads are optional and add a little extra detail to the bows at the hem.

You can overlock the seams to make these even faster but I chose to do a french seam which I think is prettier with fine fabrics. If you have never done a french seam before it can seem a bit like going against the norm because you start sewing with the right side of the fabric facing up. But bare with me its really simple once you get the hang of it.

How to:

1.Place fabric on the fold and cut 2 pairs of the front and back.

2. With wrong sides together lay the front pieces on to the back pieces, matching at the side seams (the longest edge) and sew. do this to the inner seams (shorter edge) also. Now comes the french bit.


3. Trim away very close to your stitched line. Do this for all the seams you have just sewn.


4. Now turn through so you have your wrong sides facing up. and sew about 1cm away from the edge. Make sure to trap all the raw edges inside this seam.  Turn right side out and voila you have your french seam.  Do this to all the seams you have just sewn.  The picture below shows what it will look like from the inside.


5.Now we just have to do the ‘rise’ which is the seam that runs up the middle from the front to the back. I like to do this all in one go by placing one of the leg pieces inside the other and sewing with one continuous seam.  Because we are doing a french seam we will be sewing on the right sides first. So take one of the leg pieces and turn inside out and place inside the other which will be right side up matching at the inner leg seams and pin. Notice that the wrong sides will be together. Now start sewing from the top of the front all the way down to the crotch and back up in one go. Repeat steps 3 & 4 to complete the french seams.


Turn through to the right side and they will now be resembling a pair of unflattering shorts at this stage but don’t worry that’s all going to change with the final details.

turn up

You can just hem the shorts but I have added a 1cm turn up.

picof hemming

Press, pin and sew your hem and we are ready for the waistband. Turn a 1cm hem over to the right side of you waistband and sew.


Fold over another 2 cm and press. Locate the centre front of the shorts using the ‘rise’ seam as your guide. You will want to leave a gap to pull the ribbon through so place a pin 5 cm away from the centre front in both directions. Continuing pinning from these two points around to the back and sew.

IMG_0681 - Version 2

With this gap you have created take the ribbon and pull it through. You can use a pin to attach to one end of the ribbon and pull through.  I used the end of my tape measure an pinned the ribbon to it as it has a rigid point. (and yes I was a bit lazy to search for a large pin).


Finally touches, add the small bows to the hem and attach a little pearl bead or a button. Your shorts are finished.


With the holiday season coming these would be perfect made in a different material like a cool cotton or in a linen. If you get stuck at any stage just leave a message in the comments. Good luck 🙂


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