Keeping it Short: Quick fix for Shorts

Well, if you’re in Vancouver like me you already know that summer has made an early appearance, and that means we are now officially in shorts weather. Since I have a tendency to overheat in mid winter I need my full roster of shorts at the ready. Time to bust out the sewing machine and make a quick fix for shorts.

Reversed loops – quick fix for shorts

I bought this pair of shorts a year ago at a steep discount – they’re a nice work-appropriate option, and I couldn’t figure out why I got them for such a reduced price. I pulled on all the seams before I bought it and couldn’t find any weaknesses or splits – until recently those are the only defects I ever thought to look for. But since sewing my first garment in the fall I’ve started to notice a lot more about the construction of the clothing around me, so when I pulled these shorts out again for the season I noticed that all of the belt loops had been sewn on backwards. All of them! How weird is that? It’s not a big flaw, and not one that is likely to be noticed by anyone else – frankly no one else is going to pay that much attention to my belt line! But little things matter, and if you can change something for the better you my as well right? I just took the loops off with my handy seam ripper, marked where they came from with chalk, reverse ’em and sew them right back on with a narrow, short zig-zag stitch, these a structural and apt to get stressed so put in a generous number of laps here.

Gap in the back – quick fix for shorts

I got this pair of shorts on impulse a few years back and I fell in love with them immediately, they remind me of fun times in the sunshine and I call them my apocalypse shorts on account of all their strange angles and odd pockets.

The problem is they sit a little low, and the waist to butt ratio is a little high which leaves me with a gap at the back. I considered darts and taking in the seam at the back, but after consulting the collective wisdom of the internet and a few of my sewing friends this little trick of tucking elastic in the waistband seemed like the way to go.

  • On the inner surface of the waistband
  • Mark the length of the elastic with chalk
  • Mark the stretch points (make sure these markings don’t coincide with your belt loops or seams or you’ll make your life a lot more difficult)
  • Cut the outer markings with your seam ripper
  • Attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic and feed it through the waistband
  • Sew the elastic in place and close the opening you’ve made in one step with a wide, short stitch that makes its way back and forth over the length of the hole a couple of times for security
  • Stretch the elastic by bunching up the fabric between your two holes
  • Sew the second hole closed, just like you sewed the first – if you’d aligned it right this will also hold the elastic in place, and the back of your shorts under a slight amount of tension when you wear them
  • Enjoy the greatly reduced southern exposure this quick fix for shorts weather provides!

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