paper bag shorts DIY

Here it is, y’all. The eagerly anticipated paper bag shorts DIY!
I tweeted about it a looooong time ago and finally got around to making (and tweaking!) another pair to post on the blog!
I created these shorts based on the Paper Bag Skirt tutorial that so many of you have fallen in love with.
These shorts are so fun to make & wear and can be easily fitted to any size.. as long as you’ve got a pair of shorts to use as a pattern.
Don’t like the paper bag portion? don’t do it! Its so easy to just make a simple elastic waist!
things you’ll need:
a pair of loose-fitting shorts that are a good length and comfortable to you.
1″ elastic
about a yard of fabric
sewing machine//thread
leave your fabric folded from the bolt and turn your shorts inside out laying them with the front of the shorts on top of the fabric. Leaving about 1/2-3/4″ for seam allowance, cut out the shorts. Leave 6″ extra on top and 2″ extra on bottom.
Do the same for the back of the shorts.
these are what your pieces will look like cut out. 
If you have a serger, now would be a good time to use it. If you don’t, go ahead and finish your seams as you see fit!
Grab a front and a back that match up and pin them right sides together down the long end & sew.
pin the inner leg and sew. 
Repeat these steps for the other side of the shorts.
When you have the outer seam and the inner leg seams sewn, turn one leg right sides out and stick it inside the leg that is inside out.
align the inner leg seams and pin all the way around the crotch. its a U shape. 
now they look like clown shorts 😉
flip your shorts inside out again and fold the waistband down about 3″. Press in place.
Sew along the edge almost all the way around the waistband, leaving about a 2″ opening for the elastic.
Measure up about 1.25″ and sew a line all the way around the top of the waistband.
Using a safety pin, insert the elastic into the casing you have created. When the elastic has reached the other end, sew a zigzag stitch over the elastic ends to keep them together and then finish the casing with a straight stitch.
Don’t forget to hem your shorts to the desired length!!
For a different (not so high-waisted) look, only cut 4″ up from your original shorts. These will fit lower on your waist (like below)


11 thoughts on “paper bag shorts DIY

  1. SO so cute! I’m crazy jealous of your sewing skills. Bookmarking this page for once I learn to sew a straight line. 🙂

  2. hello!! i just discovered your site, thanks to sewliberated. your shorts are lovely and i’m gonna give them a try. thank you so much so showing how to create a pattern from existing shorts and without taking them apart.

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