DIY Sewing Magic: How to Make Shorts from a Shirt Easily

Today, Kitty and I are going to show you how to refashion DIY shorts from a shirt because it’s the end of the summer and we need to sneak in some summer clothing on the blog. Jersey shorts are awesome if you are lazy, like us. I hate wearing nice clothes when it’s hot outside, and Kitty hates going outside because the outside is a scary place. Try to find the largest t-shirt that you can, and if necessary, use two t-shirts.

DIY Shorts From A Shirt

Most of the time, I lounge around in moo-moos. Kitty just lounges around. Man, I wish I was a house cat. But only if my owner was, well, me. Then again, I make him model for silly clothing that I make him from my refashion scraps, hahaha.

But, I digress. My moo-moos. Well, they are what I call moo-moos, but I actually think they are just nightgowns. Yes, I told you that I was lazy. Moo-moos are the ultimate in lazy women’s wear. I modified mine so they are little more form fitting, but they are still moo-moos.

What do moo-moos have to do with jersey shorts? Well, jersey shorts are just as lazy. You can wear them with a t-shirt (try one of these totally awesome t-shirt refashions), you can wear them to workout at the gym (the reason I made these), or you can wear them to bed if you are ultra lazy, like me. I decided that after studying three months for the bar exam, I can afford to be lazy for a while. Enter: the step-up from a moo-moo, the jersey short.

Start with this plain man’s t-shirt. I’m going to make workout shorts, so I don’t mind the bright color. You can also make loads of kid’s shorts this way, too.


1/2 off day at Salvation Army. Shorts for $1. I love it.


Take a pair of sweat pants, and fold them in half lengthwise. Make sure you fold where the crotch seams are, as evidenced here.


Here we are, folded in half. See the crotch seams? This is important, because the front and the back are different. (This is the back.)

Trace with pencil on freezer paper. Freezer paper is the holy grail of pattern making. I had trouble with finding freezer paper (some stores sell it, and some stores do not). I recommend Reynolds Freezer Paper, available on Amazon.

And go over that with sharpie, smoothing out the lines. I also put a bottom line for the bottom of the shorts.

Make two copies.

Fold your sweats over, and trace the front. See how the two sides are different? You can tell in the curve part.

Match the tops of the front and the back seams, and then put a line at the bottom (for the bottom of the shorts of the front side).

I took the sleeves off to make it easier to work with.

And I cut the top and sides, to make two different panels of material.

Iron a front and a back on each panel, and cut.

Pin the two backs together.

And sew.

A note, here. If you are using a patterned shirt, you will want to make sure that you iron the templates properly so that you don’t use the inside of your jersey shirt for one half of your shorts. Eww, not good.

Repeat with the front side.

Pin the front to the back and sew. Please note that the front will be wider than the back. That’s how pants are. Sorry for the blue. My photoshop stuff needs a little tweaking haha.

Pin the crotch together. To do this, start with the crotch seams and pin that, then pin the sides.

Sew together. Make sure to back-stitch on the crotch seam for extra support. We don’t want any holes forming there. 🙂 These refashion jersey shorts are coming together quite nicely.

I now cut the bottom of the shorts to make them even. You aren’t going to make a perfect pattern. That’s for professional people with more time on their hands, or people who want to spend $23582305 on a pattern.

We’re going to press the top stitch seams open.

Fold and press the top.

On the front of the pressed band you just made, open a hole and stitch two spots. You see, I totally don’t know how to make a button hole, otherwise I’d show you. So I hacked it.

Sew the waist band together.

Extra pile of scraps from our project.

Cut out a U shape piece from it.

And streeeeetttttttttttccccccccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it out.

Loop in that hole you made.

Wear and enjoy, and bask in your creative goddess.

The Final

Would you wear these DIY shorts from a man’s t-shirt? And do you think Kitty is going to murder me in my sleep for making him wear this headband?

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