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May 01, 2013

How To Make Lace Shorts

This is the second part of making your own lace shorts. First you must sew some basic shorts with a side closure (we will post a simple way to do this soon). Now we can begin layering on the lace.

When buying the lace keep in mind that you want its properties to somewhat match the properties of your short's material. Meaning, if you're shorts are stretchy, make sure you chose a lace that has stretch to it and visa versa.

The best way to determine how much lace you need is to bring a pair of already made shorts, in the same size as the shorts you are making, so you can lay the lace out on them to determine how many layers you will need to cover the shorts and the length for each layer. For the bottom layer or two (depending on the width of your lace), you will need the length around a leg opening, times two (for each leg). The rest you will just need the length around the butt and waist area of the shorts, adding an inch or two extra for seam allowance. I bought 3 different types of lace and doubled the length in one that I used along the top and repeated at the bottom.

I did hand wash and hang the lace to dry before I started so I was sure it wasn't going to shrink once it was sewn on the shorts and washed with them. Be sure to iron the lace after they dry so everything is flat and easy to work with.


Take the shorts that you've started making in Part 1 and fold up and press the bottom hem so you have an idea of where your shorts are going to end and how far past you want your bottom layer of lace to sit. Begin placing your lace down on the shorts to determine the general position and order of it.


Position your bottom layer of lace around one leg, matching the lace edge with the inside edge of the shorts leg. Pin into place then sew the lace to the shorts along the top edge.

Do the same with the other leg however because both the side seam and the crotch seam haven't been sewn closed yet, you'll need to cut 2 strips of lace and sew them in the same position along the bottom of the leg opening.


Once your lace has filled up the leg length, you can begin wrapping the layers all the way around the shorts. Position and pin these layers of lace so that they are just overlapping the top of lace below it and they line up with the side edges of the shorts.

One thing to keep in mind as you transition from the leg lace is that you were running the lace parallel to the leg's hem. When you start on the lace that is being wrapped around the the butt and waist of the short, you want the top edges to line up and be parallel with the waistline. So your lace won't overlap evenly over top of the lace around the legs. But it will still look good once the shorts are on.

Continue to sew your layers of lace on, sewing the top edge of the top layer of lace in line with the top edge/seam of the shorts, being sure to keep the waistband lining up and out of the way while sewing.


Trim the excess lace along the side edges so that you have a nice clean line. Sew from the top down, along that edge so that all of your lace will stay in place when going to put your zipper in.

Do this for the front and back side edges as well as the inside leg edges.

I put a ribbon along the top of the shorts as a finishing detail but to be honest, I wouldn't recommend it ;) Ribbons don't have much give so it didn't fit with the curve of my hips.


Now you are ready to sew the crotch seam closed and put the zipper into the side seam. Follow the video below for sewing the zipper in, she explains it really well.

You'll want the top closure of the zipper to sit just below the top edge/seam of your shorts so that you have room to put a hook and eye closure in, but continue basting the waistband lining closed so that the material above the top zipper closure will be sewn to the waistband lining and folded to the inside of the shorts when finished.


You can now flip the bottom layer of lace up and out of the way so that you can sew the hem.


Fold the waistband lining down, inside the shorts and top stitch so that it stays in place while wearing the shorts. Now you can hand sew the hook and eye closure on, just above the top of the zipper and you're all done!

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