Scalloped + Lined Shorts

What’s more fun than a pair of KID Shorts?

How about shorts with a dainty scalloped hem?
That are fully lined??

I’m so happy to finally get this project out of my head and down on paper!….or fabric…and to see it bounce around on Lucy.  They’re just so girly and sweet.

This post is one of many tutorials that accompany the KID Shorts Pattern, which you can purchase HERE in the SHOP.

You do not need our pattern to sew these shorts but it’s recommended.
If you’re using a different pattern, or if you’ve created your own pattern, follow along with the instructions and make shorts with us!

And check out all the variations we’ve made by clicking a button below:
Now before we get started, let me share this…

It took me four tries to get these just right.
I started out thinking, oh, easy! I’ll just add a lining, cut semi-circles on the bottom, voila.
And then I learned a few things along the way.
And was reminded once again that sewing doesn’t always work out as we intend, even when we’ve been sewing for years AND using our own pattern.  But the good news for you is that now I’ve worked out all the kinks!
And your scalloped shorts are going to be fantastic.

Sew a Basic pair, a Flat Front style, roll them up, wear them down.
It’s all up to you.
And the lining inside makes them look totally professional and awesome.  Your friends are going to know you have mad sewing skills.

Okay grab your pattern and let’s get started!

For these shorts we need an Outer layer of fabric and a Lining layer. 

Feel free to use whatever fabrics spark your interest.  But I find that when sewing with a lining, it’s best to consider the weight of the two fabrics and let them balance each other out.
For instance…
If my outer fabric is a bit heavier, I tend to use a lightweight fabric for the lining.
If the outer fabric is lightweight (like this mocha dotted swiss in the shorts above) I a heavier, medium weight fabric for the lining to give the shorts more structure.
And sometimes I use Outer and Lining fabrics that are the same weight (like the peach and gold broadcloth I’m using here).
It’s all a balancing act, and not an exact science.  So just have fun and learn along away.
Select your two fabrics  and remember to always pre-wash and dry before sewing.

Now let’s move to step one:

(refer to the photos above)
Please note, if you’ve never sewn shorts before, these instructions are based on the original Basic Shorts Tutorial. But I’ll walk through all of the steps here again.

To make the scallops on the hem flow best on these shorts we’re going to omit the side seams and instead, cut the Front and Back piece as one large piece.   So, take your two pattern pieces and overlap them 3/8 of an inch at the side seam and lightly tape them together.  Now you have one larger pattern piece, as shown above.

To cut your fabric pieces, fold your fabric in half (as we’ve done in other Shorts tutorials) and cut out two mirror image pieces from the Outer fabric (mirror image means they’re opposite of each other; reflecting each other).

Then lay your Outer pieces on the Lining fabric and cut two mirror images as well.  This ensures that you’ll get a very precise cut—so the Outer and Lining layers are the exact same size (and so there’s less room for any inconsistencies)

It’s important throughout this project (and any project that deals with a lining) to be very precise with your cutting and seam allowances.  This doesn’t mean you can’t make adjustments to the pattern….but you just need to work as accurately as you can so the Lining fits perfectly inside the of the Outer.

With your pattern pieces cut, we’re going to make a few trims:
• Cut 1 inch off from the bottom hem of the outer and lining layers (since we won’t be hemming them like we normally do this time around).
• Cut 2 inches off from the TOP hem of the lining layers only (since this layer will be tucked into the waistband of the outer layer)

• If you’re making a pair of Flat Front scalloped shorts, go ahead and cut your Front and Back pieces separately, then sew the side seam, presss flat, and move on to the next step with us…..

There are a few key points to good-looking scallops:
• Subtle is best.  You don’t need deep scallops or they will end up looking more like triangles. Short and wide scallops are best.
• It looks good when the scallops start and stop at the side and crotch (I’ll explain more below)
• Small seam allowances are best.  I like to use a 1/8 inch seam allowance on the scallops so they stay more true-to-shape that I’ve cut out.

Okay. Let’s draw your scallops.

Place each Lining piece over the Outer piece, with right sides of the fabric together.  If you’re sewing with solid-colored fabric, there’s not really a wrong or a right side.  But you’ll need to keep track of which side IS wrong/right.  So make a tiny mark at the edge of the fabric to help you remember.

(refer to the photos above)
• Draw a straight line (on the wrong side of the fabric) a 1/2 inch from the bottom edge of the fabric.
• Place a mark at the very middle of the line (fold the fabric in half to find this point).  This is the “side seam” of the shorts and where we will start drawing our scallops.
• Use a small bowl or cup to trace scallops around the bottom edge.  Use a cup that allows you to trace 2 or 3 scallops on the front of the shorts and 2 or 3 on the back.  It looks best to have the same amount of scallops on the front and back.
• Start tracing the scallops from the middle point and work out toward the crotch.  ONLY draw/trace between the half-inch line marking and the bottom of the fabric.  This will create subtle scallops.  If you want deeper scallops, draw your line at 3/4 of an inch or even an inch from the fabric edge. But after making 4 pairs of these shorts, I really like the 1/2 inch point best.
• If you get to the inseam side and there’s a bit of space left, don’t start another scallop.  Just leave the remaining line flat and cut it flat.  It will look nicer than having a remnant of a scallop pointing down into the crotch.
• When your scallops are drawn, carefully cut one set of the Lining/Outer fabrics at the same time.  It’s important to be precise with your cutting and make your curves look as rounded as you can.
• When you’re done, flip the whole thing over and lay it on the other set of Lining/Outer fabrics.  Trace and cut so each side is exactly the same.

And our prep work is done!
Now we can actually sew…..

(refer to the photos above)
• With right sides of the fabric together, fold each Outer piece in half and sew each leg together at the inseam, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.
• Press your seams open and then sew/press the Lining pieces the same way.

(refer to the photos above)
• Set the Lining aside and now we’re only going to sew the crotch seam of the Outer layer.
• With right sides together, place one leg inside of the other leg, line them up at the inseam, pin them together.
• Then sew all the way around with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.
• Press your seam open flat.
• Turn your shorts right-side out.

(refer to the photos above)
• Take one of the Lining pieces and with right sides together, pull it on over the Outer shorts.
• Line it up at the inseam and match the scalloped edges up so they fit together perfectly.
• Pin the two layers together around the scallops (pin liberally so nothing shifts when you sew).
• Then sew around the scalloped edge using a 1/8 inch seam allowance.
Such a small seam allowance means there’s less room for error. So work slowly, remove each pin as you go, and lift your presser foot periodically to allow your fabric to “bounce back” and pivot your fabric as needed.  The more precise you with this step, the better your scallops will look.  Just follow the curved edge of your fabric to make your scallops look as curved as possible.

• When you’re done sewing, carefully clip the seam where two scallops come together. I like the clip the fabric three times in these spots.  Do not cut into your seam!
• Turn the whole thing right-side out and push the Lining leg down inside the Outer leg.
• Then use your finger and a butter knife (or other object) to help push the scallops into place, so the curves look nice.
• Press each scallop flat.
• Then repeat all these steps with the other leg of the shorts!

They’re starting to look like shorts!
Let’s finish off the Lining layer inside.

(refer to the photos above)
• Turn your shorts INSIDE out (it’s important that they’re inside out at this point or your Lining will get stuck)
• Now pull the Lining legs out so they’re also inside-out looking (top left photo)
• Then match the crotch seams up, with right sides together and pin them together, all the way around the crotch.  This can feel awkward at first, but make sure you have the fabric right sides together!
• Sew down the entire crotch seam using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.  when you get to the bottom of one side, just pull the fabric out from under and continue sewing (bottom right photo.  This will make more sense as you’re sewing).

Now let’s finish off the waistband!
First use your hands to smooth both layers out and pin the two layers together so there are no “air pockets” or pleats between the two layers (similar to pinning layers of a quilt together before quilting over the top of the fabric):

(refer to the photos below)
• Then just as we’ve done in our other shorts tutorials, iron the edge of the waistband over 1/2 inch all the way around, then iron it over another 1 1/4 inches all the way around, so it encloses the raw edge of the Lining layer.
• Pin the waistband in place, marking a start and stop point about 2 inches wide at the back of the waistband for the elastic to come in and out.

Note: if you’re making Flat Front Shorts, follow the waistband directions in that tutorial.

• Start sewing at the start point and sew all the way around to the stop point, leaving an opening.  Sew about 1/8 inch from the folded fabric edge.

And here’s a tip for getting the waistband as flat as possible: 
Use your left hand to continually PULL the fabric up and to the left.  This will evenly distribute the fabric in the waistband.

Final step here!
• String your elastic through the waistband till it comes out the other side.
• Make sure the elastic is not twisted inside in the waistband
• Overlap the two ends of the elastic and sew them together a couple times with a zigzag stitch.
• Sew the opening closed.

And you’re done!

To add a faux tie to the front, grab some twill tape, cording, ribbon, fabric, whatever!….and tie a small bow.
Then sew hand sew it to the front layer of the waistband.

For added fun, you can expose the Lining of your shorts by rolling up the hem and ironing it in place.
To really keep it in place, tack the hem in a few places by hand-sewing the Lining to the other layers underneath.

Now let’s go bring back summer!….the summer of scallops.

You can purchase the KID Shorts pattern HERE in the SHOP (and you can read extra pattern details HERE.)

KID Shorts PDF Pattern – $8

  1. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you … I will be making these for both of my girls this summer. I have your shorts pattern and LOVE it, and believe it or not I actually tried to make a pair of scalloped edged shorts as a variation last year, but failed miserably and ended up with puckered, uneven-looking non-semi-circles. I ended up chopping them off and just hemming the shorts (with maybe some cursing and wailing thrown in for good measure!) So excited to give this a go … now to choose the fabric! Yay!!

  2. 3) Nancy

    So fun and feminine, I want a pair too!

  3. so cute! they look amazing! and I know how you mean about things not coming out like you hope, but keeping trying and finally getting it right in the end is the best feeling. 🙂

  4. Eee! Dana, those taupe shorts with the fold up cuff are gorgeous. The color! The contrast! The modern-but-still-old-school lines of it all! Absolutely lovely.

    • 6) Dana

      Thank you LiEr! Always fun to see a comment from you 🙂

  5. These are so amazing, that I am going to have to whip up a pair! I’ve had this pattern for a year, and still haven’t used it lol I think these scalloped lovelies are called for 🙂 great job Dana!

  6. 8) Marie perry

    YES! I want to scallop all the things!! 😀

  7. I can’t get over how much I love these! Especially the cuffed up scallop, how genius! Thank you so much for joining shorts on the line!

  8. 10) Penny

    Love, Love, Love these. Always excited to receive notice of a new posting on your blog – your pictures and written word are great to follow along when sewing.
    I HAVE TO BUY THIS PATTERN so I can sew all these cool looking shorts that everyone else is making! So many fun options. Now if I can just get my sewing room clean!
    Thanks for teaching us how to make these. Have a great day.

  9. 11) karla

    One of my favorite things about your blog is literally watching Lucy grow up through pictures. What a doll.

    • 13) Dana

      Thank you Anne! I love popping up on Craft Gossip 🙂

  10. soooooo cuuuuuute!!! i tried to make lined shorts once and it was a total fail; way to wrap your brain around it and thanks for the tutorial! also – that lucy, she’s a cutie.

    • 15) Dana

      hahah. Thanks Kristin!

  11. 16) Jennifer

    Woooow…this is so beautiful.Thanks for sharing.

  12. Yay!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  13. oh my goodness they gray polk-a-dots shorts are absolutely adorable. LOVE them!
    you are amazing!

  14. 19) Robin

    Wow! Those are SUPER CUTE!

  15. Cute + whimsical…can’t beat that combo!

  16. 22) Susan R.

    These shorts are so cute with the scalloped edges. I want a pair for myself. 🙂

  17. 23) bleu

    fancy, pretty, LOVE! Thanks for the instructions too. It would be great material to put in your new video channel! 😀

  18. 24) sunita

    Loved this Pattern to bits. Please do more videos as well. My daughter and I love watching your videos. She is barely 3 but loves to see your easy skirt video over and over and over.

  19. 25) seoy

    so adorable! Thank you so much for all the instructions. I’m trying to learn how to make my daughter’s clothings and all your instructions are so helpful.

  20. 26) Sara

    When sewing the crotch seam, they don’t line up. I also can’t tell from the pic how you lined them up. The directions just say “line up” but that’s not what mine are doing. Do I pull the inner one up to reach the top of the outer leg?

  21. 27) Isabel

    I love the scalloped hem. I am going to try this on a skirt for my 4 year old.

  22. 28) Pat Hunsucker

    So arre the crotch seam of outer and lining sewn twice? Once separately and once again together?

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