DIY Wrap Shorts with Shirred Waistband

wrap shorts 5I have been seeing this cut of short everywhere this summer. Mostly in a silk satin with lace trim.

I will definitely be making a pair of wrap shorts in the satin and lace at some point in time, but I wanted to try out what this would look like in a plain black fabric.

I took the liberty of buying way more black fabric than needed for my last project so I’ve been playing through many potential projects in my head.

I figured these shorts looked so comfy and pretty that why not have a couple of them.



  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk / pencil
  • Elastic
  • Fabric

This project took a little longer than I had expected. Mostly because I decided to go with a slightly more tedious waistband. I do like the outcome of the waist, but I think next time I’ll be sticking to the regular elasticated waist method.



Part 1: Shorts

To start off I’m showing you how I came up with the general wrap shorts template.

Instruction Layout - wrap shorts


1. First, cut two pieces of fabric approximately 3o cm x 100cm-150cm each.

The height of the fabric (30cm) can be longer or shorter depending on what you prefer.
The length of the fabric will depend on how much overlap you want on the front and back and how much gathering you want as well.

2.  Starting with one piece of fabric, figure out how much overlap you want and use the overlap diagram.

I used an existing pair of shorts as reference.
I basically wrapped the shorts with the fabric piece to figure out how long the length needed to be. 

3. I started with folding the left side (overlap amount) onto the shorts…

4. …Then the right side over the short (completely) and then folding that same side back over (overlap amount) and cut away the excess.

5. Repeat for the other side.

6. Fold one piece of fabric into half.

7. Using the reference shorts, mark the crotch area and cut away excess.

8. Still using the reference shorts, mark the outer curve  shape and cut away excess.

Be sure to make the curve cross the corner of the shorts, this will achieve that curved hem that we want.

Use the cut diagram, if you are unsure.

9. Repeat for the other side.

10. Unfold both pieces and place one on top of the other with right sides of the fabric facing each other… pin the crotch region and sew together… then hem the curved edges.

11. Turn shorts right side out, mark overlap edge.

12. Fold and pin in place, then baste folds in place.

After you have created your short shape, add the waistband.

You can choose to add a regular elasticated waistband or you can choose to use the method I used which creates a shirred effect.

Here are the instructions to making it the way I did. I must pre-warn you that this method can be a little annoying and tedious because of the use of multiple elastics in the waistband.

 Part 2: Waistband

Instruction Layout - wrap shorts shirred waist

1. Prepare the waistband fabric.

Match the length to that of the shorts with a little extra for seam allowance.

Make the width twice your desired waist band width size with a little extra for seam allowance. This is also dependent on tour elastic width and how many strips you intend on having – I made mine 8cm all up with 6 strips for 6mm wide elastic.

The width is twice your desired size so that you can fold it in half, right sides facing out.

2. Sew in the strips which will hold the elastic. Gauge the size off the elastic you have. I sewed 6 strips.

3. Don’t forget to leave gaps in each stitch line to allow for elastic to the threaded through.

4. You can now pin the stripe sewn waist to the shorts.

Remember to pin it to the outside

5. Cut your elastic to size and start threading them through the waist.

I decided to use 3 strips of elastic for the 6 strips on my waist, alternating each section. I didn’t want to thread elastic through all the strips on the waistband.

I also use a safety pin to help me thread the elastic through. 

6. Every time you are done threading one elastic, make a knot to hold them in place

7. Once you are done threading, sew the elastics together and close up all gaps.

8. This is an optional step where I sewed the seam between the waist and short flat on the inside of the short.

I felt like this made it sit better.

wrap shorts3

wrap shorts2

wrap shorts

I know this post is a lot longer than what I usually do. But with this project I felt like more explanation was necessary where the few word notations I normally place on the instructional image wouldn’t have been informative enough.

I do recommend using thinner fabric though. The fabric I used is a little too thick so it tends to bulge a bit around the hips and where the shirring gets quite dense.

Also I think if I made the waist band by folding the shorts fabric down rather than adding a whole new waist piece will also allow for a better flow.

I will definitely be experimenting this cut of wrap short with a few other fabrics and waist methods over time and I will keep you guys posted 🙂

But I hope that this helps! Let me know if there is anything you are unsure about or if I’ve done something weird with the instructions.

LOve <3



15 Replies to “DIY Wrap Shorts with Shirred Waistband”

  1. Thank you! I’ve been looking for a tutorial to make these so I didn’t have to figure it out with trial and error and wasting fabric….haha

  2. I’m so excited I stumbled upon your tutorial! I’ve been looking everywhere for a tutorial for these shorts. I sewed three practice shorts out of cheap fabric last year and they’re either too short, long, or side (talk about awkward air lump on my nether regions). I can’t wait to try this with the fabric I’ve been saving up! Also, is it fine that I just sew an elastic casing and thread elastic through that instead of making the waistband shirred?

    1. Haha! Yea I’ve had my fair share of mess ups with shorts, even the one in this project I feel is a little short :/
      I would recommend doing a practice pair with the pattern you make, expecially if you’re going to use fabric you’ve been saving!
      Also definitely fine to use a normal elastic casing. I was initially going to do that to save time, but the texture fabric was weird so it looked better in the shirred waist. A quick tip though, the softer the fabric the better the outcome is going to be!

  3. oh my you have so many great projects on your site, I was planning to do stuff this afternoon but now I am just looking through your beautiful blog.. woops!

    1. Haha, thanks Gemma! I hope you find some fun projects to try out 🙂

  4. Hi Yin! 😀 I need help with the instructions. Did you trace both the back and front parts of the shorts for each rectangle piece of black fabric? Also, did you trace it the crotch of the reference shorts lined up with the centerfold like in step 7 or the waistband lined up with the centerfold? because the picture in the 3rd step is kinda confusing because I can’t see where the waistband is :/ Thank you for the clarification! 🙂

    1. Hi Danielle, sorry for the late reply.
      Yes each rectangle is like a pant leg. So on one rectangle it will be the front and back for the left leg and the other rectangle the front and back for the right leg.
      Also yes I traced it following the shorts like in step 7. Step 3 is just a gauge to get the correct amount of fabric to get the correct sized rectangles to begin with.
      I hope that helped!!

      1. Love this tutorial!! Only part I’m slightly lost on is the front/ back… Looks like each leg is cut on the fold, so there isn’t an inseam, does that make the crotch the same length and shape for front and back, making these shorts reversible?? (Worn with the overlap in the front or back?)

        1. Hi Amy, thanks!
          Yea these shorts don’t have any inseams or side seams, and yes the crotch is the same back and front so it is reversible 🙂
          Due to the looseness for this type of short, it shouldn’t be noticeable (unless you have a fairly large behind).

          Most of my DIY shorts are reversible (msotly because I’m lazy lol), but if the fabric is very drapey and the shorts quite loose, no one would be able to tell 😉

  5. Thanks for this tutorial! I’ve already made and they are awesome! I used crêpe cloth and it worked perfect. I can’t wait to wear them! Regards from Barcelona!

    1. Oh I’m so happy to hear! If you could upload a pic to FB or insta and tag me that would be great, I would love to see it! If that’s too public for you, just send me a pic via mail at 🙂

  6. Hi! I love this tutorial it’s so cute! I can’t wait to make them. But I want to ask you one thing. How much fabric did you use? I have 1 yard of fabric that I just have laying around and I don’t know if I need to buy more or not…
    Thanks ?

    1. Hi Maddy! I’m so happy you like the tutorial!
      I’m assuming one yard is very close to one meter of fabric. Whether this is enough kinda depends on how wide your fabric is and how long you would like your shorts to be. If you can do the folds as shown with the given width and its enough for you to have two strips for two sides and the waist, then I would say it is enough. I’m pretty sure I didn’t use more than 1 meter of fabric, but the width of the fabric I used would have been around 1.2 – 1.4m.
      I hope that helps!

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