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Surfer Shorts Tutorial

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By Rajendora @ Sewing Box Designs

Rajendora designed these shorts to pair with her Beach Shirt.

In California, and I’m sure everywhere there are waves, surfers wear everything from cut-off jeans to wet suits, but the iconic ‘surfer baggies’ are always somewhere on the beach. This is a good pattern for beginners because it can be the stepping stone for other pants, and it’s very simple. If you know what a fat quarter is (18 by 22 piece for quilters),  it takes less than one for these shorts for the 1/3 and 70 cm doll sizes. I used cotton batik and pieced the bottom contrasting color. You can add in contrast with side stripes, diagonals or anywhere, then cut out your pattern for a quick cheat.

To make the pattern, first you measure around your doll’s hips at the widest part and add at least 2 inches to that measure. Then measure from waist to knee and add two more inches. Cut out a rectangle with those measurements, and fold it in half length wise. Pin it together half way down the side with a 1/4 inch ‘seam’ to make a fabric tube. Don’t tape, you’ll be flattening the paper after.

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Then slide the pattern tube onto your doll as snugly up his legs as you can. (Some of these guys can be rather a much in the junk, so just remember, surfer baggies don’t fit tight.) Pinch a half inch on the side at the widest part of his hips, and leave room at the waist. Remember these are pull-ons, you don’t want them skin tight for this part.

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Draw a line up the front and back of the pattern piece as shown. You can see it’s a bit longer than the finished pattern needs to be, but that’s because you lose a bit over the curves of the bottom and front, and you want to be prepared with that extra. (Especially for EID and Soom, they have a lot in the booty.) Then slide the pattern paper down off your doll’s leg and flatten it out. Add a half inch seam allowance top and bottom, and 1/4 for the front and back of the crotch seam. Now trim off the excess paper and your pattern is ready to use.

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Cut out your two leg pieces pieces, and pin and sew the front and back crotch seams. I used my zig-zag stitch to over lock the raw edges. (And you can see the edges of the add-on contrast have been done the same way.)

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Spread, match up the crotch seam, and pin and sew your inseam. If this is for a smaller doll, hem the shorts 1/2 inch first, then sew the inseams. The sample was for a big doll, so I hemmed them after sewing the inseam.

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You’ll want at least a 1/2 inch top seams for the tie string casing. At this point if you want to use elastic, leave an opening, but I was going for authentic board shorts with a tie string so I sewed it close.

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I use a tapestry needle and some cord to make the tie string. I doubled it because it’s a bit thin. You can also use 1/8 ribbon.

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Tie a knot on one end of the string and carefully work your needle into the fabric casing about 1/8 of an inch from the front seam. Tapestry needles have a sort of dull point, so you can us it like a bodkin to work the string around, but it will poke through a few times until you get the hang of it.

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When you’ve got your string all the way around, poke it through and pull your string out 1/8 from the seam on the other side of the front. Put the shorts on your doll and tie a bow, and see how much string you need. Cut and tie another knot. Usually two knots on top of each other is enough to secure the string.

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And you’re done! ^_^ Later on, you can split the pattern down the side for side seams and put a waist band on and so forth. You can make simple pants, cargo shorts, or tighten the pattern and use knit fabric, experiment with what you know and have fun!

 

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