Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

HelenArden Pants, My Makes, Pattern Hacks22 Comments

Arden Shorts Hack

Summer is right around the corner and I am committing to actually making myself some shorts BEFORE the hot weather hits. thankfully I already have the perfect pattern for the task: our new Arden Pants.

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

I love how the Arden Pants fit around the waist and hips. Just loose enough to be comfortable, but not so much that I feel like I’m swimming. I knew they could easily be adjusted to be the ideal summer shorts, too!

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns
Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns
Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

I made this pair in 7oz linen from Blackbird Fabrics. This is one of my favorite fabrics and I use it allllll the time. It makes perfect Arden Pants and it makes great Arden Shorts too!

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns
Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

I opted to do some contrasting stitching on this pair of shorts so you can see some of the cool details that we have incorporated into the Arden Pants pattern. This design has some jeans finishing techniques that make it an excellent pattern for beginners who are interested in making more pants and eventually, jeans! I actually used copper jeans topstitching thread for this and I love the look!

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns
Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns
Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

How to hack the Arden Pants into shorts:

This hack is pretty straightforward, but the hem is the part to watch out for. If you simply cut off the pants at short height and try to turn under that hem, you will not have enough fabric to sew a flat hem.

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns
Example of cutting and hemming the pants into shorts without considering the angle of the pants.

First, decide how short you want your shorts to be. I decided on a finished inseam of 2.5″. I have since made another pair with a 3.5″ inseam and I think they are even better! You can measure the inseam on an existing pair of shorts in your closet to get an idea of what you might like.

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

Mark your cut line on the back of the pants pattern. Measure up from the hem of the pattern. Mark the cut line that same distance on the front of the pants. Draw your cut lines perpendicular to the grainline.

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

Put some paper in behind your pattern if you have it cut out already and tape it in place (shown above in yellow). We are going to make a 1.25″ hem on our Arden Shorts. Draw a line 1.25″ up from the bottom of the shorts, parallel to the hem. Draw another line 1″ up from the bottom of the shorts.

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

Draw four lines perpendicular to the first two lines, where they intersect with the inseam and side seam of the pants. A quilting ruler is very helpful for drawing perpendicular and parallel lines.

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

Draw two more lines, the first 1.25″ down from the bottom of the shorts pattern piece and the other 0.25″ below that, or 1.5″ down from the bottom of the shorts pattern piece. I know this seems like a lot of lines, but it results in the most accurate hem.

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

Starting at the bottom of the shorts pattern piece on the left side, draw a straight line out to where the left most vertical line intersects with the line that was drawn 1.25″ down. Draw in to where the next vertical line intersects with the bottom horizontal line. Draw straight across to the other side and repeat this zig-zag shape, meeting where the lines intersect.

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

You will have a finished piece that looks like this! Add notches where the hem will fold. When it comes time to hem, turn the hem up 0.25″ and then again 1.25″. The angled shape we made will ensure your hem sits perfectly straight!

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

Repeat this process for the front Arden Pants pattern piece.

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

If you prefer a little more room in the legs of your shorts, no problem! You can straighten out the side seam of the Arden shorts and do less of a harsh angle on the inseam. The shape is up to you!

Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns
Arden Pants Pattern Shorts Hack Helens Closet Patterns

I hope you consider the Arden Pants for your next summer shorts! If you already have the pattern you can easily adapt it and get some extra mileage from this design or other pants patterns. Let me know if you have any questions about the Arden Shorts hack. Happy summer sewing!

About the author

Helen

Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

22 Comments on “Arden Shorts Hack”

  1. Very cute, definitely adding these to my list! How much fabric do you think I’d need for the shorts? Hoping to make a matching Ashton top and want to see if I have enough!

  2. I bought the Arden when it first came out and even have the pattern printed out but have kind of lost my sewjo during this stressful time. But, I’ve got some seersucker I think would make super cute shorts !!! I’m going to get sewing !!!

  3. Thank you so much, Helen!! I’ve been adapting pants to shorts never knowing how to get this bit right.

  4. I love the top, and the fabric you chose for it. May I ask if it was handmade and where the fabric came from? Beautiful outfit.

  5. Love this hack. I was wondering whether it’d be a possibility. And a great stash buster too. I’m considering refashioning a pair of linen pants, that I don’t love, into these. Definitely on my to-do list for October or November – I’m in frosty Canberra, Australia so don’t need shorts just yet.

  6. Hello Helen – thanks for this great shorts hack! I’m a bit of a newbie to pants making, and wondering if/what modifications I might need for the pockets, if I do a 3.5” inseam.

  7. Hi Helen! I love how your shorts turned out! Did you straighten out the side seam and inseam on your pair or did you leave them angled (Same lines as the original pant pattern)?

  8. Pingback: MeMadeMittwoch 5. August 2020 – Sieben Monate in Wales

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *