TUTORIAL: ruffled shorts for toddlers

I am enjoying so much making the ruffled shorts that I have decided to share a tutorial, so you can do a last pair of shorts before summer ends. This is my first tutorial ever and for the occasion I will write it in double language (english and italian)…so it will be a looooong post :)

ruffle shorts 1


  • 1 yard of fabric
  • Trimming if you decide for version B
  • Elastic
  • Parsley Pants pdf pattern, or any other shorts pattern you may have
  • Scissors, pins



Trace the pattern and cut the fabric. Refer to this Rae’s tutorial to see how to trace the shorts pattern from the original one. At this point you have to choose the length of your shorts: do you like really shorts or more culottes style?

tutorial 1

Sew the center seams and the legs as per point 1 and 2 of Rae’s instructions (I usually finish the seam with pink shears, but you can use the method you prefer)

tutorial 3

For the waistband I usually go for the flat-front one. Sew the casing but do not insert the elastic yet. I prefer to leave this stage for later in the sewing, so my shorts lay flat when I have to cut them (see next step)

Fold the shorts on the side, like in the picture below. Now you can revise one more time the length of the shorts, be sure is the final one

tutorial 5

Mark on the fabric a semi-arc, going from the inner seam of the legs until the side. The height of the semi-arc is up to you, it depends on the final effect you want to obtain. I went up of about 3 inches

tutorial 6

Cut the fabric

tutorial 7

If you use the same fabric (version A), take the arc you just cut at the bottom and place it on your fabric. Cut the same shape but a bit longer, I made +4” on each side, as show in the picture. Of course more you add length to the base of the arc, more the ruffle has to be gathered to meet the circumference of the leg and it will be wider; if you add less, the ruffle will be less gathered. Here is your choice about the final effect you want to obtain.

tutorial 8

If you chose the version B, you need to mesure the width of the leg, cut the trim +8” longer (or more or less, the same as for the fabric version). If your trim is high enough as was mine, you can replicate the arc on it, if not, keep like it is.

tutorial 9

Gather one arc of fabric or trim, pin it to the leg. Overlap the two end of the fabric or trim at the inner seam for a cleaner effect

tutorial 10

tutorial 12

tutorial 11

Stitch with ¼” seam allowances. Take out the gather stitches. Repeat for the other leg. Now insert the elastic in the casing and voila’.

ruffle shorts 3

Please leave in the comment your feedback, I would like to hear from you and have suggestions.


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