There’s nothing like a cool summer evening to get us in the mood for a run. It doesn’t matter what your chosen exercise is, a good pair of lightweight gym shorts are a must for hot days. Luckily our good friends from The New Craft House have given us this free gym shorts pattern that’s perfect for your workouts. The pyjama-style cut of the shorts, stretchy elastic and soft cotton fabric means they’re breezy for summer and so comfortable. Pick two playful, contrasting prints to whip yours up, or keep it minimal with solid colours. And, you could easily adapt this project to any size by using your current gym shorts as templates.
If you’re new to sewing don’t worry you can still make these gym shorts. We have a complete guide to sewing for beginners as well as a tutorial on how to use a sewing machine. If you’re after another free gym shorts pattern check out the The Purl Bee‘s City Gym Shorts pattern!
You will need:
- 1.5m (591/8″) Cotton + Steel Snap to Grid Terrazzo in Grey (Fabric 1) (ours was from The Fabric Fox)
- 1.5m (591/8″) Cotton + Steel Basics Add It Up in Taffy (Fabric 2)
- 1.5m (591/8″) elastic, 2.5cm (1″) wide
- Matching sewing thread
Free gym shorts pattern
You Will Need
- Sewing machine
Next, on the front leg pattern piece, draw a smooth curve starting 2.5cm (1″) away from the crotch line at the top and curving down to join the hemline 2.5cm (1″) away from the outside leg. Cut along this line so the front leg is now made up of two pieces: the outer leg curve is called Front Leg 1 and the inner leg curve (with the crotch line) is called Front Leg 2.
Fold Fabric 2 in half along the grain, with right sides (RS) facing. Lay the three pattern pieces out on the fabric. You can weigh them down with pattern weights or pin them in place. Cut around each piece, leaving a 1.5cm (5/8″) seam allowance around every edge.
Measure across the top of each of the pieces and add the measurements together. Add 3cm (11⁄4″) for seam allowance to this measurement – this will be how long the waistband of the shorts needs to be. Cut out a strip of fabric, 8cm (31/8″) wide by the calculated waistband length.
Align the left Front Leg 2 with the left back leg piece along the inner leg seam with RS together, then pin and sew. Repeat for the right leg. Press the seams open.
Align the leg pieces along the crotch curve with RS together, then pin and sew with a 1.5cm (5/8″) seam allowance. Sew once again, this time just 1cm (3/8″) away from the raw edge to provide extra strength for this seam. Trim the seam and press to one side.
With RS together and aligning the side leg raw edges, sew the back leg pieces to the Front Leg 1 pieces along the side leg seams.
To create the bias binding, begin by cutting strips of Fabric 1 on the bias (the diagonal). Each strip should be 5cm (2″) wide and be as long as possible – this will mean cutting across the centre of the fabric. You’ll need approximately 1m (393/8″), so one strip may not be enough – if not, sew multiple strips together. Fold the strip in half along the length with wrong sides (WS) together and press. Press each raw edge back into this centre fold, again with WS together, and press.
Open the bias binding up so it’s flat, then, with RS together, pin the bias binding around the front leg curve and along the hemline of the shorts. The raw edges should be aligned. Sew with a 1.25cm (5/8″) seam allowance, or in the crease of the first fold on the binding. Trim the seam allowance, then fold the bias binding over and around. Pin in place, then topstitch down a few millimetres away from the outer edge of the binding.
Next, close up the gap at the front of the shorts. Overlap the two sides by 1.5cm (5/8″), then pin together. Sew together over the top of the stitching line in the bias binding, as shown.
With RS together, sew the two short ends of the waistband together with a 1.5cm (5/8″) seam allowance to make a loop. Fold the waistband in half along the length with WS together, and press. With RS together, pin the waistband around the top edge of the shorts, aligning the raw edges. Sew around, leaving a 5cm (2″) gap.
Attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic then feed it through the gap in the waistband until it comes out the other side. Pull the elastic until it’s as tight as required. Cut it to size, then overlap the two edges, making sure there’s no twist. Pin in place then sew. Sew the gap in the waistband closed.
Your new gym shorts are ready for you to do some yoga in! For more fun and simple sewing projects check out these sewing kits for beginners. Oh and head to our round-up of the best sewing machines for beginners which reviews all the top machines on the market.
Meet the Maker
Childhood besties Rosie Scott and Hannah Silvani run modern sewing workshops from their East London studio.When they’re not sewing or teaching, you’ll find them on their narrowboats. Check out The New Craft House for loads of great sewing workshops, advice, and patterns.