Vintage Tablecloth Summer Shorts

Vintage Tablecloth Summer Shorts

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Hi guys! As many of you already know, I love to upcycle shabby vintage tablecloths. I was in need of some new shorts this summer. I bought some jeans from the thrift store to cut off, but I also wanted some casual drawstring shorts too, so I decided to make some. I used a basic pattern and added my own pockets, which is really easy. Today I am going to show you how I made up my shorts including the drafted pockets.

Here’s What You Need:

*Shorts Pattern (I used New Look 6271)

*Vintage Tablecloth or other medium weight fabric

*Lining fabric for your pockets


*Marking Pen

*Large sheet of drawing paper or a piece of poster board


*Sewing Machine and Coordinating Thread



To draft the pocket like on the green shorts start with a large piece of paper or poster board. Lay your pattern piece on top and mark where the top of the pattern is, where the hemline will be, the center front and if there is a casing, the bottom of the casing.


Now mark where your pocket will start and stop. I decided I wanted my pocket about 5″ in from the side seam on the front . I market the bottom of the pocket opening 4″ down from the casing and the bottom of the pocket  to be 4″ up from the hem.


Draw the curve in from the 5″ line on the casing line to the 4″ down line on the side seam edge.  Measure over 1.5″ at the top from the first curve line. Draw the long curve of the pocket from your 1.5″ mark down to the bottom of the pocket 4″ up from the hem. You should now have a pocket shape. Now draw in 1/2″ out on each side of the pocket for seam allowance. This is your pocket pattern.

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 Cut two of the main fabric and two of your lining fabric.


Sew one main pocket piece to one lining piece right sides together. Stitch starting at the side seam, then all the way around, ending at the side seam. Leave the side seam edge open.


Clip your corners and turn your pocket piece right side out. Iron. Top stitch the curve of the top of the pocket. Repeat with the other pocket.


Place your pocket on the top of the front of your shorts between where the casing will end and 4″ up from your hem. Pin the pocket in place.


Stitch across the top of the pocket at the top and then down around the outer edge of the pocket ending at the pocket opening at the side seam. Sew your side seams of your front short piece to your back shorts piece. Finish the casing like in the instructions for the pattern.

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For my red and blue shorts I extended my pattern piece to have a self casing instead of a separate one.  I then decided how far down I wanted my pockets to be and made a mark on the fabric. Mark the top of the pattern on your paper then mark where you have your pocket starting. Decide how long you want your pocket opening. Measure your hand  across and add some wiggle room. Make a mark this distance down from the top of your pocket. Draw a line from the top of the pocket straight out 2-3 inches, then form a wide oval curve and back up towards the bottom pocket opening mark. Draw a small straight line across the bottom pocket edge connecting it to the curve. This is your pattern. Cut four lining fabric pieces.


Stitch one of your pocket pieces to one side of your front shorts piece where you marked the fabric earlier. If you haven’t already marked on your fabric where your pockets will line up go ahead and do so. Stitch the pocket to the shorts piece at the side seam. Stitch the other side of the pocket to the back pattern piece at the side seam. Do the same thing with the other side of the shorts.

I seem to have lost my last two photos of these shorts. Oops, hopefully this next step will make sense. You need to pin your shorts front to your shorts back at the side seams with the pockets facing out. You are going to stitch your side seam as follows… Start at the top of the shorts at the side and stitch down toward the pocket. Stitch a half an inch down when you get to the pocket, then pivot the fabric and stitch around the pocket. Pivot again when you get back to the side seam. Stitch straight across a half inch in towards the center, then pivot again and continue stitching all the way down to the bottom hem. Do the same thing with the other side of your shorts. When your side seams are sewn you should have an opening in each side seam that is your pocket. You will have to turn your pocket to the inside of your shorts. Finish off your shorts per the pattern instructions.

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I love how my shorts turned out! I have really been enjoying wearing them! I am always picking up tablecloths with stains or holes and recently had picked up a few at the flea market that had some faint stains and a few little holes. These are the best kind for larger projects. I hope the next time you come across a tablecloth that has been gently loved you snag it up and make some shorts for yourself. I think you’ll love them too! It’s a great project for beginners too. I’ll be back soon with more crafty fun. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

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5 Responses

  1. Great idea and VERY cute!

  2. […] Vintage Tablecloth Summer Shorts – 1 freebie(s)? […]