Bahama Bottoms Paperbag Waistband and Cuff Hack

My daughter loved the look of the Bahama Bottoms when they were released... but in typical teen girl form, she had a very specific vision in mind! She challenged me to make it happen and I was happy to because this child never wears anything I make! I used a striped woven from So Sew English for this pair. This fabric is sturdy and easy to work with, but still has the drape needed and is soft!

I will be going over how I made this pair with a paperbag style waist, belt loops, belt and cuffed legs instead of hemmed. All of these measurement are based on using 1.5" elastic, if your elastic is smaller you may need to adjust accordingly. Keep in mind that I did this on the fly and my measurements may not work out perfectly for yours so just be flexible and ready to change things as needed!

To start you will cut your fabric, but you need to add 2.5" to the top of the front and back pieces. Now for the good news...if you happen to not be paying attention and forget to add to the top, you can cut a 3" strip and just sew it on! You will never see it later (don't ask me how I know)!!!

Cut out any pocket options you want~Miss M only wants the front pockets. Next you need to cut the belt loops and belt. I chose to do 3 belt loops and cut them each at 2" wide x 3" tall. The belt is a little more difficult to give you a measurement, you want it to be 4" and the length will be personal preference. My daughter is a size 2 and I just cut one strip 4" x wof, if you need it longer you will have to have a seam.

Start constructing your pockets per the pattern tutorial. When it is time to attach the pockets to the front or back pieces, be sure to line the bottom of the pattern piece up with the bottom of your fabric and make your marks from there. If you line the tops up you will have some odd looking pocket placement...again, don't ask me how I know!

*Complete steps 1 through 14 in the tutorial and come back here when you get to step 15.

*full disclosure-I had 1.75" elastic here, so I cheated just a bit to make it work! I serged my top edge so that I didn't have to fold it under 5/8" like in step 15 and that gave me enough extra room to make my elastic work.

We are going to start by folding the top edge under 5/8" and pressing (or cheating if you are like me). Fold the waist down 3.25" all the way around, then edge stitch but make sure you leave an opening for your elastic.

Now we are going to draw a line 1.25" from the top to create the elastic casing. Sew all the way around. Then thread your elastic through just like in the tutorial and edge stitch your opening closed.

Let's make the belt loops! Fold in half and press to find the center. Open it back up and fold each side in to the center. Fold the entire thing in half. Finished size should be 1/2" x 3". Topstitch.

I placed the belt loops on the back seam and both side seams. Fold the top edge over to the back and center it over your seam. Stitch it in place, making sure to backstitch.

Then fold the bottom edge under and stitch it in place. *I try to line up my stitching with the stitching for the elastic casing, but it won't ruin anything if you don't line it up!



Time for the belt! You will fold it in half, right sides together, and stitch down the length of it. Turn right side out using a pin or turning tool. I like to center my seam in the back, tuck in the open ends and press the entire thing. Topstitch your ends closed.

Thread the belt through your belt loops and admire how cute it is!

*If you are going to hem your shorts, refer back to the pattern tutorial.

To make the cuffed version that my daughter insisted on, you can follow here! I cut hers on the 5" inseam line so they wouldn't end up being too short. I started by serging all the way around the bottom of each leg, but that is definitely not a requirement. I used chalk to mark a line 2" up around each leg, but I think I should have done 2.5", so just make that mark where you are comfortable. Press your bottom edge to the right side of your shorts 1/4"-1/2" (I just folded over my serged edge). Then fold up to the line you drew and press. Edge stitch and you are finished!

Thank you so much for sewing with me and I hope you love your new shorts!



Older Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published