Zappa Shorts...Two Ways!

Zappa Shorts...Two Ways!

Hi all, I’m Jamie Rich!  You can find me on Instagram ( where I share all my makes- when I remember to, that is. And also on Facebook ( in a little shop that I collaborate on with a friend. Today I’m going to share with you how to make supremely cute and stylish shorts from the Zappa pants pattern. You can find the pattern here: (this link is an affiliate link, meaning I do get a small commission when you buy through it).

This idea was born out of the desperation of not being able to find shorts that I truly loved. It finally occurred to me that I have these amazing pants that I’ve already made the adjustments to so I know that they fit well. Why not make a pair of shorts from that very same pattern? So that’s just what we’re going to walk through today.

Cut out and assemble the pieces for the flared option minus the flared insert pieces. Go ahead and make any necessary adjustments that you usually do now. I typically add length to the front rise for a full tummy adjustment. While we’re on that topic, for the side front piece instead of adding to the rise along the provided lines, I added at the top of the pattern piece. I then added that same amount to both pocket pieces. In doing so, I not only increased my rise but also added depth to my pockets (yay!)

Next you need to figure out how long you want your inseam to be. You can do this by measuring yourself or measuring the inseam of a pair of shorts that you like the length of. *Don’t forget to add a seam allowance for your hem when calculating your inseam. I like my shorts longer- about knee length. So I cut my inseam at 12 inches. To do this, start with your back pattern piece. A quilting ruler will be helpful here if you have one- if not a yardstick, ruler or any other straight edge will do. Line your ruler up with the point of the crotch curve. You’re going to draw a line straight across. The dashed shorten/lengthen lines are helpful to make certain you have your line even. It should be parallel to these as you can see below.

Next, turn your ruler perpendicular to the line you just made. Mark at the length of inseam you have selected. Now use your ruler to draw that line straight across. Again, this should be parallel to your first line and to the shorten/lengthen lines on the pattern.

Cut your pattern piece at the lower line you just drew. Repeat this process for the front center piece. The front side piece will be slightly different.

Line up the bottoms of your front pocket backing and front pocket lining pieces and clip these together. Next line up the top of the front pocket lining with the top of the front side piece like so-

Now line this piece up side by side with the front center piece matching the tops of both pattern pieces. Using your ruler trace your lower line from the center piece onto the side piece. Cut both at this line. Proceed with the instructions as usual, igniting the part about adding the inserts on the front pieces.

For my gray pair, I did add a waistband as instructed. The denim though, I picked up a 3” knit elastic to use for an exposed elastic waistband. Cut to the same length as the waistband pattern piece. Using a stretch stitch secure the ends together, then fold over and zig zag down the edges to keep them flat. Attach the same way you would the waistband with right sides together. Topstitch along the edge with the seam down.

Almost done! Now for the hem- you can choose to fold under and hem or do a fun reverse hem instead. To do so, fold up your desired hem amount (1” worked great for me). Press really well. Really. I can’t stress that enough. You want a good memory here so it will last through washing. To secure, zig zag with a very short stitch length on both side seams and at the center front and back.

Viola! You’re done! I would love it if you would share your makes if you try this out. Please tag me in the George + Ginger Facebook group or on IG so I can see what you create.

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