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Fern sewalong: sewing the cuffs

Finishing touches

You're almost there! Our Fern shorts just need a little finessing before we can show them off! Today we're going through how to hand stitch the waistband and finish the hems with a lovely cuff. We'll end off by whipping up a quick belt for the waist.

Handstitching the waistband

Fold the waistband in half lengthwise, toward the inside of the shorts. Fold the seam allowance to the inside along the zip edges. Pin in place to keep your fold stable while you work.

Zip tapes

Now you have pinned a neat and tidy zip edge, but we still need to attend to the raw edge of the waistband all along the inside of the shorts. Fold the raw edge up towards the inside of the waistband, so that it's hidden inside the top of the shorts. Pin in place.

Attach the waistband to the shorts using slip stitch. To slip stitch, catch the fabric of the waistband with a tiny, tiny stitch, then catch the fabric of the shorts repeatedly until secure. Be careful that your stitches don't show through on the right side!

Slip stitch the waistband closed
Slip stitch demonstration

Now for the cuffs!

Turn your shorts inside out. Fold your hem to the inside along the marked cuff fold line. Note that you make the fold on this line. In other words, don't just bring the edge of your hem up to meet the line. Sew in place.

Cuff to inside

Turn your shorts right way around. Now, cuff the hem up by 3 cm. Ta-da!

Cuffs sewn
Cuffs up

Stitch in the ditch at the side seams. This should be enough to hold the cuffs in place for most crisp trouser fabrics. If you're working with something a little softer, you may want to sew all the away around the edge to make sure the cuffs stay up.

Stitch in the ditch

Making the belt

Join the belt pieces on the short end.

Match belt ends
Join and press belt pieces

Now fold the belt piece in half lengthwise, pinning it together.

Fold belt lengthwise

Sew close to the edge of the fabric to maximise the width of your belt. Leave a gap in your stitching in the middle of the belt before you continue to the end.

Leave a gap in the middle of the belt

Turn each side of the belt right side out. I like to use the head of a knitting needle for this bit, as it prevents the risk of poking a hole in your work!

Knitting needles
Turn right side out with a knitting needle
Turn belt right side out

Close the gap in the belt with a few slip stitches.

Hand stitch the gap closed

Before you can use your belt, you just need to attach the remaining end of the belt loops. Double fold them on the top to hide the raw edges and run a line of stitches across the top to attach.

Attach the belt loops to the waistband


You made it! I hope you had a wonderful time making your Fern shorts. Please show us what you've made on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtags #fernsewalong, #fernshorts, #sewingfern and #afternoonpatterns

Finished Fern shorts