Bermuda shorts are popular warm-weather clothes for both men and women. These loose-fitting, casual-wear shorts usually come to within about 1 inch of the knee, and you can make a pair by cutting up old pants or following a specialty sewing pattern.

Things You'll Need

Make Bermuda Shorts From a Pattern

Visit your local sewing store to find a Bermuda shorts pattern. Often, these are considered “retro” patterns, owing to the fact that Bermuda shorts were most popular during the 1960s. Also, you can check for short-pants patterns that double as Bermuda shorts like those at Pattern Review (see Resources below).

Use a woven, medium-weight fabric to make your Bermuda shorts. Recommended choices include denim, linen, heavy cotton, chino and twill.

Follow the specific directions given in your sewing pattern. These will vary considerably from pattern to pattern. However, no matter which pattern you pick, you’ll need to delineate a center-front line, add the zipper, sew in crotch curves and hem the legs.

Allow extra fabric if you want to add a cuff to the bottom of your shorts. You should allow an extra 1/2 inch of fabric to tuck into the cuff you form before you sew the hem.

Finish the shorts by sewing in the waistband or the elastic backing. Do this by turning the shorts inside out and placing the waistband or elastic where you want it, allowing about 1/2 inch of extra fabric atop the waistband. Fold that extra fabric down, use it to secure the waistband in place and seal the deal by topstitching it into place.

Turn Old Jeans Into Bermuda Shorts

Mark the point at which you want your Bermuda shorts to end. Usually, they fall about 1 inch above the knee.

Use sharp sewing scissors to cut the legs off your jeans or pants at the point you’ve marked.

Add colorful sew-on or press-on patches to decorate your new Bermuda shorts. A wide variety of colorful patches and accessories will be available at your local sewing center. You can also find lots to choose from at a site like Trim Fabric (see Resources below).


  • If you convert an old pair of jeans into Bermuda shorts, you can use a utility knife to scrape the bottom of your shorts and create a frayed look.