DIY Towel Shorts

Every waterman or woman has about a zillion towels around their home. They come in handy- some have been self-bought, but for me, most are gifts, since people know my favorite pasttimes.
The ones that I’ve bought for myself are usually not as nice as the ones given to me, so at some point the tattered ones have to become cleaning rags or kitchen towels. In between, however, I have some good towels that just take up a lot of space in my closet, but never see the towel rotation. This project is best for those type of towels.
I had two smaller brown bath towels that were nice, but too small to use as beach towels, and I don’t use them for the bathroom (it’s all about the color scheme…yikes). I thought it would be fun to make some shorts from these towels. Besides, if you go to the fabric store and buy terry cloth by the yard, it’s freakin’ expensive. Towels are much more economical to buy, even better if you already have some.
The nice thing about towels, or terry cloth, for shorts is when you’ve gone out in the water, gotten wet, but want to grab some munchies or need to run a couple of errands before heading back home. Wearing your wet boardshorts just amplifies the chafe factor. Plus, I recommend this to girls who think it’s OK to go into Publix in a thong they wore to the beach- sorry fellas- but there’s some people, ahem, who should consider these shorts for a jaunt to the supermercado….
Instead of the pattern I used on my last project, I used Simplicity 9330. It has other stuff for the bath and night clothes, so it’s worth the money since you can get a few other things out of it, especially with terrycloth or towels.

Pattern for the Towel Shorts

For my shorts, I used the 2 small bath towels. You may need more depending on your size- insead of going by the recommended yardage on the back of the envelope, lay out the pieces you’ll need on the towels to see if you have enough. If you don’t have matching towels, well, who cares.
Here’s where I began to carefully cut the pieces from the towels- I used the finished long edge of the towel and lined it up with the bottom of the shorts so I didn’t have to hem them, they were already hemmed.

One leg cut out, with the bottom edge the finished edge of the towel.

I HIGHLY recommend overlocking the raw edge of each piece of terry you cut out as soon as it’s cut, or you’re going to have a tough time with frayed edges and seeing the edge for sewing allowances. It’s a pain, but well worth it. Use up some of your less favorite poly thread in your stash for this, even your Coats and Clark (blech!).
Instead of a drawstring made from the terry cloth, I just made the waist elastic for simplicity. You can make a drawstring, but chuck the drawstring pattern from this particular pattern since making it from terry will be too bulky. Use a cord if you’re going that route. I used 3/4″ non-roll elastic and folded the top down to make the casing for the elastic.
I didn’t put pockets in these, but that would be easy enough if you are familiar with how to set side pockets. Otherwise, you can make a “patch” pocket (a square sewed on three sides, leaving the top open) and put it on the thigh of the shorts.
Here’s some pictures of the finished product:

With a rashguard- looks no different from regular shorts
Elastic waist
Completed Shorts

This is handy for avoiding wet seats in the car too. Throw them in the back of the car with your other towels, and you can wash these with the rest.
Or you could not wash them and enjoy the funk- and I’m not talking about George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic.

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