introducing the liesl + co. soho shorts + skirt sewing pattern

We have a good friend here in Madrid who wears shorts almost every day. In fact, Rita even wears shorts to her very corporate job! When she put in a special request for a shorts pattern a little over a year ago, I must admit that I hadn’t really given shorts much thought. I never thought about shorts as being a grown-up style, but once I saw how Rita wore hers I realized that they’re both practical and versatile! In fact, they can be worn year-round depending on your fabric choices and styling. And once I had drafted a pair I liked, I also discovered that I could include a pleated skirt in the same pattern, using most of the same techniques. (I’ve been wanting to do a pleated skirt for a long time.) So here you have the new Liesl + Co. SoHo Shorts + Skirt pattern.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts + Skirt sewing pattern

One of the things I think you’ll like about this pattern is that it is incredibly versatile. Depending on your fabric selection and what you pair it with, you can create items that are ready for going to work, for a sporty weekend outdoors, or for a fancy night out. Take a look at all the different personalities this pattern can assume.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts for every season

Liesl + Co SoHo Skirt sewing pattern

Here are the shorts from all angles. I kept the pleats to a minimum in the back, but the front looks almost like a skirt, which will work to your advantage if you want to wear them to work or if you want something that looks just a little fancier than standards shorts.

Liesl + Co SoHo Shorts from all angles

So what makes this pattern a basic, or core, item for your wardrobe? Both the shorts and the skirt included in the pattern are the sorts of items that don’t go out of style. They’re versatile and classic, both of which are helpful for a core wardrobe. They’re definitely part of Rita’s core wardrobe, and I think they might become part of mine as well. They can easily be paired with dressy items or with casual pieces depending on your needs and mood, and when you play with the length of the patterns you can change them up for a variety of purposes as well.

Here are a few of the features of this pattern:

  • Pleated shorts and skirt both in one pattern.
  • Both styles include a contour waistband with construction details that you’ve probably never sewn before. This method helps the waistband keep its shape so it doesn’t stretch out after a few wearings. After you’ve sewn this waistband, there’s a good likelihood that you’ll include some of these techniques in future waistbands as well.
  • Front pockets. Because everyone needs pockets, right?
  • A lengthen and shorten line so you can sew lots of different styles with the same pattern. Pleated midi skirt? Absolutely.
  • An invisible side zipper and our much-loved sewing instructions for inserting it with ease.
  • Forthcoming tutorials and blog posts to help you further personalize the pattern:
    • An upcoming sew-along to guide you with photos. It’s always fun to join the community for these projects, and if you prefer to sew while referring to photos instead of illustrations we’ll help you out.
    • Upcoming tutorials to add belt loops. Because sometimes you just want to add a belt. (I’m that way, too.)
    • Fabric ideas and suggestions. You can use everything from rayon to wool for this pattern, and I’ll guide you through lots of ideas for your own sewing.
    • Styling ideas and suggestions. This one is really fun because both pieces are so versatile.
    • Both styles have a straight hem so you can feature a border print, a stripe, or a plaid without fear.

The pattern will be available for sale on our website next Tuesday morning in both a paper version and a digital version. In the meantime, you can view the website pages for the pattern to see the sizing information and fabric requirements so you can start your planning. Leave your email address, if you like, on the page for the version you want, and we’ll email you just as soon as it’s available to purchase!


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  1. sarah

    Well done Liesl! I am so excited for the shorts! I love the length of the shorts. Can not wait for this pattern!

    1. Glad you like them, Sarah! Thanks for the comment.

  2. Pauline

    Ooooh, the pockets and pleats!! Super cute for both options!

    1. Oh, good! It’s nice to hear that you like them.

  3. Very nice! Can the shorts be lengthened as easily as the skirt? Do you have any samples to show how that looks?

    1. Nina, both patterns have the lengthen and shorten line. The gray wool shorts in the photo above have been lengthened by a few inches so you can see how it looks.

  4. Excited to try these!

    1. Hurray!

  5. Lisa Kenyon

    Excited about the skirt, but I need one that sits at the natural waist for my client. Will this one work for that application?

    1. Here is the note on the back of the pattern envelope regarding the waist measurement: This style is designed to sit 1″ below the natural waistline. If you prefer to wear the shorts/skirt higher, you may want to sew one size smaller.

  6. Cute! I actually bought a pair of shorts in Barcelona a few years ago that were very similar! I love them. I love these too!

    1. Wonderful! I hope you enjoy them.

  7. Absolutely love these!!
    I might be a bit biased because I love the way Rita wears hers, but I can actually see myself wearing a version 😉

    1. I love how Rita wear hers, too. She just made this pattern in a floral and they’re adorable on her!

  8. I can’t wait for these to release!

    1. I’m happy you like them! Thanks for the comment.

  9. Dimmity

    Oh love love love!

    1. That’s great to hear! Thanks so much.

  10. DianeLyons

    I love this pattern! What is the fabric for the skirt on the bottom left? it looks divine!

    1. The greenish skirt? It’s linen from Gray Line Linen in New York. It’s slightly heavier than their handkerchief: either Judy or Barry, I forget.

      1. DianeLyons

        Thank you, Liesl!

  11. Marcy

    Love the dressy shorts! Reminds me of a cross between skirt/culottes. Fantastic!

    1. Glad you like them, Marcy!

  12. Fabulous! So nice to have shorts AND a skirt in one pattern. And perfect for where I live! Thank you!

    1. Oh, good! It’s always nice to know you’re happy with our new releases.

  13. Bother, there goes my no more patterns rule… #konmariefail

    1. Ha ha! Sorry. I’m perfectly safe to take shopping, but I’m quite dangerous when it comes to sewing, apparently…

  14. Nicole

    I’m summer, I wear shorts almost every day. I’m a primary school teacher and I find them much more practical than skirts and dresses in warmer weather. I wear tailored straight shorts usually but I love the flared leg of your pattern. I might just have to give them a go!

    1. That’s so true, Nicole. If you’re on your feet and on the floor a lot they’re great.

  15. Lucia

    How different are they, in terms of fit, from shortened culottes?

    1. The pattern is very different from our culottes, which have a longer rise, etc.

      1. Lucia

        Interesting! I love the look on the model, not sure it would look good on me, I’m short and curvy, with thick thighs. I don’t like wearing short shorts or skirts. I was pleasantly surprised with the cullotes silhouette, I think they look great on my body type. So I was wondering if leghtening the shorts would work as well. Either way, the pattern looks great, very elegant! And I love the classic shirt as well! Um abraço from Brazil!

  16. Tara Kellermann

    So excited- my two teenage daughters will love these shorts-and now something I can make for them. I love that there are pockets!!

    1. They would be great for teens, Tara! Good idea.

  17. Fiona

    Dear Liesl, both the classic shirt (a style I prefer to all other tops), and the sweet shorts/skirt are truly classy patterns. Thank you for looking after your devoted fans, once again.

    1. Thanks for the enthusiasm, Fiona!

  18. LoriAnne Gamble

    I might just get away with wearing these to work, so cute.

    1. They’re surprisingly work-appropriate! Especially if you lengthen the pattern a bit.

  19. Ellen

    i love the skirt! Can it be lined?

    1. Absolutely! A tutorial for adding a lining is on my To Do list.

  20. Julie

    I’m excited about trying this pattern, can’t wait till it comes out! The shorts look great, I haven’t done much sewing of late so hopefully I won’t have too many issues with making them.

  21. Jill

    I love the shorts! My favourite shorts hast summer were a hot pink pair from Banana Republic that looked like a skirt from the front and shorts from the back. But these are even better because there are pockets!

  22. Jennifer

    I love this because I have two pairs of similar shorts that are the backbone of my summer capsule wardrobe, but I haven’t been able to find more in the stores that fit color-wise with the rest of my wardrobe. You guys just fixed a huge problem for my 2017 wardrobe update!

  23. Linda

    I’m excited to make some shorts using this pattern for my 20 something daughter. This will be the first time I have sewn one of your patterns. Are there multiple sizes in one pattern?

    1. Linda, yes. Sizes 0-20 are included in the pattern.

      1. Linda

        Thank you. Just ordered the pattern.

  24. Liesl, Hands down, the shorts are too too good, looks so much comfortable. I like the green color shorts..With the instructions being clear and concise it will have a beginner sewer feeling like a professional sewer in no time!! I really wanna try it now but crocheting a couple of pillows but will definately going to make one for me this weekend but in Green color.I will be subscribing you for more posts like this..

  25. Melissa

    Bought the pattern as it’s JUST the style(s) I’m looking for but am having my usual fitting angst – my body at 56 years old just doesn’t work with dimensions on patterns anymore (and perhaps denial about what on earth has happened to my once-tiny body). Basically I have no figure. When I follow the measurements to select a size, clothes end up way too big. Yes, I make a muslin (usually out of pretty fabric in case it’s wearable), but can never seem to figure out how to alter a pattern to achieve fit. I wear a 6 in RTW, but find myself at a size 16 or higher on patterns due to my waist size, which is shockingly close to my hip size these days.
    Question is – with a fitted waistband… what suggestions do you have about getting a fit for a person with a rather small frame? Hate to end up with a crotch that’s down to my knees…

    1. jj bloom

      I added adjustable button tape to the waistband. It’s widely used in children’s pants & shorts to adjust the waist size, and I find on my son it gives a little extra “grab” to keep his pants up. (I added it because monthly cycles and fitted waistbands go together like oil and water.)

      There are instructions to alter RTW here:
      But, of course, it’s much much easier to do when your waistband is already unassembled. I added it between step 5 and 6 of the waistband assembly in the pattern.

      1. Melissa

        oh that is SUCH a good idea. I did that for my skinny sone when he was young too — now i need it for my fat stomach!
        thank you!

  26. Trish

    I need a larger size – about a size 24. Would it be fairly easy to adapt the shorts pattern to accommodate that?

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