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Hepburn Shorts

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This pleat front ladies shorts sewing pattern has 2 main style options to sew - a full elastic waistband or shaped waistband with side zip. Optional pockets, belt loops & sash.

As with all Pattern Emporium patterns, the sewing instructions outline how to achieve a professional looking finish.


STYLE 1:  The Pull-On Hepburn Shorts

If you're after a super quick pair, you can make the elastic waist version with the Easy Pull-On Shorts. The are not as tailored as the Hepburns but they do have some of the same features & some extras.

  • Simple straight forward pair of shorts
  • Quick & easy to sew 
  • Flat front waistband
  • Elastic back
  • Front pleats
  • Comfy legs

    Womens Pleat Front Shorts sewing Pattern Emporium


    STYLE 2: The Zipped (Tailored) Hepburn Shorts

    This is a very relaxed design. It features a low sitting waistband & easy crotch. These are not 'snug fit' shorts.

  • Semi tailored, loose fitting short
  • Shaped waistband
  • Easy side zip*
  • Side pockets
  • 2 length options
  • Pleat front
  • Darted back
  • Belt loops & optional sash & bound edge pockets

    * Don't let the zip scare you, I have a very simple method that will have you excited about how quickly & easily you now insert zips. 

    Pleat Front Shorts Sewing Pattern - Women

  • Size AU 6-18 (US2-14)
  • Click here for size chart. 



  • Style 1: Pull-On Shorts 32mm (1.25") elastic
  • Style 2: Hepburn Shorts -18cm (7") dress zip to match (can be longer if that's what you have at home), 1 x 20mm (3/4) button or Size 20 snaps.  25mm (1") bias tape.
  • FABRIC SUGGESTIONS: Cotton Voile, Quilting Cotton, Lawn, Gaberdine, Cotton Sateen, Rayon, Silk & Silk-like fabrics, Linen & Linen Blends, Chambray, Denim. My favourite is quilting cotton because of all the fabulous prints you can choose from.


  • Click here for fabric requirements.
  • Based on 110cm (44") fabric.
  • FILES: Print at home (A4, Letter), A0 copy shop.
  • FABRIC TYPE: Woven fabrics.
  • LAYERED: Yes
  • SIZES: AU6-18 (US2-14).
  • SKILL LEVEL: Both beginner & more experienced options.
  • HELP

    Click here to visit our Facebook Group.

    All seam allowances are included. See pattern pieces or glossary for details.

    PRINTING: For more details, see the info pages in the beginning of each tutorial. 

    NEW TO PDF PATTERNS? See our beginners video series here, designed just for you. 

    We do not sell paper patterns.

    This is a downloadable digital PDF pattern. As such, refunds after purchase are not possible.  No further discounts apply during a pattern release.

    This is a downloadable digital PDF sewing pattern. As such, refunds after purchase are not possible. Discounts cannot be combined. Please note: we do not sell printed paper patterns.

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 8 reviews
    Lovely Walking Shorts

    Great fitting shorts. Have made 2 pairs 'Urban' style in size 14 - no pattern alternations needed! Omitted the pleats on the second pair and they still look good. Happy to recommend this pattern.

    My daughter loves them!

    My daughter hated her new school shorts as they were very restrictive. I found this pattern and it was perfect! I removed the pleat, added the pockets and made it out of stretch bengaline and they look just like the original school shorts, but she can easily get on her bike and run around.
    The pattern was super easy to sew together and the instructions were very easy to follow. I love the little ☝️ for jumping to different sections. Made it easy to find the parts I needed.
    Will keep this pattern and make more as she grows (made size 6 for my 12yo)
    Thank you!

    Susan K.
    Best Shorts Ever!

    I love these shorts. I don’t normally like a front pleat, but these are extremely flattering. The pockets are easy to install and look great. Kate’s instructions, as always, are wonderful. I made the half elastic waistband. The next pair I’ll attempt the zipper.

    Hepburn shorts

    I made the Hepburn shorts with the shaped waistband & side zipper. The instructions on how to get the zipper in was the BEST I have ever had & I now use this method for ALL zippers I put in any garment! Compared to other PE patterns I have made, I didn't find this one as cohesive, but still lots of fabulous pictures & tips on how to get a professional finish. Next version I make will be the elastic waist! Another win for the PE team!!!

    Beautiful Fit, Classy Looking Shorts

    Made longer version for my daughter's 31st birthday with half elastic and a cute organic cotton avocado print. She loves then. Made up so professionally she kept commenting how well sewn they were. All pattern tips helped them look so good especially ironing all seams and the over stitching. Easy and quick once printed and paper joined. Can't wait to make some for me now.