I don’t know about you, but selecting the correct fabric for a new project can often seem like an overwhelming task. Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration. Other times it’s not that simple. Hopefully, this post will help with both of those tasks, providing some inspiration and giving a bit of helpful advice to make fabric selection easier.

A great way to start narrowing down fabric choices is by finding ready-to-wear inspiration. We’ve got a Pinterest board dedicated to just that. Click here or on the image below to check it out.

A screenshot of a Pinterest board shows ready to wear inspiration for the Crew pattern.

Before we get into all the details, make sure you have a copy of the Crew Shorts and Trousers pattern.


The Crew pattern includes a side zipper and button closure. For this, you’ll use a #3, 9″ (23 cm) coil zipper and 2 – 1/2″ (1.2 cm) buttons or a skirt hook and eye.


Like many of our patterns, a small amount (3/4 yd) of lightweight fusible interfacing is needed for reinforcing facings and cuffs. I recommend using this tricot interfacing from Wawak.com. If you want more information on why I recommend this for most of my patterns, check out this post I wrote a couple of years ago for Fabric.com.

Fabric Sources and Ready to Wear Inspiration

The Crew Shorts & Trousers work best in a medium-weight woven fabric with a nice drape. Fabric recommendations include rayon crepe, tencel twill, silk or linen noil, wool crepe, linen, and linen blends. Below are several specific fabric picks. If you’re looking for even more ideas, check out our Crew Fabric Recommendations board on Pinterest.


A graphic divided into six squares showing solid colored fabric options for the Crew Shorts and Trousers pattern.
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Who can say no to a good solid color fabric? Sewn up in a black, navy, or brown, the Crew Shorts and Trousers will be a staple that you’ll reach for again and again. If neutrals aren’t your style, try an eye catching color to create a look that stands out. You can also up the comfort level by using a super soft tencel twill or washed linen.

Plaids and Stripes

A graphic divided into six squares showing plaid and stripe fabric options for the Crew Shorts and Trousers pattern.
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Plaids and stripes seem to be fabrics that never go out of style. Add whimsy and fun to shorts with a large scale stripe or make office ready trousers with a small scale plaid or pinstripe.

Statement Prints

A graphic divided into six squares showing colorful and bold printed fabric options for the Crew Shorts and Trousers pattern.
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Are you looking to add a little extra personality to your handmade shorts? Maybe you’re ready to go all out and make a bold pair of trousers? Prints other than stripes or plaids can be a bit more challenging to find in suitable fabrics but, we’ve rounded up a few that we’d love to try. Ease into prints with something black and white or a subtle animal print. If you’re ready for something striking, playing with scale and colors can make a big statement.


In addition to your main fabric, you may need 1/2 yd of lining fabric for your pocket bags. If your main fabric is light enough, you can use that as well. Recommended lining fabrics include rayon bemberg, viscose batiste, and rayon challis.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve found both inspiration and clarification on what you’ll need to create your Crew Shorts or Trousers.