E-PATTERN-"Rita" Pleated Shorts- Late 30's-40's Style

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Download and print at home on US Letter or A4 size paper.


"Rita" Pleated Shorts- Late 1930's to Early 1940s Style

with Narrow or Wide Waistband and Optional Detachable Suspenders


An original Wearing History design, this pattern was inspired by vintage mail order catalogs and magazine images from the late 1930s through the mid 1940s. 

These classic shorts look like a mini skirt but are actually shorts!  Perfect for summer days, and a great modest and flattering solution for your hot weather wardrobe.

These shorts feature three box pleats at the front, three box pleats at the back, a side zipper, and a narrow or wide waistband.  When choosing the wide waistband option you can also add detachable suspenders!  These shorts hit at the natural waistline (not low rise- "high waist" by modern standards).

These shorts are meant to have a vintage cut with a bit of an updated fit, including a higher rise (crotch length) than vintage shorts, but a longer rise than modern shorts.  It's a happy mid-point that I think you will like!  Although these shorts were inspired by late 1930s to mid 1940s images, these can easily carry you into the 1950s.  By lengthening the rise of the shorts and the length they can work for mid 1930s styles as well, when done with the narrow waistband.  

These shorts make a great base for your creative embellishments.  Add decorative buttons at the front for a sailor style, add piping to the high waistband and embroidery for a western style, or play with your designs in the form of appliques or fabric paint.  They're a fun and playful addition to your wardrobe.  Make multiple pairs that are styled differently to keep your look unique.

This pattern includes step-by-step instructions compiled and illustrated by me, as well as cutting charts for 45" wide fabric.  Blog tutorials for pleating and zipper insertion are coming up after the pattern release!

These shorts look great in printed or solid cottons, linens, and rayons.  These work best for dress weight or mid weight fabrics.  They have a lot of "swing" to their movement!

If you make a matching blouse this will make an adorable playsuit!  **No blouse is included in this pattern. You will recieve a pattern for the shorts only.  I suggest the Smooth Sailing Blouse or the the Sunkissed Sweetheart tie top as adorable companions to these shorts. 


Please order pattern by measurements (given in inches).  

If between sizes, order the next size larger, as my patterns include less ease than most commercial patterns, and it is easiest to take in a garment to fit where needed, rather than having to add to it to make it larger.

All Sizes Below Are Now in One Pattern Pack


Size 24" Waist 26" Waist 28" Waist
Waist 24 26 28
Hip 33 35 37


Size 30" Waist 32" Waist 34" Waist
Waist 30 32 34
Hip 39 41 43





This pattern is formatted for USA Letter Size and A4 sized paper.  You will need to print this pattern to 100% scale.  Open the "READ-ME-FIRST" File for instructions on printing and piecing your pattern. 

This pattern is tiled into letter sized paper.  You will print these documents on your home printer, cut, and tape them together, to form a larger pattern layout.  Then you cut and use your pattern just as you would a normal home sewing pattern.  

This pattern comes in 3 files, and uses a LOT of paper.  The pattern sheet uses 25 sheets of paper,  9 sheets are needed for the instruction pack, 1 for the e-pattern "how to" sheet.  35 total sheets of 8.5" x 11" sized paper or A4 sized paper are needed to make all garments in this pattern.  This pattern file is formatted to fit on both sizes of paper, and there will be varying thicknesses of white border, which will be cut off, according to pattern instructions. 


-  How to Download -  

You will be able to download this pattern after your order is marked as "Completed".  

If ordering with mailed product, purchased with an unconfirmed Paypal address, or purchased with a credit card, there may be a slight delay, as I will need to manually approve the transaction before the system marks it as "completed".

By purchasing this pattern you agree to the following terms:  This e-pattern is licensed exclusively to the person who purchases this pattern from Wearing History for the sole purpose of home sewing or non-profit use.  Commercial or production use is prohibited.  Do not share this pattern by email or any other form.  Remember, I make my living by using my talents to make these patterns.  Help support indie small business by telling your friends to purchase their own copy of this pattern from http://wearinghistory.clothing 

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