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Experimental Shorts

September 26, 2012
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I pretty much only wear shorts to the pool. Not because I don’t like my legs (even though they’re always much paler than the rest of my body which is a little awkward), I just don’t like the way they feel and my legs always get stuck to chairs or themselves. I have similar issues with skirts. It could be 100 degrees outside and I would still be wearing pants. But I’ve been trying to work myself into the right state of mind to make real pants and maybe even good jeans, so I wanted to make shorts just to test out the fit of patterns.

Pattern: S7196 (out of print)

I’ve made shorts from this pattern before and they’re pretty much my favorite shorts because they’re comfortable around the waist (and made of cute cloud print cotton which is especially fun for the pool), but the front seam shape wasn’t perfect. So I folded a thin little triangle out and redrew the front curve! This is kindof monumental for me, cause I never take the time to alter patterns.

The old shorts

I have issues with pants in general, even store bought ones. Typically I’m a pretty standard size for Big 4 patterns with tops and dresses, but pants never fit me right. The distance from my bust to waist and waist to hips is smaller than most peoples proportions (I’m guessing) making “high waisted” things extra high waisted on me and something that is supposed to hit around the belly button is at my waist practically, not flattering I think. But they all still fit around me perfectly, so if I made a size bigger it would be baggy. Bascially my midsection is just scrunched somehow. I like my pants to be an inch or less below my belly button (impossible to find in stores because of “low rise” jeans) and that just doesn’t happen with most patterns, so I don’t buy a lot of pants patterns (thought I’m really temped by Colette’s new Juniper pattern, it’s just the right style).

I actually got Mr. Husband to take pictures of my wearing my shorts when we went to the hot tub (I dislike pools and swimming and hot tubs so I often just put my feet in)

Pattern Description: Misses [trouser] pants in three lengths and shorts in two lengths

Pattern Sizing: 6-12, I think I made a 10 cause that’s what I always make.

Fabric Used: Heavy, non-stretch denim and quilting cotton for waistband facing.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Nearly

Were the instructions easy to follow? This is actually interesting since I made these before (somewhere around 6-7 years ago, it was definitely in high school) and the instructions made so much more sense this time! Before my fly was a little messed up and the waistband was a little wonky, but now they look pretty darn good I think.

Although it’s a little weird that the instructions had me make the fly open to the left, all my rtw pants open to the right?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s a simple design and they’re really comfortable. I don’t know what it is about this pattern, but it’s the only one I’ve made that actually fits me well.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I modified the front seam curve and curved the top of the pocket opening, just because I like that kind of pocket better.

Mr. Husbands helpful posing tips are usually along the lines of “turn around and shake your butt!” So much easier to just use the self timer.

Would you sew it again? Yes, I want to make some full length pants now! Maybe some “trouser jeans”

Would you recommend it to others? If you can find it and like that style of lower rise pants, it’s not for everyone I know.

Cost Analysis: I made a spreadsheet (!!!) so I’ll just give you the rundown. I can post it later if anyone’s interested.

  1. Cost to make – $18.50
  2. Average Store-Bought Price – $34.96
  3. Value of Shorts – $39.80

~Molly

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2012 8:06 am

    They look great! To find a pants or shorts pattern that fit is wonderful. Pants are the strangest things to sew. They have only 5 main seams but they are very sculptural, all curves have to come together to match the 3D shapes of your body. I have the opposite problem from you, I am high waisted but petite, so petite pants hit me like hip huggers, so usually I get regular sizes and take up the hem about 5 inches!

  2. September 26, 2012 8:51 am

    I bought some RTW shorts while on vacation in Montréal earlier this month. I was shopping the summer clearance so sizing problems abound. In the regular sizes, a 4 would give me the perfect waistband snugness but my butt would be too tight, while a 5 becomes a hip hugger with the right amount of butt space. Now I remember why I started sewing again…

    As for patterns. I’m 5’05″ and BurdaStyle Petite measurements are the right length (depth?) for me. Big 4 are 23cm from waist to hips vs Burda’s 19/18cm. Those 5cm/2in are critical for my fit. I still need to fix the butt space by scooping out the back crotch 1,5m (5/8in).

    Have you tried Burda pants yet? They have free patterns every Friday on the US site but I have one for pants I could trace for you, if you want. Let me know.

  3. Pedro permalink
    September 26, 2012 9:33 am

    Hey, sky’s out thighs out.

  4. September 26, 2012 12:52 pm

    Great pair! And I hear you on the momentous alteration. Every time I alter something and it does what I was hoping it would do, I do a little happy dance. Even “standard” alterations. Here’s hoping you’ll continue the journey. I’ve almost talked myself into making a pair of jeans, which I’ve sworn up and down the sewing net that I’d never do. *shudder*

  5. September 26, 2012 5:42 pm

    They look sweet and good job on the alteration! If you normally have trouble with waist height I’d suggest going for Burda’s petite range. I find their pants particularly-fit very well (2 cm removed from all the right places XD).

  6. September 26, 2012 7:07 pm

    I’ve given up on rtw pants so hold onto that perfect fitting shorts pattern like it’s gold!

    Umm I’m looking down at the pair of rtw I have on now and my fly goes that way too? But I think on my jeans it is the other way…hmmm…

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