Summer Shorts

What do you normally gravitate towards wearing in the summer–shorts, skirts or dresses? Dresses, as you probably guessed, are my preferred summer garment. However, I really felt that I needed at least one more pair of shorts in my wardrobe this summer, and I’m really pleased with the new pair I made. They have deep pockets, a cute tie, and are made of breathable cotton. And they are navy blue, which is fast becoming my go-to summer neutral.

I have to admit that I was just a little nervous to make a pair of elastic-waist shorts. In my mind there was a distinct possibility that they would look too matronly or too much like pajamas. I am happy that I was proven wrong, although if I make them again I will probably take some fullness out of the back thigh area. I think this would be a better proportion for my height. Since I’m so happy with the shorts that I am hoping to use the pattern again to make the pants, possibly in something wonderfully flowy and soft like some cotton gauze or even a knit.

Design/Pattern: Simplicity 1808, view D

Materials: navy blue textured cotton, elastic, interfacing & matching thread

Techniques:

  • pleats
  • waistband casing
  • serged seam allowances
  • under-stitched waistband facing
  • top-stitched pocket edges & hem

Alterations/Changes:

  • I made a size 10 to fit my waist measurement, but used the size 8 lines for the crotch/inseam.
  • I shortened the rise at the center front seam about one inch by folding the pattern piece perpendicular to the center front and tapering to the side seams so that the side seam length didn’t change. I determined before cutting out my fabric that this alteration would be necessary after I measured the crotch seam of a pair of ready-to-wear shorts that fit me well and comparing that measurement to my pattern pieces.
  • I used one length of one inch wide elastic instead of two lengths of quarter inch wide elastic in the waistband. It’s just what I had on hand. I don’t have an opinion on whether it turned or better or worse this way.

Although I find these shorts very comfortable, attractive and practical, I think they only earn a B grade. I think the leg/thigh silhouette needs to be a little sleeker to fit me best. I can also only wear shirt tucked into the shorts because of the front tie. I like the tie, but it limits the shorts’ versatility. Finally, Simplicity is responsible for one aspect of the lower grade because one of the pattern tissues sheets didn’t have all the printing. It only had the pattern piece outlines and markings, but they weren’t numbered and didn’t show which markings went with which size. I had to do a bit of guess work to get the shorts put together. All in all, they are a summer piece that I’ll get a lot of wear out of, especially with the scorcher we’re having.

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One thought on “Summer Shorts

  1. They don’t look elastic waisted at all – they are very good. You are lucky to be having a good summer – shorts haven’t been very useful here this summer. A raincoat is handy!

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