Sep 28, 2012

Shorts Stories

I've been seeing floral printed denim everywhere lately, and while I wouldn't wear it myself - I'm too old for that, right? - I thought I might make the girls some new shorts for summer.  This sort of thing was my inspiration. 
Floral shorts $32.99 from Pumpkin Patch

I found some floral denim at Spotlight.  It was about $6 for 1/2 a metre but that was all I needed to make these shorts - plus I still have some left over.  

I didn't have a pattern so I used a pair of shorts from last year that still fit around the waist but are a bit short in the leg.  I just traced around them to make a pattern, and then took some measurements from Katherine to make sure I was on the right track. 

I decided to make a flat front with an elastic casing in the back.  I put some pockets on the front as well, but not on the back.  The ones on the back are just for decoration anyway, right?  I deliberated over putting a yoke in the back, but in the end I left it out and just ran the seam all the way up to the waistband.  Katherine has no bottom anyway, so it sits fine the way it is.

I put a zip in the front, although I shouldn't have bothered.  She doesn't have hips, so she can get them on and off without undoing the button anyway, because of the elastic.  It was just more busy work that I didn't really need.  And there was plenty of busy work with these!   So much unpicking!  I unpicked until my hands cramped up.  I finished them late at night and then the next morning when Katherine tried them on - I already knew they were going to be far too big - they were massive on her.  So I unpicked the waistband stitching.  I unpicked the elastic stitched in at the sides to shorten that.  I unpicked the topstitching down the sides of the legs, and then I had to bring in the sides a good inch or so on each side, and stitch the whole thing back together.  

Oh noes, my child is way cooler than I am!  

I'm still not happy with the fit.  They look ok, but not fantastic.  

The shirt is McCalls M6156, which was another late night project.  Hubby has been working nights, so there's been plenty of late night sewing going on!  I have already made this once before, but this time I really wanted to do it with pintucks.  The pintucks didn't show up very well on the gingham so I ended up getting a little bit creative and making a wave pattern with them by running a stitch across them in opposite directions. I love the way this turned out!

Katherine seems to like the outfit too.  I can always tell by the way she poses for photos.  She's so much more enthusiastic about being photographed when she is wearing something she likes! 

I played around with the shorts pattern a bit and decided to make another pair.  This pair I made out of  some cherry print fabric - it is a stretch sateen that I bought to make one of my Nanna's vintage dresses with (I've made the dress by the way, and worn it!  I will get around to blogging it once I find someone to take a decent photo of me in it!).  I had some scraps left over - just enough to make a pair of shorts.  The fit on these is so much better.  There is still room to grow a bit in them though, which is good.

I left the zip off this pair and did a mock fly instead.  So much easier!  I even fooled Katherine - I caught her trying to undo the button (which is firmly stitched on).  Haha, gotcha!

I took them in at the top but left them sort of flared around the leg.  Plus I had a bit more length to work with, so I just did a rolled cuff on these ones.  The denim ones had a separate cuff attached because I was worried about the length.  

They sit nicer at the back too, I think, because there isn't so much bulk cinched in at the top.  So happy with these - I might make a few more pairs yet!  


  1. Oh my goodness. I love these shorts. You did a great job finishing them off. I'm going to search for some patterned denim at my local spotlight tomorrow.

  2. Thank-you! My local store had a few different prints. I also bought some denim with white flowers but I'm not sure if it's destined to become shorts yet or not...