Hi sew friends! Today, I have a new round of "Stuff I Made” and today’s theme is shorts. I love wearing shorts in the summer so I thought that it would be fun to show you a few of my favorite pairs. In the video, I compare the design details of each of these women’s shorts sewing patterns and give a quick review and my size info. Click through to watch the video and get all the pattern details and links. Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite and if you have a favorite shorts pattern.
Today I’m sharing a quick and easy summer make, paper bag waist shorts. I love a quick sew because it scratches that need to sew itch and gives you results quickly, an instant gratification project. I actually managed to sew these from start to finish in about 90 minutes (not including cutting and pattern prep). It was a fun way to spend a weekend morning; just concentrating on sewing and not thinking about silly things like to-do lists.
Today’s make feels like the perfect way to kick off the summer season. Because really this dress is all about the color. And if a super bright orange doesn’t say “Yay it’s summer!” then I don’t know what does. I really love the bright color of this dress and of course I also love the boxy silhouette.
The fabric is something that I picked up from a bargain bin in the downtown LA fashion district a long time ago. It’s very, very lightweight with a little bit of texture to it. It’s almost too lightweight for a dress but I threw caution to the wind.
This dress is made using the Tacara dress pattern from Seamwork magazine. If you’re not familiar with Seamwork, it’s a monthly online magazine and now also a sewing community. I always look forward to the first of every month because it means a new issue of Seamwork and two new patterns will be released. This dress has a very boxy cocoon shape that is similar to my Lou Box Dress 1 pattern. The big difference is that it is very fitted elbow length (or according to the pattern it’s 3/4 length) sleeves. I really love the contrast in proportions from the oversized body to the fitted sleeves. I also really like the center back seam. It’s a nice detail on an otherwise very simple garment.
I made a size 8. My measurements (38.5" bust, 28.5" waist, 39.5" hips) put me between a size 8 and a size 10 but because this pattern has such generous ease, I felt confident going with the smaller size. I also added 5” to the length of the body because I’m 5’11” and it hits perfectly at my knee. To determine how much length to add, I think I just held the pattern up to my body along with a tape measure and looked in the mirror. When adding length, I don’t think there’s a cut and dry number formula because our bodies all have different proportions. For example, my thighs are a little longer than my shins so I need to add more length to get to my knees. Other people might have the same inseam that I do but have longer shins so a knee length dress could be shorter for them. I did not alter the length of the sleeves which is probably why they sit a little more on my elbow than the middle of my forearm.
I mostly followed the instructions in the pattern but did a couple things my own way. The method of doing the pockets seemed overly complicated and I was looking for a quick and easy sew so I used this method from my Lou Box Dress sewalong. I suspect that the method in the instructions would make the pockets less visible. I just wasn’t feeling up for it. For the neckline, I just did my usual knit neckband technique (which I have a video about here).
I really love how this dress turned out. I think it will be perfect for summer. The lightweight fabric and oversized nature will be great on super hot days. I’ve already worn it a couple of times and it’s not surprisingly super comfortable. And that color just makes it feel super fun and special.