Summer Sewing No. 5 – Chambray Shorts

I started working on these shorts a really long time ago. I was daunted. I stalled out a few times. I procrastinated. I postponed. I made other things. I did the easy stuff first. But there came a time when I had to buckle down, bite the bullet, make a few muslins and just, like, do it. And look at those cute little shorts! The lightweight chambray, the vintage red buttons. This level of cute is apt to give you cavities. The pattern is Colette 1022 Iris shorts. There are tons of these around the blogosphere and the pattern has many "highly recommended" reviews on Sewing Pattern Review.

So what was the big deal? It's just a pair of shorts for goodness sake. And I have actually made shorts before. It's just that I generally make skirts or dresses. Fitting a skirt or dress is just so much easier for me. I know what to do there. But when it comes to pants or shorts there are all theses curves that I just don't fully understand. And then you see, I'm 5'11" with a long torso. And if I can get a little personal here, that means I have a larger than average "rise" – as in crotch rise. And there's nothing worse than being bunched up and uncomfortable in the crotch.

When I looked at the measurements for the Iris pattern I became worried. I would normally wear a size 8 to 10, waist size dependent on how much I had for lunch. The finished measurements of the garment allow only 1/2" ease at the waist and 4 inches at the hip. Eek! I can already imagine my waist getting uncomfortably squeezed. But then a second thought occurred to me. Are these shorts supposed to rise as high as my actual waist? That would be about 14 inches from the bottom of the crotch to the waist. There's no way I could seriously wear shorts like that. I'd look like a lady version of Steve Urkel. So I did some google searching and found a very helpful review of the pattern by The Virtual Princess and the Pea. She has a similar figure to mine and I really appreciated reading her review. According to her experiences, the Colette patterns are best suited for the pear shaped figure. And judging by all the glowing reviews I've seen, I would recommend the pattern for someone with that shape. If you're more of a stick or apple, I'd try a different pattern. I had pretty good luck with Burda Style's Ruby shorts if you're looking for something with buttons on the sides.

I made a few muslins and ended up adding ease to the waist and subtracting it from the back leg (as seen above). I probably should have cut and slashed the back to remove that excess fabric. Does anyone know? The back was just too roomy for my flattish bum. Even after making the muslins, I ended up doing additional alterations to the fashion fabric version, even installing the zipper twice. Good grief! Do I know nothing about making a muslin?

And here they are! All done! If I do decide to make the pattern again, I will add additional room to the crotch and waist. I was right at the end of my seam allowance on these. I didn't notice those wrinkles above my bum until I took the pictures. Does anyone know what causes those? You might notice that the waistband is tight but the hips are a little loose. You can also see in the picture that my natural waist falls up by my elbow. Can you imagine if these shorts were that high? Yikes! The rise would be 5 times the length of the legs.

And of course a front view. They are rather cute shorts that I hope will get some wear.
Worn here with:
DIY Braided Fabric Bracelet (Check out my tutorial here.)
Striped Top (Mine is a few years old from Anthropologie. Similar here and here.)
Navy Flats (Mine are Steve Madden. Similar here and here.)

Check out the earlier posts in this series here:

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