Sweet ‘Lacy’ Sweet Shorts – Pattern Runway

It’s been HOT and I needed more shorts in my life…

Hello Sweet Shorts from Pattern Runway

Sweet Shorts by Pattern Runway

Sweet Shorts by Pattern Runway

Sweet Shorts by Pattern Runway

Sweet Shorts by Pattern Runway – oops sorry – shoulda fixed my naughty front pocket – too much twirling!

I adore this fabric. It’s a cotton/poly blend from Spotlight. I love its lacy embroidered look – and the fact it doesn’t crush like crazy with wear!! I usually would not touch poly-anything with a ten-foot pole but this fabric was too lovely… it whispered ‘Sweet Shorts’ to me as I walked past…

I was tempted to use the reverse as a contrast on the side pockets… but I wanted a simple pair of white lacy-look shorts so steered clear of the contrast, I felt it would ruin the lovely silhouette of this design & distract from its features.

Hello back single welt pockets…

Sweet Shorts - back pocket, single welt

Sweet Shorts – back pocket, single welt. So, so, so close to perfect!

Hello side slash pockets…

Sweet Shorts - side pocket

Sweet Shorts – side pocket

Hello single scallop front…

Sweet Shorts by Pattern Runway

My favourite feature. The front scallop and a high waist is a cute leg lengthener. My pattern matching on the centre seam is not too shabby either.

Sewing Shorts the SewBusyWay

I’m not a muslin maker – unless I have concerns about ease & fit… and shorts always fall into the category for me. I don’t have a lot of meat on me but I have a small waist and a set of hips. I don’t mind my hips… they make my waist look small (looking for the positives people!) – and gave me two huge gorgeous healthy babies.

I did make a muslin of these in size S. I found them to be on the larger side of the scale and sized down to XS. I did try taking in the side seams but then found it was hard to get my hand into the side pocket openings… which sort of defeats the purpose of side pockets… the back also gaped enormously… rather like my Maritime Shorts did at first…

To deal with the back gape, I changed the construction of these shorts.

I split the back waistband in half – adding seam allowances to the centre.

I sew the left-hand side of the shorts and the short inner leg seam. I then attached the waistband in two pieces. Inserted the invisible zip and finished the right-hand side.

I then sewed the crotch seam. I sewed from the front to the back until a few inches below the welt pocket. I then basted the rest of the back seam and checked the fit – I had to take about an inch out of the back as a graduated seam from below the welts to the top of the waistband. Once I was happy with the fit, I sewed the back seam and neatened the seam. I then transferred this amount to the waistband facing, attached it and finished the shorts in the usual way.

This is how I fitted the Maritime shorts. I could have done a massive swayback paper based alteration, redrafted the waistband and so on. However for me this solution works – yes there is a join in the back waistband (which is how the Maritime shorts and Thurlows are anyway) – however for the sake of a great fit I’d forgo the one piece waistband. I’m not saying it works for everyone but it works like a dream for me.

I love the hems. They are faced and give the shorts a lovely finish – and much easier than normal hems!

I did find the instructions for attaching the welt pocket linings confusing… so I just tossed the instructions aside and figured it out for myself. I often find this is the best way to deal with something baffling when sewing. Just puzzle it out using logic, pins and other garments as a reference.

I have a very simple trick when I attach waistband facing. I run a line of basting stitches along the edge of the waistband – so I know exactly where I need to turn the fabric over when I turn the facing to the inside, turn the seam allowance under (using the basting as a guide) and slip stitch the facing to the inside of the shorts. Then I remove the basting. This simple step improves the finish by a country mile – and hastens the ironing and slip stitching process – no guessing by eye or using a tape to check the turn.


These shorts are not a simple or quick make, there are welt pockets, side slash pockets, faced hems and more. However they are not that hard either. You do need to take your time, possibly make a muslin to determine fit and be patient to achieve a nice finish. They are well drafted and go together beautifully.

I love the flat front, the front seams, the scalloped hem, the back welt pockets, the high waist… fabulous pattern!

I really enjoyed making these. I’ve decided I need a pair in denim…

Windy day!

Windy day!

Sew Neurotic Lizzy

I’ve always shied away for posting too many construction pictures. I’m notoriously hard on myself. That mentality of ‘coulda & shoulda’ done better. I’m tough on myself and always kept my methods & garment ‘innards’ to myself. So brace yourself. This is it.

Note: These shorts are damp and could have been better pressed for these shots… these were immaculate… until a small incident with a small child and red nail polish – I then spilt some nail polish remover on the pocket lining… boo… but you can’t see it from the outside of the shorts – whew. The lining was just bemsilk from the stash.

Sweet Shorts - inside back

Sweet Shorts – inside back

Sweet Shorts - inside front

Sweet Shorts – inside front

You know… I’ve come to the realisation I’m ok. I can sew. I can sew pretty well. I might not be technically trained. I tend to sew via inspiration & intuition. My fit techniques are not the paper-based ones. I think via my hands – I wave my arms when I talk and I think I sew the same way.

I do take my time with construction, I love a complicated pattern. I love to sew it neatly, I take my time to improve and learn new techniques – and sew like a possessed woman of course. However when I get stuck or something freaks me out – I don’t plough on these days. I put it aside. I try it on. I readjust. Try a different placement. I find a solution. I feel hellishly proud of my work by the end and often fall in love with my makes.

I like to take nice photos. I get a vision in my head of an outfit and that’s what inspires me to sew.

Blogging was also made me realise just how beautiful my home town is – so I indulge myself and my readers wallowing in drifts of snow in a different hemisphere! My clothes are a reflection of my lifestyle, climate and personality – this is who I am.

I’ve decided that a passion for sewing, nice pictures, style/fashion obsession, good construction and a generally happy & positive outlook on life despite any challenge that comes my way doesn’t make me a lame sewist… just a different one. Not better or worse, just me. I’m OK with that.

Pattern: Sweet Shorts Pattern Runway
Fabric: Cotton/poly blend from Spotlight, $19.95 a metre, I used 90cm.

Also see: Poppykettle | House of Pinheiro | Dixie DIY | Cirque Du Babe

Oh and we spotted several of these guys on the way home from taking the above photos…

Cute Aussie critters

Cute Aussie critters

46 thoughts on “Sweet ‘Lacy’ Sweet Shorts – Pattern Runway

  1. I do the same trick whenever I have to turn under a seam allowance…really speeds things up. However, someone once commented that I was wasting thread. WHAT!

  2. Oh, these are just gorgeous! So sweet and summery 🙂 I just finished a pair of these last week (in chambray) and I love them! And THANK YOU for mentioning you found the welt pocket linings confusing – I ended up doing my own thing there too…

  3. They’re lovely, like all your makes. And thanks for sharing your manifesto. Nothing wrong with a bit of arm-waving (do you sit on your hands as the only way to be quiet? That’s our remedy!) and I’m personally of the opinion that there’s a lot of room for improv when it comes to sewing because each of us is different and, although I accept there are general broad truths about fitting, each of us will require a slightly different solution to get the right fit. What works for you clearly works very well. Stay cool today!

    • I agree – I think there is no ‘right way’, sometimes different things work in different situations and it’s important 1) to be flexible to do so & 2) accept that in others 🙂

  4. Gorgeous shorts Lizzy! I always love photos of garment innards…. you’re WAAY too hard on yourself there. I pulled mine out the other day for the first time in a long time (they’d lost favour following the finishing of my tigerlily shorts) and fell in love all over again. I love that you’ve done your pockets in a lining fabric though – wish I’d thought of that as I did mine in self fabric and it’s just a wee bit on the bulky side. If I ever make them again, I’ll do that instead!

  5. These are great. I’m not usually a shorts fan but these look great and the front leg shaping is lovely. Plus what? Lame? Huh?!!! Never never never never never. Talent, skill and dedication is never lame. It sounds like you have had some negative comments come your way from people who don’t like your happy positive nature plus mad skilz. I am really glad you’ve realized the untruth of that. Everything you said in your final paragraph is very apparent from your blog and Im glad that we all get to enjoy those things about you via your blog. Plus I just spent a week near Port Macquarie and it really is just a stunning area. I spent a lot of time hoping I’d just ‘bump’ into you, like some crazy person. It was right over the Xmas period otherwise I would have escaped the camping fun and attempted to meet up with you.

  6. Those shorts are cute as a button… but I like the reflective ending to your post even more! A very graceful way to state your perspective in the great photography debate, and lovely to hear that you are (deservedly) proud of your skillz! Mwah!

  7. Ooo I love these shorts – and I wish I had your “problems, I have a thick waist, thicker thighs and no hips! But these look great on you – I’ve been eyeing this pattern for a while but will have to muster up the courage to tackle them (I’m scared of having to come to terms with showing off my thighs, not scared of sewing the shorts – haha). I love what you wrote at the end, too. I think we sew the way we are in “real” life. I’d love to see you waving your arms when you talk! 🙂

  8. First of all great shorts and they fit you well, nothing wrong with your technique to get you there either. I agree you are too hard on yourself, that inside looks impeccable! I totally agree with you on your last sentiments and feel the same way. I hope that doesn’t make me lame either, I love pictures taken outside with different scenery and if I have the opportunity I take it where possible (hard by myself sometimes). I love your outdoor shots, it’s part of your “brand” – don’t stop, just be you and we’ll keep following 🙂

  9. Oooh, you finished them!!! They are so cute and yet so grown up at the same time! Nice welt pockets! I used a Burda pattern for my first welt pockets (on as yet unfinished trousers) and I also could not make heads or tails of the instructions. Neither could the volunteer sewing instructor at the time, so I think a ‘research project’ re: best way to sew welt pockets is on the horizon for me. And, I’m so excited to see the insides of your clothes!!! (…..just re-read that, sounded odd, to say the least, lol). I often spend more time making the insides look pretty than the outsides! So, am always dying to see how others sewed theirs. Yours looks great, the colours are all so muted and I like how neat and tidy the hem facings look. Kangaroo!!! Yay! And, I, for one, would be sorely disappointed if you stopped taking your pics by the seaside. Esp. when it’s winter here. 😉

  10. They are gorgeous mate, great for showing off your pins!
    I guess the backdrop of your photos is ok. You know, Port is a pretty tough place to look at. 😉
    Love your work x

  11. They look gorgeous! I have a pair currently under construction that will be my toile/muslin. I have some changes to make and am spurred on by your lovely pair!
    Thanks for the wildlife photos too, no wallabies in the centre of Sydney..though we can hand feed the possums in the park.

  12. Love these shorts on you! I wouldn’t have been able to say no to that lacy poly either–it’s so sweet! I, too, shy away from taking photos of the “innards” of my garments, but I love when others do. Maybe I’ll start taking them too 🙂

  13. These are gorgeous! The fabric is lovely, I really like the hit of blue in the background. Loving the scallop hem and welt pockets, they look fab! It’s great to see some photos of sunshine, I was scraping frost off my car window this morning.

  14. these are beautiful and suit you perfectly! and i’m not sure who is calling you a lame sewist, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth! you’re always honest in your posting, and heck if i had an ocean in my back yard i’m sure i’d take advantage of the beautiful backdrop. i do love seeing the innards of other people’s makes (whether or not they are pretty!) as it appeals to my curiosity of construction techniques. anyways… keep doing what you do, i love reading this space 🙂

  15. I love these shorts – I like the scallop front hem, so pretty. And the fabric is AH-MAZING! Glad you got the nail polish off. I really like seeing the innards of people’s sewing – as I’m just learning how to sew I find this really helpful…REALLY helpful, so TA!

  16. Right on, Lizzy! Sew however and whatever you feel like. No one is judging you. : ) And yes, readers wallowing in snow definitely appreciate your gorgeous summer photos!

  17. I’m grateful for your blog, your advice, your craft. I also have never been classically trained (in fact I am learning mostly as I go!) but I love to sew, to push through a challenge and love the results, even if they aren’t couture-perfect. The shorts are beautiful 🙂 Please keep posting…it is an inspiration for us non-pro home sewists. 🙂

  18. Beautiful job – these will get much wear I’m sure, and all your hard work fitting them will pay off because now you can make a dozen more with ease! ^__^

    As mentioned by others, i think you are too hard on yourself (which seems to be a common thing amongst us creative types). Of course we always want to strive as close to perfection as possible, but you are already WAYYYY up there, and many of us look up to you as an inspiration, in both your makes and your beautiful photography. Sewing what you love and how you love doing it is the whole point – sharing it is even better 🙂 Being yourself is never lame XOXO

  19. Lizzy, you have a great eye for making fabric work in everything you do. How you do it is up to you. If you have to try something on to check, that’s simply doing a good job.

    And the way you present your projects would make any ‘would be’ sewer want to crack open that sewing machine that’s still sitting in its box and make something. The fact that you live in a gorgeous location and you bring this to us on your blog is our bonus.
    I hope you stay who you are.

  20. I think they look beautiful!! Your construction looks great to my eyes 🙂 I love your photos, it’s clear you really put time and thought into the look you want. You’re inspiring!

  21. Oh my, what sensational shorts, they make me cry for a bit of warmth! It’s not actually fair of you to show so much of your beautiful beach/ blue sky/ legs Lizzy, I’m sitting here with my mug of hot choc and thick 60 derniers … upsetting. (I’d add a winky face here if I just knew how!) x

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