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 PinheiroDixie 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

URBAN BUTTERFLY – Grainline Maritime Shorts (take 3!)

Grainline Maritime Shorts, Take 3. Size 4

Grainline Maritime Shorts. We didn’t take this deliberately but it’s kind cute with the butterfly wings – now I wonder if there is angel halo graffiti anywhere…!

Here we finally are in Grainline Maritime Shorts in size 4. Sorry, looking a little creased we drove around for ages – it was excessively windy! Paired with my gym shirt at the suggestion of ELH.

I couldn’t stop until I mastered these shorts (previous two pairs are posted here…). Yes, I can be a little bit obsessive. I really love these ones, I confess that I am a camouflage print fan (yup, bet you never guessed that!).

Grainline Maritime Shorts, back view

Grainline Maritime Shorts, back view. How cool – camo pockets – yes they are really there!! The sand is blowing off the beach in this shot and absolutely stinging my skin from head to toe. Ouch. These dunes have eroded due to storm action, high tides etc – hence the safety fencing.

Once again I took a massive wedge out of the back seam and waistband pieces after I tried them on (I think if more men realised how much time women spent semi-nude sewing, they would be rushing out to purchase sewing machines for their wives and girlfriends…. just sayin’). The ‘butt fit’ is pretty good I think. The only change I might make (next time) is tapering in the leg ever so slightly.

I made the buttonhole horizontal rather than vertical. I checked all my jeans, denim mini skirts etcetera (I have a rather large collection of denim) and their buttonholes were all horizontal. I think it makes sense. It provides a little bit of ease, the button has room to slide rather than pulling against the buttonhole. I also double stitched the hems – just because.

Fabric is from the stash (it’s just cotton drill – purchased for $3 and even the zip came from the stash!). My workmate explained that this camouflage colourway is referred to as ‘urban camo’ as it is concrete greys rather than jungle greens. If it wasn’t for the reflective logos on my gym singlet you wouldn’t even know I was there…

Grainline Maritime Shorts

I’m missing my butterfly wings! And I have this weird leg muscle thing going on – maybe too many lunges, burpees and squats at the gym that day…

Here’s one of the things I love about sewing. I would never have even tried a pair of short shorts on in a shop – yet I sew them, photograph them and discover that my legs are not as heinous as I thought. Maybe I am a ‘shorts’ girl after all… ELH agrees.

Nothing much to say – except I love these little fellas. Cute as.

Make ’em – I know you want to…

Pattern: Grainline Maritime Shorts.
Fabric: Cotton Drill from Spotlight, $3

Pattern details & adjustments – check out this blog post…

Now I haven’t made a dress in a while…

SewHolidayLizzy – Grainline Maritime Shorts (1 & 2)

Grainline Maritime Shorts in floral denim

Grainline Maritime Shorts in floral denim – Take 2 in size 6

I’ve never been a ‘shorts’ girl. However after the Archer blast I decided that I needed MOAR Grainline in my life so I purchased the Maritime Shorts, Mini Moss Skirt and the Tiny Pocket Tank. I know, nothing like jumping in boots ‘n’ all.

I decided to make the Shorts first – weird choice as I have never been a fan of me and my legs in shorts…

I had a scrap of denim so I whipped up the first pair… they were… let’s say ‘friendly’ aka rather on the super-fitted side. I think if I had put on Kylie Minogue’s Spinning Around that I could have smacked out the denim version of the music clip. Actually… they weren’t quite that bad… but they were a little frisky for me 🙂

Grainline Maritime Shorts

ahhhhh….. NO….. size 2

I didn’t actually finish these – ie no hems – I’ve just rolled over the raw edges. I knew they were not going to be wearable before I even put in the fly but I just continued on just to practice the techniques. The fabric was about $4 so there were no tears over this failure. ELH (the ever lovin’ husband) said he thought they looked mighty fine (men!) but understood my reluctance to leave the house in them!

Grainline Maritime Shorts - front view

Grainline Maritime Shorts – front view

So then I decided to make them again in size 6 (because going up two sizes seemed sensible after Take 1 fit!) with some floral denim I had stashed (yes this is the stash busting project of 2013!). I basted up the side seams on the advice of Abbey from Sew Charleston – great advice as I took them in by at least another 1/4 inch on each side after trying them on.

I also altered the construction method so it was more like the Sewaholic Thurlow – in a similar manner to Lauren’s Maritime shorts.

I sewed the crotch seam from the bottom of the fly and just an inches into the back pieces. I inserted the fly front and then attached the waistband in two pieces. I sewed the left front band to a back band and the right front band to the other back band. I then attached the left front/back bands and the right front/back bands to their side of the shorts – leave the back seam unstitched (am I making any sense??). I tried on the shorts and redrew the back seam line on the shorts back and band pieces – taking out a massive slice… I mirrored this slice onto the band interfacing back pieces.

This is a really simple way to fit shorts if you have a huge gape at the back – no-one wants to see your builder’s crack – trust me on this one.

Grainline Maritime Shorts, size 6, back view.
Grainline Maritime Shorts, size 6, back view. Still a little baggy – need more junk in the trunk.

These are not too bad – not quite perfect but still very wearable. I really love this denim, it’s stretchy and really quite cute. Looks so much better made up than on the roll… good thing I got three metres for $12…

So I decided I needed to make these in size 4. I don’t know why I went up two sizes. SewStoopidLizzy hoots the Drunk Monkey. So Take 3, the Urban Butterfly, is coming your way very soon…

Where am I in these shots? Yes away again. This time with friends at Nambucca Heads, about 75 minutes drive north from home for the October long weekend. I had the most hideous flu in these shots, I actually spent most of the weekend asleep in the cabin… staggering out for a few hours, having a few beers and then back to bed!

This is a truly gorgeous spot where the river meets the ocean and they have a breakwall – complete with graffiti rocks. I love breakwalls like this, people document their holidays, family reunions, propose, commemorate a loved one’s passing… while it is graffiti, most people ignore the ‘illegal’ element. These strangely beautiful walls are about lives being lived… and there is something captivating and beautiful about that. Ordinary people taking the time to grab a brush and celebrate a moment in a public way. Over time the rocks change, as people paint over a rock and start their own stories where another once was. I love that. There is always another story, another joy, another sorrow. It’s quite beautiful in a magnificently ordinary way. Just like life.

Grainline Maritime Shorts - Nambucca Breakwall

Grainline Maritime Shorts – Nambucca Breakwall

And we saw whales breaching offshore while we took these pictures. Amazing!

Pattern: Grainline Maritime Shorts
Fabric: denim from Spotlight ($4m from the bargain table!)

Also See: Sew Charleston | Boo Dogg & Me | Lladybird | Cloth Habit

Watch this space for Take 3… The Urban Butterfly…

I seriously can’t believe I put two photographs of my bum in a blog post – but there you go… that’s blogging for you…