You may have seen my somewhat vague #B2B2016 posts about the bottoms I made, and this is why! I did make them as basics, but also to go with this blog tour that lovely Tibeca over at Sewing by Ti has put together. I have a really fun pair that has quickly become one of my favorites too!
So let’s just dive in shall we?
First up, a very basic woven short with a knit band, the Skinny Pant from Jocole. These come with inseam lengths for pants and a longer short, but because I’m short, I prefer shorter inseams to make my legs look longer, so I just drew a line and created my own inseam length on the pattern. They are drafted for wovens, however, I have done stretch wovens, which I actually prefer, and also ponte and sweatshirt fleece too. I think its an all around basic pattern to grab if you’ve not sewn pants or shorts before, as it has no fly or zipper or in seam pockets, just the knit band and the patch style pockets. It was one of my first real pants patterns and I think its fab for any beginner.
Here are the details on this particular pair:
Pattern: Jocole Skinny Pants
Fabric: Main is a stretch twill, 97/3 cotton/spandex from Jo-Ann. The band is 91/9 cotton/spandex, also from Jo-Ann.
Notes: As I mentioned above, I prefer stretch wovens as I think that little bit of give just helps with overall fit, and of course, ease of wear. Because this is a stretch woven, I started with the size I measured into, an 18, and then actually sized down because of the extra room I had; remember these are drafted for non-stretch wovens, so had I used one of those, the 18 probably would’ve been fine.
I’d also like to note that Jodi drafts closest to what I call “true” pattern sizing, and in her patterns, I am often a much “larger” size than in all the others. In general, pattern sizing will typically be larger than RTW, but seeing multiple sizes larger always jolts me a bit. That’s ok, nobody knows but me right? And now you I guess, haha.
Anyways, as I said, I did my own inseam, roughly 4″ on this pair, and I think its perfect for this style. I did my own waistband as I typically do, using my measurements and contouring the band to be tighter at the top and stay put.
That’s pretty much it.As you’ll see in the pictures, I did NOT pattern match, which I know some of you will cringe at, but this pair was really kind of a muslin and I didn’t realize how much I’d actually like them and want to wear them, haha.
For my second pair, I used the Coachella Shorts from Striped Swallow Designs. There are two versions of this pattern- the original, which is a relaxed fit, and the slim fit, which was added last year, and is a more snug version that fits closer around the leg.
Before the slim fit, I was using the original fit and just bringing it in closer on the leg and sometimes sizing down. I also always used a stretch woven, and a few times, an outright knit like ponte and stretch french terry. I used the slim version only once, and it was with a knit as well.
The pattern indicates that it’s made for wovens, though you can use knits, and also includes a size chart, however, theres just one size chart, and it appears to be for both versions.Personally, I don’t understand how that works; if a pattern is a more snug fit, I would think it would need a different chart. But maybe that’s just my perception since that’s how I’ve seen it done elsewhere.
Nevertheless, I decided to do a lovely floral linen in the slim fit for my test pair, and because I was leery of the sizing, I went up a size, and unfortunately, they are too small. They do technically fit, as I can get them on and I can move in them, but they aren’t all that comfortable, and definitely not conducive to chasing my rambunctious boys around without popping a seam. I also did the elastic waistband as the pattern calls for, and man, muffin top for dayyyyyys. SOOOO not flattering. At all. Not a knock to the pattern, but there’s a reason I don’t typically do elastic waistbands! They are working well as pajama shorts though, and I may take the elastic band off and do a knit bad, or just remove the elastic and do a drawstring.
On to the main event! This pair, I love. LOVE. L.O.V.E. So. Much. So, without further ado…
Pattern: Coachella Shorts by Striped Swallow Designs
Notes: I wrote XXL* because, while I should certainly fit into that size according to the size chart, it was too snug for comfort. So, what I did was to keep the XXL front pattern piece and I decided that where it was really pulling was in the booty, indicating I needed more room there, or to do more squats and stair runs, maybe both, haha. So what I did was I cut the pattern vertically right before the hemline starts to curve upward (This would make sense if you have the pattern in front of you)and slid it over about and inch or so. This gave me more fabric to work with wrapping around. It also changes the amount of trim you need if you’re using trim. I typically don’t, but I did cording on this pair and used just under 1 whole package.
It sewed up easily, which is always a plus for me with patterns. Sewing with littles around typically means I need quick sews and no overly fussy fitting and matching to do.
I did a knit band instead of the elastic, and totally winged it here with sizing and band width. In typical me fashion, I made the band too big, and being lazy, I decided to just dart it vs taking off the band and redoing it. Well, I ended up with a cute little v shape at the back waist, so I did the same to the front!
Now, these are a wee bit shorter than I’d typically go for, I did the 2″ inseam, so “mom shorts” they are not! However, I’ve been wearing them and rocking them despite my initial hesitation that the flowy leg would be sort of like a skirt when I bent down for things, but when I washed the shorts the first time, they shrank a bit and so the leg holes were not quite as large and the fit was a bit more snug, which fixed that problem. However, I’d already washed and dried it twice before sewing, so I’m hoping shrinkage doesn’t continue! Either way, these are my current favorite pair of shorts and work so well with my basics t-shirts I made last week!
Be sure to check out the other tour stops and participants for some summer sewing inspiration!