The pattern is Simplicity 1887, which I picked up for 80 cents along with a bunch of other patterns during Joann's Memorial Day sale. I actually bought it for the skirt, but it also includes these shorts and a pair of pants - all with a pleated front, flat front yoke and elasticated (or should it be elasticized? "Elasticated" has always sounded weird to me) back waist.
When I went to cut the pattern, I was dismayed to realize that I had bought the smaller size range. My measurements put me into a size 20 in Simplicity patterns, but my pattern stopped at 16. Luckily, it seems that these shorts run really big - many blogosphere sewists have gone down two sizes.
I went ahead with the size 16. On my first pair, I lengthened the shorts about 1.5" and sewed the side seams at 1/4" instead of 5/8".
The first pair is made of the last of a four-yard cut of Lisette dotted chambray from a few summers ago. This fabric has been cursed for me. Although I had four yards of it, all I have to show for them is these shorts and a baby dress I made last winter. That's because everything I have cut out of the fabric has totally failed.
I wouldn't call these shorts a failure, but if I had muslined them first I would have been able to fix the problems you can see in these photos - I think the wrinkles near my hips in the above photos are an indication that I needed more room for my booty.
And in the next photo you can see how the front rise sags because it is too long.
So before sewing the next pair, I made some adjustments to the pattern. I scooped out the back rise a bit, 5/8" at the deepest point. I also added 3/8" to my side seams so that I could take 5/8" seams again. Finally, I took 1" out of the front rise using this tutorial. It was really quite easy as well as effective, and has given me confidence to make more shorts or pants.
I forgot to lengthen my pattern piece on this pair, so I took a 1/2" hem at the bottom instead of 1.25" like the pattern instructs. I really would not be comfortable with the shorts any shorter than this. I almost added some crochet trim to the hems but decided at the last minute not to. I'm glad I resisted; the shorts will go with more tops this way and I think maybe my trim will be better used on a top. I'm wearing the shorts with another Kirsten Kimono tee that I made recently - it's a medium with a 5" FBA (!), graded out to the XL at the bottom.
I really like these orange shorts, but the fabric relaxes A LOT throughout the day. I wore them last week on a hiking outing with a homeschool group (and I received compliments on the outfit), but by mid afternoon they literally would not stay up and I had to change! I've been thinking about what to do about this, because I really like them. I also have another cut of this linen in a lovely mustard yellow that I was planning on using to make the skirt from the pattern. I think I'm going to sew some clear elastic into the seam at the top of the front yoke - and possibly into the bottom seam where the yoke meets the shorts - when I make the skirt. As for the shorts, I REALLY don't want to take them apart but if the clear elastic is a success I might do it. I guess I could also put in some belt loops. I'm not really a belt wearer though.
After the hike, while wearing the blue shorts, I went to pick up my niece and my sister told me that I looked "dowdy." Don't worry, my feelings aren't hurt - we have very different clothing styles. But I scrutinized these photos a bit more while finishing this post, and although pleated fronts are not usually my bag, I still think the shorts are cute. I guess it's possible that my style has veered off fully into "mom" territory without my realizing it, but you know what? I'm a mom. And I'm ok with looking like one.