Monday, March 17, 2014

Simplicity 1887: Linen Shorts-- A Fitting Success!


Pants fitting has always been a sore spot for me... handmade ones and the RTW ones.  I need shorts and pants for the impending warmer seasons and I ain't buying those ill-fitting RTW things.  I chose Simplicity 1887, a really easy shorts pattern to work on a few of my fitting issues.  And holy crap... I have pleasantly surprised myself here with how it fits my rear end!  This pattern has a weird elastic back waist, not my favorite look but it seems to work pretty well.

This pattern has MASSIVE amounts of ease at 7.5" (19 cm).  According to the pattern size chart I should have made a 14/16 waist and 20 hip.  I made a 12 waist and a 16 hip with alterations to the crotch depth and curve to fit my fuller bum and thighs.  After much contemplation, thought and reading I realized I have to (almost) always make these alterations to pants/shorts patterns.  Look at this mess I drafted last year.. ugh... before REALLY taking the time to consider some stuff.  Yep, I've made pants since then with decent success, but they were things like spandex running tights or stretchy woven leggings that work well without hyper-crazy-detailed fitting.


This is how I altered the pattern to fit my back side.  I have a larger butt that sits lower then most folks' and larger thighs.  I scooped out the crotch curve to let my butt have space to be a big butt.  I added about 3/4" (2 cm) to the crotch depth-- this is key to getting the back waist to sit up where it should.  You big butted girls know how it goes when you buy pants, the back drops down too low below your waist.  Sewing forces me to address and just totally accept these differences in my figure.  I got a traffic-stopping booty, ya'll and I don't mind!  So when I say I have a large bum, translate that as "I have a rear that is shaped larger then what patterns happen to be designed for and I have to take a few extra minutes to alter my pattern first, no big woop".


Now let's take a less then sexy look at these shorts in their full glory.  They have an elastic back waist, not the best looking.  I chose a very casual linen fabric that can work pretty well with this sort of look.  These shorts are an opportunity to sport one of those mullet shirts to cover this up but show the front tie.   Anyhow... I am flipping EXCITED about how the butt fits!  No wrinkling.  No bunching.  It hits the widest part of me and flows.  WHAT!?!?!  I just stood there and took photos and the shorts just did what they were supposed to do.  Even the side seam runs perfectly vertical to the floor.


The tie in front is cute.  The angled pockets aren't ideal for my figure, but they work well enough considering the butt fits so well!!!!  The elastic in back continues around to the edge of the tie, this made that edge gap up some and the pocket gets a little gap-y.

I am lukewarm for front pleats like this, they can puff out and look odd.  In the photo below I walked forward to show how they actually don't poof out like I expected.  Another win!


They look pretty adorable on the hanger.  You can see some of the wacky variations in the fabric.  I actually dyed my fabric this way.  It was originally a very dull, depressing pale grayish-green.  I had this linen in my stash for about five years, it came from Fashion Fabrics Club and it needed a color boost.  I used Rit Dye in Denim Blue for these.  With about 4 yards (3 1/3 m) and a too small pot, I caused some tie-dyed effects on the material (by mistake!)  I also through in a few yards of various stretch laces I had to use in some future lingerie projects (those dye jobs turned out perfectly.)


My hems are uber short.  I serged the edge on the raw hem, folded them up barely a 1/2" (1.25 cm) and top stitched.  I'm 5'8" (1.73 m) and this pattern is drafted for girls who are 5'6" (1.67 m.)  I serged all of my seams inside to finish them.  The pattern calls for two rows of 3/4" (1.9 cm) wide elastic-- the best I had in my stash was 1" (2.5 cm) wide stuff.  I just used this for one row and it works just fine.

Woo hoo!  Shorts that fit!  Now if those 6" of snow outside will melt...
I feel like this is GIANT step forward for me and sewing up my own pants and shorts.  I can't wait to sew up some actual pants soon.  And I can't wait for warmer weather.

37 comments:

  1. Yep. Making some more of these! :-)

    Perfectly done! Love the color variation and the fit is great!!!!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I really liked your versions, I saw you put a zipper in one of them. Great idea!

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  2. Perfection! Congrats on a home run with the fit!

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I am over the moon with the fit. Now I hope I can do this again with other patterns and even full length pants.

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  3. I had to stop by to say I love your linen shorts! Great job!

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    1. Thank you so much Cherie! They were very easy to actually sew up... it really is all about getting the fit down for me. Hopefully I can get it right again with other pants.

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  4. These came out great! I have a similar shape to you and I have to do these adjustments too ("I cannot lie..."). Well done. Now lets hope the snow melts!

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    1. Ha! Thanks Meigan!! Now I have to lurk through your blog to look at your pants and patterns you've done to see what I could copy ... err.... be inspired by since we both have similar big bum issues.

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  5. Amazing fitting shorts!! I even like the look of them, they are really cute!

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  6. Some people really hate the elastic in the back, but for me it's an easy way to keep from having plumbers crack because I have a big butt that's extremely...uh, perky. I think you could probably snug up the waist a bit and eliminate the elastic wrinkles and then no one would have to know. Maybe with some darts so you don't ruin your perfect fit over the backside? Because you totally scored on the fit of these and it would suck if tweaking the elastic ruined the fit...

    Also, love the tie-dye look of the fabric! :-)

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    1. Thanks! I did consider removing the elastic, using darts and throwing in a zipper on the side seam. It would be easy peasy :) But I did not want to mess with this pants fitting progress! The waistband is as snug as I can take when I pull it up over my hips... I have a significantly smaller waist as compared to my hips/bum... so it's tightttt when as I pull em up already. But you're right, the darts would correct the wrinkle-age issue I'm not too thrilled about. Pants/shorts sewing like this a a real breeze once the fit is right so I know I will make a more fitted sorta back waist so soon likely with a different pattern.

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  7. Those are amazing shorts. Love the fitting technique and will be sure to apply that whenever I have the nerve to attempt shorts or pants. Looks great on you.

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    1. Thanks! I know how you feel with trying to get pants to fit... it ain't easy. I wonder what'll happen when I make actual long pants.

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  8. Wow, they look fantastic! Congrats on cracking the code!

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    1. Thanks Gail. Actually, reading so many of your pants fitting posts was a bit of a help when I've been thinking about how I need to alter patterns for my figure. Double thanks :)

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  9. These are really gorgeous - and so wonderfully fitting! Great proportions and style lines on you - love em.

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    1. Aww shucks. Thanks :) I did not really expect to like the shorts quite as much considering the elastic over the butt and the pleats in front.

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  10. These are a fantastic fit. I would say roll on warm weather but gat would mean winter for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere.

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    1. Thanks! Now it's time for you to send your nice weather to me :)

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  11. Oh wow, those do fit really well. I tried making shorts from a McCall's pattern and was fantastically disappointed. =) I might have to give this pattern a try. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks! I too have been wildly disappointed with other pants/shorts patterns from the Big 4. It was long enough ago that I didn't even blog about it. I think some are better then others for different figures for sure.

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  12. wow, these fit you perfectly-- and MAJOR win on the dye!

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    1. Thanks, lady! I'm totally addicted to dyeing now. I'm digging around to see what crazy dye job I can do next.

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  13. Altering pants can be tough .. I never tried one :) I like the pleats on the shorts. Looks nice Kathy :)a

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    1. Thanks Diya :) Pants ARE a PAIN when fitting... I bet it would be hard to find anyone who it's been a breeze for. That would be a rare unicorn!

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  14. It looks like you've got the fit all worked out. These fit you very well and are super cute! Too bad you can't wear them now. Haha :)

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    1. Thanks Tanya! Oh man, I'm done with snow... DONE!

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  15. You look so happy in your top photo, as you should -- these shorts fit you impeccably. Also: "I scooped out the crotch curve to let my butt have space to be a big butt." --> HILARIOUS!!

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    1. Thanks! You gotta have a sense of humor when it comes to some stuff, you know. Otherwise you get all wound up that you might not have the exact measurements that a fit model on some photo on a pattern envelope has.

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  16. The fit on those shorts is totally awesome! I have the low bigger butt too. I always do a happy dance if I can bend down and not show my butt to the world! Damn RTW. I'm going in for some me mades!

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  17. Thanks! And I did not do a full-on bend over with these on. Oh, geez I wonder if I'll reveal my business to the world. Well, I usually am not touching my toes frequently while shopping at the grocery store, so I probably will be ok no matter what.

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  18. Looks pretty good! I'm glad you've found a pattern that works!

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