Finished - shorts. SHORTS! Jimmy shorts to be specific......

My friends I'm on that fools errand again. Shorts. I'm trying to crack the little sartorial nut that eluded me last summer - the perfect shorts. Stylish shorts. Cute shorts. Shorts that didn't cut me in half in all the wrong places. I've put aside the Colette Iris pattern for now due to an inability to make the crotch curve work for me. I tried 3 other patterns last year, all failures, and swore that this was the summer I'd give the Grainline Maritime shorts a try. And I will, but after Katy's glowing report of the free Jimmy shorts pattern from Fine Motor Skills (download them here from Burda) I just had to give it a try first. 



Like Katy I was really impressed with the quality of the drafting and instructions for a free pattern. These shorts are drafted with a full lining (and a firm affirmation to use a quality lining fabric such as silk as we are indeed all too good for acetate) and 5 sizes 2-10. It looks like the designer, Melissa, is not doing any pattern drafting at the moment. 


The shorts are drafted with a full front pleat, a fly front and unusual (and for me, being honest, very unnecessarily fiddly) side seam pockets. They are designed to sit quite low on the waist, so if you wish for them to sit a little higher I'd highly recommend sizing down, at least in the waist and hips. 


According to the measurements I thought I'd fit into the 10. Now I've already discussed in the past that I can f*** things up pretty good when it comes to cutting out patterns when sick (currently on the blunt end of a very nasty cold) but when I cut into my calico fabric for a quick muslin they were enormous on me. Pinching out the excess dropped me down at least 2 sizes. I ended up cutting my fashion fabric in a size 6 waist/hips, 8 crotch curve and kept the 10 length and darts/pleats. I really wanted to reuse my calico fabric as underlining for my fashion fabric and so all I really had to do was adjust the side seams and I was good to go. I decided to tone down the pleats, and ended up removing 50% of their volume, and (like Katy) turned them into box pleats to reduce the fabric volume over my ab. 


I realised a bit too late that the size 6 waist was still just too big on me. I was going to add belt loops for a mid-rise compromise. I'll admit to you, and only you, that I retrieved the fabric from the bin, and after washing off coffee grounds (oh it could have been so much worse) I solemnly swear never to throw out my scraps until a project is complete. But then I realised that I had no belt that would fit through the loops, and ended up banging some elastic in the back waistband. At that point I was a bit over it. 

 

I'll be completely up myself and say I think using my calico muslin fabric as underlining was a stroke of genius. I've never underlined anything before and it gave my quilting cotton weight fabric a really nice heft. It's rather weird fabric. I had buyers remorse after purchasing it from Darn Cheap a while ago. Lurid red with spots on it. Hardly a timeless and chic purchase. It's a red cotton printed with a heavy coat of red dye? Paint? that leaves spots of the base fabric uncovered and has a sort of faux seersucker feel to it. Anyway I was happy to sacrifice it to the world of the wearable muslin and I think they're rather cute. Underlining was very easy. I just overlocked everything together at the side seams. I didn't underline the fly pieces or the waistband. 


I'm still a fly-front imbecile and need handholding 250% of the time when trying to construct one, and the instructions were very good in this respect. I still made a million mistakes and would highly encourage to future Sarah (or anyone else who tries this pattern) the clear marking of a crucial notch that the entire success of the fly revolves around. To prove my idiocy I realised literally at the point of being about to wear these that I had sewn the fly shield down the wrong way on the waistband, and it was shielding absolutely nothing. Clearly my brain struggles to conceptualise fly construction. I fixed it. Ask me how much fun it was. Actually no. Don't. 

So the pockets. They certainly look the biz but for the amount of frigging around I think I'd just stick to regular inseam pockets. Again the success depends on perfect acknowledgement of a certain pair of notches, and clipping right at this Crucial Point, which I did not quite get 100% the first time. Maybe the second time around I wouldn't find them such a PITA now I know their notchy little secret. If you do follow the instructions be aware that you must use fashion fabric for at least the back pocket piece as it is visible. I was lucky - I ran out of red for 2 more pieces and it was only by chance that I used calico for the front of the pockets and not the back. 


I'm rather thrilled with how swish these guys look despite my fitting and construction faffs. Of course I got to use my new Overlocker and the insides look rather weird - black thread, calico cream and red. But so neat (compared to zigzagging!)! My waistband is very nice (if you ignore that the front and left are out by a few millimetres) especially the corners. Complete credit for these goes to Lisa and her super tutorial on how to achieve such corners -  read it here

Do ignore the untidy threads.... there was much unpicking and I haven't quite achieved flawless overlocking....
And so to  the fit. Well they sit a bit low for my personal liking, hence the need for the elastic in the back. But I've just worn them camping this weekend and they were super comfortable, and my camping buddies all thought they were cute. We spent the weekend at Lake Jubilee, just outside Daylesford, and it was magnificent. These lilies growing on the lake are beyond gorgeous and there are resident peacocks:


Will I make these again? Don't know. I may come to love them, but at least they are far more successful than last years shorts. Time will tell. 


Thanks must go to my friend Isaac who had way too much fun taking these photos and making me pose in ridiculous positions. 






























Comments

  1. I think you should be rightfully pleased with these cute little numbers - they look like a great fit as well. Every girl needs a pair of polka dotted shorts in her wardrobe, I'm still getting a lot of wear out of my iris shorts although I would like the challenge of giving the fly front a go, I'm sure I'll need to watch around 20 hours of youtube tutorials however!

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    1. Thanks Lexi. I'd love to be able to fix my iris fitting issues. They're such a cute pair of shorts.

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  2. Those are super cute! I've just bought the Maratime shorts in Grainlines thanksgiving sale, so i'd definitely look this pattern up. Fly front zips are totally bamboozling, they terrify me! Yours looks really neat though. Yay for shorts weather :)

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    1. Oh this fly is a total Monet..... I bought the maritime shorts too - I have no doubt you'll sail through the fly front with your usual aplomb!

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  3. Wow, you've done an ace job battling through all those fitting issues to get such a cute pair of shorts. I too prefer to wear my shorts a bit higher, but always find that i end up cutting the waistband way too big. It's something about being so worried that they won't fit that I over compensate!

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  4. Those nasty secret critical notches!!! LOL. I feel ya, sister. I actually think the fabric is awesome and they are perfect casual shorts. Great to accompany you on this journey to find perfect shorts :)

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    1. I know - notches - who'd thought they were important?!!

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  5. They are very cute! Red with dots, seriously, totally meant for cute little shorts...you knew exactly what you were buying ;-). And great tip on the calico underlining - I'll remember that one!

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    1. Thanks Debbie - they turned out better than expected!

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  6. Nice work! Good save with the elastic back. I'm definitely going to pick up this pattern again in the summer, it's a little winner for me.

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    1. I'm so glad you made and reviewed yours - gave me some incentive!

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  7. That last shot, made me laugh so hard, I snorted coffee. Thanks for that ;) Girl you have some serious commitment. I am so very lazy, I'd have given up in disgust at the muslin stage. But then that's why you end up with wicked garments and I, well sometimes it's a fail. These are great looking and you know I like bright prints, so my opinion is no surprise. I am terrified of my upcoming culottes. I think I got super luck with my one and only previous pants-like make (Miss Kitty shorts) and I just know this next one with a fly front (EEEEEK!) is gonna kill me. Will you come up and hold my hand through it??

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    1. Ha! Glad you liked it. I won't tell you what my art director said to make me pose like that! You know I think I'm very stubborn and bloody minded. I'm filthy if a project ends up being a waist of time so I tend to perservere. You'll be fine with the culottes - and I think a fly front will reduce the chance of an errant poorly positioned flower in the lady garden region...... I'd be no help at all other than making gin and tonics....

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    2. Gin and tonics will work 😉

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  8. Well! Those shorts look pretty great on you. Shorts don't often look classy, but these do.

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    1. How kind of you to say so! :) classiness is always my goal.....

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  9. Oh well done! I'd say you're well and truly conquering shorts :) That's something I'd really love to do this summer also - just wavering between the Maritimes and the Thurlows...

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    1. That's very kind of you to say..... I wish I had your optimism! I'd go the maritime - you're not pear shaped!

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  10. I recognize myself in your “struggles” only I have nowhere near as much writing talent or humour in recounting them !!! They look cute, perfect for camping and not only … they can be a great pair of casual shorts- the fabric is quirky enough to look artsy stylish experimental! It seems you and your overlocker are having a great time together ;)

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    1. Thanks Sasha - you're right I'm loving my little janome!

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  11. They look really good if that's any consolation. It's so frustrating when even after you test the fitting, you still feel you need to do more on the real version! I hope you get lots of wear out of them anyway, the comfy fit would make me reach for them again and again i think.

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    1. Thanks Jo - I just think that pants are a law unto themselves when it comes to fitting! But I am pleased with them - just wish summer would come back. It's ridiculous - I'm wearing a jumper tonight!

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