Finished - Bird of Paradise shorts

It's happened! I've finally found a shorts pattern that I'm really pleased with! I've made many many shorts patterns over the last few years with pretty much no public wearability success. Too tight, too loose, too short, too uncomfortable. You name it, I've made it in a shorts version and spat the dummy over nearly every pair. My recent Maritime shorts are reasonable in terms of fit but they still aren't quite perfect and the whole fly front thing still evades me. But these are winners. I'm thrilled to finally get some pics, even if they are crummy iPhone pics taken by an impatient husband (at the Little Creatures brewery in Geelong if you're curious).





These are my first iteration of the Salme "shorts with side zipper" pattern. I don't know why the Salme patterns aren't more popular - I think most of the designs are very chic and stylish. Some are available in paper (Helene stocks them at Stitch 56) but the entire range is available in PDF. No seam allowances are included but there are suggestions on what to add where. These shorts have darts in the front and back (you could convert the front darts to a pleat), a side zip and lovely slanted side pockets. 




I made these in a size 10. I think from memory my measurements put me in a higher size but when I compared the pattern pieces to the Maritime shorts I thought I'd size down. I made a super rough calico toile and was pleasantly surprised with the fit - aside from the waistband. The instructions state to draft a rectangular waistband piece. This didn't work on my body shape at all. Having a rectangular waistband below the waist was never going to work for me as I have a pretty dramatic slope from waist to hip - I need a curved waistband where the top of the waistband is narrow than the bottom. I pinched out little bits around the top of the waistband, similar to how Jana described creating a waistband for her lady-Jeds, which gave me a better idea of how the shorts would look. Having just made the Maritime shorts and knowing they sat at a similar level on my body I figured I'd save myself some time and use the Maritime waistband, with just some tweaking in length (and cutting the front band on the fold, obvs).  I added the 3/8inch/1cm allowances suggested but ended up taking the side seams in at 5/8 inch. Otherwise no other fit changes!


The pattern is drafted beautifully, apart from the waistband. The pockets are great - there was one bit of WTF-ery with an extra pocket pattern piece that you don't need (lining piece 1 from memory). The instructions are a bit hit and miss but if you've made trousers before you'll be fine - I didn't use them at all once I worked out the pockets. I finished all edges of the front and backs with my overlocker before construction to make it easier to adjust fit. The zip is invisible. I thought I knew all I needed to know regarding inserting invisible zips, however when Maris posted a recent tutorial I thought it worth reading as she is so knowledgable. The pearl of wisdom I gleaned from it was to buy a zip a couple of inches longer than recommended. This makes that little step closing the seam below the zip much easier - you can get your zipper foot so much closer to the zipper without the stopper getting in the way - brilliant!




The fabric is a printed cotton-linen from Spotlight - as Kirsty says foliage is so hot right now! It's actually not wearing fabulously - I've worn these a heap since making them and there's some lintiness going in at the inner thigh, but it's a fun print (I just had to be careful of Inappropriate Strelitzia Placement) and was perfect for my Resort Collection. Next version I'm going down a size as they are a bit roomy still, but added 5/8 inch seam allowances just in case they're a bit snug, and I'm using a solid just to make sure the print isn't hiding any fitting issues. 


I'd definitely recommend these shorts if you find a lot of shorts patterns are too short in the crotch - that's my most common fit issue with shorts. I'm keen to try their Paper bag waist shorts now..... 

What's your favourite shorts pattern? Have you ever tried this pattern?










Comments

  1. I find shorts a hideously hard thing to fit. My waist is never quite right. The Esther shorts have been my best fitting ones - but I do miss a pocket !

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    1. Yet you rock at culottes - maybe you should try lopping off some culottes mid thigh?

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  2. I love these shorts - which is great news because i have the same fabric intended for shorts! The print is so cool -love it when you can find stuff like this at spotty. I've used the salme pattern too but i didn't like it :( the sizing was so off for me (even when i went down two sizes) and the instructions were confusing! I've made shorts & pants before so i was ok, but the pockets but seemed crazy to me so i felt frustrated by the whole thing. Maybe i should give it another try, yet there are so many patterns out the re... awesome you've found something that works for you, you could probably lengthen them to pants too.

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    1. Oh yeah it's such fun fabric for shorts - it makes me feel so relaxed to wear! That's a shame the pattern didn't work for you - the instructions are definitely a bit weird but if you take out that extra pattern piece maybe they might make more sense? Good luck with your shorts mission - I know how frustrating it can be.

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  3. Nice pair! the whole outfit is so summery! I have issues with the straight waistbands too yet I found that if you cut it on crossgrain quite tight stabilise with twill tape or something similar the top and then steam shape the base it works pretty well and than you don't have to mash up and fiddle with different curves :)

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    1. Ooh you're a clever one! Certainly the instructions don't suggest that! My only issue with trying that method is the extra amount of fabric I'd need - I got these out of 0.7m..... But I'll definitely keep it in mind! Thanks for sharing that tip lovely lady!

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  4. I love these! Love the print (and the sandals :). I'm very grateful for your tips for hippy ladies! I hate tweaking bottoms, nice to know what to expect.

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    1. You're welcome Kristi! (Ps I can't tell you how much I love these sandals!)

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  5. These look so lovely and effortless! I struggle with shorts myself... I really only like super-short wide-legged elastic-waisted ones that are appropriate to wear at home when no one's looking. I copied a pair from a sad old pair of RTW lady-boxers once, and have just been improving on that.

    I don't understand why so many patterns have straight waistbands! That was my only beef with the Kelly and Gabriola skirts. I did what you did and the problem was fixed!

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    1. Shorts really are tricky..... You might like the Maritime shorts as they are so very short and quite wide legged..... Fit fit fit - always keeping us working!

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  6. These are so cute! Love the print. The only truly out of the envelope shorts pattern that has worked for me is the Sewaholic Thurlow. Every other pant/short I've tried needs serious adjustment. Good that you've found your perfect fit!

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    1. Thanks Lisa - yes you've made so many great versions. They were on my list to try if I struck out with these ones... Maybe next summer!

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  7. They look great. Alas my days of wearing shorts are over, but they'd look great on my daughter.

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    1. Oh that sounds sad! You gotta be comfortable though!

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  8. Congrats on the shorts win! Such a fun fabric for them. I haven't been wearing shorts much anymore but must make more pants....

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  9. Love that fabric! I really like Salme patterns, but I always seem to forget about them when I'm looking for a pattern. I'll look forward to seeing your paper bag shorts, they look awesome!

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    1. Thanks Lovely - yes they do, I'm highly tempted....

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  10. These looks great! Super flattering...I've got to start attacking shorts construction more!

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  11. I hardly ever wear shorts. I'm not sure why, but I think it's similar to my anti-skirt wearing. I have broad hips, much wider than my waist, and no matter what I do my bottom-only items of clothing want to go to the area of least resistance. So they ride up all. day. long. It's weird I know. But these shorts looks so damn good it's tempting! And of course you're loving your gold Salties :)

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    1. Hmmm maybe you need to try this Sewaholic ones? I know what you mean tho mine sometimes do that! Annoying bodies!

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  12. I love them! Foliage is DEFINITELY in. I am pretty pleased about it, since I like natural prints, of things, but don't really care for florals. Salme patterns look great! Unfortunately their size range is pretty limited. I could maybe get away with something with a significant bust adjustment but it makes me hesitate. Oh well, not everything has to be for everyone! They look great on you, and the shoot location is very impressive, even if the cameraman was grumpy!

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    1. Yes I love all the foliage that's around. I missed out on the pinapple trend but there's something about foliage I find so calming.... And yeah Little Creatures is great fun!

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  13. These look awesome on you and I love the print!! I've never tried any of the Salme patterns, but I agree, the designs are very chic.
    PS: I was having commenting problems.

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  14. These are awesome!. I have some of this fabric too! Was thinking a shorts romper. ...

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    1. Thanks Helen - but it's not wearing super well so don't invest too much in it!

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  15. These are awesome!. I have some of this fabric too! Was thinking a shorts romper. ...

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