April 28, 2014

Make it Perfect Essential Shorts

I have been really slack getting a pattern review up on the blog for this pattern. No reason other than things keep getting in the way. With the kids back at school, I am determined to get this blog post done. Anyway, I regularly test for my friend Toni from Make it Perfect Patterns. This one is a little beauty.

Essential shorts. Because we all know how hard it is to find a good pair of shorts out there in the shops, especially a pair that doesn't require you to get about with your bum cheeks on display. If you are after a fast easy sew that creates a very flattering pair of shorts (and let's face it, that applies to everyone, yes even those of you living in Alaska, who I am pretty sure don't read this blog) then this is for you

Toni has been a little quiet over the past year for a very good reason. Her fourth child made his appearance into the world and she needed some time to adjust and help her family adjust to the expansion. Plus he is the cutest baby, so who wouldn't want to spend any spare time kissing those chubby cheeks. Anyway - baby Harvery Charles, I am very glad that you joined the family for a couple of reasons - one because you are the world's cutest baby and I have loved seeing little pictures of you in my newsfeed, and two - wow, you did something to that brain of your mothers and she has come up with my favourite patterns ever since having you (yes I know a secret or two about what is coming out of Make It Perfect next). Anyway, back to the essential shorts.

This is my first pair. I am not exaggerating when I say they took around 10 mins to cut and 30 mins to sew. Faster than choosing which fabric to use to sew them up. And I love them. Way more than I initially thought I was going to. The shorts have a flat front, and elastic through the back. This creates a stylish, but incredibly comfortable pair of shorts, and they are so easy to sew. And the legs on the shorts are not uneven. It's hard to take a picture of yourself in shorts.

The size range is 2xs up to 2xl. I made the xs and I tend to wear an Australian 6, or a US 0 to 2 depending on the brand. The 2xs in this pattern is tiny and will fit those ladies and girls who can never find anything to fit them in the shop. They'd also be perfect for teenagers with teeny tiny hips. I made a quick muslin of the 2xs when I was deciding which size to sew and they were super tight. I barely got them up over my thighs and it wasn't pretty. Bits spewing out the top everywhere. A rolled chicked breast tied too tightly with string with bits bulging out the side. You get the picture. So when I say the 2xs is tiny, I mean tiny. And do not laugh at that - there are tiny people everywhere that have the same frustrations as large people who cannot find clothes to fit. The xs was a perfect fit for me.

These shorts are designed to be worn lower, on the hips. If you are the sort of person who wants shorts to sit directly on your waist, I suggest you add an inch or so to the top of the pattern. I much prefer the hip myself. And they are meant to be knee length. I generally have to lengthen knee length patterns to get them to sit on my knees, so don't panic if you see the length on me and it looks too short for you.

I was reaching the point where I wanted to wear these shorts everyday, and was constantly looking through the clean washing to see if I had washed them, so I sewed up another pair from one of my favourite ever fabrics. You always know you like a pattern when you are prepared to cut into a hoarded fabric.

Love love love them. I am thinking of adding some mini pom poms to the hems of the legs of these. Alas winter is on its way to Sydney and the shorts weather is on its way out, so I may not get around to it until winter is over, but I think I'm going to do it. It may happen in time for that family trip to Fiji in July I just booked....

And because I always love a good fiddle around with patterns I really like, I made a pair of pants too. I used my favourite rayon ever for these - this lovely field study rayon challis from the Anna Maria Horner Range. It is the best quality rayon challis I've come across and these pants are so comfortable and have held up really well in the wash.

I initially extended the shorts leg down to ankle length, but when I tried them on, they were a bit too full for my skinny legs (we are talking some pretty scrawny legs here people) and were a bit pyjama like. So I pulled out my trusty Pattern Emporium Harem Pants Pattern (blogged about here) and overlayed the leg piece on my pants and cut the legs with the shape that is in the harem pants pattern, but kept the top half the shape of the Essential Shorts and I love the finished result. 

I think you would be crazy not to add this pattern to your stockpile. It is fast, a beginner could manage it and it creates a stylish, but very practical pair of shorts. There will be many many many more of these in my future. Oh and yes, it is available as a PDF download so you can pop over and buy it now! 

So thankyou Harvery Charles. I love what your mum has come up with since having you and I really loved her ideas before you came along. And I hope your gorgeous little face keeps popping up in my newsfeed. It makes me smile everytime I see it!

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