In my last post I mentioned that I’ve been feeling the sewing bug bitting pretty hard lately. Which is why, after seeing an Instagram post, I decided this would be a great time to enter the Pattern Review Sewing Bee.
When the rules for the first round came out I was a bit floored – shorts?!?! But I don’t wear shorts! Luckily I’ve got over a decade worth of Burda stash to help me out in nearly any situation they could throw my way. I ended up debating between a navy-inspired shorts pattern from 2001, and the patten I eventually decided to go with, BS 03-2016-113:
I spent a morning desperately digging through stash to find something suitable, and I ended up using a great coral stretch woven and blue lace to create my shorts for the contest:
You can read my Contest Entry Report on Pattern Review.
Here is what I would have written for a normal Pattern Review:
Pattern Description: Pleated shorts pattern with slant pockets and scalloped pocket detail.
Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 36-44. I traced a straight size 44. Due to the, er, timing of the contest, the size 44 fit great when I did a quick muslin to check for fit, but was a bit big around the waist by the time I got to photo taking. I probably should have used a size 42 at the waist and graded out to a 44 at the hips for a perfect fit.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were great until I got to the fly front section. It took me three tries and watching a video tutorial to understand what they were saying. As is often the case with the Burda patterns, their instructions are actually not terrible, they just aren’t very clear when there are a lot of fiddly pieces with similar names floating about.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? Now that I look at the photo closely, I think I may have inverted the pleat. I also left off the scalloped pocket design, but otherwise I think it is pretty close.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Likes: They are actually really comfortable to wear! I haven’t worn shorts in a long time, but I didn’t feel naked at all. I also love the slant pockets. Also love the shaping on the back shorts hem – the pattern is curved but gives a wonderfully even hem. Dislikes: The fly front instructions. Also I don’t think the measurements for drafting the waistband are right – I think they left off the seam allowance on the length because my waistbands were barely meeting in the front, despite the waist being large on me. Pretty sure another 1.25″ of seam allowance would have fixed this.
Fabric used: Coral stretch twill of mystery fiber content I scored from the Michael Levine Loft. I used a blue poly/cotton lace from Michael Levine’s online store as contrast fabric.
Pattern alterations or design changes you made: I added 1″ of length to the bottom of the shorts pattern because the tiny inseam made me nervous. Ultimately I think this was a good idea. I also left off the scalloped pocket detail because (1) I didn’t want to add bulk to my hips since I was already using double fabric and (2) I thought the detail would be lost in the fabric pattern. I would probably add it if I were to make these again in a lightweight linen or cotton.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Surprisingly, yes! I’m sort of really pleased with the way these shorts turned out, and I’d actually like to make a less ostentatious pair, possibly with the pocket detail, out of some great lightweight fabric for next summer. I would recommend to others, but I would caution that you may need additional resources to comprehend how to do the fly front, and that you should check the waistband length with a muslin before cutting into the good fabric.
Conclusion: Surprisingly pleased with this pattern! I made these on a whim when I decided to enter the Sewing Bee contest, but I’m actually really happy with how they turned out. I always seem to love the garments I make from a spur of the moment random stash bust, and this is no different. It’s been really warm heading into fall, so hopefully I’ll get some use out of these in the next few weeks, but if not I’ll definitely give them some wear next spring and summer!