As you'll know, if you've read this post, I've had plans to sew myself a pair of sailor shorts for a while. I have a LOT of striped tops in my wardrobe, all waiting patiently for some denim sailor shorts to turn up and be paired off with. Very patiently in fact - I haven't owned a pair of denim shorts since 1993…..
|Obviously gigantic messenger bags were all the rage 20 years ago.|
Sadly I'm no longer the stick-thin 24 year old in the photo, but I wasn't going to let that stop me, I just used a pattern that was a bit more flattering to my shape. The pattern is Kwik Sew 3854 which comes with two options: mid-length sailor shorts (which I opted for) or a fancy looking shorts/culottes/skirt hybrid. This was my first time using a Kwik Sew pattern and I was mightily impressed with the well explained written instructions and clear diagrams. The pattern I used was kindly lent to me by Zoe, but Sewbox also stocks it here.
I cut a size medium, which, according to the envelope, should have fitted perfectly, but they turned out much too loose, especially around the derriere. The denim I used has some stretch to it, but I suspect this pattern is sized quite generously anyway, stretch fabric or not. As usual, I couldn't be arsed to sew a muslin, so had to make all the fit adjustments on the go. To get them to fit the way I wanted them to, I removed a 1½" wedge from the top of the back crotch curve and ⅝" from the top of the front crotch curve. This means my waistband now has a centre back seam in it, like gents trousers! I also brought in the inside leg by ⅝", but left the side seams as they were as I didn't want to mess with the shape.
I like the way sailor shorts or trousers are constructed: they have a central panel section/flap which folds open just above the pockets. When worn, the shorts are buttoned on each side of the waistband for a snug fit. You can't really get a sense of the exact fit until they're all buttoned up, so do as I say and not as I do - make a muslin first if you're at all worried about sizing!
I faithfully followed all my own advice from my tips for sewing with denim post and they sewed up perfectly. I used a contrast cotton for the inside waistbands and pocket facings to reduce bulk - I like the fact that behind all that denim, lurks a tropical surprise
For buttons I used the same wooden anchor buttons from Textile Garden that Winnie used on her Nautical Coco. Aren't they amazing?! They come with little holes in them, so you can sew your own anchors in any colour of thread. My thanks to the reader who suggested they'd be a good match for my sailor shorts! It did take a little while to hand sew the anchors on six buttons, but I think the time invested was worth it. Sadly, my buttonholes are a bit of a mess, but that's the advantage of using gorgeous buttons - nobody will be looking at the buttonholes!
I love these shorts! The fit is exactly what I was hoping for: comfortable and flattering but with a bit of a retro flavour to stop them looking too mumsy (I hope!) And as expected, they're a perfect match with my striped Coco.
|…or tucked in|
Hoorah for sailor shorts! x