Truth be told, I was so happy to pattern test* the cartwheel shorts from Lily Sage & Co. You see, my “kids clothes” Pinterest board is growing exponentially, and I had these particular shorts pinned from months ago, with the instructions printed and ready to go, and had also bought my fabric ready to make them. So when the call came out from Debbie for testers I put my hand up. The pros were that I would try a new to me pattern, I’d end up with a wearable finished product, and mark another item off my sewing list. As for cons, there weren’t any.
As all the other patterns I have made from Lily Sage & Co, the pattern fits together well and instructions are really clear and thorough. I am such a visual learner and often need pictures to guide me through processes but when I read through the instructions for the first time everything made sense and the accompanying diagrams were pretty spot on.
For my first version I cut a size 4, view A, the cuff version, and as a tester version I made it exactly as specified. I used two fabrics, again using my Pinterest board and taking inspiration from these tie-hem girls shorts from Craft Passion. The red is top pop poplin (80% polyester/20 % cotton) and the one I call mosaics by Jackie Von Tobel is also a cotton poplin (100% cotton?). I found the shorts to run true to size.
I chose to add a red button to each tab, from my stash, and think it gives a really polished look. I couldn’t fault the pattern at all during testing which is a real testament to Debbie’s drafting skills and communication through her instructions.
There weren’t any major changes from testing to the final pattern. The cuffed version (view A) has been shortened in the final pattern so they will turn out shorter that what appear in the photos above and there is now a lengthen/shorten line included in the pattern.
Version 2 is the one using the final pattern and instructions. I opted for view B this time to test out the alternate version. Everything went together flawlessly and easily once again. My fabric again came from the stash and it’s Zest/Savanah Chintz flower cotton in yellow (100% cotton). There are sizable pockets, good for stashing trinkets.
I added a lace trim between the hem and shorts just for a different look. I used a double edge lace that I cut in half about the same length as the hem band and then with an additional lace motif repeat overlap. I sewed it to the shorts first at a 3/8 inch seam allowance and then sewed on the hem band at the specified 1/2 inch.
The pattern repeat on this fabric was quite large and I didn’t opt for complete pattern matching but tried to have some symmetry between the two sides which I think I achieved. Due to the large repeat, I also wasted lots of fabric during cutting. Unfortunately I ended up with a floral behind doing this but the mum in me thought this was genius as it’s less likely to show up dirt and grime on what is a light coloured fabric.
The insides also turn out really neat even with a french seamed pocket. The colour palette on this version ensures they can be worn with a variety of colours but I think white would be most appropriate. What would you suggest so my child doesn’t end up looking like a clown?
The only thing that had me concentrating on this pattern was the fact seam allowances were the standard 1/2 inch for kids wear instead of the 5/8 I’m used to seeing in women’s wear.
I have enough fabric from both these shorts to make daughter two something keeping with my resolution of using up remnants as soon as possible. Stay tuned!
*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.