OMG!!! I am Wearing Shorts …. Intoducing the Harper Shorts by Megan Nielsen

I haven’t worn shorts since way before I was married, actually probably not since high school, and that was for sport or swimming. Well, that is a teensy lie, do culottes count?

Harper shorts front 1

                                                              Harper shorts front 2

This was probably a really inappropriate seasonal pattern test* that I did during winter, but I signed up because the two pairs of Tania culottes by Megan Nielsen, which I love, are the only pairs of shorts I have worn since my younger years. Is it cheating a tiny bit though since they look like a skirt?

I love Megan’s patterns and have accumulated a fair few that I am yet to sew up. The Harper shorts and skort are lined, so they feel a bit dressier than the run of the mill sports shorts and I guess for that fact could be worn during winter with tights. I love pockets in anything so these are an extra great feature and the skort option is fantastic as it’s a 2 looks in one pattern. It was a bit difficult to get my head around sewing shorts during autumn now but I’m considering it good planning since the warmer weather is very,very slowly starting to creep into the southern hemisphere.

Harper shorts back 2

Harper shorts side

My tester version was made using some long time stash olive broadcloth (100% cotton) and black pongee lining (100% polyester). I found the fit spot on and love the invisible back zip closure. These aren’t my normal choice of attire but think they are extremely appropriate for taking kids to the park or beach. I was hoping to get the skorts sewn up before this blog post, which mind you is already months overdue, but life has kept me busy. The skorts are a longer cut and probably most suited to my current lifestyle. Stay tuned for those some time in the probably not so near future!!

*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.

Scrapbusting… Self-drafted Skirts, a Molly top and some Gathered Pocket Shorts

This post is a quick summary of what has been made using some of my scraps in keeping with my self-imposed “use up scraps” rule. I found out recently my daughters kindergarten will accept fabric for their crafts, so small, unusable pieces for me, are now re-directed to them, away from landfill. Anyway, that’s besides the point.

Today miss 2 is benefiting from the scrapbusting exercise.

First up is this ruffled skirt using DS picadilly medallion and ditsy in pink (100% cotton) fabric left over from miss 4’s circle skirt. Cutting the ruffle layers was okay but I had to piece together a few pieces to make the waistband due to my fabric shortage. As I didn’t have enough fabric, the connectors between the ruffles were made from white top pop poplin (80%polyester/ 20% cotton), as was the middle ruffle. For documentation purposes, the 2 connector pieces were 10cm W x 42cm L and the 3 ruffles were each 10cm W x 52cm L and gathered. I would have liked more gathered ruffles but when you have minimal fabric to work with it’s a “make it work” moment. The ruffles were finished with a narrow machine rolled hem. I cut 2 waistband pieces (outside and inside) with a final measurement of 5cm W x 42cm L. I top stitched the seam allowance at each connector and at the waistband and stitched in the ditch at the waistband side seams to keep the elastic from twisting.

Triple tier picadilly skirt

Second is a two tier simple skirt using this tutorial from The Stitching Scientist. The modern tribe poplin 9312 in ink (100% cotton) and white top pop poplin (80%polyester/20% cotton) fabric is what is left from this dress for miss 4 and one of my pre-blog dresses. I followed her tutorial but made my skirt 34 inch wide as that is all the fabric I had. Sensing a trend here!!!!! Not much else to say.

tribal 2 layer

Third is a chevron top using the Molly Top Pattern from Made For Mermaids. I followed all the measurements and directions provided as there aren’t printable pattern pieces, and it went together really quickly. The fabric, spots and stripes chevron #1 in orange (100% cotton), was left over from a dress I made miss 4 last year, obviously pre-blog, but that has since also had a refashion and I cut it down to a more practical skirt for her too. This pattern is so cute and I love the ruffles on the straps and the tie back that goes through a loop. It’s not obvious but I had to cut the back in two sections because I was short on fabric, turned out pretty well though!

                                             orange molly M4M frontorange molly M4M back

Fourth are these delightful pair of shorts using the free toddler gathered pocket shorts pattern from Little Quail. The fabric is cotton sateen left over from my cape project (stay tuned for that awesome pattern, next post on Monday). The black is premium cotton sateen (96% cotton/ 4% spandex) and the check is black printed sateen pluses (97% cotton/ 3% spandex). I followed the tutorial exactly and didn’t use the optional waist tie. Great wardrobe basic for her.

Black gathered pocket shorts

Cartwheel Shorts 05: Red with Mosaics and Floral Bouquets

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.

Cartwheel shorts front 2

 front closeupFor 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.

ICartwheel shorts backback closeup 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.

Cartwheel floral front full

                            Cartwheel floral pocket Cartwheel floral 2 pockets

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.

Cartwheel lace

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.

Cartwheel floral front

 Cartwheel floral back Cartwheel floral insideThe 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.