When I was pregnant with the boys, I didn’t have a choice not to wear maternity pants.  I started sewing when I was pregnant with Noah because of the lack of maternity clothes in non-soul-killing colors and prints, and I couldn’t fit pants yet when I was pregnant with Sam.  I remember wearing this particular pair of Old Navy maternity jeans and feeling, well, fat with all of the extra fabric hanging off of my legs in the back and I remember vowing to figure out how to fit pants.

So after the first trimester sleepiness has gradually worn off and after we’ve all started to get better from the summer colds we’ve managed to get, I was going to figure out some shorts to get me through the remainder of this summer.

Frankenpatterning for better shorts

I initially muslined a pair of Kwik Sew 3324 shorts, but they didn’t pan out.  They were way way too big for where I’m at, and the panel had no shaping at the side seams where I really need it.  It occurred to me to pull out my Burda 3-2011-131 shorts that I outgrew in June and see how I could make them work for where I’m at now since the fit was good on those.  Already made garments count as muslins too!

According to what was going on, I needed to add at the side seams about 3/4″, and then I’d need a rib knit panel tall 3.5″ at CF and about 2.5″ at CB (I just measured in both places to where I wanted the top of the pants to hit).


I took out Burdastyle 6-2010-129 and grabbed the panel, just cutting it down to what I needed and gambling that I could just sew it to the top of the shorts without any need for alteration.  This panel has a little bit of shaping at the side seams, so I figured that it would work better for me over the straight-sided side seams of the Kwik Sew.  I sewed a quick muslin just in case and it worked like a charm.  On #1, the linen version, the panel + elastic enclosed inside for more support needed to be a little more snug between the loose weave factor of linen and the stretch-out factor that just happens in knits on your bottom half over the course of the day.  They’re still way crazy comfortable and cool, and the extra space in the waist will probably serve me well when I’m still trying to wear these next month.

I used a heavy cross dyed linen I picked up at Denver Fabrics a couple weeks ago on a trip with my good non-sewing friend.  Mentioning that I could no longer stand sitting around the house in workout shorts, she wasn’t letting me leave without some quality fabric for shorts, and this fits the bill nicely.  I added some denim-style topstitching because you all know I’m a sucker for contrasting thread.


I also grabbed a lightweight denim for another pair.  It has a similar cross dyed texture as the denim and it has more drape and flow than most denims, which was perfect not only for the shorts but for the season.  It definitely wrinkles more than most denims as you can see, but I care not.  I resisted the temptation to buy more yardage only because come fall this fabric will not work for actual jeans and I can’t stash denim.  It’s the first thing to go in the stash.  I become too obsessed with it.


Allow me to be smug about the back fit.  It feels simultaneously vain and triumphant to know that I won’t have to have yards of fabric flapping in the wind behind me this pregnancy.


I made the panel a little smaller at the side seams, and used a little less elastic, stretching to fit, making this pair much better fitting.  I also added side vents in this pair via one of the Power Sewing videos (thanks Lisa for the b-day gift of the subscription!).


Mostly, this was a great project to help my sewing mojo working.  I feel like the world is my oyster 9 months out of the year in the creativity department, but summer I’m a mondo pile of blah.  And being pregnant has not helped.  Heat fries my brain, but the promise of fall and jeans (can you tell I’m excited about them?) and shirts with actual sleeves and the hope of being able to sew knit dresses I won’t suffocate in keeps me going.

Do you have a season when you’re out to lunch creatively speaking?

Off to get caught up on t-shirts for the project!  I finished one and about to get started on another which will get me caught up and back on track.

Elizabeth Made This

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