linen shorts

Loden and Grey Linen Shorts

Shorts have never been high on my love list in garments for the same reason that pants never have been either.  Trying to find RTW ones is an exercise in seeing just how bad you can feel about yourself in a dressing room.  Learning to fit pants has changed my mind about shorts, and since I started the pants fitting journey, shorts have creeped their way to the top of my want to sew list.

I had planned to pick up McCall 5391 at the next pattern sale but only if I couldn’t find anything in my Burda mags.

linen shorts

JoAnn is not as close to me as it used to be, so I have to be more strategic when going there.  Add two kids in the mix and just avoiding going there usually works out better most of the time.  I’m sure that the McCall’s is a lovely pattern, but I really prefer working with Burda because they fit me better and I don’t have to guess at their sizing like I often do with big 4 patterns.  And if I’ve learned anything from working with Burda mags, you can almost always find basic patterns for things like shorts if you dig hard enough.

What I came up with was Burdastyle 3-2011-131, a classic Bermuda short with hip pockets.  I liked the slight flare of the line drawing.  One of the problems I have with shorts as a style is that many of them are more pegged at the knees which is not the best look on my 5’2.5″ self.  In real life, they are a little straighter, but at least they aren’t pegged.  I wasn’t so crazy about the hip pockets, which are poofing out here on the model (like hip pockets always do):

linen shorts

I substituted the totally awesome angled pockets from my Striped Piped Skirt.

I sewed it up in this great two-tone loden and grey linen from Denver Fabrics.  They have a surprising number of linens that I can attest are really nice quality for not a lot of money.  I found a heavier weight berry and cream herringbone linen that I’m saving for some more casual pants too.  This one is lightweight but not sheer with really beautiful drape and flow.

I used some lime Mettler Metrosene for contrast topstitching and added some back pockets from Jalie 2908, so I guess technically this is a Frankenpattern.

linen shorts

I’m totally going to sewing jail for this one, but I hate interfacing in waistbands.  I always save the selvages from lightweight fabrics and use them to stabilize waistbands by just basting them 1/8″ away from the seam but leaving enough to cover the seam so that it gets sewn into the seam when you add the other side of the waistband.  The selvage from this linen in particular was perfect–it added no bulk but kept the linen from distorting and stretching.

I thought about adding some hem details like tabs or vents to these, but I decided to keep them plain.  I have a nice bit of linen/cotton/wool/silk tweed that I picked up last year at Elliott Berman’s anniversary sale (which I didn’t shop this year since I stocked up elsewhere–boo) that will definitely be made up in these shorts, so perhaps I’ll add some details on that pair.

I’m really proud of the fit.  I think I’ve finally cracked the back fitting code for myself.  They’re wrinkly here only from wear–they are completely wrinkle free from fit.   Yay!

linen shorts

If you’ve never made pants before or are completely utterly intimidated by it, I can’t urge you more to try it anyway.  The end result of pain and tears and frustration is well-fitting pants every time, and we all know how rare it is to find 1 pair of pants in RTW that gets even close.  The pockets sit a little funny in front and in back, but it’s because of the linen.  I was asking it to be all crisp when it just wants to flow.  I’m okay with them looking a little slouchy though–it’s linen after all.  Ah, linen.  I’m going to be really glad I made these in linen when it’s 90+ outside.  I’ll enjoy them today when it’s 81.

I’m wearing them with my Blue White Shirt and some gold flip flops.

My review of the shorts is here.

Elizabeth Made This

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  1. sewforward Reply

    They look great. I have that McCalls pattern and every spring I get it out of the drawer and think, This year I’ll make some shorts. But, I never do. Now, however, that I have seen your Burda shorts I am going to go back and revisit this edition of Burda – maybe I should try sewing up a pair of shorts this year.

  2. Wow they are very impressive shorts and you have got the back fit spot on. This is the one garment type I have not made from Burda you have just changed that.

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  4. Awesome shorts Elizabeth! LOVE the choice of grey linen too — uber classy casual. Superb fit as well!

    This past week I, with a bit of trepidation, sewed my first pair of shorts from Colette’s new Iris pattern and I’m smitten with them! They fit perfectly (I did make them several inches longer) and have a nice retro vibe. 😀

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  7. Oh. Shorts. Man, I need some *bad*. But, I’ve just made some really awesome pants so I’m feeling good about trying shorts too. I just went through my BWOFs and ID’d some patterns that I’ll try this weekend. You’ve giving me hope! I like the linen. It’s a great preppy yet not to stuffy look.

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