Hi, it’s Kelly again from Handmade Boy and I’m back with a review on shorts. This time for women.
Sewing for yourself can be HARD! Kids are pretty standard in size, they are boxes of different ratios of height and width. Women, on the other hand, are not typically so boxy. Unless you are built like me and then you are a box, which is still a very difficult shape to sew for because patterns are made with the assumption of curves, because most women have them. I don’t curve. It doesn’t matter if I am 220lbs (yes, I have been there) or 130lbs (which I, obviously am not at either right now), I am a short boxy rectangle. To fit my waist, I often have pants that are huge in the front rise. But I have a bit of backside, so I need to add rise to the back often, but then I need to pull in the top potion of the back and front rise to get the pants to fit right. All that said, you HAVE to keep in mind that fit issues for women’s patterns may, and usually, DON’T have a thing to do with the pattern itself, it’s that each and every women is built differently. So, just because it took some work to find a way to get these patterns to work for me, it doesn’t NOT make them bad patterns, or patterns you need to stay away from. It just means that they were not drafted for my shape. And that’s totally cool! I got them to work!! Now, don’t be afraid of sewing for yourself after reading all of that. I’m not here to scare you off. Sewing for yourself can be tremendously rewarding. With a bit of work, for the first time in your life, you can have a fantastic fitting pair of shorts or pants or shirt, or whatever. I have issues even buying a pair of sweat pants to fit me properly, we won’t go into how hard it is to find jeans.
Now that all that is out of the way, let’s get started with the Jocole Wide Leg Pants/Shorts
Sizing available is XS-XXXL
I was one of the testers for this pattern. I tested the pants in both woven and knit. And to be honest, I love them. So I was excited to have an excuse to sew up the shorts! I had a pair of comfy, yet pulled together looking woven shorts in my head. And….. it just didn’t work for me. Yes, I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t. They just weren’t flattering, at all. However, in knit, it’s a totally different story!
They are definitely lounge shorts for me. I wouldn’t wear them to the grocery store, but I do love them for around the house! And I could do yoga in them. Ya know, if I take up yoga again….
The pattern offers three different waistband styles, slim, standard (shown above) and fold over. No elastic is needed. And they do stay in place. Two pocket styles, inseam or patch and three lengths, shorts, pants or capris and wide leg or super wide leg give you a ton of options.
The pattern offers tips for how to create a custom fit by blending sizes and shortening or lengthening the pattern as needed. There is a “how to measure” guide to help you measure properly. A nice glossary of terms helps explain common sewing terms in a clear manner. Combine that with the clear illustrations and instructions and I would rate this as a great beginner project, especially for somebody new to knits.
Here is the handy dandy chart that outlines the features of the pattern.
The shorts sew up way fast! I didn’t hem mine, feeling a bit rebellious the evening I made them, making them even faster. I definitely see myself making a few more pairs of these!
Next up, the Greenstyle Brassie Joggers.
Sizes range from XXS-3XL
These shorts and I had a struggle. It all started with printing. Totally my fault, because I was way to excited to get sewing, so I printed the pattern first and then read the instructions. Fail one for the examiner. The pattern layers were default set for low rise. Low rise and I do NOT get along. Reprint.
First pair out of reprinting was also not high enough in the rise for me, personally. I carry a lot of extra in my mid section from such a drastic weight loss. My skin is not the most bounce back variety. I ended up blending three sizes. I wear a 10/12 in rtw. For these, I used XL for the hips, a large for the waistband and pulled in the top of the back rise to a medium. Oh and I added two or three inches to the length. It took 3 pairs to get the fit you see above. Was it worth it? Yep.
While the white french terry probably isn’t the best choice, it was the best fabric I had on hand. For me, fabric choice played a huge role in how much I liked my results. I used a poly knit for the first pair. It was a stable interlock and had great recovery. However, it was clingy and made terrible shorts for me. Again, probably should have taken a picture, but it wasn’t pretty. I saved you. You’re welcome.
The instructions were clear and easy to follow. Illustrations are used throughout the instructions. This is a great beginner project! There are actually three lengths to this pattern, shorts, capris and pants. I had no idea that shorts were an option for this pattern before this project! It’s in the product description, but I admit to not reading it well when the pattern was released. (see a trend here? READ people! Learn from my mistakes!) Doing research to determine if I wanted this pattern, (yes, I purchased just for this exam) I could not find any pictures of the shorts. I didn’t ask in the facebook group, but I searched through it. I know I could have asked, but I do think they should be shown in the pattern listing. I know I would have purchased this long ago had I known! Besides the three lengths, there is also an alternative way to finish the pocket. The waistband is very nice. It has separate channels for the elastic and drawstring. (I omitted the drawstring out of laziness. My kids think it’s funny to untie it and my husband likes to pull drawstrings out. Hoodies are worn with care in my home.)
After finding the fit that works for me, the shorts were a fast sew. I did leave them unhemmed since I used french terry and it has a beautiful natural curl to it after it’s washed.
Here is the chart outlining the features of the pattern.
Over all, I am happy with my shorts. Joggers don’t work with my body shape, but the shorts do and I’m happy that I stuck with them to get the fit to work for me. I definitely plan to buy some fabric better for this pattern. The pattern has a great guide for choosing the right fabric, including a chart to determine the amount of stretch your fabric has. French terry and sweatshirt knit are recommened and I planned to purchase some better quality french terry for more. And not white. 😉 Why do I even own white fabric?!
I can’t even tell you what is going on in this picture. What is that expression?! Let’s call it dorky giddiness over having some great comfy shorts that sew up fast!