First Summer Shot: Red Scallop Shorts

These shorts were really fun to make. Or at least I was having a lot of fun saying scallops, scallop. Isn’t it a cool word? The consonance, I guess.

They were finished over a week ago, but I really, really wanted to wear them with this exact top–a body suit, actually–which is a straight-up knock-off of Daughter Fish’s. And that turned into an adventure of drafting not one but two different bodysuits. (More on that later!)

As I got to my unshaded location, the sun went behind clouds and the chiggers came out. Ouch, ooh, ouch, they sting. Ahhh, signs of summer in Texas!

Now, I have to admit that styling shorts is not my forte. I have one pair of ikat shorts, kind of shorty shorts, that I love pairing with floaty blouses. There’s something about floaty and oversized with a smaller silhouette on bottom that looks right on me. I like these two together in a classic nautical way, but looking at the whole outfit in photos makes me feel a bit, um, revealed.

What do y’all think? A white button down with these might be cute. Or perhaps a drapey tank? Definitely not these sandals, if only because they are wearing out and I’m kind of bored with them. I’ve already got my eye on the “every day” sandals I want for this summer. They have just a smidge of a wedge heel, which I like. I usually only wear flat sandals with things that cover my legs, like maxis or long trousers.

Pattern: Pattern Runway Sweet Scallop Shorts. Lots of cool little details, like separate front pieces with lots of top stitching, hem facings, welt pockets, yoke pockets with again, facings. This pattern is facing-happy! I really like them on hems–they make such a nice finish. It also has some good little “industry” techniques, such as how the invisible zipper is inserted, by machine, into the waistband facing. I’ve used this method several times before to line and face zippers, and it really turns out beautifully.

(Note: I bought the pattern in September and it had incorrect instructions for the welt pockets, which gave me a bit of a head mash and I ended up sewing the underwelt backwards. If you make these make sure you have the updated instructions or see Sarah’s tutorial. She kindly pointed me to it when I thought I was going crazy!)

Fabric: Red organic cotton twill from Mood, a nice twill with a soft hand. It was terribly off-grain, but after a lot of pulling on the bias, I was able to get it all straight. They have some other really pretty colors, too. I only had a yard, and that was enough; I even had just the right amount left over to cut a 2nd front piece, after I serged a hole right through my original front while putting in the pockets. OOPS.

Fitting notes: I’m exactly in between an XS and S in the pattern sizing so I went with the XS and made up a quick muslin. I mentioned before that this pattern has a lot of ease, but when I made the muslin, it didn’t seem so gargantuan and in fact looked slightly more fitted than the model picture. I still think going down a half size was a good idea.

I also knew that my fabric would work better if the shorts were more fitted. This twill is stiff (and non-stretch), kind of like a mid-weight denim. I tend to think that the stiffer and weightier a fabric, the more it is suited to a fitted style, which is why it’s so hard to predict the look and fit if you use a lighter or drapier fabric on the muslin. I’m glad I didn’t overfit the muslin, though, because after adding all the fusings, facings, etc, the shorts felt even tighter. Thankfully, the fabric relaxed a little as I wore them about!

On the muslin, I folded out just a smidge of a wedge out of the back for a swayback, and took in the waistband by a teensy bit. I might be able to stand even just a smidge more of a swayback adjustment. I made the biggest change to the center front seam/crotch curve. Commercial pants patterns often do this weird thing right where the center front seam forks. That looks funny now that I’m writing it, but tailors use the term “crotch fork”–why can’t I? It looks baggy in the front but feels tight from side to side. In most of my rtw pants, including jeans, that curve is much shallower (and usually the inseam is closer to the front). So I redrew the curve to be shallower, which also makes it shorter AND adds extra room for the hips. Does that make sense?

Happy summer sewing!

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