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!


  1. Crystal says:

    These look great and the fit is the best I’ve seen for this pattern. I really want to make these, but am a little intimidated by the adjustments needed. I think your shorts and top look cute together. I still feel modest this time of year coming out of winter, but come July when we are dealing with triple digits here, I’ll have gotten over those feelings. Maybe you will, too.

    • Amy says:

      Hi Crystal, you’re so right. It must be that peeking-out time of the year, when it’s certainly warm enough for this outfit, but I’m not quite ready to be so revealing! In July, however, different story… If you ever get up to making these, I would definitely recommend starting a bit smaller–it seems easier to adjust upwards!

  2. Amaze! Such a lovely job you’ve done and thanks for the thorough review. I feel I’m ready for these babies now. The colour and the fit are just so spot on.

  3. Wanett says:

    These look fantastic!! You’ve totally inspired me to give these another go, soon. I think you look great in those combo. But I’m also in the loose top, small-ish bottom group so I know how you feel wearing two fitted items together.

    • Amy says:

      Yay, more scallop shorts! Thanks for the encouragement… I really need to get used to the skin. 😉

  4. Maddie says:

    Girl, you are ready for 4th of July! I love the red shorts and I too have been really into bright red recently. If you’re having trouble pairing it with something, I’m been pairing a pair of red pants I own with a light pink racerback tank. The color combination is unusual, not like a white tee, and that’s what I like.

    • Amy says:

      good idea! I like red and pale pink together. And red and pale coral, another one of my faves.

  5. katherine says:

    These are really cute. That zipper / facing insertion looks fantastic. Perhaps I should buy this pattern for those isntructions alone!

    i think that you could style these with so many tops. Perhaps a woven “t-shirt” in a drapy fabric? Anyway you wear them will look cute.

    You’ll have to tell me what a chigger is..I’m guessing a March Fly, but it is not a term taht I have ehard before.

    • Amy says:

      I definitely need more short-sleeved blousey blouses for summer. I don’t know why I have so many long sleeves. But haha, chiggers… I wonder if that’s a Texas term? (“Skeeters” for mosquitoes, etc.) They’re almost invisible, I think a type of mite–and just live in the grass. You can’t see them AT ALL, but they bite like the devil, and seem to be worse in years when we’ve had spring rains, like this year. I feel for kids, especially.

  6. Sallie says:

    These turned out beautiful! The fit looks spot on. And I do like the sort of restrained pin-up girl vibe of the entire look (restrained in style.. not – you know – in the s&m way… oh geez…)

    I think a full white blouse would also be perfect for summer.

    But chiggers!! Ah! THE WORST!

    • Amy says:

      They are the worst! and they seem to be everywhere this year. I get what you mean about restrained… it was funny, Derek’s response was “ooh, Greek swimmer!” I’m definitely thinking about white a lot–I don’t even have a white t-shirt!

  7. stephanie says:

    The shorts are so, so cute and beautifully made! I love the color, too.

    I LOVE that top – I’ve been wanting to make one of Christine’s body suits, but I didn’t think that I could pull it off! Now I’m tempted to try. It looks fantastic on you. I hear you on the flow-y tops and short shorts though. That’s the combination that I usually go with. But it’s good to try new things, right?

    • Amy says:

      Thanks! The fun thing about her pattern is that you can change up the shoulder or neckline, if you don’t want such a low cut. I really wanted to try it, though!

  8. Wow! These shorts look awesome! I love the color. And double wow on that body suit! The chevron matches perfectly! I hope my instructions on drafting didn’t contribute to frustration! I think a flowy white shirt would look great with the shorts. I totally hear you on feeling revealed in the body suit. In the summer, I usually like to wear my body suits with a gathered skirt, or something less revealing, probably because I’m more comfortable showing my upper torso than my hips and thigh area.

    • Amy says:

      Thanks! I think I memorized your tutorial ;). And that tip on folding the piece over to get matching stripes really worked. I think this will definitely be good with a flowing maxi.

  9. Lavender says:

    Amy, these are just perfect! Way to wrangle that twill. This is exactly how I envisioned making a version, but may I borrow your legs? And the body suit? Oh, my. Between your version here and Christine’s, I might be tempted… but I know I’d feel too awkward/curvy up top. The third photo is great! Looks like the chiggers are getting the better of you 🙂

    I’m really curious about your crotch fork adjustment. (that sounds awful, and apologies in advance for the spam!) I think I can get a visual on your explanation, but did you basically drop the rise to make the curve more shallow? Does that make sense?

    • Amy says:

      Hey Lavender, MY legs?! That’s a first!! Maybe it’s the shorts. Hmmmm, must make more shorts, hehehehe. I think I’m going to try another bodysuit with a different back neck and see how it goes.

      I’d be happy to do a quick drawing of the crotch curve so you can get an idea. I know those things are hard to visualize, since I pick all this stuff up from reading blogs!

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