Sweet Shorts, Sour Shorts, Spicy Shorts

Well, hello hello, and happy belated Easter! We do celebrate and this year’s holiday was pretty laid back, just spending the day talking with friends under a big oak tree and a little stroll through my garden to pick flowers. I got me an Easter bonnet, too! A fine big-brimmed straw hat that I wish I would’ve had when modeling my Lonsdale last summer. It will work its way into one of my future blog shoots, I’m sure.

This week I’m dreaming of shorts. And tank tops. Alas, it’s that time again.

{credit: google images}

I haven’t really worn sleeves in two weeks. This is why I never made a proper spring wardrobe plan, because heck, spring just flits in and out of Texas like a hummingbird. Now you see it, not you don’t.

My shorts fixation of the moment is being taunted by all the images of scalloped hems and lace shorts on Pinterest. (See my board.)

And serendipitously, today Colette released a cute little sailor short pattern in their new spring collection. You bet I’ll be trying these!

Last summer I wrote a bit about the way my style has changed living in Texas. I was never much of a skin-barer and I never had a need to be. I never really wore sandals, even in midwestern summers, and now they’re at least half of my shoe wardrobe. So slowly, over time, my tastes and my eye has adjusted to a breezier, skin-showing style.

I’ve liked the way summer clothes have taught me to celebrate my figure and make peace with those parts of the body I used to try and hide. I mean, I guess in a roundabout way I could blame Texas for actually giving me the courage to wear skinny jeans. (This year I even treated myself to SKINNY LEATHER pants. For reals.)

It took me awhile to be okay with shorts, for example, but now I can’t imagine living outside of them. A couple years ago, I timidly bought a pair of pretty little Ikat shorts on clearance at Anthropologie. And they became my uniform. I barely took them off for a couple summers straight. I need me lots more shorts.

In August, I sewed my first pair, pretty purple silk shorts, from a Burda pattern. They were so beautiful. I was so proud of the fly I drafted for them and how it all came out. And then I committed the ultimate sewing mishap–I’d completely sewn the wrong size (down). It could’ve been a costly mistake but thankfully the silk was left over from another project so I chalked it up to a fancy muslin. I’m determined to get them right this summer, and even ordered more of the same charmeuse.

The first pair on my agenda, however, are Pattern Runway’s Sweet Short.

After Oona first alerted me to this new line last summer, I promptly ran over to Etsy and ordered a few of their patterns. And now I really need them.

Thankfully, before I went a-cutting I found Liz’s pretty, gauzy take on these and her original assessment of the fit, or I would’ve banged them out without measuring or even making a muslin. (Do I learn?) According to my measurements I’d fit exactly halfway between their X-Small and a Small. The thing is, there are rather big distances between the sizes, unlike many of my shorts or trouser patterns (like Burda). Rather than cutting out some willy-nilly in-between size, I decided to do some measuring first and drew in the seam lines along the X-Small to get an idea of the ease. The finished measurements of waist and the hip have 4.5″ (11.4cm) of wearing ease! Just FYI. That’s quite a bit for fitted shorts, or at least a fitted waistband. Hopefully, the half size down will be good enough but I’m definitely making a muslin dammit. Tonight.

So stay tuned for further shorts developments. And a full-on summer wardrobe plan. I’ve got some drafting ideas up my sleeves!


  1. Lizz says:

    I’ve had shorts on the mind lately and I’m excited to watch yours unfold! I downloaded the new Colette pattern this afternoon and I can’t wait to make them up.
    I’ve noticed that I’ve been showing more skin since I started sewing last year. Not sure if there is a correlation but I welcome the change.

    • Amy says:

      It’s definitely interesting how both climate and sewing has made a subtle impact on my body image. I’m willing to try anything at least once. So many fashions I eschewed but then suddenly wanted to try out in the last few years.

  2. Lavender says:

    There was a time when I wouldn’t be caught in the shower in flip flops. Oh, Austin! I’m glad to hear your take on the shorts, as I want to sew these up, too. That’s a lot of ease. I’ve always felt more comfortable in short skirts, rather than shorts, but am trying to come around. Especially with a bicycle 🙂 Happy belated Easter!

    • Amy says:

      It’s so true! I have a friend who moved to TX and lived through a few summers before I did. She told me, “just wait, you’ll give in to the plastic flip-flops!” Hehe, and after two summers of proud holdout I eventually caved (they’re like my slippers!) but the sound of the flippety flappety around the house drives my other half nuts.

  3. I’ve been eyeing these Pattern Runway shorts, and nearly flipped when I saw the new Colette shorts (LOVE the placement of the buttons and pockets!!). I’ve taken a nearly 8 year hiatus from wearing shorts. When I lived out west, I wore shorts all the time (mostly because I hiked a lot), but since living in NYC I’ve always just gone for skirts in the summer. But now I think I’m ready for shorts action again. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Love that Life pic, btw.

    • Amy says:

      You know, I wonder if I ever moved back somewhere with milder summers if I’d still wear shorts. Hard to say… it’s so fascinating to me how style acclimates to the surrounding culture, however subtle. I bet Colette is going to inspire a rush of shorts-making!

  4. Tanit-Isis says:

    Aww, those are darling! Have fun. I miss wearing shorts—the summers here are mild, and in particular the nights are cold so if you’re in a building all day working, you miss all the heat. I’ve barely worn shorts except on vacation in ages.

    Those are some very cute shorts!

    • Amy says:

      I can definitely identify. I was having style culture shock when I moved here. I wore them a lot as a kid, but as I got older didn’t really like them (or maybe they weren’t in style, who knows). And it also gets pretty cool at night where I grew up. And then I lived in places that rained all the time. Everything was about not being wet.

  5. Sallie says:

    I hear ya! Spring has come and gone in the blink of an eye over here. Its been full on beach weather!! Which I love – but I also only own ONE pair of shorts! How is this possible? I have a mission to make at least two pairs this summer – and some slinky tops. And some slinky dresses. Basically I’ve finally realized that since “summer” makes up the greater part of the year I really need to get with the program and expand that part of my wardrobe. I’ve been eyeing up this Pattern Runway pattern – the Burda one and now the Colette one. I’ll make them all!!! (Maybe..) I can’t wait to see your take on these – Thanks for the tip about the ease – thats crazy!!

    • Amy says:

      All I can say to you is, I wish we had a BEACH! It would definitely alleviate the landlocked heat factor that happens in Central Tx. My doggies would like that, too.

  6. Heather Lou says:

    I’m JONESING for those Pattern Runway shorts. Love the cut. My problem is the age-old cellulitis and most shorts in stores are indecently short. Really into the length of these – I suppose I should add them to the growing, overwhelming and increasing unmanageable spring/summer sewing plan.Can’t wait to see your finished product!

    • Amy says:

      These are definitely a good length if you don’t want to bare. I might even take them up a bit because I have short legs…

  7. Christina says:

    I saw Liz make up the shorts in the gauzy fabric but somehow completely missed her assessment of the fit. Thanks for measuring out the ease – this is good information to have. I wish pattern makers would outright state: 3 inches of ease. 7 inches of ease. (Haha, in the case of the big 4, right??)

    I’m making up these shorts, and I bought the colette shorts yesterday as a downloadable. I love the pin you included of the scallop hem AND scallop pocket opening. Love!

    • Amy says:

      I almost always make a size down in the big 4 because their idea of ease and mine differs. These shorts aren’t too crazy… I just made the muslin and will share more later. I even needed a bit more hip space.

      Aren’t those scalloped pockets so cool? I’m turning into a scallop fest over there.

  8. katherine says:

    These days, I have to make an effort not to wear shorts…they are my everyday go-to. Scalloped hems are so cute. That pattern company is new to me. Can’t wait to see what you dream up.

    • Amy says:

      Hehe, you have so much of that style I need to find here. I love all your shorts! And I have sandal-envy too ;).

  9. Amy says:

    I saw your pins of lacy shorts when I was trying to explain Pinterest to my husband last night. I knew immediately that these must be on your sewing docket. Glad to see you’re already starting on them. Are you back to one project at a time? I blame the SWAP for why I have a million half-finished projects. Once I finally admit I’m never going to finish the SWAP in time, I’m going to finish up all those little projects and then go back to having at most three projects on deck at a time.

    • Amy says:

      Explaining Pinterest… I did that, too! I think he got it, he’s very visual and has a tumblr site that pretty much works like a Pinterest to him.

      Yes, I think I’m back to one project at a time, sort of. I do like getting a number of things cut and ready to go. I have about five projects that are all cut, even interfaced and ready to sew, two of them left over from the fall. It’s such a problem when I get sidetracked by something else! Last night I was actually moving back and forth between two of them. I’m determined to play some catch-up!

      You can do it, though… you got so many of your goals accomplished in the SWAP! But I hear you, three at a time is a pretty good balance. I might like that idea, too. Being able to set goals and yet still be free move on to new inspirations or patterns that catch your fancy.

  10. stephanie says:

    I LOVE shorts and wear them all of the time, but mostly of the denim, holey variety. My vampy, put-together alter-ego wants a pair of these shorts though. They are really, really cute. I love Lizz’s pair.

    Leather skinny pants???!?! ::swoon::

    I’m excited to see your summer plans. You have great taste.

  11. Maddie says:

    I’m so glad to hear that you’re embracing shorts. They ain’t nothing to be afraid of (sorry for the double negative). And the scalloped hem of tops, shorts, and skirts is something I have been into lately as well. I’m currently making a crop top that has a scalloped hem. It’s made with the most gorgeous cream colored vintage fabric with purple polka dots of various sizes and it is so so amazing!

  12. Wanett says:

    My style has changed so much as I’ve gotten older. I know, for me, it had to do with confidence. Each year I gain a bit more and conversely care less and less about what other people think. I never wore shorts because store bought ones never fit me right. Now, I know I can make my own.

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