A Guide to Making Shorts
The weekend long read.
The sun has arrived in London (woop!) and that means many things - cheeky aperol spritz in the sun, ice cream to beat the afternoon carb crash and it's finally time to dig out the shorts, and maybe make a new pair.
I have just finished making a pair of shorts using the Daphne Trouser pattern and I realised I now have a complete collection of shorts from all 3 of our trouser patterns. I thought it would be useful to compare all 3 and tell you what I like about each one and any suggested changes to make.
The process of making shorts is identical to making trousers except the legs are much shorter (obviously). This somehow makes the project feel a bit more approachable and one nice thing is that you have half as much fabric to manoeuvre around the sewing machine.
When it comes to deciding the length of your shorts I recommend cutting them longer than you think you need and then trying them on. You can then compare different lengths on different legs to see what you want to go for. You'll see that below I've documented my process of choosing the lengths for each pair.
Each shorts style has a different feel but if I had to choose a winner...
Best all rounders: Worker Shorts
Best for short shorts: Daphne Shorts
Best for sweaty weather: Spring Shorts
Finished length (incl. waistband) = 45cm
The Worker Shorts were the first pair I made and they've had a huge amount of wear over the past year. I'll keep this section brief as I wrote a whole newsletter on it last year which you can catch up on below!
These shorts feel the most practical due to the front and back pockets and generally easy fit. Winners of the 'best all rounder', they're hard to fault!
Finished length (incl. waistband) = 52cm
The Spring Short are the second pair I made last year after seeing a customer make a beautiful pair of their own. Again, these are 'straight out the box' with no changes to the pattern other than shortening the length.
They have been so useful, particularly in really hot weather as they're so breathable. I used a cotton poplin and it worked really well but they'd also be beautiful in linen.
Finished length (incl. waistband) = 43cm
The Daphne Trouser pattern was the only style that I adjusted the actual pattern shape. This style really hugs the waist and hips but without the full trouser length it felt a little baggy around the hip and thigh. With this cut it's best to go for a snug fit and a shorter length.
To fit the shorts perfectly to my body I tried them on inside out and then pinned away any excess volume from the side seams. The second photo below shows the amount I removed from the side seam - you might find you don't want to remove any at all, it will be personal for everyone.
The only other thing I changed to this pair was adding belt loops. This pattern doesn't come with belt loops but I really felt it needed a punchy detail so I made some from a contrast fabric. I think they really lift an otherwise plain garment!