Paper Dahl

Recently I was on a fact-finding mission at Nordstrom. That’s what I call it when I’m actually shopping for shoes but telling my husband that I’m just looking for sewing inspiration. In reality, it’s a bit of both. 😛 In this case, I spotted some great, casual shorts in the Madewell section that I knew I could easily copy(ish). 

The style is nothing new – short, athletic-style shorts with an elastic waist, curved hem and slash pockets. I considered a couple patterns that are very similar to this, but ultimately, I decided to go with Simplicity 1377 which I had previously muslined but never worked on beyond that initial fitting. I figured that all I’d have to do was straighten the pockets (the original line is curved) and add the curve to the hem. 

I made a size 12 which corresponded to my measurements. The back rise might be a bit short for anyone with a curvier bum – but I do not have much going on in that area, so it works perfectly for me. Here are the specific changes I made: 

  1. Straightened the slash pocket openings
  2. Did a line of topstitching along the center-front seam for a little extra detail
  3. Traced around a saucer to curve the side seam edges
  4. Did a narrow hem around the bottom edges BEFORE sewing together at the side seams (and after sewing the crotch seam)
  5. Completed a second row of topstitching around the curved bottom hem because I didn’t catch all of it in my stitching the first go and was too lazy to rip/redo. 
  6. Bartacked where the side curves came together for extra strength. 

I had originally planned to bind the curved edges with bias binding, but I simply didn’t have enough fabric to do so. 

The fabric is a lovely, rustic linen that I upcycled from a large women’s skirt I purchased at Value Village for $6 I think. I LOVE shopping the women’s dresses and skirts for great linens. I always seem to find the best colors, and I love that the fabric has a little bit of a worn-in look. Plus, it’s cheap! This is a great option if you are a smaller size and are creative with your cutting. In this case, I had to cut perpendicular to the grain to get everything to fit. 

I am absolutely in love with these shorts and plan to use the exact same modifications for a few more. I might even add a drawstring to the casing or try the bias binding I previously mentioned. It might even be cool to make a longer, straight-hemmed pair like some James Perse ones I saw recently. 

The top is Simplicity 1071 which I previously blogged here. I love that it can be dressed up or down for lots of different looks (and that it’s super comfy!). Shoes are Caswell by Timberland (affiliate link) and are the most comfortable flat sandals I have ever owned!

What do you think? Is your shorts-game ready for summer? 

Comments are closed.