Sewing

Colette Iris Shorts

As I mentioned before, one thing I realized during Me Made May was that I wanted to focus on making myself some shorts.  I started out making the Colette Iris shorts.  I figured this would be a good pattern to start with since it doesn’t have a front zip fly.  It has a side invisible zip.  I’ve done invisible zips before but never a fly front.

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My first pair was this black version.  I cut a size 14 based on my measurements and based on the fact that a lot of other bloggers have said these run small.  It’s a little difficult to gauge the fit on these since the left outside leg seam isn’t closed up until the end because of the zipper insertion.  I basted the leg seam and decided that the shorts were too big in the waist.  I took them in quite a bit– I think back down to a size 12 in the waist.

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When I went to insert the zipper I managed to break it.  I only had one black invisible zipper and no desire to make a run to the fabric store.  I did have a black all-purpose zipper so I ended up doing a lapped zipper.  I had never done a lapped zipper before and I really like how it turned out.  I used this tutorial I found on YouTube.

black zip and pocket

I used black and white polka dot fabric (left over from my Josephine top) to line the pockets and the waistband.  I love how it looks.  The black fabric is just a Kona cotton that I had in my stash. After I added the waistband, inserted the zip, and tried the shorts on I was so sad to discover that they are too small and higher waisted than I like.  The curved waistband is too tight and they ended up a bit too tight in the hips, too.  I could tell if I got the sizing right that I would really like them.

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I decided to move on to some linen for my second version.  This time I cut a size 12 with a little bit of extra room left in the hips.  I decided to lower the waist a bit.  Of course I really had no idea how to do this so I just cut off 1.5 inches from the top of each piece.  When I tried them on they were really big in the waist again.  I took them in but I was nervous that I might end up with another pair of too small shorts.

linen close up

As it turns out, I didn’t take them in enough.  These shorts are too big and (of course) too low in the waist.  I can wear them fresh out of the dryer, but the linen gets very loose with wear and they look really sloppy.  I also did a lapped zipper in this pair but it didn’t turn out as well as the first pair.  The zipper kind of sticks out and it looks like it needs to be taken in.  If that was the only problem I might try to fix it, but I think these shorts are destined to be cut apart and made into tiny shorts for my son Andrew.

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My next shorts project is going to be the Thurlow shorts from Sewaholic.  Lauren from LLadybird did a Thurlow sewalong and I found some good fitting tips in this post.  She did an adjustment on the crotch depth of her shorts muslin and I think that might be what I need to try with my Iris shorts.  I also read on another blog that someone used the waistband from the next size up and it helped with the fit.  I really don’t want to give up on them until I get them right– I hope the third time will be a charm!

~Teri

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4 thoughts on “Colette Iris Shorts

  1. Shorts are hard! I am still in search of the perfect shorts pattern. Haven’t gotten around to trying the Iris pattern though! Fingers crossed that third time’s the charm for you!

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  2. Thanks, ladies! I really hope I can get the fitting issues worked out with these because it’s a fun pattern. I knew fitting shorts would be a challenge. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot in my quest to make shorts that fit well!

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  3. Oh man, BUMMER! I am so scared of sewing shorts or pants for just this reason, but I have a feeling it’s one of those things – there’s a learning curve (pun intended, haha), but once you get it, you can whip up a million pairs. You just have to find that TNT pattern. And you learn a lot about your shape and fitting in the process. But yeah, I think I’ll stick with skirts for now! Or maybe some knit pj shorts.

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