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Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Hippie Shorts

PatternMaritime Shorts by Grainline Studio

These shorts have been dubbed the ‘hippie’ shorts because that’s what my Mum said about them when she saw them. Since I’ve only just started sewing seriously and am pretty strapped for cash, I didn’t want to buy good fabric only to sew something completely unwearable, so I found some old fabric that I’d bought for a dress I never made. So these were really supposed to just be a practice pair of shorts, but I like the final result better than I thought I would, so I’m pretty chuffed and will no doubt put them to use when Summer rolls around.

I really want to start fitting my sewing, so after sewing the four leg pieces together, I tried them on, pinned the fly closure together and pinned them in at the sides and back to make them fit my shape a bit better. Because I’d taken them in a tad, I then had to take in the waistband to fit the new waist circumference. 

The most difficult part of these shorts was sewing in the zipper. I sewed it in only to have to unpick it again too many times to remember. When I finally got it figured out and sewn in I stood back to inspect my handiwork to discover two things. One, I had put the zipper in inside out and would have to unpick and resew the entire thing. And two, I have a very low frustration threshold. I couldn’t even look at the shorts for about a week after this without wanting to toss them straight in the bin out of infuriation at my stupidity. I tried to calm myself down after a week and ensured myself that I will only improve if I get back on the horse (the metaphorical horse that is, I assure you I don’t sew on horseback). I kept my frustrations at bay, persevered and this time with success. Phew! I don’t have to throw them in the garbage after all. 

The last thing left to do was to attach the waistband and hem the legs. This was easy enough, although I wasn’t very exact with folding up the waistband facing, so had to have a few tries at “stitching in the ditch” before I actually caught all of the facing, but thankfully that wasn’t too arduous of a process. This was the first time I’d ever heard of and attempted to stitch in the ditch, but I will be sure to do it again, if for no other reason than I just like saying “stitch in the ditch”. At last, my first ever pair of shorts were complete and a happy dance enthusiastically performed!

Would I make them again? Yes, this is a great pattern and may even be a perfect fit without altering them, but since I can’t afford to waste any fabric, next time I will baste everything together and insert the zip before trying them on for a fitting. 

What would I do differently? Next time I’ll make sure I iron the pocket lining under a bit better after sewing so that you don’t see the lining. It was lucky in this case though that I used the shorts fabric for the lining. A small change will be to make the shorts legs a little longer simply because I like a large hem and I will try to sew together the fly with a little more finesse in future too, which should be easier to do now since I’ve had so much practice.


  1. I love the pattern and the name :-) Hippie! Awesome job you did here. It's good that you got back on that horse again ;-) A week off was a good idea.. I can remember tossing models into the bin when I was studying architecture. The glue was sticking to my hands and not to the model and the paper. Annoying! I guess you can wear these shorts now right? Or is it not yet so hot?

    1. Yes, it is finally hot enough to start wearing these now, and I recently got a great white lacy top that would go perfect with them. Haha I really laughed out loud about the model-making. Funnily enough I've studied architecture as well and can totally relate to model-making frustration glue-ing everything but the actual model!

  2. I love that floral print! I think if I could go back in time, I would be a great hippie! :) Your shorts look phenomenal....I definitely have this pattern on my to buy list!

    1. Thanks Teresa. I agree, I'd love to be a hippie, although probably in the more commercial stylized sense of the word. Would love to see them if you do end up making these. Despite my issues it really is a great pattern!


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