11.10.2013

City Shorts (in Plaid)

Last month, Monica of Another Dress emailed me asking whether I'd like to try her new (free, but only currently available in size 3/4) City Shorts pattern. She's in the Southern Hemisphere, where they're headed toward summer - a great time to launch a shorts pattern.  But in the Northern Hemisphere, winter is soon approaching, and here in Texas, we're finally getting some cooler weather.  I told her I'd love to check it out in the spring.

But as I was cutting out Indigo's plaid dress, I thought of Monica's shorts pattern and how perfectly wintery the shorts would be in this tartan with some tights or leggings underneath.

city shorts

And having the fabric on hand, leftover from her dress, I simply couldn't help myself.  I had to make them.

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The pattern itself was easy to sew.  I had never sewn pockets in this way and was so impressed with how simple they are to make.

city shorts : pockets

Matching all those plaid pieces - two front leg pieces, two back leg pieces and the pocket pieces - was less easy.  It's not that it was hard so much as it took a lot of time and concentration. I think it took me longer to cut out the shorts than to sew them.

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I cut the shorts on the bias, so the plaid would run horizontally and vertically. Then I cut the the waistband on the crossgrain, so the plaid runs diagonally there.

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A few techy details.  I didn't do all of the topstitching that the pattern suggested.  And it was a little tricky sewing the back waistband casing closed with the elastic stitched in first.  Next time, I'd sew the back casing closed, string the elastic through on a safety pin, and then tack it down with a few stitches before proceeding to sew the front waistband closed. 

I laughed when I saw this photo in my photostream.

and a beautiful pout it is

I try to make taking photos fun, but it's not all rainbows and unicorns.  On the bright side, though, people would (and do) pay big bucks for a pout like Tarikua's. :)

 She was happy again soon enough.

tia,my love
 
 And here are my two girls, in their plaid mama-mades.

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22 comments:

  1. Your sewing is always so lovely and inspiring. And the second to last picture, with your girls looking up at you, is priceless!

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    1. thanks so much. in that photo, the girls and i were just goofing around and it was a lucky catch using the tripod. :)

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  2. Very cute. I'll have to remember this pattern for next summer

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  3. These are really sweet, Rachel - love them in the plaid, and love the pics of you and the girls.
    Off to check out the pattern and the blog.....

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  4. That plaid fabric is magical - it looks great in everything it's used for! Those shorts are adorable and look super cute with the blue leggings. Does it actually get cold enough to wear leggings in Texas? Excuse my ignorance, as I look as today's forecast of snow flurries and wish I were closer to you:)
    Thanks for alerting us to such a fun FREE! pattern!

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    1. i suppose that would all depend on one's definition of 'cold'. :) it was 68 degree the other morning which was 'freezing' if you asked my kids. i took these photos yesterday and it was probably in the 60s with a breeze, so it felt a little chilly. in the winters here, it can be quite cold in the morning - even in the 30s but then it often really warms up as the day goes on, usually into the 50s and 60s. so layering is a must. :)

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    2. oh, your description of your weather sounds delightful! Yes, the forecast of snow came true here today and there is layer of that "white stuff" on our lawn. Mid 60's sounds like a perfect temp to me! Glad that it's cool enough to justify some layering, as that's what fall fashion is all about:)

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    3. oh, i do love layering and will take it while we can! :) and yes, while the weather is nice this time of year, the summers are very very hot. when i was pregnant with iris it was one of the hottest summers on record with something like 100 days over 100 degrees. that said, we are pretty well acclimated to weather in the 90s , having lived here for over 7 years now. but over 100 is just too hot! :)

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  5. I love plaid - both outfits are so great (and perfectly suited to each wearer).
    Love the last picture!

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    1. thanks so much! i do think you're right - that the tartan really takes on a different look, depending on how it's used and even the way it's cut (on the crossgain vs on the bias).

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  6. I love the plaid fabric and your girls are adorable!
    You will not believe the coincidence! Monica also contacted me to test her pattern and, as you, I made a pair of pants for Ines with some left over fabric for a dress I had made before for Teresa.
    I decided to turn the shorts into pants because Ines need it more but I absolutely loved Monica's pattern and I will sooner or latter sew some shorts with it too.
    I haven't yet blogged about these pants but I hope to do it soon.

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  7. Such cute pics and I love the shorts. Perfect timing for us in Australia. I was also wondering if you made your dress as it is just what I am looking for!!

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    1. Thanks so much! I did not make my dress. I ordered it online from J Crew Factory Store. I waited for one of their 30% off sales, which happens quite often. In fact, they're having one right now. :) (It's an additional 30% off the already sale price.)
      http://factory.jcrew.com/womens-clothing/dresses/Day_Dresses/PRDOVR~91659/91659.jsp

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  8. Adorable! Prefect to have city shorts in TX. Winter time we can add tights/leggings/boots. The other 3 seasons flip flops & shorts!

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  9. Last night I was reading a post by Rachael from Imagine Gnats, and laughed when joked about crushing on you big-time. I imagine most of the sewing bloggers out there do- you make the cutest stuff and have such a great eye for fabrics and styling. Love these shorts and T's pout! :)

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    1. erin, that's so sweet. i'm really flattered and humbled that you would say that. i love your style so much. <3

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  10. I bow down to your plaid-matching skills! I love plaid but I usually wimp out when I think about sewing with it. We can't all be as bad-ass as you :)

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  11. Those shorts are so cute! I just love the plaid, although if I tried using it mine wouldn't match up that well. Love your girls looking up at you and all the coordinating outfits. Gorgeous!

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  12. Both of your girls are adorable in your handmade plaids! There's something very stylish about shorts with tights for the winter season. Love them both!

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    1. thanks so much! we can definitely get away with it here in texas. :)

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