Monday, July 13, 2015

Casual Linen Shorts w/ an Accidental Paperbag Waist

Brunette girl modeling tan linen summer shorts with gray tshirt

Hello and Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend full of sunshine! I sure did -- can you tell? This golden sunset helps me look more sunkissed than I really am, but I did spend some time pool- and lake-side this weekend! I also spent plenty of time sewing machine-side.

Image of paper bag waisted shorts I sewed, detail of stitching and draw strings

Here are some linen shorts I made! The pattern was self-made, and I knew I wanted them to be pull-on, so I made them pretty loose. I wanted something super comfy for the heat we are (hopefully) about to have, and this linen is a perfect complement to the fit.  

Image of me wearing the casual shorts I DIY made out of linen

image of me with hands in pockets of casual linen shorts that i made on my sewing machine

 They have patch pockets in back, front pockets, front pleats, and double needle topstitch detail. I serged the inseams/outseams and rise, and then topstitched down for a faux-flat felled look. Funny story, I actually killed three partial spools of thread with all the topstitching on these shorts. Don't ask me why I had three partial spools of tan thread! I planned to just have a drawstring waist, but these shorts had other ideas. Somehow, they accidentally became paperbag waisted.

close up image of girl modeling cream colored linen shorts i sew

"Somehow" meaning, I wasn't thinking when I topstitched the top edge of the waistband above the drawcord channel. I had set two lines of stitching before I tried them on and realized I was headed for a ruffled mess: the stitching made the top edge stand away from the body like there was a wire in it! I dug around for some elastic, and set that in the waistband below the stitching to help mitigate the disaster, but it was only about 1" high elastic for a 2" waistband. This, of course, does not help prevent the ruffled mess--it just makes for smaller ruffles. In retrospect, I should have gotten wider elastic, picked out the top stitching, and set the elastic at the very top of the waistband. But that would have required patience (and the dreaded seam ripper), and honestly, I have neither! I just wanted to finish these shorts.

dslr image taken with canon sl1 camera and 50 mm f1.8 lens

side stitching detail image of double needle topstitching and patch pocket detail

back detail image of paper bag waistband and patch pocket with back darts

In the end, I can live with the waistband because my shirt will cover most of it, most of the time. Once I threaded the drawstring through, I decided I halfway liked the waistband, even! These only took a handful of hours, and the elastic waist meant fitting was simple. Should there be a next time for this pattern, I will make several corrections, but for some easy-breezy summer shorts, I'm happy with how these turned out!

This is me, modeling the shorts I just sewed.


  1. Um cute :) love how you fixed the "mistake"

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