First up in my sewing plans are the Lander Pants + Shorts pattern from True Bias. I bought this pattern last summer, had it printed in large format, and never went any further with it. I'd really like to make myself a few pairs of shorts for this summer, while my body is still extra hard to fit into ready-to-wear postpartum.
I am still losing the baby weight, but my body had already mostly returned to it's overall shape.
Lander Pants + Shorts by True Bias, Lander Shorts + Pants Zipper Expansion
18 - my hips fit into this size (while sitting), but my waist is bigger regardless of sitting/standing (see alterations section below). I tried Cashmerette's idea about measuring hips and waist while sitting, for times you are making fitted non-stretch woven garments, and I'm trying it here.
Conclusion after making these shorts: stick to the standing measurements, even with a non-stretch. These were really big on me, even with no further alterations to the width of the hips. I probably should have cut the 14 or 16 and done a full tummy adjustment and crotch alterations to that size.
My non-sitting measurements put my hips between a 14 and 16 and my waist 1/2" larger than the 18. The finished measurements are not large enough for my sitting measurements, even with zero ease.
Added 3/8" to side seam on front and back pieces at the waist and used my french curve to blend back to the original pattern width at the notch on the hip. The side seams have an extra 1/2" seam allowance (1" total), so I'm using that extra 1/2" to increase the with along with the added 3/8". I am very "rectangular" shape-wise.
Conclusion after making these shorts: this added width was unnecessary (even though my waist width is wider by several inches while sitting). I ended up chopping off a full inch from each side of the pants (4 inches total) once they were sewn up. I have a 39-39.5 inch waist while standing and a 43" waist while sitting, to give you an idea of what can fit into a size 18.
Added 5/8" at lengthen/shorten line to make the height of the shorts come up to my natural waist (which is pretty high up since I'm super short-waisted).
Conclusion after making these shorts: uh...I forgot to factor in the waistband...so they were an inch above my natural waist once I attached it. Even with the pants at my natural waist, I found this to be a really uncomfortable height for me. I am super short waisted, with only about 2 inches between my under bust and natural waist, which means these come up REALLY high on me. I found the thickness/stiffness of the fabric to be unsuited to a rise this high on my body. It is A LOT of fabric. I thought it would be fine, because I like leggings to hit me at my natural waist, but the fabric makes a huge difference!
Added 1/4 inch full tummy adjustment. My front rise needed 7/8" of length added and my back rise needed 5/8" added, so I added 5/8" to both front and back pieces at the lengthen/shorten line, and took care of the remaining required length needed at the front with a full tummy adjustment.
Conclusion after making these shorts: as mentioned, I didn't need such a huge lengthening of the rise. As well, the additional full tummy adjustment resulted in the front of the pants sitting quite a bit higher than the back.
I scooped the front and back fly both a little more than 1/4", which worked out well. I also added 3/8" to the back crotch depth.
Conclusion after making these shorts: all good adjustments! The crotch and butt fit well. Those are the biggest challenges for me, so I am very happy with how they turned out.
Instead of turning and hemming the shorts, I ran a line of stitches around the leg, 3/8 inches from the bottom and threw them in the washer for a raw edge look (just had to do a bit of trimming of long threads once they were dry). The line of stitches makes it so they don't unravel too far (I took this idea from a pair of GAP shorts I have).
Pattern Alterations After Version 1
- I removed 1 inch from the side of the front and back pattern pieces, so I can just sew a 1/2 inch seam allowance next time.
- I removed the 5/8 inch rise increase from the lengthen/shorten line.
- I slashed and 'unspread' the front waist height to bring it down in the front so it won't sit way higher than it should at the center front as a result of the full tummy adjustment.
These shorts might sound like a big fail, but they most certainly are not! The construction went so well! The instructions were great. I had never made pants with a fly before, and I think this was probably one of the smoothest makes I've done. I would highly recommend this pattern as a first pants-with-fly pattern.
The butt and crotch fit great! I don't think I could improve the fit here, which is a huuuuuuge success!
I'm hoping that with washing and wearing the fabric will soften up a bit more and become more comfortable at such a high rise. If not, they're still a great example of a fine pair of shorts and what I can accomplish through sewing.
I do plan to make another pair of these shorts, but I will re-trace my current altered pattern pieces and lower the rise. I need to reduce the height by about 4 3/8 inches to have them sit at a mid-rise level on me.
I would be 100% happy with these shorts if I could just chop the top off...which I know I can't do, and I know that's not how to do the pattern alteration, but gives a good idea of how I feel about these shorts.
On the bright side, I think I might have just enough of this fabric left over to make a lower rise pair of shorts.
Curvy Sewing Collective Full Tummy Adjustment
Lander Pants + Shorts Sewalong
Lander Pants + Shorts instruction booklet