Summer is here, and do you know what that means? It's time to tackle your warm-weather vintage sewing patterns. The weather has been cooler lately, but shorts are still a necessity. The Simplicity vintage-style pattern 8654 is a perfect summer sewing pattern. It has swooshy shorts, a cute top, and a fun skirt. I chose to sew the shorts. I have a pair of RTW shorts that are similar, but no longer fit. So, I decided to make my own. The shorts have minimal pattern pieces (4) and take about 2 yards of fabric, more or less depending on your size. Let's get started!
Cut + Trace
Find your size on the pattern. The style is very forgiving in the hips, so I went with my waist measurement only.
Cut the pattern or trace it onto paper. Transfer all your markings. This, is especially important for the pleats.
Cut out the fabric pieces and interface your waistband.
Sew, sew, sew!
Match the front pieces together. Pin and sew along the curve.
Fold the pleats, matching the marked lines, and sew. Do this with both of the front pieces. Then, repeat the same steps for the back pieces. The pattern instructions were fairly easy for these shorts. No issues to write home (or you) about.
Your pleats should look like the ones above. Topstitch after you sew them to keep them secure.
Flip over the shorts, and there will be two rows of stitching, like the photo below. So far, pretty easy, right?
Grab your two pocket pieces. Sew along the edges on a front piece and again on a back piece. This pattern only has one pocket because of the side zipper. If you're feeling brave, you could easily add a second side pocket and insert the zipper in the back seam instead.
Sewing is all about customization. :D
I didn't love how they have you sew the pocket. But, note to self, next time sew it up how I would regularly sew an inseam pocket.
Zipper time! This pattern calls for a lapped zipper, which is a true vintage style zipper. I am somewhat new to the lapped zipper, as I've only been sewing them for 2 or so years. I'm a huge fan! They take minimal effort and go in pretty easily, with a few tips and tricks.
I use a strip of 1" interfacing for all of my zippers. It helps stiffen up the fabric, and the zipper looks nicer after it is sewn in.
Press the right side under 1/2". Pin the fabric right next to the zipper teeth. Sew, using a zipper foot.
Then, press the left side under 5/8". I close the zipper and pin the fabric to the zipper tape. Be sure to barely cover the right side stitches. Unzip, then sew.
Time for some waistband action. I sewed a straight size 18 for the shorts and used the size 18 waistband pattern piece, but the waistband was too short. So, I added an extra piece of fabric to insure the waist band was long enough. I've noticed with a lot of patterns that the waistband always falls short of the skirt, shorts, or pants. ?? Maybe I'm broken, but does this happen to you?
It was an easy fix, luckily. Just make a note of it when you make these shorts.
Pin and sew the waistband to the shorts, making sure to match notches and seams.
After sewing the waistband to the shorts, flip the raw edge over to enclose the raw edges of the shorts. The band will enclose them.
Pin from the outside, right along the seam line, catching the inner fold with the pins. This, is my most favorite way of sewing a waistband. It goes quickly and has a clean finish.
Time to hem your new shorts. You can turn the raw edge under 1/4" and then under again, like the pattern instructions say. Or, serge the raw edge and turn under once and sew. I prefer to do it this way most times. It is quick and easy, and is great for pants or shorts.
Add a label in the back of the shorts. The front looks very similar to the back, so this little addition helps when it's time to get dressed. If you don't have labels, add a fun piece of grosgrain ribbon.
Don't forget to add your buttonhole and button. I opted for a fun contrasting pink one. I love my colorful coral zipper too. It mostly matches. Ha!
The shorts fit great! I went down a size in my waist because I know the big 4 patterns usually add a lot of ease. My waist is 33-34", and I sewed the size that had a 32" waist. They fit perfectly and have a little wiggle room. The fabric I used is a rayon challis. In my experience, rayon shrinks over time with the first few washings. If it shrinks, I'm good. If not, I'm good. Either way, I'm happy with the size I chose.
The fabric is a Gertie designed fabric she used to have at Joann stores. It's almost a decade old. I made a Rita with it. The leftover fabric was from the yardage I bought all that time ago.
Funny enough, I did not have a top that matched my new shorts. Yes, I have black tops, but I wanted some color. I made a solid bright pink Rita to wear with them. I know, so bizarre for me to sew solid fabrics. Because the shorts were so busy, I wanted some simplicity on top.
Next time I make these shorts, I'm going to play with the pleats. I think I'll fold the fabric differently to give them a different look. Maybe a large box pleat?
Thanks for following along. Now, go grab the pattern and get started on your summer sewing.
Are you excited to make these shorts? Have you made them before? Would you make them again?
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.
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