Shorts! Simplicity 1808

12 Oct

Because the genetic code passed on to me by my parents included sequencing for excessive junk in my trunk, I have always had a hard time finding bottoms to fit — things that fit in the waist are too tight in the hips and if something fits in the hips it gapes in the waist. Shorts seem to be exceptionally tricky for some reason, so when I started sewing, shorts were high on my list of must-makes. I recently saw these cute shorts on the Nordstrom blog and thought I would try to recreate them.


They have cute pleats in the front which I think are more flattering for my fuller front thigh, and the back waistband (couldn’t find a pic), is elasticized. Then I came across this pattern:


and decided that it could be easily adapted to suit my goals. I did make a few alterations. First, I omitted the tie belt. Second, I stopped the elastic at the side seam instead of carrying it around as depicted in the pattern. Third, I separated the pocket piece into two so I could have my pocket lined in a different fabric.

In terms of fit, I made a muslin first in a slightly stretchy cotton woven. The shorts ended up being really big (I could have taken an inch out of each side seam), so for this pair I cut a size smaller.


Unfortunately, when I made my fashion fabric pair, I couldn’t pull them up over my hips. Luckily, letting out all the waist seams to the max and tapering it down gave me just enough room to shimmy into these if I do it just right. I can’t explain this.


Here’s a pic of the front pleat and pocket detail.  Dark clothes are hard to photograph so I tried to lighten it up a bit to show the details — still not a great photo.


A view from the side showing how the elastic portion of the waistband stops at the side seam.


Now the back view — ugh!  Will not be wearing these with my shirt tucked in!!  I would like to add welt pockets and belt loops but I don’t know if that would fix the crumpled paper bag appearance of my back side.  After I finished my shorts, I saw Lauren’s version where she used a single wide elastic and stitched over it with a 3 part zigzag.  I think her back waistband looks much better so if I make these again I will employ that technique.


A view of my cute silk charmeuse pockets.

Overall, I am pleased with my shorts and feel like I have made some progress in my sewing and pattern alteration skills.  I would like to try the Thurlow pattern by Sewaholic next to see if I can get a finished product that works with a shirt tucked in 🙂


Pattern:  Simplicity 1808

Fabric:  Carolina Herrera cotton sateen (shorts), print silk charmeuse (pocket and waistband lining)

Notions:  1/4″ elastic

Finishes used:  Serged seam allowances, machine blind hemmed, stitched in the ditch to secure waistband facing

Top:  Oldie from Target

Shoes:  Seychelles from earlier this year

Necklace:  Premier

Bracelets:  Kenneth Cole from Dillard’s

3 Responses to “Shorts! Simplicity 1808”

  1. Vanessa October 25, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Wow! Great job. I am going to have to try and make some for me as well. I have the same issue as you :). BTW, I recently started a little business making kids’ clothes and accessories. I have a facebook page if you want to check it out I am trying to get more people to like my page so that I can build an audience and hopefully get some new orders. I will have a giveaway soon so hopefully that will help.
    Talk to you soon, V.

    • Susie Homemaker, MD October 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      Your little creations are so cute! You should try the shorts — they really are pretty easy if you don’t try to complicate them like I did 🙂



  1. Me Made May ’13 — Part 2 | Susie Homemaker, MD - May 20, 2013

    […] Made: Simplicity 1808 shortsRTW: New shoes T-shirt from […]

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