The day before our road trip to British Columbia I decided a comfy pair of shorts was required. The only shorts I currently had were a cheap pair of stretch jeans shorts (which constantly slide down driving me crazy) and gym shorts. I wanted something comfy yet not a gym short and the Parkside shorts pattern from Sew Caroline looked like it might fit the bill. Here are my pretty blue Parkside shorts and further down my cute dog, who decided my petting her was clearly more important than blog photos.
These are a quick easy sew and I really liked the finishing details. I’ve never been much of a fan of elasticized waist pants but I’m starting to realize this may actually be due to them not fitting me properly and the way the elastic waist is applied. My absolute favourite thing about this pattern is the 2″ elastic used at the waist and how it is finished. Two lines of topstitching keep the elastic nice and flat and the drawstring runs between them. The waistband seam allowance is also topstitched down so everything sits nice and flat. Beautiful! Also, nicely finished pockets, again I like that the instructions included a row of topstitching after clipping and turning pocket inwards.
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find 2″ knit waistband elastic specified in the pattern. I did have to do some hunting but found it on a spool in with the cording and lace at my local fabric store. Fabricland really does have a lot of great things if you know what you are looking for and take the time to hunt!
I used my serger to finish my seams and am happy with how neat the insides look though I may be inclined to try something fancier in the future. French seams, Hong Kong finish or maybe flat-felled? Since it’s such a quick sew,in an easy to work with fabric, it’s the perfect opportunity to play with pretty seam finishes.
I made these up with some lovely handcrafted cotton from Style Maker Fabrics. I love the vibrant pattern which is apparently stamped by hand. It is close to quilting weight and worked really nicely for these shorts. Nice to have a pattern that will work with the pretty patterned quilting cotton that is so easy to find.
The instructions in the pattern were very detailed and my only beef with them was they didn’t include pictures for every step. The wording was clear and I didn’t find anything missing in the steps but apparently I’m a picture person and was missing the images to reference. I did appreciate details included for beginners such as stating to finish seams and a section about lengthening/shortening. However I noticed there wasn’t a glossary of sewing terms which I’m used to seeing in beginner level patterns to explain terms like topstitching, basting stitch, etc.
The material requirements for fabric were perfect. I had only a bit left from my 1.5 yards and the chart had indicated 1 3/8 yards. Not having excessive amounts left over is great! It did state that I needed 4 yards of twill tape for the drawstring though!? That seems like a lot since I only used 1.5 meters and my tie is a nice length. I guess I was only making the size Large, the pattern goes up to XXLarge and some may prefer a longer tie than I do. I went by common sense for both how much elastic and twill tape to purchase.
I got a decent fit on these with no adjustments other than the inseam length. I added 2 inches since the pattern has a 3.5″ inseam(it kindly told me inseam length right in the first paragraph of the instructions) and I like a longer inseam. The rear fits fairly nicely, I could perhaps do a tiny adjustment for my ample booty but it is not so bad as to be pulling the waistband downwards. I actually wonder if just doing a flat felled seam at the back would stop the tiny bit of wedgie action that is going on back there… The main adjustment I need to make to any future pairs though is removing some excess fabric from the front. This is not the fault of the pattern since I have frequently had this problem in both RTW garments and other patterns. Perhaps I should just start preemptively making this adjustment before I sew any pants/shorts. The only other adjustment I may make, for personal preference, is to widen the pocket 1/2 to 1″. When I put my hands in I always feel the pockets are slightly narrow for my liking.
I realized when doing this blog post there is actually a sew-along for this pattern on the Sew Caroline blog. I took a look and it shows some nice add-ons like double welt pockets at the back, side slits and adding a lining if you are making the skirt view of the pattern. Next time I make these up I’ll definitely be adding the welt pockets! Nice to have these extra features shown in a sew-along.
All in all these shorts were a quick satisfying sew and although I need a couple of fit adjustments this pair is certainly wearable. In fact I wore them more than once on our vacation trip and was happy to have something a little nicer looking than ratty knit gym shorts!
Garment Cost $41.41 CAD (costs include taxes, shipping, exchange & duties)
- 1.5 yards Handcrafted Cotton $33.95 – Style Maker Fabrics
- 32″ of 2″ knit waistband elastic $4.16 – Fabricland
- 1.5 meters 1/4″ twill tape $3.30 – Fabricland
Pattern cost $16.10 CAD for PDF (purchased for 20% off during sale)
- Base cost of the pattern is $15.00 USD at Sew Caroline
Size chosen and modifications made:
- Size Large chosen based on my measurements.
- Added 2″ length to inseam since I prefer a longer leg.
What I liked
- Tile layout allows me to print just the skirt or just the shorts to save paper.
- Square corners for tile matching worked really nicely, I possibly prefer these to the mid page triangles which I’ve seen more often.
- Detailed instructions for finishing seams, topstitching and getting a nice professional looking finish of elastic waistband.
- Nice loose fitting leg so I don’t get leg fat “bloops” when I sit down.
- Sew-along on the website shows how add a double welt pockets and side slits to the shorts.
What I disliked
- Did not include diagrams/images for all steps in the instructions.
- Rated as for a beginner but did not include a glossary of sewing terms.
- No mention of adjustments for crotch or seat fit in either the instructions or the sew-along.
My rating for this pattern is 8.5/10
Nicely drafted pattern with all pieces fitting together perfectly. Fabric recommendations were accurate. The written instructions were very detailed and I loved they provided a nice professional looking finish. I disliked not having a picture or diagram for each step of the written instructions, especially since the pattern is rated for beginners. Also did not include definitions of sewing terms used to assist beginners. I got a decent fit and liked that the instructions told me the inseam length and how to lengthen/shorten. I would have really liked to see mention of other adjustments such as crotch adjustments or full seat adjustments since pants/shorts can be so tricky to fit. The final result is quite professional looking and I’m happy to have this pattern in my stash. With some minor fit adjustments I expect this will be a TNT used numerous times.
- Adjust for full seat.
- Adjust for excess fabric at front crotch.
- Add double welt pockets and side slit as shown in the sew-along.
- Try making a skort by putting the skirt pieces over pocket-less shorts pieces.