This post is picture heavy, it contains pictures that may be disturbing to others (of my butt) you have been warned!


Something you won’t have seen from me before…shorts!  Plus another Wiksten Tank.

Please excuse the wrinkles – it was such a humid day, which really makes it worse. These pictures were taken right before a tropical storm.

There are some great shorts patterns out there; Sweet shorts from Pattern Runway or the Grainline Maritime ones, but they are not for me, I don’t like short shorts on me, I just don’t have the legs for them.  However I do have a favourite RTW pair that I have had for at least 4 years, but tragically recently I wore them to death.  Not able to let go, I hung on to them with the idea I would take a pattern from them. Originally I was going to unpick them, but the seams were predominantly double top-stitched and overlocked.  Scissors were the much faster option.  I carefully cut one half of the shorts apart leaving the other half intact so I could refer to it for construction.

Original shorts

I ironed and then carefully traced around the pieces adding seam allowances. From there it was just cut out my fabric and sew them together. With the other half of the shorts still intact this was reasonably straightforward especially if you have made pants before.

Faux coin pocket

The shorts have loads of interesting detail, a divided front section, front yoke, back darts, patch pockets, fake coin pocket and lots and LOTS of top stitching. Those of you who follow me on Instagram would have seen my excitement as they started coming together. Man, that top stitching took forever.


All the top stitching was done using my normal machine, my normal foot and a steady eye to make sure it was lined up. I couldn’t use my coverstitch machine as I had lots of sharp corners to negotiate.


I can see there is some extra fabric under my butt in the above picture, but as the fabric has no stretch, I need this so I can sit down.

Excuse the wrinkles, I had been wearing them all day!
Proper fly insertion – even a fly backing!



In my excitement I nearly forgot to mention my Wiksten tank. Made from a floaty (but creasy) rayon. The only change to this pattern was to do an FBA, or in reality add a bust dart which was rotated out of the armscye. I cut the small in the shoulders, grading out to a large in the hips and shortened it by an inch.


Can you tell I am super happy with how these turned out? The fit and length is just what I wanted, I love the detailing and I don’t have to mourn my old pair any longer!

Happy dance!


Pattern – my own
Fabric – 2m of cotton duck from Spotlight
Notions – Lining, zipper & thread from my stash

Pattern – Wiksten Tank
Fabric – 1.2m of rayon from Spotlight
Notions – thread from my stash

Stash update:
169.5m – 2m-1.2m = 166.3m

PS – Reana took the photos, isn’t she amazing?!

54 thoughts on “Shorts!

  1. You are so clever to pick apart your old shorts as a pattern for the new ones. And I like your public warning, but I think we have a similar figure (ish) so the more photos the better. I was thinking the Wiksten Tank may not be in a size for me – but I love it, and I love that it can be made into a dress. WANT!

  2. Love your happy dance…tooooo cute!!!

    You did an excellent job on your shorts.. Now, you have a new pair…plus a pattern.
    I really love the floral in the waistband lining. cute.

  3. You did a brilliant job replicating your favourite shorts Liz. There will be no stopping you now that you have made this pair so well.The shorts and top are perfect for this hot, steamy weather.

  4. Oh! They’re lovely! I’m not a huge fan of short shorts either, so I’ll have to see if I have any well fitting old ones hanging around – and whether I’m brave enough to make my own pattern from them!

  5. If there was an Olympic team for topstitching, I can’t help but think they’d ask you to join … it’s so perfect! I love the little details like the coin pocket too. They look so RTW. You’ve inspired me to try and copy a RTW tunic I have that’s also approaching the garment graveyard. Great sewing!

  6. These are awesome! i love the colour you chose and that top stitching is perfection. Awesome job! On the rayon front spotlight has a new range of printed rayons that are really nice. Softer than the plain rayons. You should check them out!

  7. Can I just say I’m totally in awe of the fact you made something so complex and didn’t even use a PATTERN??? Wow.. the front fly/waistband construction is particularly impressive – but it’s all really really profesh!!! Super awesome job! 🙂

  8. What brilliant shorts! And extra bonus sewing points for making the pattern from your old shorts! I, too, love the flowery waistband on the inside, and the fly zip looks fab. I’m guessing there will be more pairs to come. 😉

  9. Wow you’ve done amazing job resurrecting those shorts! I watched them come together via Instagram, I had no idea they weren’t from a pattern, it’s fun to see the final product now and I love your happy dance gif 😉

  10. Wow! These look great! But I can’t believe you chose a pair with so many details as your first foray into shorts– you’re amazing! They’re really fantastic! I’ve read that it’s better to cut or trace garments you want to copy as unpicking them can cause the pieces to warp and stretch out of shape, which could make your new garment too big.

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