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Pattern Runway’s Sweet Shorts

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Isla Bartolome, Galapagos Islands

I came across these shorts from the little independant pattern maker Pattern Runway a while ago (I’m a certified Etsy-a-holic). Gorgeous, huh? And a fellow Aussie to boot! I made them up specifically to wear whilst we were visiting the Galapagos Islands. 

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Getting amorous with a Frigate Bird that hitched a ride on our boat
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The second I put them on my immediate thought was “ah, so that’s why she named them the sweet shorts!” They’re gorgeous! I’ll admit that I had my doubts when I bought this pattern – I thought it might be a case of they look lovely but could be a tad ridiculous on me in real life. How wrong I was. The second thought that came unbidden to me was “Hmmm, I wonder what they’d look like as pants…?”

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Usually I’m quite precious with clothing I’ve made – in my mind it’s always more delicate than RTW stuff! But I’m sure that’s mostly just a mindset because these shorts have been hiked in, afternoon-siesta-ed in, sweated in (oh, the insane humidity!), exposed to copious amounts of UV and zinc sunscreen, drenched in a torrential rain downpour and basically worn for 3 or 4 days straight. And they’re still alive! (the welt pockets suffered a bit after being rained on though).

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Single welt-pocket mere moments after completion

I used a pale blue japanese cotton with a printed white polka dot pattern, called ‘Sky Yuki Small’ from Tessuti. I wanted a bit of contrast too though – so used some of the leftover stretch yellow from my Caramel Slice Marfy to make some piping for the man-style pocket edges. I love the two fabrics together! 

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Single welt pocket slightly saggy post torrential downpour, and contrast pocket piping!

I’m still in shock that these shorts fit so well straight out of the packet in the areas that pants haven’t fit me well in the past. No bunching or smiling at the front crotch, it hugs your backside, the pockets make it so sitting in them is comfy and not-restrictive too! The fit is quite snug across your waist and hips, with a nice amount of leg room for ease of movement.

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The pattern has the front legs with an inverted ‘V’ shape and the length of the back legs are slightly longer in length. I particularly love the man-style pockets; it also has a side zipper, a waistband that sits at the waist and single welt pockets at the back. I wasn’t overly happy with the instructions for how to complete the single welts – so after a bit of research and trial-and-error, I did it my own way (you can see this here) which involved using one less piece than Pattern Runway would have you use.

I made two small changes – I reduced the amount of fabric at the back leg by taking out a dart to get a slightly closer fit around my thighs, and pinched out a bit of a gape underneath the front waistband by reducing the height of the front rise slightly.

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In addition to the instructions – I applied interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric along the scallop front and the hem at the back – this makes the edge crisp and also allowed me to effectively ‘blind hem’ the facing (or in normal cases – the hem) to the fabric. The japanese cotton is tightly woven so I didn’t want any puckers from errant hand stitches showing though. The interfacing takes care of this nicely.
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a Sally Lightfoot Crab

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The Galapagos Islands have been an incredible place to visit – the wildlife is plentiful and the animals aren’t afraid to get a closer look at you! I had a white-tipped reef shark swim about 1.5m away from me whilst snorkeling – it swam away completely disinterested before I had the chance to comprehend the situation! For those of you who aren’t familiar with their importance – these islands are the reason d’être for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

Over many, many years – species of plant and animal have immigrated to the galapagos, most probably carried by the tides, or seeds which have been eaten by birds and pooped out on these islands. But because it is geographically isolated, over time the species of flora and fauna have evolved differently (to suit their living environment) to their cousins on the mainland.

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A sea lion nursing her pup

It’s also a pretty amazing place from a geologist’s perspective – there’s heaps of volcanic activity! We walked over cooled lava/magma flows that were just 200 years old!

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Mr poppykettle being cheeky with a bit of Volcanic Rock
(it doesn’t actually weigh much at all)

One last word on the shorts – what I really loved about this PDF pattern, is that the printed out pages have grid lines on them – which makes it a hell of a lot easier to match, rather than single match points. I’ve found that in the past the more pages you have to stick together, the more likely that after a few pages, they don’t match perfectly. The grid pretty much took care of that :) Thanks Pattern Runway!

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***NEWSFLASH***
Ok, So I’m most likely extremely late to the party on this – so I’m assuming  everyone seen the new Colette Patterns? LOVE! I’m so buying the Iris shorts the second I get back home. It kills me to think I still have to spend another 6 or so weeks apart from my sewing machine… then I remember I’m on holidays, and it ain’t so bad :P
 
Colette’s Iris shorts, via colettepatterns.com