Elizabeth has lots of skirts and quite a few dresses, but not many shorts, and I think that shorts for girls are not only very practical, but also extremely cute. Most shorts in the shops at the moment are skanky looking and too short by far. I really like puffy little bubble shorts. Lizzie got a pair for Christmas when she was two years old and I loved them, but unfortunately they got too small for even her tiny stick legs last year and I had to donate them. I searched the Internet for a similar pattern and came across the Blue Jays pdf pattern by Bobkin. They go up to size 8 so are really good value. I also bought a dress pattern while I was browsing...will make that one in Spring :)
The pattern is very simple. There only three pattern pieces- one leg, one leg cuff, and one waistband. You cut the belt and belt loops using measurements provided.
I had two really cute fabrics in my stash. The brighter one is some drill that I never really had enough of to do much with after I made a pleated skirt with half of it. The other one is a sturdy but soft cotton. Both perfect for shorts! I paired the drill with some polka dot stuff, and didn't do a contrast with the other floral cotton. I intended to leave out the belt and belt cuffs on those ones.
The instructions, I'm sorry to say, had me stumped. They start off really well, with the first step telling you to finish the edges that need finishing. I really appreciated that step, because sometimes I can't think ahead and finish my seams before it's too late and I've joined the seams together. Unfortunately after the first step, things got weird. The second step tells you to join the two shorts pieces together at the fronts and backs, with no further explanation. Now, I've made shorts before, but I got confused here and did completely the wrong thing and had to unpick it. I don't think that a beginner would have any clue what to do. Also, I had to ask for help online in one bit because the instructions kept talking about a waistband front and waistband back. I discovered that it actually meant waistband and waistband lining!
The method of elastic insertion was extremely awkward and I really don't know why the designer chose that particular method. For the record, the instructions tell you to join the elastic ends and then keep it held down with your fingers and pins while you top stitch the waistband down. Soooo tricky. I tried sewing that way for about one inch, said f$@& this, then did it my way, which is to top stitch most of the waistband closed, insert the elastic with a safety pin, sew the ends together, then top stitch the gap closed. Much better.
Gripes aside, I really love the shorts, and will be making more pairs. I just will ignore the instructions next time!
I finished the cuffed ones first, then after I inserted the elastic on the second pair and had Lizzie try them for size (before I'd started the cuffs), she said, "I want the wegs wike this!". She liked the way that it kind of looked like a skirt without the leg cuffs. I was happy to leave them off, as it meant less work for me, and she was right- they did look pretty cute as skorts! I just turned the hem and added some ric rac...cute as!