Hi, all! How was your weekend? Have you purchased fabric yet? Today and tomorrow we’re talking about customizing and fitting + finishing. Wednesday, we start cutting and prepping. Friday, we start sewing. This week is full of stuff, but I just didn’t want you to be bored this weekend. 😉
Today, we start with customizations.
I touch on this in the instruction booklet (see page 12). With a shorts pattern, a skirt pattern, and four back pocket options, you’re already set up with 8 possible versions (10, if you want to leave off back pockets entirely and go for a dressed-up look!). There’s a lot of potential here to begin with.
But, where can you customize in other areas?
Shorten or lengthen the inseam
Finish seams with bias tape
Sew double or triple lines of topstitching
Turn the hem to the outside to create a cuff: lengthen the inseam by 3/4” and then turn hem 1” twice, stitching down at side seam and inseam. Note that the wrong side of your fabric will show.
Leave off belt loops and back pockets for a dressed-up, clean look
Use a different fabric for inside of back pocket flaps or slash pocket back facings
Topstitch at 1/4” instead of 1/8“
Here are some examples.
There are shorten/lengthen lines at both the rise and the inseam on the shorts pattern and rise and length on the skirt pattern. The shorts inseam length for all sizes is 4.5″; the length for the skirt varies by size, but is intended to hit just a few inches above the knee (see the finished garment size chart on page 5 of the instruction booklet to determine measurements for each size). I have a full tutorial within the instruction booklet (page 11) on how to use the shorten/lengthen lines if you have never used them before! The chambray shorts below are a 3″ inseam, while the coral shorts are 4.5″.
You can simply turn the raw edge of the waistband facings down and finish the edge of the fly shield–OR you may want to make things extra nice by binding the edges in bias tape.
In the pattern, I call for one line of topstitching 1/8″ away from all seams. However, this is an area that you can change to suit your own taste. On the chambray shorts (left) below, I left off the topstitching on the front pockets entirely. On the blue skirt (middle), I topstitched 1/4″ from all seams, and also edgestitched the front pockets. On the green shorts (right), I topstitched three lines 1/8″ apart on the front pocket and side seams. One is very clean, one is classic, and one is sporty. As you can see, I have enjoyed experimenting with different looks, and you should, too!
An easy way to add some personality is to simply use a contrasting fabric on the underside of the pocket flaps or for the slash pocket back facings. (These skirts obviously don’t have a center front seam like the pattern, but you can see what I mean by contrasting pocket facings.)
I urge you to make your shorts and skirts your own! You’ll love them more in the long run.
I’ll be back tomorrow with notes on fitting and finishing!
Below you will find the list of links to each blog post in the sewalong. If you have any questions, absolutely feel free to e-mail me.
- Introducing the Chi-Town Chinos Sewing Pattern
- Introducing the Chi-Town Chinos Expansion Packs
- Chi-Town Chinos Tester Round-Up
- Chi-Town Chinos Expansion Pack Tester Round-Up
- Part 1 : Inspiration
- Part 2 : Supplies
- Part 3 : Customizing the Pattern
- Part 4 : Fitting + Finishing
- Part 5 : Prepwork
- Part 6 : Front Pockets
- Part 7 : Fly Front
- Part 8 : Back Assembly + Final Fitting
- Part 8.5 : Welt Pockets
- Part 9 : Waistband, Center Back Seam, Inseam, Side Seams
- Part 10 : Belt Loops, Bar Tacks, Hemming, Front Closure