Skip to main content

Made by a Fabricista: Casual Summer Shorts and Tops



I hope that you are having a great summer!  Here in the northern hemisphere, our summers can get really hot and humid, so everyday clothing that is lightweight and loose fitting is ideal.  I really needed some new tops and shorts that I could wear while doing housework, running errands, and just day to day stuff.  After picking out fabrics from Fabric Mart's awesome cotton selection, the first thing I did was to search for the perfect shorts pattern.  For me, pockets are a dealbreaker-  they have to be big enough to hold my cellphone without worrying that it will fall out! I decided to go with Butterick 5504, a Connie Crawford pattern.  It's no longer available from Butterick, but you can get it directly from Connie's website.  Here's the line drawing:


I made mine about 4" shorter.  This pair was made with a cotton/tencel denim which was heavenly soft after washing.  The pattern only calls for drawstrings, but I found that I needed elastic as well to keep them in place.  So, these shorts all have both 1/4" wide elastic and a drawstring at the waist.


Here you can see just how deep the pockets are from the inside view- they are very generous- I could fit a small paperback book in them!


I wanted the drawstrings to be different colors, so I cut white cotton cording to the length that I wanted, and started playing with my Rit dyes.


If you've never tried dyeing, you are in for a treat.  It is so simple and much like dyeing Easter eggs.  For something small like the drawstring, just put a splash of the dye in some very hot water in an old ice cream bucket, and stir it around for a few minutes.  If you want the color to be lighter, take it out early.  The longer you leave it, the darker it gets. Then, rinse, rinse, and rinse some more until no dye comes out in the water.


I decided to do a bunch and be ready for future drawstring needs as well!  Here they are drying on my patio.


I also dyed a piece of pale peach linen into a deeper shade of coral, along with the drawstring, and that's what became my coral pink shorts.  I knew that I wanted to make "camp" shirts, and for my first one, I used this poplin shirting print and Butterick 6070.  I took extra care with this shirt to match the design, and flat felled all of the seams.



It seemed to be fitting perfectly during the sewing process, but once I sewed the sleeves on, it was too snug.   As soon as I raise my arms, it pulls across the bust.  I think that the armholes are more suited to a sleeveless top, so I might cut off the sleeves and see if I like it better.  The fabric is wonderful, so I hope that I can make it work.

For my second shirt, I went looking for a more 80's style camp shirt with lots of room, and found this old Stretch and Sew pattern that had just the type of fit I was looking for.  Interestingly enough, this pattern comes with a separate template for a sleeveless armhole, which is exactly the shape of the armhole on my first shirt, solidifying my belief that if I cut off the sleeves, it might work! 


This pattern is for a dress, but I cut it at 26" long, instead of dress length to make it into a shirt.  I used a beautiful cherry blossom cotton poplin for the shirt, and the shorts are from a double gauze.  (Both are now sold out).  I love this print, it is so pretty.  The double gauze is a stripe on one side, and solid blue on the other.  These shorts feature the striped side.  This is my first time using double gauze, and it's very soft.  Maybe too soft for shorts!  It probably is better suited to shirting, but I will see how they hold up.


This shirt has a lot more ease, and I can raise my arms freely!  I'm very happy with this one- it's just the epitomy of a camp shirt in my mind.


For my last top, I went with a printed cotton gauze and Butterick 6455.   This fabric is a single gauze and was surprisingly very easy to work with.  Even though the arms are covered, the fabric is so lightweight that you don't feel too hot. I like the cinnamon color in this one- I think that it will transition into fall well, which is great because we still have lots of hot days all the way through September.



So, I'm all set for this summer for my casual shorts and top needs!  I love making all types of clothes, but there is something extra satisfying about sewing things that you know you can wear everyday.   Do you agree?

Happy Sewing!
Ann


Comments

  1. I absolutely agree that sewing things you can wear everyday is where it's at! I've been working on some light and cool summer tops myself :) I made up a Dove by Megan Nielsen sleeveless LOVE this pattern :) and now I'm working on a View Ridge by Straight Stitch designs which is very similar to your cinnamon coloured top except for the neckline. After this though I'm getting ready for pants making for the fall. I desperately need some good fitting pants and if I leave it until Sept I'm going to be in trouble :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the pattern recommendations- I will check those out! Good luck with your pants project!

      Delete
  2. Thanks!
    Was wondering if you purchased the cording online?

    -C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cynthia,
      Yes, I purchased a roll of it from Cheep Trims. Here's a link for you:
      http://www.cheeptrims.com/store/item.asp?Category=&SubCategoryID=&GroupID=&SKU=CC%2D064B.

      Delete
  3. Mmm, armhole too small, that's the same problem I had when I made up that Connie Crawford blouse. Nice to know I was not the only one. Very nice camp shirt on the second go round.
    Theresa in Tucson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I read on Patternreview.com that other people also had some issues with this particular pattern. I noticed that the yoke on mine is way smaller than the illustration, so I thought perhaps they had left off the seam allowances. But I called Butterick and they said that no corrections had been issued.

      Delete
  4. I have made loads of those CC shorts...love them! I lined the pockets with polyester to avoid bulk and just used elastic in the waistband. You look lovely in all those soft muted colors and soft fabrics. The brown blouse is especially well suited to your type being floaty and so feminine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THanks, Mrs. Mole. Good idea about the lining! That would make it quicker to dry too.

      Delete
  5. Your shorts are fantastic! Great blog post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love all of these coordinates and I really love making everyday basics like this because I get so.much.good.use out of them! Thanks for sharing Ann!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made by a Fabricista: Living in Linen

As the warmer weather approaches linen is probably one of my favorite fabrics that I feel often gets overlooked.   It drapes well, it’s cool and comfortable and you can make almost anything out of it. For this feature I used 4 yards of designer linen to create a vintage inspired look.  I had an image of a vintage Butterick pattern from the 60’s that I had saved on my Pinterest board.  I love the versatility and easiness of the style.  Since I did not have access to the pattern, I used similar patterns from my stash along with my own pattern drafting to replicate the style.  In the end I created 4 pieces total allowing for interchangeable looks. To create the skirt I used McCall’s pattern 7981 which is almost I identical to the on featured on the vintage pattern.  The shorts pattern was McCall’s 7962.  They are perfect to wear underneath the skirt for a layered look or by themselves. The bralette was self-drafted, I took my basic bodice sloper and moved the dart to create a center fron

Made by a Fabricista: A Fruity Spring Dress

After a year in yoga pants and sweatshirts all I want to sew are dresses. Big, over the top, wonderfully floaty dresses. I loved this fruity chiffon border print from the moment I saw it and knew it had to become one such dress. Much like florals, I absolutely adore fruit prints on fabric, so to find a fabric with both was a real treat. Chiffon is one of those fabrics a lot of sewists seem to be afraid of, and I don't blame them, it can be very tricky to work with. However, I strongly believe in doing difficult things, because the end is so worth it and you have the chance to learn new things along the way. I've only sewn with chiffon a couple times before so I decided to go with a pattern that didn't have any tricky closures and or require a lot of careful fitting. I ended up settling on Simplicity 8872, view A – a maxi length pullover dress with a tiered skirt and cap sleeves. I started with a small bust adjustment (SBA). I do this with nearly every pattern because I tend

Made by a Fabricista: Boho Chic Summer

Hello Gems! I'm so excited to share this month's look as a Fabric Mart Fabricista featuring two gorgeous fabric selections from Fabricmartfabrics.com. If you know me by now, you know that I adore a cool, floor length, boho chic look. There is something so sophisticated, sexy and cool about a free flowing look this time of year made from lightweight breathable fabrics such as the ones used for my most recent Fabricista make. Although the weather is warmer, I still enjoy creating long flowy dresses and free flowing silhouettes to stay cool in the summer and beat the heat. So for my June look, I did a hack of Vogue pattern 9311 and created a voluminous floor length dress with large billowy sleeves and a plunging neckline. I used Fabric Mart's Rayon Framework Crinkle  Challis fabric, which is very light weight and breathable, but not transparent. I love the drape of this fabric and how it just melts onto your body. I added facing down the front and made it a button up so that