Playsuit (noun): a woman’s or child’s outfit for sports or play, consisting usually of shorts and a top.
Yep, that’s what this is. A playsuit. And my first pair of shorts! I’m really on a matching two-piece kick here. There’s something so darn playful about this look. It’s casual but still cool. It reads retro. I tend to straddle a fine line between retro and what feels like now. Either way, I am very much looking forward to frolicking around town in this little bad girl all summer. For construction details, read on.
This outfit is a combination of two patterns. The crop top is a repeat of Butterick 6175. You’ve seen it previously here. The shorts are from Simplicity 1371, view D.
I’ve made the crop top from Simplicity 1371 last summer. I also tried to make the pants last year but they were too small. I was a bit nervous about how I’d get the shorts to fit, but I managed.
My standard photo poses were starting to bore me, so I thought I’d spice things up a bit with some action shots! First of all, the fabric is a linen ikat print that I picked up from Joann’s last year. I’m really doing my best to sew from my stash this summer. So far, so good. When sewing with linen, I recommend using a size 12 needle. You’ll also want to set your iron to high heat and use steam since linen gets so wrinkly but it presses well.
There’s not a whole lot to say about this top since I’ve now made it for the second time. It’s a fun and quick little pattern. The shorts, however, are a different story. I’ve never made shorts before so I was a tad nervous. Also, I knew the fit was going to be an issue. I made a muslin and cut a size 12. The muslin ended up being a good fit, but when I actually made the shorts in my fashion fabric, they were way too snug. There was a simple solution, fortunately. I simply grabbed my seam ripper and took out the back darts. I don’t think I lost much of anything design-wise by doing that. Plus, voila! The shorts fit after that.
These are high-waisted shorts with front pleats. They definitely read vintage. I’m not totally sold on the front pleats. They’re what one might describe as “unflattering.” But hey, if they’re good enough for Cynthia Rowley, they’re good enough for me. There’s plenty of room in the pleat pouch for summer barbecues.
Because I ended up taking out the back darts and because the waistband was going to be too small to begin with, I ended up cutting a new waistband. No big deal. I just rough estimated and added an inch to both waistband patterns. Then once I stitched my waistband to the shorts, I just cut off any excess from the sides. The most important lesson I’ve learned in sewing is that you can’t be afraid to improvise. Most of the time you’re not going to have a perfect fit straight out of the envelope. There is a lot of trial and error involved in getting your garment to fit. The most important thing is to not give up, because if you give up you don’t learn anything.
I hemmed the shorts with bias tape, which is my favorite way to hem, right after serging a narrow rolled hem. Once everything was finished, I put on the final touches by sewing on my lovely sewing labels.
I haven’t seen many other people try these shorts out around the blogosphere, but Lucky Lucille made a rad pair last year. I love how she styled her shorts with those cool cat tights. I gotta get me a pair of those. Although I’m quite pleased with how this outfit turned out, I’m still on the hunt for a great shorts patterns. Any recommendations?