Sewn: Batik Shorts (Simplicity 1887)

It's official... I've made my first pair of shorts!! Thanks to everyone who voted over on Instagram and Facebook. I was secretly hoping that shorts would win the vote so that I could conquer my fear of sewing bottoms! Your excitement over the shorts encouraged me to take the leap!

These were definitely a fun challenge. I used Simplicity 1887 and made View C. I decided to leave off the ties at the waist, because I felt they were a bit too much with the bold batik fabric. With these shorts I had a few challenges including sewing pockets, adding pleats and creating an elastic waistband.

I was surprised how easily these came together, even for a beginner like myself. I initially cut a Size 8, but then had to take them in about 2 inches, because they were HUGE!! Note to self... must learn to select correct pattern size. I'm always scared of picking a size too small and not having enough room to fiddle with when fitting.

I shortened the hem at the bottom to make them look less like 'mom' shorts. I also hand stitched the hem with a catchstitch (a helpful trick I learned when sewing my Colette Patterns Laurel dress). I made sure to pull the stitches through the navy areas of the fabric in the front of the shorts. This concealed the stitches I made with the navy thread and gave a nice clean look to the shorts.

Alright, and now for the all important booty shot....  ;)

Hands down my biggest challenge in sewing these shorts was inserting the elastic waistband, which also seems to be a recurrent challenge for me. Sheesh!! I struggled with this before when I was inserting the waistband in my first skirt.

I redid the waistband on these shorts twice and despite my efforts, that dang elastic kept folding over itself!!! Arrrrrrgg! I had such a tricky time trying to pull it through the casing. After my second attempt (and no improvement), I decided just to leave waistband as it was. After all, I usually wear my shirts over my shorts like so...

... and, since my shirt covers the waistband and you can't even see the wonky elastic! (Shhhh... don't tell!)  If you guys have any advice on how to insert elastic without blood, sweat and tears... please let me know. I could use it! (Maybe I need to make the casing a tad roomier or find a stiffer elastic??)

Even with my elastic woes, I'm still loving these shorts. They are so comfy. I love the batik fabric pattern, roomy pockets, and (as long as my wonky elastic waistband is hidden) I think they are pretty stylish too.

Project Details:
Pattern: Simplicity 1887, View C without ties
Fabric: Tonga Batik Calypso Woodcut China (from // similar options here) 
Difficulty: Beginner
Skills: Inserting pockets, creating pleats, adding an elastic waistband 
Detailed views: Front, Back, Inside
Future ideas: Make the pants version & alter the pattern to be more fitted and include a zipper closure (as seen over at Errant Pear)

Overall, I'm really pleased with the shorts. I'd even like to try sewing the pants variation too. Right now, I'm on the hunt for the perfect fabric. I'm thinking I'd like to try fabric with a bold floral pattern for the pants. We'll see!

I've got my fingers crossed that I'll have better luck with the waistband on my next try. I also like how Claire of Errant Pear installed a zipper rather than doing the elastic waistband. The look is clean, fitted, and best of all... there is no elastic to fiddle with (YAY)! I'd love to try that look one of these days as well. It could be a fun challenge. Gosh, I have so much I want to sew and so little time....

So, have you guys tackled any projects that were out of your comfort zone lately?

P.S. You can find more of my sewing projects here.