Tuesday 30 May 2017

SoHo shorts - Oh So good

As we plunge into winter I've sewn some seasonally inappropriate shorts, but let me explain...

When Liesl + Co released the SoHo Shorts and Skirt pattern, Liesl asked me if I would write a tutorial or two for some minor modifications to the pattern. First up was adding belt loops. The blog post is live now on the Oliver + S website - click on the image below if you want a belt loop tutorial. Stick around here if you want a pattern review and to see me freezing in some windy, unseasonal shorts modelling shots :)

I'm not much of a shorts wearer, so I was a little on the fence about this idea at first. I wear lycra bibknicks when I cycle but apart from one pair of knee length casual-wear shorts (that I'll confess are technically maternity pants) I don't have any other shorts. My legs above the knee are not usually on show!

I made a muslin of the shorts and found the fit to be absolutely perfect - except for the length. Here I've added 4cm to the hem length - there is a lengthen/shorten line midway between the crotch and the hem for adjusting leg length. You can probably appreciate from the little glimpse of my quads that you get at this hem length that any shorter would have been alarming.

OK, so it was really windy trying to get photos of these shorts and until it's 30 degrees or more I'm not putting them back on just for the sake of better pictures. You'll just have to take my word for it that the fit is really good.

The shaped waistband was just right and the back sits nice and close and smooth then falls straight down (unless antartic gusts dictate otherwise) from the peak butt point.

There's pockets (for keeping your fingers warm - eye roll).

And the insides can look pretty lovely too with the waistband facing - in this case finished with some narrow liberty bias binding.

The fabric is some lightweight chambray that my parents were given by an aunt of mine when they visited. It seems word has got around that I sew, so thanks Chris!

As I was sewing and writing a belt loop tutorial it occurred to me that I don't own any belts. My husband and I tend to share this one which he inherited from his dad (we're not yachties!). Since I was going with the nautical themed belt I decided to whip up a Maritime Knit Top to go with my shorts.

I dropped one size from my previous Maritime knit top, but in this softer knit (the other one is a ponte) I think I could have got away with a size smaller again. But as it is, it's super comfy and easy to wear. The fabric is almost as thick as a ponte, but much softer and with nicer drape. I can't remember much about it other than it came from Stylish Fabrics as the same time as the lighter, very fluid, drapey rayon knit that I used for this other red and white striped top.

So there I stand, already dreaming about making the skirt version of the SoHo pattern, or maybe a winter pair of shorts in wool or tweed.  Or maybe I'm thinking about how exceedingly cold it is and whether all the bird shit on the boat ramp somewhat detracts from my attempt at a glamorous photo shoot....

Liesl + Co. SoHo Shorts and Skirt
Size:10 (size range is 0-20)
Alterations: Added 4cm length. Please note: there is an errata for the front pleat markings on the Oliver + S website. Of course I didn't look for any errata prior to sewing and you know what, it seemed to make no difference for my size. I only noticed the error listing when I was browsing the pattern page for another reason. Checking first is always recommended. ;)
Fabric: gifted chambray
Notions: invisible zip, thread, bias binding

Liesl + Co. Maritime knit top
Size: 12 - alarm bells should have gone off as my top half has never been a size bigger than my bottom half. usually the other way around.
No alterations
Fabric: knit from Stylish Fabrics (18 months or so cellaring in my stash)


  1. They look great! If I had those quads, I'd be wearing shorts all the time, even in freezing weather!

    1. Ha ha, thanks Meg. I'm not being bashful or fishing for compliments, my legs really do look best from the knees down!

  2. Oh you poor thing! I feel cold just looking at you in these pics! But I absolutely love the way these shorts fit on you, and the whole outfit is so chic! I expect you'll get a ton of use out these later in the year, while we Northern Hemispherers (is that a thing?) freeze our tushies off. In the meantime, a wool pair (or a skirt? to wear with boots?). Put on a coat woman!

    1. You know it was almost exactly this time of year when Liesl had me modelling the City Stroll skirt and freezing my butt off. She works me hard! :)
      I love these shorts too and they will definitely fill a hole in my wardrobe once the weather warms up.

  3. Oh a wool skirt would look great! I feel cold just looking at these pics! But the shorts do look great, despite the bird poo on the jetty :P

    1. A wool skirt will be lovely, and you know what else is great about this pattern is that the hem line is straight, so using a tartan or a stripe/check will look neato.

  4. My teeth are chattering with that wind but these shorts sounds like the perfect fit and even tights might be worth a try.

  5. This is a really lovely version of it! I am currently working on a blogpost about interesting patterns for shorts (after doing one about pants) and would like to include this pattern, and searching the internet I found your version of it. Would you mind if I used a picture of your blog in my blogpost, and of course linked back to this post? I'm sorry I'm not emailing you more privately, I just don't seem to find an email address, sorry! Anyway, happy sewing and I'll be back here to check! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Barbara, I had some trouble with the buttons on my blog bar, but they're all back now. You'll find a direct email from the envelope button at the head of the blog (web version not mobile) otherwise it's lightning stitch at Gmail dot com . Please email me directly so I can reply, comments come from a no-reply blogger address. Thanks.

    2. Darn autocorrect. Email: lightning McStitch at Gmail dot com


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