YEAH!!!!!! a REAL shorts/pants pattern!!!!!!

so in case you haven’t jumped on the sewaholic bandwagon (and really i was feeling as though i was the lone holdout…) the thurlow is the one to splurge on. after making up my blue shorts a couple months back, i was pretty meh about the complete lack of pant patterns that have all the bells and whistles of a normal pair of pants: fly facings, fly extensions, welt pockets, etc. and literally as i was composing my blog post for those shorts, my email chimed announcing the thurlow.

prayer answered.

seriously. it was as if the sky opened and angels sang. at least the voices in my head did.

even though i was mere tweaks away from fitting my bottom half with the mccalls 5391 short pattern, it was really a sense of screw you mccalls… a little gal in canada did it BETTER! that made me abandon the mccalls and immediately purchase the thurlow. when it comes to patterns, i’m more of a wait-for-the-$1.99-sales-at-joanns person than a splurge-over-$20-on-a-pattern person (my colette patterns, while i love them, have all been gifts). but i figured, this is a staple that i will use for years to come. unlike a dress pattern, which may or may not ever see multiple versions (though i’m completely in love with the cambie and totally want it now!) this pattern will be repeated. in fact, i would spend more than $20 for a pattern like this. 

sorry, my pics are basically awful. too sunny, and it was
too hot to bother retaking in a better spot.

just so you know, you may cut out (or trace) all your pattern pieces and be completely dissuaded by the sheer number of pieces. but, each has it’s place and purpose so soldier on my friend! it will be worth the effort. so, what are all these details i’m talking about? you know those little strips on the inside of your rtw pockets? the pocket facings? included. welts (along with fantastic directions)? included. separate fly facing piece? included. fly extension? included. and yes, these things ARE a big deal. why? mostly, longevity. while i love my blue shorts, i can tell that not having all these details, and just having the straight turn and burn waistband will decrease their life.

when i finally had a chance to start sewing up my thurlow shorts i even skipped the muslin. e gads! i didn’t have time, plus i was able to pull out my mccalls pattern pieces for a little comparison. so i wasn’t going completely blind here. my measurements were a perfect 6 but decided to cut a size 4 based on pattern ease and comparing to my other shorts. turns out, the 4 fits me perfectly. not a single alteration was needed. even that back seam with room for adjustment, i sewed on the original stitch line. sheer unabashed joy!!!

yes, i realize my elbow is sticking out in a very awkward way.

i made only minor changes to the pattern, mostly just cosmetic. since i wasn’t making “dressy” shorts, i made them out of a nice weight twill and opted to topstitch things like the pocket opening edges, side seams, the crotch seam, parts of the waistband, around the welts, even down the back darts. this gives the shorts a little more reinforcement for every day wash and wear. also, i opted to french seam the pocket bags of all the pockets. i see this in even the cheapest of rtw shorts/pants i have so i figured why not. since it only takes a few extra moments to do this, it is worth the effort. and, lucky you, i photographed my process so you can do it to. this should be my next post, if you’re interested.

last thing i added was a little patch of the twill on the inside of the waistband where the hook is. i made it to line up with the fly facing, not thinking i should have made it long enough so that the inside button could be sewn to it also. i just stitched this piece on, then zig-zagged over the edge so it sits flush without added bulk.

lastly, i went to hem them intending to have the cuffed look and for the life of me i couldn’t figure out how to do that. seems i can breeze through double welts and fly construction only to be confounded by a cuff. so i cut off a few inches and hemmed them as normal (and later it dawned on me that the instructions were not cryptic, and i figured out what i should have done. doh!) oh, and i couldn’t be bothered to add all six belt loops (i hate doing belt loops) and settled for five.

oh… and i reversed the fly to zip from the right, not from the left. just a preference of mine (and every pair of pants/shorts i own…). it’s easy to do: whenever a pattern piece says to cut from the right side of the fabric, just cut from the wrong side and it will all be reversed.

why hello there

i love this pattern!!! the fit is incredible, and i can’t wait to make more shorts and pants with it. i had no trouble following the directions (except for the cuffs… my bad.) so if you’re new to pants, you should still be able to work these out. at least, don’t let the number of pattern pieces scare you off!

—lisa g.

16 thoughts on “YEAH!!!!!! a REAL shorts/pants pattern!!!!!!

  1. Karin says:

    You make me want this pattern! I agree the big 4 just don't make pants patterns that measure up to RTW in terms of details. I find BurdaStyle magazine pants patterns are also very good. I've had much better luck with them than the big 4.

  2. lisa g. says:

    it's such a great pattern and, like i said, worth the investment. every penny! i've been browsing burda patterns a lot more lately, and there are several i've had my eye on!

  3. Andrea B says:

    So professional! They look amazing. I have the pattern but am afraid to start. I also don't know if I want to try work pants or casual shorts, and I don't know what kind of fabric to buy that won't stretch out over the course of the day. I'm guessing your twill had no stretch at all? Do they hold their shape well?

  4. Gail says:

    Awesome review, Lisa! Thank you so much! I bought this pattern the day it was released, but with the knowledge that I wouldn't have time to get to it until September at the earliest. So glad to read about it from someone I "know!"

  5. lisa g. says:

    thanks! this is a twill with no stretch. i got it at joanns (pretty sure it is this one: so far so good! i wore them for two days then washed and dried them right before i took these pics and really haven't experienced much "growing". i felt like i should work out shorts before trying pants, much less of a fabric investment that way.the pattern markings are really clear and even though there are lots of pieces it isn't overwhelming. i worked on these and finished in two days, so don't be afraid of getting started!

  6. lisa g. says:

    thanks! can't wait so see your version when you get around to it. i was determined to make these even though i had to bump a few projects back. so glad i did!

  7. Tiffany James says:

    Yay! Your shorts look awesome! Thanks for posting the close up photo of the topstitching- I'm totally going to try it on my next pair. I was thisclose to doing it on my pink ones, but I'm kind of a nerd about following the directions to the letter the first time I make something. Then, I feel like it's okay to tweak things on future passes. After seeing yours though- I really want a sporty topstitched pair!

  8. lisa g. says:

    thanks! the pics are all post-first washing, so they start to get that little wave from the topstitching (which i love in a twill short!). i know what you mean about following the directions on the first go, i typically do the same! but i just can't resist topstitching… 🙂

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