Chi Town Chinos

When the Chi Town Chinos popped up a recently, I was interested in giving them a try. I’ve been a dedicated lover of the Sewaholic Thurlow, but this pattern has a feature that sold me—a faced waistband!  I hate sewing on waistbands. HATE. It always takes me fooorreeeverrr to do!  Alina Sewing + Design Co. is new to the indie pattern scene, and tbh, I usually shy away from first time pattern releases. But, I’m happy to report that I was genuinely impressed by this pattern. It really looks like she aspires to the same type of RTW details I’m always drawn to. Oh, and there’s also a skirt variation. Love a two-in-one pattern.

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As expected, I don’t fall into one straight size. I’m definitely pear-shaped, but most of my hip circumference is in the back. For this reason I opted to make a FSA (full seat adjustment) instead of trying to grade between sizes. I used a tutorial on the Colette blog, and it felt like a lot of guesswork—from where to draw the lines, to how much space to add… if you have super nice fabric, definitely play around with muslin first. I ended up adding about 1/2″ in width (1″ total) and 3/8″ to the back rise. I also scooped out the back crotch a tad and lowered the front rise by 1/4″. After these adjustments, which are very typical for me, the fit is basically spot-on, so that was a relief! Next time I may reduce the dart from the FSA and instead take some width out of the side seam at the waist. I feel like they’re not quite hugging my waist the way my Thurlows do, but hopefully minimal tweaks will get me there. I hemmed my shorts to have a 3 1/2″ inseam (instead of 4 1/2″) as is my preference.

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The one detail I did change was to make a separate fly facing instead of using the cut-on facing. I feel that a sewn on facing is more sturdy in the long run. Really the only little nit-picky thing I have to say about the pattern is having to search through the directions to track down the SA’s used for various pieces. I’m in favor of varied SA’s, but since some pieces are 1/2″ (back pockets, zipper facing) and some are 5/8″ (general construction), it’s easy to forget. It would be most helpful to have a single diagram to look at, or at least have them indicated on the individual pattern pieces. The instructions themselves are very hand-holdy, fine if you need it, but I would really like to see them a little more streamlined. I found myself having to jump around in the directions for things like belt loops and how to finish the SA of the facing.

PicMonkey Collage

The fabric I used is a Kaufman Kobe twill in grey from fabric.com and it’s really nice stuff! Getting twill the right weight for shorts can be a bit hit or miss (this is 5.7 oz/sq yd), but this one is perfect. It’s lightweight enough that seams don’t get overly bulky, but sturdy enough that it doesn’t feel flimsy at all. Plus it’s available in a wide variety of colors—I want them all!! The only downside is that they do stretch out a little with wear. While that’s pretty normal for cotton twill, I feel I can only get about two wears out of them before I want to chuck them in the wash to shrink them back down. Overall, I am very pleased with these shorts, and I can see myself making many more pairs in the future.

IMG_2961One last thing… the blouse I’m wearing is Simplicity 1106, previously made here. As before, I omitted the back cutout, and this time I added 2″ width at CB, which I gathered onto the yoke for a small amount of visual interest. Because I added width at CB I took 1/2″ off the side seam on the back piece from waist to hip. While I love that it has a neckline facing, I opted for a bias facing, mostly because I’m out of my good interfacing… Love this pattern for a quick top!

lisa g.


TL;DR

PATTERN: Chi Town Chinos by Alina Sewing + Design Co
FABRIC: Kaufman Kobe Twill from fabric.com
SIZE: 8 (measurements for reference: 5’8″/34″/27.5″/39″)
MODS: used separate fly facing, shortened inseam to 3 1/2″
ALTERATIONS: full seat adjustment, lowered front rise
NEXT TIME: bring them in at the waist, distribute some of the dart intake to the side seams

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18 thoughts on “Chi Town Chinos

  1. Katie says:

    They look great! I bought this pattern for the faced waistband as well. Haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I may tackle the skirt for fall. Or wait until she releases the pants add-on 🙂

  2. Lynsey says:

    I’ve not heard of this pattern (or the maker) but they look great and I’m definitely going to have a look at the website as they look fab on you

  3. Susan (moonthirty) says:

    These look great! I can definitely see wanting to have a drawer full of these for the summer…although your shorts weather is probably nearing its end for the year! The designer is new to me, off to check her out… 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      I know our warm days are numbered, otherwise I’d definitely make a few more! We’ve started having cooler nights already… we’ll wake up one day and it’ll be fall. Thank you!

  4. Carolyn says:

    Your shorts look so cool and cute! I love a pair of grey shorts; I’ve got some I made years ago and they just go with everything, I don’t think I can ever throw them out! I love your litte top too, so sweet and pretty. Your whole outfit is adorable 🙂

  5. Gail says:

    I always love reading your notes on a pattern. I will probably end up buying this one (once the pants version gets added) so this info will come in handy!

  6. Heather says:

    I love these on you Lisa – and I’m always excited to read your reviews. I haven’t made the shorts version yet, but I have made the new pants version and I love them! I’m sure once they are released you’ll love them too! I love a pattern with lots of options.

  7. Teri says:

    These shorts look terrific on you! I bought the pattern a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to try them. I will probably miss out on Summer weather by the time I get to them, though. I have to check out the fabric you used– decent bottom weights seem hard to find. I’m excited about the pants expansion pack for this pattern!

    • lisa g says:

      Thank you! And this has been such a warm year, you might get use out of shorts yet! I think this fabric would be great for a fall/spring casual pant (well, like the pants version of this hahaha!). Might pick more up for myself too!

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