Saturday, 6 August 2016

Pattern Testing: Itch to Stitch Belize Shorts

I'd be lying if I said that Montreal hadn't changed me - I've grown a lot and I've had to learn to live on my own in this city. Living here over the summer this year has been a completely different experience for me - but I've definitely had to get used to the heat, and my wardrobe has changed a lot from my past summer wardrobes.

With buying second-hand and altering old garments, I've managed to put together enough of a wardrobe that works for the heat (and my lab job, where I need to wear long pants), but something I was still missing was shorts. The only pair of shorts that I wear regularly are a pair of hand-me-downs from a friend, and while I love them and wear them all the time, they do occasionally need a break to be washed...

So, when I saw that Kennis from Itch to Stitch was looking for pattern testers for her Belize Shorts and Skort pattern, I put my name in right away, and I was chosen as a tester!

The shorts are loose-fitting with an elastic waist, but the front waistband isn't gathered so they're quite flattering. I chose view A, with pleats at the front, and made a size 0. I was in between a size 0 and a size 2 at the waist, but closer to a size 0, and I was smaller than a size 00 at the waist, so I chose the size 0. I cut the elastic the size for the 00 as the instructions recommend, although next time I will actually size down to a 00 or a little smaller at the waist.

I cut a muslin, and I was really happy with the fit! I didn't have to adjust the crotch curve at all, which is possibly a first for me, so I went ahead and cut into my fabric.

These don't take very much fabric (about 3/4 of a metre in my size), so I was able to make these out of the leftover fabric from my sleeveless Granville Shirt.

For the pockets, I used a scrap of black lining, although maybe gray would have been better - I was just in a hurry and that's what I had on hand!

I followed the directions pretty much exactly until they were finished, but I wanted them a little shorter, so I folded up 1 1/4" cuffs. The hem allowance was just deep enough for this (1 3/4"), but next time I would allow a deeper hem allowance so there's more than 1/2" folded under.

I also had to shorten the pockets a little, so they didn't poke out. I only shortened them 1/2" because I like deep pockets, but they're only just short enough, so next time I would probably shorten them another 1/2".

Since it was a test version, I took some photos before turning up the cuffs, and some after! Once the photos were taken, I tacked them in place.

I also added a line of vertical stitching at the centre back to stop the elastic from rolling in the casing, but this still wasn't quite enough, so I added three lines of horizontal stitching along the whole waistband, to look more like shirring. I really like how this turned out! My fabric has a fair bit of body for a lightweight fabric, so I spaced the lines 3/8" apart, but in something like rayon, you could probably sew them even 1/4" apart.

All in all, I LOVE these shorts! They have enough ease to me comfortable (and the elastic waist helps!), but they're just fitted enough to be flattering (although having said that, a lot of the testers did size down for a slightly slimmer fit - I went down a half size myself).

The herringbone chambray pattern looks almost a little like suiting from a distance, so these will be great to dress up or dress down. The linen and the loose fit make these perfect for the hot, humid Montreal summer, but I also think I'll be able to make these work for fall with tights.

I could also potentially wear these with my Granville shirt if I want to be super matchy-matchy (or I could just pretend it's a romper). I haven't tried this yet but I might just see how it looks!

This is also the first project that I finished off with a custom label from Dutch Label Shop - they contacted me a while back to ask if I'd like some custom labels to try, and of course I said yes! I've always loved the idea of adding labels to my clothes, but I've never gone out of my way to buy them.

I went with a few different kinds of simple ones, but if you're better with Photoshop than I am, you can also submit a custom design rather than just designing them on their website.

I'm seriously impressed by the quality and how professional these look. I'm going to love adding them to everything I make from now on! Since they're made-to-order, they do take a little while to arrive (I think I received them about two weeks after ordering, including shipping to Canada), and you do have to order quite a few labels at once (at least 30 for the simple kind), but now I have enough labels that I'll be using them for a very, very long time! They're a really nice finishing touch, and they makes me smile every time I wear these shorts!

If you'd like some custom labels for yourself, Dutch Label Shop has kindly offered a 15% discount to my readers with the code youngseamstress, valid until September 5th. Treat yourself!

(And a little disclaimer: I received my labels for free, but all opinions are my own, and there are no affiliate links in this post - i.e. I'm not receiving any compensation for posting about them or the discount code. I do really love them though!)

Another huge thank you to Kennis at Itch to Stitch for asking me to test! I love this pattern and I'll definitely try to make more before the summer is up. They come together so quickly and they're really easy to wear! I might also try view E with the skort.

(And a second little disclaimer: I received the pattern for free in exchange for feedback, but again, these opinions are my own. I'm so, so happy with this shorts and I kind of want to live in them for the rest of the summer!)

Hope you're having a nice, sunny weekend! Thanks for reading!


  1. Super cute ! They are adorable--long enough to look professional (if shorts can) and stylish ! I especially love your posing in this. I wish I had a staircase that curved !

    1. Thanks! One of the nice things about living in an old neighbourhood in Montreal is that there's plenty of places to take nice pictures!

  2. Those shorts really do fit you well! I love the labels... so far my attempts at making my own haven't turned out particularly well!

    1. Thank you! I'd never thought about trying to make my own - I don't have an embroidery machine although my new machine does have letter stitches so I suppose I could have tried. I'm really happy with these ones, though!

  3. They look great in that fabric, very smart ;o)

  4. Your shorts look fab, the fit looks spot on and they look fab on, it must be so hard to change your wardrobe without spending a fortune, sounds like you've done a great job. The labels look so professional and I'm tempted but have no idea what I'd put on mine?? I brought a dress in the sale and the label inside says "you look beautiful" which is cute

    1. Thanks! I'm working on it, but I've also gotten better at finding different ways to style my old pieces and alter some of them as well. I wasn't sure what to put on mine either - in the end I just copied ones that I've seen online!