I present to you, a shorts/skirt pattern I didn’t know I needed this summer. I already had a long list of things to make and then Caroline Hulse of Sew Caroline posted a testing call for her new shorts/skirt pattern. I saw the elastic waistband, and the loose and modest fit and I knew this was going to be perfect for me. This is the Parkside Shorts and Skirt. A versatile quick sew with a wide elastic waistband, optional drawstring and roomy front pockets.
I started out making a muslin of the shorts using an old sheet. I don’t always make muslins because my time is often just as valuable as the fabric (gasp!) But I have thunder thighs that often skew my shorts and pants measurements. The pattern suggests we use our hip measurements to choose a size, so I was doubtful I would get a good fit right away since my hips are so narrow. I was quickly proven wrong.
The style of these shorts doesn’t hug the legs like so many shorts do, which means they don’t ride up when you sit. The 3.5″ inseam is actually long enough for my long legs because of this as well. Needless to say I was pleased when I tried them on and I felt thinner. That said, those with already thin legs in comparison with their hips may want to scale down at the leg.
The pattern has perfectly sized and comfortable pockets. They are designed to be sewn to the shorts for visual interest, but there is the option of having them loose. I started out with them sewn through and ended up changing it for personal preference.
So these shorts were supposed to be a muslin. I had no intention of wearing them, but after trying them on and liking them I decided I could walk around in an old sheet! Plus I had several things to wear with it already. The top is the Day Tripper Top by Shwin designs hacked to tie at the waist. I originally made it with the shoulder tabs, but they were too awkward for me so I took them out. Fabric was from that one time I shopped Girl Charlee 😉
Since my shorts muslin ended up being a win I made a skirt next. I opted for this lovely Lavish fabric by Katarina Rochelle for Art Gallery. There are seriously so many gorgeous prints in this line. I have several lined up for dresses for the girls, but this one was for me. I only had 1 yard, which was a squeeze for this pattern. It would have worked if I didn’t make any mistakes, but alas I did. I forgot to cut the back pieces mirrored. So right there on my right side I have a sliver of a patch of fabric that just happened to mostly match. It’s not super noticeable so I went with it.
Quilting cotton is stiffer than a lot of fabric options for this skirt, and yet it still lays very nicely. Since I’m 6′ tall I would have added 1.5″-2″ to the length, but I didn’t have enough fabric so I only added 1″ and it was sufficient. It is designed to hit right above the knee.
Both the skirt and the shorts come together so quickly, it really is a very practical pattern to have on hand, and one that will get a lot of use. Caroline has very professionally written instructions with illustrated designs which I find preferable for following along. She was very open to feedback during testing, which I can appreciate in a designer. I enjoy opening the final pattern and seeing that the suggestions made during testing were implemented. It lets my put my stamp of approval on the pattern and gives me the confidence to say this is a good one folks! Get it now while it’s 25% off (Through the end of this week)