Saturday, 18 August 2012

Clever Charlotte Finch Shorts

Have you heard of the Clever Charlotte Patterns? I remember seeing them last year when I was looking for some good quality sewing patterns for my children. They have been on my 'to sew list' for a while but I have never got around to buying a pattern until now.

Flickr can give you a pretty good idea of what the patterns look like (Sew with Clever Charlotte) and the ones that caught my eye were the Finch and the Raven patterns. I also like the look of the Sandpiper Top but the trousers just mess with my head too much, they look so complicated to put on! 

I am in the process of planning my eldest daughters winter wardrobe and really wanted a pair of shorts that looked tailored and smart enough to wear with tights and boots without being an obvious summer pattern. The Finch shorts were perfect!

They have a lovely deep waistband and leg cuffs and crisp pleats down the legs. I can see them looking gorgeous made up in a wool fabric.

I ordered my pattern from Backstitch and was surprised to see it arrive so soon. I think it was with me within 48 hours. How can you ask for more?!

The pattern was clearly laid out, all in number order, not a scary amount of pieces. The instructions were easy to understand and had good diagrams. Eight pieces to make up the shorts and six for the top (four if you don't choose to make the bow).

I haven't made the top yet but have some fabric set aside for when I do. I made the shorts in the same navy fabric as I chose for the oliver + s after school pants. A brushed navy cotton, medium weight, perfect for trousers.

I followed the instructions easily but had one eye on this tutorial by Nicole for back up if I needed it. I deferred to the tutorial when attaching the leg cuffs. The pattern states to attach all the leg cuff pieces from the outside of the shorts folding in and Nicole works backwards attaching from inside the shorts (wrong side) folding out and top stitching on the right side. I did the first leg cuff as per instructions, but my stitching in the ditch leaves a lot to be desired and I ended up taking them off the machine and unpicking all that I had done only to top stitch them. So seeing as I was topstitching anyway I decided to do the second leg a la Nicole.

I prefer the top stitched look anyway. It adds character and definition. Whichever method I choose on my next pair, topstitching will feature for sure!

I am a little in awe of shorts that can stand up by themselves! These are fresh off the sewing machine and my model was in bed so I am glad they wanted to stand to attention.

Look at those pleats! How gorgeous are they! I love love love this pattern and can't wait to get some more fabric. I want a few colour variations in her wardrobe and it is not hard to be inspired to make more of these.

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