I did something I've never done before. I bought a downloadable, printable pattern online. I downloaded it and printed it out. I taped it together and hoped for the best. Did I size it right when I printed it? Did I get the pattern pieces taped together exact enough? My only experience with downloadable patterns was the Anya bag, and that was a bag (so if a few things were off in my taping together the pattern it would be ok in the end). Plus,since I was testing out the Anya bag pattern for the designer before it was released I got that pattern for free, thus, the pressure was a little less somehow with that than it was with this pattern that I'd actually paid for. Well, this shorts pattern I bought online, printed out, and taped together? it worked!
While searching online for a button front shorts pattern, I found Kwik Sew 3854, which I used to make my green shorts, and then this one, Dixie DIY's Movies in the Park shorts pattern. I read Dixie's blog, so when I found this unique button up shorts pattern made by her, I thought it would be a fun one to try. Thus, after a bit of debating I decided to buy it, download it, and try it out.
I sewed the shorts out of a linen blend skirt I picked up at a thrift store. It took some creative cutting and folding, but there was just barely enough fabric in the skirt to squeeze out these shorts. Cutting them out was probably the hardest part of making these shorts, they went together pretty easily. I made my own bias tape from some soft cambrey in my stash to bind the edges with. I used that same cambrey to line the waistband.
In my stash I had just enough blue buttons to finish up my shorts, 7 buttons on each side. The bottom 3 on each side are just for decoration. The top four are functional for getting the shorts on and off. No elastic or zippers in this pattern! Now, there is only supposed to be one button on either side of the waistband, so 6 buttons total on each side of the shorts, but, as you can see in the picture, I have two at the waistband on either side. While the shorts themselves fit great, the waistband wound up a bit big so I had to add extra buttons. Next time I make this pattern, and there will be a next time, I'll make the waistband a size or two smaller.
Other than the waistband issue, I really like these shorts! They're comfortable, cute, and have decent sized pockets, thus they meet my shorts criteria! Once the shorts were done however, I ran into another issue. I needed a shirt to go with them. Somehow I had no blue summer shirt in my wardrobe (other than a plain tank, but that was rather boring). A chambray shirt would be cute, but that wasn't what I wanted. I looked through my light blue fabrics (I have a few, several, uh. . . many pieces). I started sketching out design ideas. I had a general plan of what I wanted to make. Then, I didn't need it anymore.
I happened across this downloadable shirt pattern on Pinterest, and it was free! After success with my downloaded shorts pattern, I was ready to give this one a go. I downloaded it, printed it, taped it together, pulled a 2 yard piece of blue plaid shirting out of my stash and got started.
The pattern went together with no major issues. I had to lower the neckline a couple inches as it was really high, and the bias binding at the neck was a little fiddly, but other than that the shirt came together easily. Though, I really should have added a couple inches at the hem as it's a little shorter than I prefer (I'm rather long waisted). Even with that, It's a very comfortable shirt and looks great with my shorts!
I love the gathers at the shoulders and the cut on sleeves! I typically avoid sleeves in the summer as I try to stay cool, but I really, really, like this shirt, sleeves and all. It's very lightweight and loose, while still having structure and not looking baggy. I think I need to make this shirt again!
An entire summer outfit with no trip to the fabric store, just a lot of printing and cutting. I rather like being able to get my patterns without having to drive anywhere. Although, 24/7 access to new patterns, this might not be a good thing for my wallet or the ink in the printer. I think I might just need to learn how to draft my own patterns instead.