Standing room only

Standing room only


I made shorts… shorts people… I made myself a pair of Iris Shorts!


Apart from two pairs of Anita Ponti pants, I’ve avoided sewing ‘bottoms’ for my entire sewing life.  That’s five whole years readers.  Silly I know, but the perceived fitting issues… well… they frightened me.


I have a thick waist compared to my hips and this ensures my measurements are all over sizing charts.  In this instance, my waist was a size 12 and my hips between a size 4 & 6.  Yes, that’s quite a difference.  I traced off a size 6 in the hips and graded to a 10 in the waist.

The next step involved calico.  I cut out and sewed up my traced pattern and even added the invisible zip (I need practice at those too!).  The calico version fitted me much better than I expected, but the shorts were grabbing me… and not in a pleasant way… in the front crotch.

I consulted “Pants For Real People” by Pati Palmer & Marta Alto and a RTW pair of shorts that fit me well and decided, rightly or wrongly, that my crotch issues were related to length as apposed to depth.  The difference in the front crotch length of my RTW shorts and my newly stitched calico pair was 3/8″ (1cm) so I amended my traced pattern by that amount and cut out my fashion fabric.


The fabric is a medium weight cotton, without any stretch, and the outside has a denim look that seems to have been achieved with some sort of coating.  The fabric was purchased at Clear It (Alanah Hill) Outlet last year.  The waistband facing is some cotton voile from my scraps tub.

I eliminated the front pockets as I was keen to sew these up quickly as possible.  I also like my shorts short so I removed 2″ (5cm) from the length.


The good news is the front crotch issue seemed to have been resolved.  The not so good news is that I seem to have transferred my issues to the back.  These shorts are for standing in only.  Sitting or bending in them is… dare I say… very uncomfortable.  Bummer!


I’m a little sad these didn’t work out, but you win some and you lose some.  I’m going to leave this pattern alone until I get some expert help.  I think it’s time for me to enrol in a pants fitting workshop…

Pattern:  Colette’s Iris Shorts
Size:  6 graded to a 10 in the waist
Fabric:  Medium weight denim from Clear It (Alanah Hill) Outlet
Alterations:  The sizing as described above, I removed 2″ from the length & eliminated the pockets
Accessories:  Bangle by Sonia Rykel (brought here) & shoes purchased at Zomp.


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  • Bummer (literally). I have the opposite waist:hip ratio but equal lack of pants fitting knowledge. They look great standing up. Cocktail shorts perhaps?

  • I’m also in the ‘bummer’ that they’re unwearable but ‘yay’ that you made them camp 😉 My proportions are similar to yours, and I’ve worked through a few muslins…
    These do look lovely, you’ve motivated me to try again 😉

    • I’m going to try some Japanese 3/4 linen pants next. Elastic waist… that’s got to make fitting easier! The Maritime Shorts might be my next try when it comes to pants… but there will be some dresses and tops before that to regain my confidence!

  • Your ‘standing’ shorts look great; pity you can’t actually bend or sit in them! It seems lots of people have fitting issues with the Colette patterns so don’t be put off your shorts adventure. You might consider Grainline’s Maritime shorts. They have a very RTW look and make up beautifully. The lower waist might work well for your waist/hip ratio.

    • I have the Maritime Shorts pattern and it will definitely be my next try when it comes to shorts. Knowing the Iris Shorts fit me in the hips and waist is a great confidence builder. I can see this is just the beginning of the journey and it’s actually exciting. I conquered FBA’s and I can do this too!

  • Such beautifully stitched shorts and so sad they don’t fit! Drafting a pants block from first principles may be your best bet. Once you have one you can alter to suit whatever style you like. Getting one is not that easy of course.

    Where do you get your trousers/jeans from? Opening up an old pair might help a bit.

  • Bummer! Teehee, teehee! There’s nothing like a pair of shorts that gives you a wedgy anytime you sit or bend. That is not fun. I have been ridiculously lucky with the 2 bottoms I’ve made, also having been terrified of fit issues. I am the opposite shape to you, you could basically reverse your waist and hips and that’s me. I so hope you can get the fit sorted because they’re cute shorts! I, however, and no help…

    • There aren’t too many things ore annoying than a wedgy… well actually there are, but it’s still up there. Even though this project didn’t have a happy ending, I haven’t been too traumatised, I will try again… one day.

  • Helol Anna , try scooping out the crotch seam . It creates more volume inside the shorts space and I think the discomfort will go . This works better than just lengthening the crotch seam as it us much more precise . I just use my machine at a bug stitch length and then “nibble ” away where it feels tight . Obviously you have to cut into the seam a little to accomodate the curve of the seam . When you have it right then you can transfer this to the pattern . Good luck

  • Heheh… well you got a nice amusing blog post out of it, at least 🙂 They do look great, so with any luck there’s not too much tweaking to make the pattern just right for you.