Summer Shorts and a Greenwood Tank

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I made some shorts! The pattern began life as Prefontaine shorts, but last summer I altered it past recognition. (Here’s the post, which I wrote exactly a year ago yesterday! Once again I’m waiting work in the fall, getting annoyed at the neighbours, enjoying wearing nail polish on my fingers – apparently one summer vacation is a lot like the last! :) 

The biggest problem with summer’s shorts is that they immediately slide down and (please don’t picture this) sit under my belly. It’s not pretty! So after taking one pair in to get a better fit, I cut this pair to sit 1″ higher and be slimmer through the waist. Unfortunately as I sewed I must have used a larger seam allowance, because these turned out a bit snug! Once they’ve been worn a bit they are the perfect size though, so maybe it’s for the best.   

The fabric is a cotton sateen from Fabricland last year. I just love the colours! I wish I’d bought more, because it would have made a fabulous Morris blazer. Mmm, rainbow bright colours!

The royal blue top is Grainline Scout tee made with french terry a few years ago. Underneath it is hiding something I’ve been working on: a Greenwood tank!

PicMonkey Collage

I bought this pattern thinking it would be the perfect classic tank. Maybe it could be, but I’m not in love! It’s designed to have a fold-over binding (kinda like the Jalie tanks) but I’ve tried that on two previous versions and each time it has massively stretched out the edge, leaving me with a saggy, baggy mess. For this one I just gave up and used my favourite folded bands, but the result is a smaller neckline, wider straps, and a less elegant look. I might try folding these bands under and coverstitching, but I’m feeling a bit uninspired!

Meg and Heather have both sewn this pattern with great success, so check out their posts too. The pattern is drafted so that the front and back are exactly the same, which doesn’t seem ideal to me. I think I’ll stick with my trusty Mission Maxi tank and a few other modified bodice patterns I’ve used for tank tops before. I’ve used enough good fabric already trying to figure this one out!

Have you been playing with any new patterns this summer? My next goal is to adapt something into a double-layer swing tank-top to make with some of the (too much) solid rayon knit I’ve been buying lately. I’ve also been hankering for a loose tank with a ruffle on the bottom – who knows how that will turn out, but it seems fun to try!


22 thoughts on “Summer Shorts and a Greenwood Tank

    1. I can’t decide on a pattern! I made a modified renfrew tank years ago which has *just* enough ease but not too much… or I could full-on slash and spread something, or use Plantain as Helene suggests below… I might do one conservative swing top, and one batshit crazy one? (I”m tempted to put a ruffle on the crazy one, even though it’ll be more “out there” than I usually wear! Gotta have fun, right?

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  1. Love this kind of bold print for shorts. Awsome! For your rayon knit collection, I would recommend Deer & Doe Plantain. It has a slight swing waist (I’ve made it for me and my sister and it was perfect each time). This free pattern is perfectly drafted and you could adapt it with a racer back or as a plain sleeveless tank.

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    1. Plantain is a great suggestion! I’ve made a bunch, but never a tank. Hmmm… I wonder what kind of neckline would balance a wide swingy tank best?

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  2. The fabric for those shorts is SO awesome. NEVER would have thought those were Prefontaines. And I actually really like your Greenwood, even though I agree that it’s more casual-looking. That is weird that the front and back are drafted the same, though. Seems like it will make the front always look a little tight, and the back always look a little loose? And wouldn’t you still want different armscye shapes?

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    1. Exactly! And I feel like the angle of the shoulder straps has to be different on front and back. Not a bad pattern at all, and other people have had more luck, but not ideal for a curvier figure, I think.

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    1. Thank you! I always feered that cotton sateen would be too thin for trousers (I don’t want to hulk out of them! :P) but it works well for these shorts! Hurrah!

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  3. Cor, your shorts are completely brilliant. How glamorous, and very exotic fabric too. They would look ace for evening with some wedges. Accessorised with something brightly coloured, fruit adorned and cocktail shaped. Looking fabulous. Love them Xx

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    1. Oooh, I never thought of dressing them up! In your daydream, I sound like I look classy. I’ll have to try it sometime!🙂

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    1. It occurs to me that maybe my fabric is to blame for the Greenwood tank not working for me – All the versions I made were quite spongy rayon knit, which is probably why the binding stretched out of shape! What kind of fabric was yours? I”m wondering if a thinner cotton would work better!

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  4. I think that I have to agree with you in that I am not in love with the way the bindings are done for the Greenwood tank. They seem almost bulky. I’ve been trying to think of a better way to do it too. And I made myself seperate front and back pieces too.
    Your shorts look awesome! I love the colours!

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