Friday, July 02, 2010

Vtg Simplicity 1230

Shorts recap: Yesterday, on a lark, I decided to muslin this great vintage Simplicity pattern in my stash:

Here are the finished shorts (front view) in a peachy-pink linen:

Side view: (which I rarely take a photo of! You're going to get my side AND back view. You're so lucky.)

And because I never know where to place my arm in a side view (leading to aLOT of awkward photos, another reason I rarely bother):

You can see the curve of my backside better with my arm up. I'm happy my bum doesn't look quite as flat in these as in most pants. :D

Back view:
The back does show a tiny wedge that needs to be removed for a bit of swayback. I have now made that alteration on the back pattern piece. I didn't see it in the muslin, but I didn't fully complete the waistband, so it's possible I had the muslin pulled up too high in back.

But other than that, the back is fairly perfect. Let me tell you, starting with a pattern that nearly fits is SO much easier to fine tune! Because of a weird vertical fold near the center back, I scooped the back crotch about 3/4" (in 1/4" increments until I felt it was perfect, and still really comfortable). I tapered that change up the CB seam, to about the level of the bottom of the dart. I pinned this in first and tried on (wrong side out, pins on outside). Then I basted it and checked again. That's it for the back. I didn't make any other changes.

For the front, I deepened the crotch seam about 1/4" (and after I sewed the muslin, I had done a fisheye dart to remove some crotch length in the front).

This pair has 1/2" removed around the entire top (front and back). I'll probably go ahead and remove that from the pattern piece, because I love the fit and where the waistband hits.

So let's go through some details... The front of the shorts have stitched-down pleats, which I LOVE. They are just soooo 1940s. Pretty much ever authentic 40s photo of women in trousers I have seen feature these topstitched pleats.

The back also features one topstitched pleat, but I did a long dart. It was actually a mistake when I was tracing; I marked dots that seemed to be a "dart", but in fact the lowest marking was something else. I like the dart though, I don't think I would get as nice a fit in the derriere with a topstitched pleat, so I made the change permanent on my pattern.

This pattern called for snap closures (which I've seen called "poppers" or "studs" in vintage patterns) along the side seam, but I inserted a lapped zipper. The waistband was my 2nd version. The first was too narrow (I didn't use the pattern piece for this straight waistband, but tore a strip approximately the right length & width). It looked very 1980s. So off it came and the 2nd one is a tad too wide. But its growing on me.

The seam finish recommended was straight stitching along the seam allowance and pinking, which I might have tried if my pinking shears didn't need a good sharpening. I straight stitched seams, and zigzagged seam allowances together. I do have a serger, but not the right color of thread. I finished seams like this for years before I had a serger, so I know its sturdy.

I encased the raw edge of the waistband with Seams Great, zigzagging on.

I left enough for a deep hem. I wanted more weight to the hem because of the fullness of the legs (and my chubby thighs). I'd like the shorts to remain in proper position as much as possible. The hem is turned under 1/4" and again 2" and stitched.

And because someone usually asks about my shoes, I took a closer picture of them too! I'm such a shoe whore. (Sorry, it's true.) These incredible summer wedges are from Modcloth. Gorgeous! I think they are just modern enough but still have a retro twist.

Another parting shot of the shorts, after I had walked around and taken LOTS of photos. They still look great! I can see lots more of this pattern in my future!

This post is cross posted at We Sew Vintage!


  1. Oh wow! Those look great!! I'm not much of a pleat person but I do like the way they look on you and the front looks nice and smooth with the topstitching. Awesome-ness all around!

  2. Those shorts are very flattering. That pattern would also be terrific made into trousers. Oh, black trousers with a white, long-sleeve blouse, gathered at the wrist!

  3. So cute!! I love that vintage style for shorts - very flattering and the sewn down pleats are so smart looking! Your fabric is gorgeous.

  4. Great shorts! I'm in awe of the perfect fit (no wrinkles! no tugging! no gaping!), and had no idea that pleated shorts could be so flattering.

  5. I LOVE the shorts! Such fun forties fabulousness! They look great- you need a pair in every color! And "shoe whore!" HA! You slay me!

  6. Love them! I'm so jealous of all the sewing you are getting done. Can't wait to see how many more version show up in your closet. g

  7. Amazing shorts! I don't think the waistband is too wide at all (when you said it was too wide, I was expecting some sort of scary Madonna-1992-Gaultier-highwaisted nonesense.. this looks good.)

    I know you put those shoe pictures in there just to annoy me. Right? Hmmph.

  8. Those look wonderful! Thank you for the tip regarding vintage pajama patterns. I know that is one tip that I will remember.

    Rose in SV

  9. I love the idea of pajamas as shorts. You finished them off inside so nice too :)

  10. Dear Jemima, you did a wonderful job, those look great!!

    I have this pattern myself but the instructions sheet as well as the pattern pieces of the longer version of the pajama top is missing.

    Could you please help me in some sort and scan your instruction sheet and mail it to me? I LOVE this pattern but I fear my sewing skills are not good enough to put it together without instruction sheet...

    Kind regards from Germany



I love hearing from you, and thank you in advance for reading and commenting! &