Summer staples (again)

It seems that I’m starting 2016 in the same way I started 2015– with a new pair of shorts and a tee shirt. I was thinking of making another pair of Grainline Maritime shorts, but in the spirit of trying something new I went with the Panthea Shorts from Ralph Pink. I’ve only just discovered Ralph Pink (apparently they’ve just had a major site overhaul), and I really like a lot of their patterns. I have the Sula Blazer pattern printed out too, hopefully I’ll get to that this summer too! But back to the shorts…
 The fabric I picked for these is really interesting, but possibly wasn’t the best choice for some fairly structured shorts. Its a cotton/linen/ramie blend twill from the Fabric Store, and it has quite a tweedy appearance. Its really soft and quite drapy, and presses well but also creases something awful. I suppose thats only to be expected, with all natural fibres (the Dreamstress has a good post on Ramie, which is the only reason I know what it is! Its made from nettle stems, in the same way that linen is made from flax). Its a nice fabric, but I wonder if the pockets and pleats would look better in a finer, crisply ironed linen. 



The shorts have some really interesting features, I like the pockets and pleats combo. The way that they’re constructed makes for a really tidy finish, which is nice. I do prefer a waistband to a facing, though the facing does mean that they’re very comfortable around my waist. I’ve got a fold of extra fabric at the bottom of the fly, which I think means that the crotch length is too long in the front. Its not as major as it looks in these photos in real life, but its something I would try to fix if I made the pattern again. 


I do think they fit well around the back, with none of the pulling towards the inseam I get with my Maritime Shorts. I should compare the shapes of the back pieces, and see where the extra room is in the Panthea Shorts.

I did have a fair bit of trouble with the fly/buttons/facings combination on these shorts, and I’m not entirely sure that my confusion was down to my being incompetent. I assumed that the zipper would be sewn part of the way up the fly facing, and then the buttons would be sewn to the top, but the instructions have you sew the zipper all the way to the top of the shorts, like you would if you were going to add a waistband. So not only does this leave no room for the buttons and buttonholes, but when you sew the facing on it covers the top of one half of the zip and leaves the other half exposed. I read the instructions through a couple of times and thought this was very odd, but for some reason I decided to follow them as written anyway. That means that my finished fly has ended up looking like this…


What do you think? Is it supposed to be like this, or do you think they’ve popped their basic fly zip instruction set in and forgotten to modify them for this pattern? I had to cut the extra length of zip off under the facing so that I could stick the press studs in, but it was going to be a bit much unpicking to fix the other side and I was a bit grumpy by that point so I’ve just left it…


My tee shirt is a new-ish make as well, an Emmeline Teeshirt from Little Tailoress. I got this pattern for a friend, so I thought I should make myself one first so that I knew how it would all work! I’ve been hoarding this awesome striped cotton knit for a simple teeshirt, and I think it works pretty well with the cut on sleeves of the Emmeline. Its been in pretty high rotation so far this summer, and the cotton is starting to sag a bit, which I suppose is to be expected when there isn’t any elastine or anything to help with recovery!

I don’t think I’d say either of these are as much of a success as my Maritime shorts/Scout tee combo from last summer, but both are very wearable. I’ve been wearing the shorts a lot since I finished them last week, and they’ve been lovely on the hot days we’ve had! 

24 thoughts on “Summer staples (again)

  1. I like them both, and especially the shorts. I love your side angled pockets with the pleats! They look really cute on you. But I do suspect they left their standard zipper instructions. Seems like an odd way to have you sew it up.

  2. Lovely summery outfit Kirsten. that tee is great on you. The shorts are terrific and pleased to hear Ralph Pink is up and running again. The fly closure is definitely odd. Maybe drop them a line w a link to your blog and ask their opinion?
    Ramie is good for swimwear cover ups but I learned the hard way, it’s not for business suits!! I can cope w linen creases, they’re soft. But ramie creases are hard and crisp. Never knew it was the product of nettles! Great info thanks.

    1. Thanks! I had never heard of ramie before Leimomi’s post, and this is the first time I’ve seen it in store, but I can imagine it being lovely and light for a cover up. Good to know about the creases though!

  3. I like the look of that shorts fabric, I have been after something like that for pants for work. When I was at uni I had royal purple short overalls that were made of Ramie (wore them with stripey crop tops – it was the 90s) and I always assumed it was some time of linen. Now I know!

  4. Both fabrics look lovely, I especially like the combo of Emmeline Tee and this striped jersey.
    I would suggest you send a picture of the zipper to the pattern maker. Maybe they aren’t aware of this and I guess it should definitely be different…

  5. A cute combo – funny I thought these were the deer and doe shorts initially. I think you’re right – error in zip instructions, but you can’t tell when done up. The fit is great from the back, and those stripes are of course perfect.

  6. I really like this outfit! I’m not sure I’ve heard of Ralph Pink patterns before. There are some really interesting styles available– I am loving the blazer you linked! I have no idea how that fly/facing should have gone. From the line drawing it looks like the buttons and the zipper are taking up the same space, which makes no sense. Your solution looks great! I love the top. That fabric is so much fun. I wish fabric designers would do more interesting stripes like this!

    1. Thanks Teri! I like a bunch of their patterns, they’re quite different to a lot of what’s out there already. I completely agree about striped fabric, its way too hard to find good stripes!

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