A Little Bit of Sunshine

I’ve been waiting to take photos of these two garment since just after new Year, in the desperate hope that I’d be able to get photos of them outside in the sun somewhere, but life kept conspiring against me. Picnics were rained off, or I was unable to attend, or it was too cold to wear shorts…eventually I decided to just photograph them in my sewing room as usual! Of course, once I did that the rest of the day was stunningly sunny, so I could have got my outdoor shots if I had been willing to bribe someone to take the photos, but never mind! You’ll just have to use your imaginations.


These are some more of the things which I sewed during my stay at home sew-a-thon over New Year. I’ve made both patterns before, the camisole is the Ogden from True Bias (see versions one and two here), and the shorts are the Grainline Studio Maritime Shorts. I made my first pair of Maritime Shorts two years ago, and I think they may have been my first ever go at sewing trousers. I still wear them, but they definitely have some fitting issues! I knew they weren’t quite right when I first blogged them, but I wasn’t sure where the problem was originating, or how to fix it…


When I went back and looked at the photos from that post, I thought that probably the problem was not enough length in the crotch curve in the bum of my original shorts. I laid the back piece of the maritime shorts over the back piece of the Ralph Pink Panthea Shorts (because although I think there are some serious issues with that pattern, those shorts fit my bum well). The crotch curve was definitely longer on the Panthea shorts, so I traced it off, blending into the original Maritime curve about half way up.


That’s the original underneath, with my modified version sitting on top. It’s such a tiny difference, but it really has made a huge difference to the fit and comfort of the shorts. I also added an inch to the hem of my traced version, and them added another two inches to the hem when  I was cutting out, as I remembered how short my other pair is!


The other major modification I made to the shorts was to remove the fly front, and put an invisible zip in the side seam.


This is a modification which I shamelessly stole from Sarah over at Fabric Tragic, and it’s such a good idea! Not only does it remove the hassle of sewing a fly (I know, I know, it isn’t that hard, but it can be a fiddle), but it gives a nice smooth front which I think I prefer in shorts, especially when I’m wearing looser tops. It was easy enough to do, I just sewed straight up the front crotch, and cut the waistband on the fold (at the CF mark instead of the edge of the pattern piece, otherwise it’ll be too long!). Then it was as easy as sewing the invisible zip in the side seam, all the way up though the waistband.


The fabric is another Cotton + Steel/Rifle Paper Co. collaboration, this time in a cotton/linen canvas, again from Miss Matatabi. I really love this one, I think it’s so pretty, and the colours in the print fit perfectly into my wardrobe. I used some more of the spotty lining remnant which just keeps on giving for the pockets (I’ve lined a blazer and a skirt with it, and used it for a few pockets, and there’s still some left!), I like the combination of floral and polka dots. I have a metre of the flora fabric left, I’m trying to decide what to make with it…


I dont really have anything new to say about the Ogden Cami, I love all of my versions! this one is made up exactly the same as my other ones, but this time I used some linen from The Fabric Store rather than soft drapey rayon. I like the different silhouette that the crisper linen gives the camisole, and it’s nice in the heat to not have something that sits against my skin. I love the colour, I was really happy when I realised that it was the same colour as the seed pods on the C+S fabric. I also have some of the same linen in pale pink, I think I might make it into a shirt dress, if I don’t run out of summer!


28 thoughts on “A Little Bit of Sunshine

  1. Such a great combo! I’ve been meaning to try the Ogden Cami and yours is gorgeous in that mustard linen. I have the pattern ready to go and some green linen so maybe it’s meant to be!

  2. These are great. The fit looks terrific. And I shameless stole the side seam zip from someone else! Haha! I think I’ve come to a similar conclusion with my maritime shorts, the toile I wore today doing some DIY – my rump is proportionally bigger than the rest of me, less so in width, more in the length of that crotch curve. When that length is too short it pulls at the front crotch seam – it looks ok but definitely doesn’t feel ok!

    1. Oooh you have just solved one of my longtime fitting woes with your comment! I always get that front crotch pullage! Must lengthen that back crotch curve! Thank you 🙏

    2. That’s what was happening with mine too, but the crotch seam was pulling pretty tight in the front and back… definitely wedgie territory! I love the no-fly adjustment, I would never have thought of that if I hadn’t seen yours so I’m glad you saw it somewhere to copy!

  3. Your shorts look great! I have an older trouser pattern where the invisible zip is in the back seam and that position works better than I was anticipating. It made it easier to adjust the fit, too.

    I had a lightbulb moment with pants fitting when I saw someone placing the back and front pattern pieces together at the inseam. The resulting blank space in the middle is your body. Suddenly it came clear what needed to be done and a complete revelation for someone with poor spatial ability!!. Large butt; scoop it out. Large waist; bring the seam over. I had always struggled previous to this as many of the alterations suggested seemed counter-intuitive. Now it all makes more sense.

    You seem to have cracked a good fit with this pair of Maritimes without me sticking my oar in, but it was such a personal game changer, I have to spread the word! The cami is lovely, too.

    1. I always get it around the wrong way when I puzzle pants fitting over in my head, I always think that if I need more room then I need more fabric, so I need to move the seam in to decrease the seam allowance rather than scooping it out! I usually get it right eventually, but thinking about the negative space the way you describe definitely makes it easier. Thanks!

  4. The fit of the shorts looks perfect! I prefer a smooth, flat front too. Aaagh seeing this is making me majorly pine for warm weather!

  5. Cute shorts mate, you need to come to Sydney where they’re having their hottest summer EVA – uuurgh! Meanwhile, we’re hiding in Baanf, Canada! Pants fitting is always such a hassle but when the penny drops – it drops! I notice some of the comments mention lengthening the back crotch point to fix front ‘pullage’. I guess it depends upon the length of the pelvis too. Sometimes just droppping the pants lower might fix the problem if one doesn’t have an ample butt. That’s mean cutting the pattern across mid torso and adding a little length. I did a bit of an experiment with some self drafted trews in that area recently and will post the before/afters ASAP.

    1. I wish we were having the hottest summer ever! Wellington has officially had the fewest sunshine hours this summer for 30 years, it’s been a bit dire… trouser fitting is so interesting, such tiny changes can make such a massive difference!

      1. Re pattern changes – YES! My patternmaking teacher, Anita, recommends no more than 0.5cm at a time on the crotch curve and extension! You guys down under have had it tough this past year – thinking of you. X

  6. I keep almost buying this fabric, but then decide I have enough beautiful fabric waiting around already, and then someone else makes something amazing out of it! The print works so well for shorts! The Ogden cami is great too 🙂

  7. Great outfit, I hope you get some lovely weather to wear them. I much prefer the side zip, the less bulk at my tummy the better! Lovely fabrics, they match perfectly, the Ogden has been on my sew-list for a while now.

  8. Aha – I’ve been pondering how to switch my Sewaholic Thurlow shorts pattern from a fly front to a side zip – thank you so much for the advice and the link!

  9. Oh, I just love this Rifle Paper Co. fabric, I really do! And the combo with the mustard linen is great. All your posts about summer clothes are giving me something to look forward to, a little boost to get through the winter here, as each year. So, thanks for that and please keep going. 😉

      1. Yeah, that’s true. But in my opinion it’s not going fast enough and it’s still too cold. 😉 That’s why it’s nice to be reminded at what I’m looking forward to.

  10. That invisible zip instead of fly idea is something I’ve been toying with in my head, but not tried yet. Thank you (and the person you nicked it from) for providing proof of concept! How do you find it works with the pockets? I hadn’t tried it yet because I was worried about the pockets pulling on the zip somehow.

    1. I had no trouble with the pocket, I just basted the whole lot down and treated it like one layer. I haven’t found that the pockets have pulled at all, but I’m always a bit wary of invisible zips since I got stuck in my skirt at Art Deco weekend! I think a lapped zip would be stronger, but I’m so bad at inserting those…

      1. Ta 🙂 Ah yes, the Art Deco zip fiasco – I’d forgotten about that! I have some decent instructions for a lapped zip from a Decades of Style pattern, so maybe I’ll try that instead (when I finally sort my trouser pattern’s bajillion toiles and actually get to sew a wearable garment!).

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