I've been wanting to make up this garment for absolutely ages. I loved the fit of my By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit pattern test and as my plan for this winter is to nail making trousers for myself I decided why not start with a shorts version of a pattern I already know works for me?! I went through a pretty crazy spell of work a short while ago but the determination to wear these to the press night of the show I've just finished meant I somehow managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing time to get them done! They were actually the perfect make to get me back at the machine as the whole process from cutting to hemming only took about 3 hours.
I actually returned to my test version of the Holly Jumpsuit pattern to make these rather than using the final release. I was really happy with the fit of my playsuit and knew that a little extra room had been added to the bum of the pattern after testing so decided to stick with what I knew worked! I'm really pleased that I did this as the shorts are in no way too tight, the amount of ease is just perfect for me personally. I cut the straight UK10/US 6 as I did before. My measurements fall exactly into this size on the size guide and I almost always find I get a good fit out of the envelope with BHL patterns.
The fabric is a plain black viscose which I picked up in Crafts & Home down in Chichester when I was away for work. They had a great selection of colours and all on offer for the bargain price of £4.99 a metre. I may have come away with some grey too! It was a little slippery to work with as most viscose tends to be but has just the weight and drape I wanted for these shorts. It's lovely and and soft with a kind of fine crepe-like texture and less of a sheen than the viscose I used for my Clover Dress. It's probably my favourite type of fabric for everyday wear and this particular one is a great fabric for basics.
I know the black is a little boring (and also pretty much impossible to photograph well!) but these shorts are a fantastic wardrobe basic for me and I am going to get so much wear out of them over the next few months. I love the slim waistband, zip in the side seam and the flattering fit of the high waist. I've worn these a few times with tops tucked in and can envision them working with tights, boots and a chunky jumper further into the winter too. They are really comfy and practical but still feel chic which is exactly the aim for much of my sewing at the moment.
Construction wise they were very straightforward and I followed the instructions almost exactly. I finished all the raw edges on my overlocker and machine stitched the hem. I interfaced the waistband with a medium weight interfacing as this lightweight viscose really needed some support. The waistband of these is one straight piece with a fold along the top and the raw edge inside is pressed up and slipstitched by hand. I added a small strip of interfacing to the seam allowances of the side seam where I was going to insert the zip to stop it stretching out or bubbling.
The only change I made was to insert the zip so it fastens right to the top of the waistband as I find I can achieve a much cleaner and neater finish that way (rather than having the waistband overlap, fastening with a hook and bar or button as recommended in the instructions). I can never get the flap to lay nice and neat and flat! I have previously tried one great trick recommended to me by Carly from Away We Sew after making my Emerald Charlotte Skirt and moved the hooks and bars so the overlap fastens inside the waistband, much tidier if you ever want to fix that problem on a RTW garment!
Actually looking back at that skirt post has reminded me that I was after suggestions for what I could make with the remaining metre of gorgeous green wool crepe that I had left and Sonja from Ginger Makes had come up with the idea of a pair of dressy shorts to wear with tights. That wool crepe is absolutely being turned into a pair of Holly shorts pronto!