1 Pattern, 3 Ways

Welcome Sew Not Perfect readers — I am excited to be your first stop on the 1 Pattern 3 Ways blog tour!

1pattern3ways

For my stop on the tour, I decided to use one of my staple summer patterns, the Prefontaine Shorts for Women from Made With Moxie, sewn up with slight modifications for three different looks.

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways

My 3 Prefontaines

First up is my dressier pair of Prefontaine Shorts.  I made these as part of my May Sew the Show outfit, and they have been in constant rotation ever since.

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways

Prefontaines #1

These were my first pair of Prefontaines and I followed the pattern almost exactly.  But for these, I decided not to use a contrast binding on the hems and pockets, opting instead for a solid short.  As a result, these shorts have all the comfort of well-fitting running shorts, but are nice enough to throw on with a tank and kimono for a casual date night.

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways
These are made with a white linen/cotton stretch twill from Girl Charlee.  Unfortunately this fabric wrinkles easily, as does all linen, but they are still really comfortable. Rather than using a contrasting knit binding, as the pattern directs, I cut bias strips of my fabric and used that to bind the pockets and hems.

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways
Now ask me how often someone sloshes coffee on me when I wear these shorts?  Yeah, pretty much every time :/  Luckily, lye soap works wonders!

Next up are my “mom shorts.”  For these Prefontaines, I used a scrap of Essex linen left over from a pair of pants I made for Albert.  One of the great things about this pattern is that it only requires about a yard of your main fabric — that is almost unheard of for a women’s pattern!

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways

Prefontaines #2

For the binding, I used a fun quilter’s cotton that has been sitting around in my stash forever.  The patterned binding on these makes them casual enough that I’m not going to wear them out on a date, but with a t-shirt or tank they’re great for running errands on the weekend.

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways
For this pair I also drafted a separate pocket facing piece.  The pattern as-drafted does not include a pocket facing.  Instead, the pocket piece is sewn directly on to the front to finish the pocket.  While I didn’t mind this in my white pair, where the thread blends into the fabric, in general it’s not a look I’m fond of.  Luckily, drafting a pocket facing is easy-peasy!

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways
To join the pocket facing to the main front piece on this pair, I used a strip of bias to accent the pocket opening.

And finally onto my last, and most casual pair of Prefontaines.  While I love these shorts and wear them a lot, the patterned fabric makes them feel really casual to me, so I typically only wear them when I don’t mind looking like I’m wearing my workout clothes.

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways

Prefontaines #3. And what’s with this rain in July??

In other words, they’re great for playing around the house with the kiddos, or a weekend hike with the fam, but I’m not typically going to wear them out and about.

This fabric is a black anchor chambray by Robert Kauffman.  It’s nice and lightweight and feels lovely to wear.  I bound the hems with a hot pink bamboo jersey reclaimed from my Red Velvet/Tiramisu dress that I made after Baby J was born.  That dress was comically big on me after losing baby weight, but I love the fabric, so it’s destined to bind many a garment from here on out 🙂

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways
For this pair, I also chose to use my self-drafted pocket facing.  But rather than accent the pocket with a strip of binding, I did a more traditional pocket finish to make the pockets a little less noticeable.  This is probably my favorite pocket finish of all three pairs.

Creative Counselor: Prefontaine shorts for 1 Pattern 3 Ways
So there you have it!  One staple pattern, made up three different ways.  Isn’t it amazing how very simple pattern modifications and fabric choices can result in three very different garments?

Pattern: Prefontaine Shorts for Women by Made With Moxie.

Cost: $10 USD

Size: 6/8.  My white pair is a straight size 8, but they’re just a tad loose in the hip.  For the other two, I changed the outside seam to the size 6, and now I love the fit!

Fabric: White — Linen/cotton twill from Girl Charlee (no longer available); Blue — Robert Kauffman Essex Linen from Hart’s Fabric; Anchors — Robert Kauffman chambray from Michael Levine (no longer available)

Difficulty: Advanced Beginner.

Techniques required: Fitting and alterations, topstitching/edgestitching, attaching binding, working with knit fabric.

Similar patterns:  City Gym Shorts by Purl Soho; Coachella Shorts (sort of) by Striped Swallow Designs.

Modifications: For the blue and anchor pair, I drafted a pocket facing rather than sewing the pocket piece directly to the front.

Fit:  Wonderful.  I love how these shorts fit, and they are quickly becoming my go-to shorts block to modify other patterns.

Pattern Format: PDF.  This PDF was fine to work with.  There’s not an unreasonable number of pieces to tape together, aided I’m sure by the fact that the pattern does not include a binding piece (which it shouldn’t).

Pros:

  • Great fit.
  • Fabric choices and simple modifications can give different looks.
  • Super comfy.
  • Easy sew.
  • Only needs one yard of fabric!

Cons:

  • I don’t like that the pattern doesn’t include a separate pocket facing.  This is such a simple thing to do and I think it really enhances the look.

Overall Grade:  A.  I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with shorts.  I want to love them, but I usually hate the way they fit.  These, however, are a love/love situation.  They’re cute, easy and comfy.  I’d love to make a couple more!

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14 thoughts on “1 Pattern, 3 Ways

  1. Bethany

    Such a fun and informative post! Thank you for showing this pattern three ways – it really makes me consider giving them a try. I love the Robert Kaufman pair with the binding. And I know you say the third pair feels really casual, but I think they are really fun!

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you! I was glad I finally made this pattern — after it sat in my stash for at least a year, if not longer. They are so comfy and I wear them all the time!

      Reply
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  3. Kelly

    These are are so cute, I could use some for lounging around the house- it’s been sooooo hot here! Wish you could send that rain our way, we really need it!

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      I’d happily send you the rain! It’s quite unusual for us to have this much rain in the summer so it’s been a lot more humid than we’re used to here in the middle of the country! I never complain about the heat (I’d take 95 and humid over cold and snow any day) but a little drier would be nice!

      And you would look darling in this type of shorts — they really work well on a figure like yours!

      Reply
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  6. sew4kenme

    I am not a running shorts type of person but you did a great job with these. They all look fun and comfy but are still good for wearing out of the house. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Pingback: The Long & Short of It — Prefontaine Shorts | the creative counselor

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