Jimmy shorts times two

Jimmy shorts

I’ve got to say, I’m an eternal optimist about the British summer. It gets to about May and I tuck away my winter coat and sweaters and start thinking about little dresses and shorts. This often backfires obviously, but I feel really comfy in these kinds of clothes, and if nothing else our flat is like a little greenhouse whenever there’s sun outside so these shorts are great for working at home. (I don’t, however, advocate indoor sunglasses: I just couldn’t be bothered to put make-up on for photos! Yes, I am also living in this cami, which was a half-hour make.)

Jimmy shorts

These are the Jimmy Shorts, a free pattern from new to me blogger/designer Fine Motor Skills (if the download link doesn’t work, they are also on Burdastyle here). I found the pattern thanks to Sarah and her excellent round-up of of free patterns. I’m kind of blown away that this pattern is free: it appears to be professionally graded and the instructions are thorough and illustrated. These are my dream shorts in terms of details and fit: mid-waisted, fly front, blousy/flared, pleats, pockets… and for an extra pro finish they are fully lined (though I left it off both of these, ha).

Jimmy shorts

The diamond pair was my wearable toile. I’m sure you recognise the fabric from my CentaurĂ©e; I guess this fabric is blessed or something because both toiles I’ve made from it have turned into (pretty fabulous) wearable garments. Sadly it’s all gone now, but I definitely got my money’s worth from it.

Jimmy shorts

They fitted amazingly well straight off the pattern. Not even any back gaping to deal with, due to a nicely curved waistband piece. I cut a smaller size than the size chart would suggest after measuring the waistband and hips on the pattern pieces – I guess they run large, so be aware of that if you make them. The only changes I did make were to lengthen the hem by about an inch and convert the front pleats to release tucks. I’ve been enjoying playing with pleats and tucks recently, pressing them to different sides and so on to find which I like best on me. It can make a real difference to the fit and flatter-factor of pants so it’s worth trying a few out.

Jimmy shorts
Jimmy shorts

My second pair are made from a polycotton twill I got in Ecuador. I bought it with shorts in mind because I wanted to use the embroidered selvedge as a hem, but unfortunately it was quite a small piece and there wasn’t enough embroidered edge to make it all the way around. So the back uses a plain selvedge, which amazingly was already hemmed with a neat narrow hem. Man, I wish more fabric came with pre-hemmed edges! Not always practical obviously, but worked great in this case.

Jimmy shorts

I used some of the remaining embroidery for a couple of belt loops, and for the fly facing and shield for a bit of fun. The instructions have a new-to-me method for the fly front which is really smart and intuitive, and produces a super tidy result – worth downloading the pattern just to take a look if you’re interested. There’s a second button inside the band as well for a nice secure fit. Ignore the rather twisty waistband and poor topstitching, ahem.

Jimmy shorts

The side seam pocket insertion is also done a bit differently to what I’m used to but again worked great. You sew both pieces to the front and secure then along the waist so they sit really flat. I love finding new little techniques like this.

Jimmy shorts
Jimmy shorts

These are a really quick sew, even with the fly front – a two-session leisurely weekend project for me. I can imagine them in loads of fabrics – a silkier pair with lining would be really sweet. I’m also kind of intrigued to lengthen the legs to knee or full-length to see if they work as pants, since I like the fit around the top so much. I reckon these are on their way to becoming a TNT for me, while the British summer lasts…

22 thoughts on “Jimmy shorts times two

  1. AvatarSarah

    Hey they look great! They do fit you really well – thanks for the heads up about the link, I’ll go back and correct it – I’m guessing maybe the other links for her patterns might not work either so I’ll check them. I’ll add these to my summer list too! I’m keen to try her tee too.

  2. AvatarMarilla

    Cool shorts! Just dreaming up a few pairs now ;-) just been on the link and the download worked for me. I’m only on the ipad, so can’t test print it, but definitely opened the pattern document, so don’t know what’s happened there! :-/

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Oh yeah, seems OK for me now too. Must have been a dropbox blip. Look forward to seeing yours if you make them!

  3. Avatarsallie

    Cute!! I especially love that diamond print pair! It’s amazing how well it goes with your new cami. And that embroidered edge is just too good NOT to use for little touches here and there!

  4. AvatarSophie

    Oh yay! I’ve been waiting for someone to make these up. I pinned this pattern yonks ago but then I couldn’t really tell from the girl on the pattern whether they were really short or only flattering on her because she’s pint sized but now I can see on you how beautifully they fit! Love your printed pair the best, of course. Thanks for all the info!

  5. AvatarElena

    These are both fabulous, especially the diamond print. I’m intrigued by the pocket construction method – I was partly hesitating on this pattern because I thought the pockets would bulge open. The actual method looks so clean and clever. The fit looks so great – here’s to a summer of shorts weather!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Yes, the pockets are great. They take a bit more effort and precision stitching than a regular side seam pocket but the results make it worth it.

  6. AvatarHeather Beaton

    Love these, but felt compelled to comment on the fact that you had to wear sunglasses cause you didn’t have makeup on. Love yourself for how you are, make up or no makeup! I think we all need to be more accepting of our own and each others’ flaws…and saying that I bet you don’t even need it, and no one would have blinked if you hadn’t had makeup on on your photos… Your shorts are too dang cool for any negative impacts to be made here!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Good point, you are probably right. I don’t wear much anyway, just my dark circles were particularly heinous that morning… Thanks for your comment :)

  7. AvatarTracy

    Both look lovely and quite different looks from the one pattern. I particularly like the patterned print you certainly had your money’s worth from that fabric. A free pattern too – who says that sewing isn’t cheaper than buying RTW

  8. AvatarEbi Poweigha

    Love that Salme tank! I’m currently deciding whether or not to try one of their patterns. Also, the contrast belt loops on your navy pair of shorts is a great touch.

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