Summer of Basics | City Gym Shorts

My third and final piece for the Summer of Basics line up. I didn’t follow my plan to the T, but instead adjusted to what I found myself wanting to wear or wishing was in my wardrobe on all these hot summer days. These shorts have been on my to-make list for a few years now and are so cute! I was hopeful they’d be my new go-to for lounging at home, running errands, trying to live in this new Portland 90+ degree weather, as the whole west coast goes up in flames, etc.

Pattern: City Gym Shorts by Purl Soho

Fabric: various scraps (Robert Kaufman chambray, ikat, cotton dots) from Bolt & Fabric Depot

Size: 33-34″

I really wanted these shorts to work out, but unfortunately, the fit is perfect in the elastic waist and too tight in the seat. I didn’t make a muslin and jumped straight in cutting & sewing from fabric scraps I had from other completed projects. I probably wouldn’t have had enough to accommodate a larger size, if I chose it. Sizing up and then adding darts to back panel to narrow the waist to 34″, might have yielded a better fit. Or possibly keeping the front panel at the 33″ size & the back panel a size up to 35″ with a custom length waistband.

I really like the panels & bias in this pattern. It’s a great opportunity to play with color & pattern, which I usually shy away from. Also, this was my first time making bias tape from scratch. I learned via YouTube how to fold fabric to easily cut lots of bias tape. I loved how quickly these shorts sew up, but I’m still hesitant to try again sizing up and modifying. Mostly because¬†I hate having finished garments I can’t wear when I have so much anticipation to finish so I can wear it immediately!

But maybe after I finish my next project, I’ll size up and give these shorts another go. Also, if you want these shorts – they’re yours ūüėÄ Comment or message me.

Inspiration: @notaprimarycolor

The moment of truth – once I threaded the elastic thru the waist band I tried the shorts on. They looked kind of tiny the whole time I was sewing, but since I went off my low hip measurements, I was hopeful. No luck this time.

Summer of Basics | Esther Shorts

I’m really happy to have these shorts as part of my summer wardrobe! For my next pair, I’ll choose a slightly heavier weight fabric, maybe linen, in either chambray or black/patterned.

Pattern: Esther Shorts by Tessuti Fabrics

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons from Fabric Depot

Size: 8

Modifications: none

The fabric is lighter weight than what I envisioned, resulting in some front-butt. But, hey, check out that button detail!


This is the first time I’ve ever made shorts, so I didn’t make any modification and followed the pattern as precisely as I could. I’m pleased with the overall fit without any alteration. I did struggle with the directions‚ÄĒwithout diagrams I found myself re-reading thru all the directions often to make sure I wasn’t absent-mindedly missing a step or working on the wrong pattern piece.

Initially I sewed the back darts the same on both back pieces because there is no wrong/right side to the Kona cotton fabrics. So when I went to connect the two back pieces, I realized I needed to take out and re-do one dart.

I also learned how to use a zigzag stitch in place of an overlocking stitch, which I don’t have on my sewing machine (a Bernette Seville 4). I used the invisible zipper, button, and button hole feet all for the first time! It was pretty rewarding to watch how-to’s on YouTube and find it was as easy to reproduce on my own. Overall, the Esther Shorts come together quickly and are great for sewists of any skill-level.


Finally, I have shorts to go with my crop tops!

Have you sewn up some Esther Shorts? I’d love to hear about what modification, questions, challenges, etc. you ran into in the comments ūüôā

Summer of Basics

Karen Templer of Fringe Association has thought up another awesome make-along,¬†Summer of Basics 2017.¬†In thinking about three garments to make by September, I wanted to make sure I got my color palette right. I feel like I could own everything in black and white with blues, navys, + earth tones to compliment. Hopefully, this will help guide me once I get to the fabric store. I’m always a bit overwhelmed with possibility once I get there.


SHORTS | Esther Shorts

I spend most of the summer in shorts & tank tops. I’m really looking forward to adding a pair of Esther shorts into that rotation. I’m planning on two pairs: a black linen and a caramel brown. Can’t wait to wear these with my new CYG tank!


LEGGINGS |Ooh La Leggings

Comfortable, not pajamas, easy to move in, and look nice enough to be seen in public in = check. I love that the seams are part of the design and give these leggings some extra structure. Most likely going to do these in a dark grey knit as seen in the pattern photos. I see myself wearing these biking, at work, & traveling. Can’t get more versatile than that!



Looking at my other two picks above, it’s easy to see the gap I’m filling in my wardrobe is bottoms. I feel this last pick should be a top to help make a full outfit. That said, I’m not really jazzed on any top patterns right now. Totally open to your suggestions! What shirt, tank, &/or other top patterns have you been sewing up lately?

I have been happy with my maya top & maya dress. So, it might be time to venture into the button top version. I’ll have to figure out how to use the button foot on my machine first. I also love the white & black stripped Uzi top pictured above. While I wouldn’t recreate that pattern, as I’ll buy that top one day, I would love a white linen maya top.

I’m also considering the Foxglove Tank,¬†Peplum Tank, or another Wiksten Tank. And, I definitely want to make an¬†Esme maxi cardigan¬†from a cream/off-white or olive wool boucle. Not sure where to find my dream off-white wool boucle or even a thick, woven cotton. But, I’m thinking maybe furniture fabric stores or ye old Jo-ann’s. Where ever I do end up finding it, it’ll probably be the most money I’ve ever spent on fabric.

I’m following along on Instagram¬†#summerofbasics

Photo Credits:

Ooh La Leggings // uzi tunic // Elizabeth Suzann // @bella_zibler esther shorts // Elizabeth Suzann// local milk // @bryrclogs // Kona Cotton fabric // un-fancy