Good morning all! Today I have the pleasure of introducing Kristin from skirt as top as part of the shorts on the line sewalong. I have been a fan of Kristin from the start. She is an incredibly talented sewist with all kinds of style. I adore this dress and I can't wait to make Jude his own super hero cape. She is also host to many a cool series including: Vintage May (with Jess), film petite (with Jessica), and confession sunday. Today she is going to show us how she turned the Clever Charlotte finch shorts pattern into fabulous culotte style shorts for her skirt loving daughter.
Thanks again Kristin!
Hello all, I'm Kristin from skirt as top and I'm so happy to be here! My four-year-old daughter is a big skirt and dress fan, so I don't get to make TOO many shorts for her. I think shorts are perfect for little kids, though, so I was really excited to be presented with the opportunity to review the Clever Charlotte finch shorts pattern. Along with the adorable finch top, this is a duo I've wanted to make for a while now. The finch shorts are designed as a pleated bloomer style, but I figured if I left off the bottom band and made shorts that LOOKED like a skirt, my daughter would be more excited about them. I think it worked!
Fabric & Materials: Essex cotton-linen blend in putty. I've only washed them once so they're not super soft yet, but I know they'll get better and the fabric was much less expensive than 100% linen. The pockets are lined/piped using fuscia voile.
Modifications: My major modification was leaving off all of the parts that make them "bloomer-esque." I eliminated the bottom band, pleats, and side tabs, opting for a simple 1/2" double fold hem. I cut the pattern at a 3T for my petite four-year-old, but the length of a 4T to make up for the lack of band at the bottom. Skipping those steps simplified the pattern quite a bit and made these a really quick sew. I added front pockets using the Oliver + S sketchbook shorts pattern (which I'd recently sewn), with a contrast "piping" from this wonderful tutorial by Heidi to add a little pop of pink for my pink-loving girl. Because I added the pockets, it increased the width of my shorts and I needed to take the front center seam in by about 1" to match up with the waistband.
Even if I hadn't made the modifications, I think they might've been a bit large on my daughter. I typically sew a 3T for her, but I should have sewn a 2T or smaller based on her waist measurement. Not a huge deal, just be aware they might run a bit big. I think the 4T length is the right length for her, though, and I like the very full culotte look. If you'd like to see the finch shorts sewn up as written without modifications, check out the Clever Charlotte flickr group for plenty of examples.
Pattern Pieces: I used just the front shorts, back shorts, front waistband, and two-piece back waistband pieces, skipping the bottom tabs, cuffs, and front waistband tab. I added the pockets since I had eliminated a good amount of detail from the original pattern and they needed something (plus I had to sneak pink in somehow for her). In general, Clever Charlotte patterns are clear and easy to follow (these are my second and third times sewing one - I also made their beautiful kestrel coat last fall). My one wish is that the size was labeled on each pattern piece - I prefer not to have to check the legend at the bottom to know which dotted line to follow - a personal preference. I also added one more set of notches at the top and bottom center of the front waistband rather than marking a line, which helped me line it up with the center seam later. All in all, those are nitpicky things. Nothing had me scratching my head.
Illustrations & Instructions: Clever Charlotte patterns have great illustrations and instructions. They're beautiful patterns, very well-written, and I definitely recommend them. Difficulty Level: Confident Beginner. This shouldn't be your first sewing project simply because of the techniques involved, but if you've followed patterns before, the instructions make it clear to construct.
Conclusion: Since making these shorts, my little gal has actually said "I like shorts! Can I wear my new ones?" which both blew my mind and warmed my heart! I love these shorts on her too, especially since she can move so freely in them!
As you probably noticed, I couldn't help myself and sewed the finch top too! I loooove how it turned out. Since this guest post is all about shorts, I'm posting about the finch top over on my blog, skirt as top. Please come on over to check it out!
Thanks so much for having me, Carla!
Clever Charlotte was kind enough to gift me the finch pattern for this review. My opinions are my own.
Thanks again Kristin! It's awesome that your little one loves her new shorts, they are adorable!