FLINT SHORTS x MEGAN NIELSEN
Today I'm talking about these fab Flint Shorts I made for our family vacation last month! Like all good temporary Californians, we made our way to Disneyland in June for a few days. Now, I'm not much of a shorts person--in fact, I can't honestly remember the last time I owned a pair of non-athletic shorts. But I knew it was going to be hot hot hot in Anaheim (especially coming from our balmy 58* Monterey summer), and I wasn't about to shell out the big bucks to the Mouse only to be sweaty and miserable the whole time. After comparing a few shorts patterns, I settled on the Flint Shorts by Megan Nielsen Patterns for my cooler, comfier vacation wear.
The Flints are a pleated short (or culottes) designed for woven fabrics, but what sets them apart from the plethora of pleated shorts patterns this summer is the closure. There are no zippers or elastic, just an overlapping waistband at the pocket secured with an inner button and an outer button or tie. How neat and easy is that? And that pocket is still functional! The pattern directions align the opening on the wearer's left side, however I chose to flip it simply because my left pocket is where I put my phone and I wanted the full pocket bag on that side to store it.
Now, because these are a fitted short without an elastic waistband, they did take a little extra effort to fit. This post from Closet Case Patterns on 14 common jeans fitting adjustments was a lifesaver! Though geared more towards denim construction, Heather's list is helpful for any pant. After adjusting for a shorter rise and adding full tummy and round pubis adjustments, I had shorts that finally fit in a flattering way. You really can make patterns work for you! And in that same vein, these shorts really emphasized to me the importance of muslins and trouble shooting. If I had settled for the pattern cut and sewn as is, I would've been frustrated and defeated, and no doubt disappointed in my shape. My first muslin was not working for me in any way. But after working on some adjustments and doing two more muslins just to be sure, I nailed pattern pieces that would be successful before cutting in to my prized Rifle Paper Co. rayon. And I tell ya what, I felt like hot stuff in these shorts. Not only were they cool to wear, but I didn't have to spend every other moment tugging or pulling anything to make them comfortable for only a few steps. I felt so free!
My two tips for muslin-ing: 1) Write down every single adjustment you make. I keep a sewing journal where I record sizes made, fabrics used, and improvements for next time I make a pattern, and doing these shorts without that practice would've been a nightmare. You always think you'll remember how much you took in that seam but dang it, ya never do. Every change I made I wrote down in my journal which made it a cinch to keep track of each adjustment. And 2) Use similar fabrics in your muslin and final. I used some scrap twill for one of my muslins just to use up what I had, and the adjustments I made were more exaggerated in the twill version compared to the final rayon version. I ended up having to go back and take out portions of the adjustments added because the rayon was more accommodating than the twill. So save yourself the circular work and stick with like materials.
Though these Flint Shorts will probably see little action during the rest of our cold summer, they were such a great exercise in fit and totally worth the effort. I walked away with cute shorts for vacation and greater confidence in my ability to troubleshoot a pattern and make it work for me.
What shorts patterns are you loving this summer? Any go-to pants adjustments or muslin tips that guarantee your sewing success?