Our lovely Dian turned 18 in January, and as her birthday gift and celebration we went to Rottnest Island for the day. We hired bikes for the day to get around the island. Unfortunately it was a stinking hot day, Dian isn’t used to cycling (unlike the other three of us), and there is very little shade other than at the township. So we didn’t actually see a lot of Rottnest, instead returning to the township to cool down.
I didn’t want to give her nothing tangible for her birthday, so I sewed up a pair of the Striped Swallow Coachella shorts for her to wear on the day.
Here are the finished Coachella Shorts:
These perfect-for-summer shorts are trendy, comfy and so much fun! The Women’s Coachella Shorts come in sizes XS-XXL. Pattern includes 3 different rise options (low, mid and high), as well as 2 lengths (2″ and 4″ inseam). New Slim Fit option also included.
Women’s XS – XXL, there is also a Girls 6m – 12yr size available
I made the High Rise version, with the 4″ inseam, in size Small.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Not really, no. The pattern states that it is for “Skill Level: Beginner”. I feel that a beginner sewer would have a lot of trouble making these shorts if they were following the instructions.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
- Love that this pattern is in layers, so I could choose which size to print and didn’t need to print off all of them.
- Love that it’s a very ‘now’ style, and suited my 18yo perfectly.
- They’re a reasonably quick sew.
- I was very interested that although the pattern is designed for light wovens, they can also be made up in light knit fabrics. I haven’t tried this yet.
- The multiple options of high, mid and low rise, and the slim fit option is great, as well as the multi-sizing.
- The length for elastic was spot on, I’m always a bit wary of cutting elastic to a length specified in a pattern as it seems to often be off. This one was perfect.
- Love the options for applying decoration to the curved edges.
- The teen wears them regularly and loves them. Gotta love that!
- There are no notches marked on the pattern pieces at all. None. Nada. No way of matching up seams, except by eyeballing.
- No instructions to finish the raw edges of the fabric – seems basic but a beginner wouldn’t know this.
- The method of folding the curved edge is to stitch a basting stitch around, then use that as a guide to iron the edge under. This is great, however it appears that the basting stitch isn’t removed, or at least it’s not mentioned anywhere in the instructions to remove it.
- There is no marking to indicate where the curved front should be when it overlaps the other piece. As this is designed to be made in light fabrics, it’s really easy to place them in the wrong spot. There are no instructions for how far over the other piece it should be laid.
- No instructions to iron seams flat or open – remember this is meant to be a beginner pattern. A more experienced sewer would know to do this, a beginner probably wouldn’t.
- There is no pattern piece for the waistband. Sure, it’s just a rectangle, but remember this is meant to be a Beginner pattern…. (I know, I’m sounding repetitive here). The instructions have you cut two rectangles for the waistband, then stitch them together. There is no reason to cut two when one longer piece could be cut, and the fabric requirements allow enough for one long one to be cut.
- After cutting the rectangle for the waistband, the instructions have you lay it against the body of the shorts and then CUT IT TO LENGTH INCLUDING SEAM ALLOWANCE! Seriously? This is a pattern, all the pieces are a particular size, and it’s a BEGINNER pattern. There is so much scope for it all to head south here, if you’re designing a pattern and not including a pattern piece, please at least give the correct measurements for something like this, not tell the beginner sewer to cut it to size.
- After cutting the waistband to (hopefully) the correct length and stitching it into a circle, the instructions tell you to lay the waistband on your table with the fold towards you and slide the shorts body into the waistband and then sew them together. This is where the lack of notches really irritated me – this needs a correctly sized waistband pattern piece with notches to match it properly on the shorts body.
- The waistband seam is left as a raw seam on the inside of the shorts. It’s not enclosed in the waistband, it’s not trimmed and there’s no mention of neatening the raw edge with zig-zag or overlocking.
- The instructions tell you to sew the crotch seam by going up one leg, across the crotch and down the other leg. This is a lazy way to sew a crotch and results in a weird looking crotch seam. It doesn’t sit properly and in my mind shows a lack of attention to detail.
- This is a personal dislike – the elastic in the waist isn’t stitched down at all so it is likely to curl and twist. A few quick vertical stitches at the sides, front, and back and it’s held nicely in place.
I used a cool, drapey, rayon from Spotlight.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None this time around.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will be sewing these again, both for my teen and myself as I really like the style. However I will be marking notches on the pattern for matching seams, making a waistband pattern to fit, marking the overlap for the curved fronts, and sewing the crotch correctly.
I would not recommend this pattern for a beginner, unless they have someone who can guide them.
I really do like this pattern, and it has been well designed and drafted. The instructions unfortunately were not what I was expecting from a paid-for pattern (I kind of expect issues with free patterns). I was really surprised – and disappointed – at the irregularities in the pattern/instructions