Hot! The “Pictured Rocks” Shorts

The Facts

  • Fabric: I really have no idea but it seems to breathe well (stash)
  • Pattern: Simplicity 7416
  • Year: 1996
  • Notions: thread, elastic & cording (stash)
  • Time to complete: 3 hours
  • First worn: June 9, 2012
  • Wear again?: Yes
  • Total price: $0

My vacation plans this summer include some beaches, some breathtaking scenery, and a stunning blue inland sea called Lake Superior. But the same trip will also include tons of bug spray to ward off the mosquitoes and black biting flies, copious amounts of sweat, and carrying my home and food on my back. That’s right. I’m hiking and backcountry camping at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore with my dear sister, Alison. So what could be more practical for me to sew than some utilitarian shorts? We won’t be sunbathing or hitting the clubs or going to concerts or any such glamorous things that I’m sure will inspire all of you to create gorgeous bathing suits, cover-ups, dresses, and playsuits. But I couldn’t be happier about spending my free time in the Upper Peninsula experiencing God’s country with a sister and friend I wish I saw more often.

As for the construction, most of it was easy and straightforward (as it should be when a pattern is stamped with “Beginner’s Choice” on the envelope). However, when it came to inserting the drawstring and the elastic, though I followed the instructions to the letter, there were a couple places that had been sewn shut when I did the false fly. I pity the beginning seamstress who then attempted to finish her project. I made some cuts and resewed some things and made it work, but I think the pattern has a serious flaw. So beware if you come across it!

The only photo I have of these shorts is from a trip to a child’s birthday party at the children’s museum. You can’t see the drawstring in the photos or the giant pockets on each side (perfect for collecting a rock or two). But they’re there and make the shorts a bit more interesting and attractive than this photo really shows.


Erin Bartels

Erin is a copywriter by day, a novelist by night, and a wife, mother, dressmaker, quilter, zoo docent, painter, poet, and photographer in between. She only gets paid for the copywriting.


Comments are closed.

  1. The shorts look really comfy. I love that you enjoy the outdoors and the simple company of someone special. I am not a huge fan of the outdoors and can be pretty selfish with my time. I guess it’s because I have 3 people that need so much of me.

    I love that picture-

  2. love your shorts.. Hope you and your sister have a lovely vaccation together..How wonderful.

  3. Sound like great a vacation and shorts will see a lot of country. I think it a really smart choice to sew things we really need in our wardrobe.

  4. Isn’t nice to make something utilitarian for a change? Cute shorts ans great color. Glad to see that you will be enjoying the great outdoors with someone special.

  5. Fab shorts, they look a really nice fit as well as being immensely practical….I hope the bugs steer clear and the gentle breezes follow you round the holiday. Have fun!

  6. I love the words “beginner” or “easy” on a pattern I like but it sounds like this one gave you some trouble! Great result though

  7. A nice set of very practical shorts. I like. I’m also a bit envious because I don’t have the legs for real shorts and I must settle for knee-length bermudas (which might as well be pants).

  8. Haha, I know where you are in that pic! Great job making something useful for your vacation!