Hot! The “Lake George” Shorts

The Facts
Fabric: Robert Kaufman cotton linen denim, leftover from Riveter dungarees
Pattern: Colette Iris
Year: 2012
Notions: red piping, invisible zip, 4 anchor buttons recycled from a Colette Parfait that I’m now calling a muslin, interfacing, all from stash
First worn: for photos at Lake George, NY
Wear again: yes
Time to complete: about 6 hours, a lot of that fitting
Total cost: free-ish.  Have you noticed I never include the cost of the pattern?  The higher number would make me feel bad, and I prefer to shut my eyes.

Our heat wave broke and I managed to sew some shorts!  I don’t wear shorts much, probably because the few pairs I have are either ill-fitting or too old and rotten to wear in public.  That is about to change, because I’ve found the perfect shorts pattern.  After a lot of fitting.  And minus the pockets.  But I’ll get to that.  I decided to go all sailor on you since this challenge coincided with our arrival in the Lake George area for a week of Suzuki guitar camp.  My daughter is the primary student, but in Suzuki there’s heavy parent involvement and I’ll be doing lessons every day too.  We sit down to play– classical style, not rock and roll– so my usual summer dresses and skirts are out.  Yay for shorts.

I had to sew these up first to pinpoint the fitting issues because the shape of the crotch curve and the angles of all the lines of the pattern were completely different from my pants block and I had no idea how to start.  Not a good sign.  As it turns out, the fit was pretty spot on aside from the inseam, which was a mess.  I ended up raising and shortening the back crotch curve as well as lengthening the front crotch curve at the inseam.  A lot.  Again, without the brilliant pants block from Steph I would have been totally lost in this process.  Now I want to try Clovers and Madeleine bloomers again, with my new understanding of Colette crotch curves.

I didn’t think there was a pocket I didn’t like, so I’m surprised to find that I’m not a fan of the Iris pockets.  Though a cute design feature, and necessary for this anchor-button version, the placement of the pockets in the princess seams makes them uncomfortable and impractical.  I’ll never use them, so what’s the point of sewing them in?  All the better for quick shorts construction in the future.  Speaking of quick construction, I actually used my serger to finish the seams on these shorts, definitely not my preferred method.  However, serging does speed things up and I need as many shortcuts as possible in my summer sewing since I have no time to myself whatsoever.  Let’s see what fun tricks I can pick up in the coming weeks.  Oh I also chopped off this towel-like knit top and hemmed it with a twin needle, a new technique for me that I’ve read about widely from the likes of you.  Worked like a charm.  Don’t know if I love the boxy top though.

I wish we took some photos with my legs together so you could see how well these fit, but it had just rained torrentially, the bugs were eating us, and we were trying to get DONE.  I admit I’m still a little nervous in this setting without pavement and a ton of people around.

obligatory outtake with child



Lee is a highly educated stay at home mom with a lot of projects. She lives in New York City.


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  1. I just made these shorts and I completely agree about the pockets. I feel like I’m turning my hands at a weird angle and sticking them right between my thighs when I go into the pocket. I like the embellishments and piping you put on yours, though. Maybe we can just chalk it up to aesthetically-pleasing pockets and nothing more?

  2. Every time I read about fitting issues and pattern alterations for pants I get keyed up. I need to make some pants this year, but I’m not looking forward to fitting them. Your shorts look great, though, so you must know what you’re doing.

  3. I loooove those anchor buttons!! Super cute.

  4. Your shorts are so cute!!! :)

  5. Hope you’re enjoying your trip to Lake George. The camp sounds so cool. Nice shorts, it must feel great to get a good fit.

  6. Nicely done! They have a flattering fit and look great on you. I really like the piping and the buttons.

  7. Nervous? So funny! I live right near here! You’re shorts are awesome and I hope you had a good time in Lake George. Next you find yourselves upstate, give a holla!

  8. Well done. You’re shorts look great & you look very comfortable in your beautiful surroundings. Enjoy!

  9. Looks like all your work on the fit paid off- these shorts look really good on you!

  10. Cute shorts! They do fit perfectly. I totally agree that those kinds of button pockets are a PITN. They defeat the purpose of pockets!

  11. The shorts are adorable but I agree with the pocket/no pocket decision. You and your daughter are adorable: )

  12. These shorts are gorgeous!

  13. Great job Lee, perfect crotch, we all know that this is always the biggest issue when fitting pants so well done. Your daughter is the cutest look at that big smile.

  14. Awesome shorts. They are very cute and I’m glad you worked out the fit issues.

  15. Very cute! I love the button and piping additions. I just finished this pattern for reality check and agree about the pockets. From now on, I’m either extending them to the waistband to make them the opening or I’m omitting them. They’re a cute idea but not practical.