Hot! The “Say it Ain’t So” Shorts

We had a really hard time getting good picture. There was a lot of sun and we couldn’t quite get the exposure right so sorry if these shorts are looking blindingly white.

Pattern: Vogue 1204 for the pockets and zipper facings and Burda 7606 for the back and shape

Fabric: Blues and white denim and red pique all from stash

Notions: One zipper $2.25 and one button from stash

Time to Complete: about 2 hrs to make the pattern, 1 hr to pin and cut, and 4 hrs to sew

Total Cost: $2.25

First Worn: Today to run around town

Wear again: Absolutely

OK. This is more like a muslin. I used the Burda pattern to make the Here comes Your Man jeans and if you read the post then maybe you’ll remember that I wasn’t really happy with the pattern. I thought it would make a good block pattern because I like the rise so I used that as the starting point for the shorts. I laid the pattern out on newspaper and traced the shape marking the length I wanted. Then I laid the Vogue pattern on top and added the allowance in the zipper area, added the pocket, and reshaped the inseam. After that I decided how wide I wanted my pleats to be and the placement and cut at those points. I added a total of 4 inches for the pleats and two inches at the bottom for a little more fullness. It’s not perfect. I need to remove an inch from the front and add an inch in back. I will do this by placing the darts closer together since I think I placed them a little too far apart. I still need to work on the fit in back. I had to remove 2 inches from the center seam so the back pieces look small compared to the front. The waistband from the Vogue pattern is perfect and needs no adjustments. I think I’ll also add welt pockets in back for my next pair.

I made a pair of jeans using this very heavy white denim last year. I didn’t have enough for the waistband so I decided to use leftover blue denim for that and the red pique from my Valentine skirt for the belt loops. I love the way they came out but will have to dry clean them so the colors don’t bleed. The only contrast in stitching is for the buttonhole-I used red thread there.

All right this is the part where you hardcore seamstresses stop reading.

There is one major flaw. The more I make pants with a fly the better I get. This is the best I have ever done. Seriously. I was so proud of myself until….I noticed that I had sewn the zipper in backwards! OK-so that’s not so bad and can be fixed after a session with the seam ripper but the truth is-I left it like that. Listen-I get so little time to sew these days with my kids at home. I am lucky to get an hour during the week then I have to pull an all nighter on Friday. Yes-I want you to feel bad for me and tell me that it’s OK. I will never do that again-I promise?

Nettie isn’t that what happened with your romper?

I added a safety pin to the zipper pull and it works great.

The top is another upcycle that I already had in my wardrobe. The blue top was a little boring on its own and the sleeves were a little short. I found a vintage top at the thrift store and removed the collar and cuffs and added them to the blue top. I sewed the collar right underneath the existing one. I then made a simple blouse out of the rest of the vintage top. I turned it around so it buttons down the back and shortened the sleeves. The blouse on the right looks a little blah but it’s actually quite cute once it’s belted or tucked. I think Helen looks pregnant here. Don’t you?


So here’s one last picture of the shorts. Flawed but still pretty.

The title comes from a Weezer song.




Gina Clark is a girl from Texas living in the Midwest. She has been sewing most of her life but swears every few months that she is giving it up for good.


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  1. Ooooh…I love the little vintage blouse you altered! I hope you post pictures of you in it some-time too! The shorts and blouse that are your actual submission for this week are great too ;-) I love that the shorts aren’t just plain white – the waistband and tabs make them so unique.

  2. Thanks Leimomi! I’m actually wearing the button down with the shorts. I posted a separate picture so you can see it better because I had to have the sleeves rolled up while I was out and about-it’s pretty warm here (I almost hate to say that since I know you’re struggling with the cold there).

  3. Oh Gina, had a good giggle when I read about the zip mishap. Love the shirts and the details on the shorts are pretty cool. I wonder if you soak the shorts in white vinegar will it set. The dye so it won’t bleed?

    • I’ve never heard of the vinegar thing. I may just take them to the cleaners. I don’t even know if you can wash pique. I really like these short s and with I could wear them often. I almost made it through the whole day without getting them dirty.

  4. These are super cute! Of course, we would never have known about the zipper mishap without you sharing it with us. I am also a big fan of the upcycle and love both shirts you modified. All around awesome!

    • Thank you Adri. I’ll be doing a lot of upcycling these days with my sewing budget going into my sewing project for class. I thought it best to come clean about the zipper. I am far from perfect and want to make sure that who I put out there is who I am.

  5. I’m such a big Weezer fan! I was gonna ask if they were named for that song and then I saw your note at the bottom. I love the red belt loops on these. It really gives it a kick of color.

    • I saw Weezer a looong time ago in a little place called The Lunch Box. Beck opened up for them. This was when “The Sweater Song” and “Loser” came out. So fun. They still make such great music. I was tempted to use the lyrics to that song as my post. I think that may have confused some people. The red does give it a nice pop-

  6. Great shorts- and I love that you sewed the zip in wrong and left it! That is so something I would do!

    • Glad to know I’m not the only one willing to sport a backwards zip. Don’t think I’ll do it again though!

  7. Love them Gina, particularly love the mix of fabrics. I recently made a pair of golf duds for my hubby, he has to zip them up from the left side LOL! Ah well. Love what you did with the two tops too.

  8. Great tribute to the red, white and blue! I really like the pleats on the front of the shorts, the color pop of the waistband and the belt loops. Funny about the zipper! I don’t know if I could let that go, but seeing how wonderful they look, makes me realize that not everything is noticeable to the non-sewer. You’ve given me permission to not be so hard on myself when it comes to sewing.

  9. Wonderful outfit. I really like the idea with having the waistband and the belt loops in a different color. Isn’t blue, red and white such a wonderful color combo? The shirt is great and it’s quite interesting how you upcycled it. I’ll have to remember this for my own wardrobe.

  10. Love the shorts and that you made it work :) But love the blouse refashion even more….I don’t know if I’d have ever thought of replacing the collar with the print under the original collar – it’s inspired! I love how your creative mind works, it’s so clever! And I have to agree with Djamila about red, white and blue being a great colour combo.