Okay, a disclaimer before the post proper: I am rather.. apprehensive, shall we say, to put these photos up here.
I don’t have the best bod and never have, although I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got (an in-proportion pear shape). While I do have a reasonably good body image, I do still get down in the dumps, and I know that I have rolls and my legs have dimples.
Being self-conscious is part of the reason why I’ve never worn shorts. That, it’s hard to find nice ones that fit me, and I always get the horrible inner-thighs-riding-up thing. Also, some people feel they have the right to question what people wear, because it “offends them”.
When Deer & Doe released their Chataigne Shorts pattern, I was torn. They were hella cute, and the corseted waist was interesting and probably would be flattering, but could I get away with wearing short-shorts? Was I allowed? For some reason I decided to google the matter and found this excellent website – sure these girls have rolls and dimples and white or dark skin, but they look FABULOUS. The idea that I shouldn’t wear shorts because someone else doesn’t want to look at my legs is surely another form of victim blaming, and I won’t have a bar of it!
So, I bought the pattern and have finally made it up, so here we go and please be kind: my Chataigne shorts.
The shorts are the first project I’ve made with my pants sloper (which I made at The Dreamstress School of Dressmaking – perfect fit pants class – highly recommended if you’re based in or near Wellington). I used the waist pieces as is, and traced the legs as a combination of the original pattern, and the sloper, making sure to get the crotch length/rise the same as my sloper, which worked well. I also lengthened the shorts by a few inches, else they would be super short. My muslin just showed I needed more room in the waist but otherwise the fit was adequate. You can see the crotch length is perhaps a bit short, or it may be to do with the style, but there’s a bit of pulling down there.
The waist pieces are also a bit small still, leading to horizontal pulling and a visible tummy button, although they actually don’t feel too tight. Funnily, these are actually remarkably comfortable, it’s like they just hold everything in place! The only thing I notice when wearing them is that the hems are a bit tight (maybe because of the way I’ve sewn them).
Otherwise, I’m really comfortable in these. I’m not worried about the dreaded “muffin top”, and shockingly the inner thighs don’t seem to ride up!! I’m guessing this is because of the fuller thigh adjustment we did on the sloper, but I always thought it was inevitable (for years I battled with chafe, which is the reason that I never, ever went without stockings or culotte petticoats until I was 23 and lost a bit of weight and could get away with not wearing them). Sorry if that’s TMI!
Sorry rachelinred! I swear it wasn’t on purpose.
In terms of construction, I flat felled both the side and inner leg seams. Hems are overlocked, folded then folded again (therefore really strong, and the reason why I think they’re a bit constricting). Crotch seam and pockets were overlocked. The seams in the waistband we pressed open and left to reduce bulk. And because the cotton twill is quite thick, I lined them with quilting cotton:
The zip doesn’t match, because it’s all I had and it’s an invisible zip (although because they’re fitting I think you can see it a bit at the perfectly matching seam 😀
I am pretty sure I’ll make these again; probably using 10mm seam allowances to loosen them and perhaps in a stretch wool or denim for some winter shorts that will look great with stockings.
Pattern: Chataigne shorts by Deer & Doe
Fabric: Blue cotton twill, and quilting cotton, leftover from other projects
Notions: thread and zipper, stash
So, thanks for letting my bare my legs. With this kind of thing it’s tempting to put stockings on first (despite the heat), stylise the photos somehow or even avoid them altogether, but doing this sort of thing is how you really come to grips with your body image, and if noone does it, people think it shouldn’t be done! There’s not enough plus-sized sewing bloggers out there which can be hard, because you only see how certain patterns look on slimmer people. So there you go – I recommend these shorts for plus-sized ladies, although only if you’re comfortable with a fitted waist!
Oh, for Morgan and anyone else who cares, the lipstick is Flat Out Fabulous, by MAC cosmetics: one of my absolute fav colours.