Are you confused by all the terminology and symbols when you try to read a sewing pattern? This topic came up in our private FB group last week. I wanted a fun way to explain how to read a sewing pattern, and I've wanted to sew up some shorts, so I thought, why not teach how to read a sewing pattern in a shorts sew-along.
We will be starting with a pair of simple shorts. All of the discussion for this sew-along will take place in the private Facebook group. If you're not already a member, be sure to join. I will also be posting the videos to YouTube, and you could ask questions there also if you prefer not to use Facebook.
The Shorts Pattern
I will be using Simplicity 1502. This pattern contains several different options, but we will be sewing simple shorts. These shorts do not have pockets. You do not have to use this pattern to sew-along with us. As I walk you through the steps, if you're using another pattern, you'll see almost all shorts patterns are sewn the same way.
For those wanting pockets, the next sew-along we do will include pockets in the pants, skirt, or shorts. I haven't decided what we'll do next. If you have a preference, let me know in the comments. I do know that in early July, I want to do another sew-along using Simplicity 1501. These are cute shorts that are a little more advanced in technique but just like for this sew-along, I'll walk through each step.
Fabric for Sewing Shorts
The pattern I'm using calls for a cotton fabric or cotton blend. For this sew-along, I suggest sticking with cotton fabric. Cotton is easy to work with and doesn't require any special handling while sewing it. For most shorts patterns, you'll need about 1 yard of fabric depending on the size you are sewing.
Our shorts will have an elastic waistband. I'll also cover how to add either a functional drawstring or just one for looks. Check your pattern for the amount of elastic needed under the notions section of the pattern envelope. Usually, you want to have your waist measurement plus one inch. I prefer the 1" no-roll elastic. I buy in bulk, but you can usually find it in small packages or buy it by the yard at most fabric and craft stores.
Reading the Sewing Pattern Envelope
I will do a quick video with the shorts pattern envelope before we open it up and dig into the instructions. However, the video above and my article on how to read a sewing pattern envelope should get you to the point where you can gather up your supplies and choose which size you need.
Getting the Fabric Ready to Sew
Before you can even pin the pattern to your fabric, there is some prep work to do. Head on over to our article on getting your fabric ready to sew. If you're tempted to skip fabric prep, please don't.
When Will We Start Sewing?
The next post will go up this Tuesday! We'll dig into the envelope and start decoding the terminology, figuring out pattern pieces, and getting everything cut out!
If you have any questions about How to read a sewing pattern with our shorts sew-along, let me know in the Facebook group or down in the comments section.