Attaching a lining to a pair of pants may feel a bit intimidating, but I assure you it is actually a lot easier than you might think. Megan’s newest pattern, the Harper short, calls for a lining. The lining creates a super smooth fit, as well as allowing you to use some fabrics that may be a bit itchy on the skin. Imagine the Harper sewn up in a wool, worn with tights in the fall?! Megan offers very good instructions with her pattern with some detailed graphics, but I’m here to provide a detailed photograph tutorial that may help make the process even easier. So, let’s not waste any time and get started.
Hello Design Diary readers! When Megan released her Harper short pattern, I fell in love with the higher waist and patch pockets. I recently moved from southern California to northern Virginia, however, and I am now in desperate need of fall/winter clothes since I haven’t really needed any the past 8 years. I decided lengthening the Harper shorts would be a fun challenge and I’m here to share with you the approach I took to create this more fitted tapered crop pant. Of course, you can follow these steps to create a wider leg pant if you so choose. I’m not sure if this is the “proper” way to lengthen a shorts pattern, but it worked and I’m happy with the results.
This pair of Harper shorts is made from a linen look polyester. Which i bought by accident thinking it was linen – until I tried to press it, and found that it didn’t conform and somehow never wrinkled even when i left it in a half finished messy pile in my sewing room…. if those aren’t some magical polyester warning signs i don’t know what is!
The lesson here is to read the label properly – on closer inspection of the receipt the fabric was “linen look”. Nice work meg, you’re a genius.
Oddly, i hate polyester and all synthetic fibres. I hate it on principal probably because i’m a nut. I don’t like the way they are made, or the fact that they don’t biodegrade. I don’t like that they don’t breath and make me perspire, and since i love pressing garments to within an inch of their life, i don’t like that synthetics rarely press well. I favour natural fibres, and basically avoid synthetics as much as possible.
And yet, as i say that, i find myself contradicting myself – because I really really love these shorts. Like really love them. Because: NO WRINKLES! I never have to iron them, and that is so much more of a win than i ever realised. The colour has stayed true and hasn’t faded, and the fabric hasn’t stretched out at all (which seems to always happen to me with linen?).
So then the question becomes – do the benefits of synthetic fibres outweigh the negatives? I feel like it’s hard for me to argue that synthetic fabrics are cheap and nasty, when here i am enjoying a garment made from polyester that has lasted well and doesn’t look like it lacks quality at all. Dare I say, they have been my favourite shorts this year. Uh oh.
So what do you think? Are you a poly lover or hater? Or does it even really matter all if you love what you made?
[Make this look]
Are you guys ready to see the Harper‘s that the pattern testers made?! As per usual some of our lovely testers have been kind enough to let us share a few snaps of their test Harper’s. I’m so grateful to all of our testers, because they help us pick up on and fix potential issues before the pattern goes to print, and without them I know we couldn’t keep releasing such high quality patterns. Thanks gals, sending big hugs to all of you!
Meanwhile, I love seeing the variety of different garments everyone has made! I hope you enjoy checking them out – and don’t forget to pop on over to their blogs or IG for more sewing awesomeness.
I’m so happy to be able to finally share our newest pattern, the Harper shorts and skort with you today!
This pattern has been one of my wardrobe staples since it first appeared in my Sunburnt Country ready to wear collection a few years ago and has been requested by so many of you since then that i knew i had to bring it out as a pattern. I’ve worn this pattern every summer for the last few years – tweaking the fit, updating the pockets and finally adding a really awesome skort variation. I am thrilled with this pattern. I’m not usually a fan of shorts as they can look so casual and boring and frumpy – but not these. These are literally the only ones i wear.
These shorts are designed to be comfortable but leaving you looking put together. They’re a good length and not too short (but lets be honest, it’s super easy to lengthen them if you need to!). The skort is mid length with slash pockets and combines the comfort of shorts with the appearance of a skirt. I decided to add this variation, as i’ve definitely reach a point in my life where short skirts are not super practical. I adore the look, but can’t stand the impractical nature. The skort is the answer! It’s that skirt look in the front, with the comfort and ease of wear that shorts give you.
The rise is high for both variations, but sit just below the natural waist. This means you can easily leave your top out, or tuck it in for an elegant look. The fit is close, but not too close, they will hug you in all the right places, and still have great range of motion and movement.
Both versions include a flat front, darts in the back, and are fully lined with a self facing included. Both the shorts and skort have pockets, but applied in a different way. There is an invisible zipper in the centre back to keep everything nice and clean.
I wanted this pattern to be very versatile, like all my patterns, so the V1 shorts include a patch pocket. It’s applied directly over the top of the shorts, which leaves you open to leaving the pockets off entirely for a clean look, or getting creative and designing your own patch pocket to apply. I really really want to try lengthening the shorts into some long pants or even cropped pants – wouldn’t that look awesome?!
The base short used for the V2 skort is a longer version of the shorts, which means you can mix and match both variations. Oh yeah, i love that! It makes it super easy for you to lengthen your shorts if you want, or mix and match pattern pieces. It would also be super easy to design your own skort panel and add it to the front instead!
There are a lot of great skills to learn in this pattern, my favourite of which is attached a lining to shorts that completely encloses all the raw edges with no handstitching. Of course you can easily leave the lining out, and just use the included facings, it’s such a versatile pattern!
When it comes to fabrics – you’ve got a lot of choices! Basically any bottom weight fabric will work well for this pattern. I used a denim for the V1 short sample in these photos, and the V2 skort sample was made out of a lovely camel tencel. I do recommend choosing a fabric with a little drape for V2, as the skort does need it to hang well.
Personally i’ve made Harper in everything from cotton to crepe to wool suiting and corduroy. It looks good in all of them. I really can’t wait to show you the pattern tester creations next week, because there are a huge range of fabric choices and body types and this design literally looked gorgeous on everyone.
Don’t forget! All of our patterns can be used with the Megan Nielsen Patterns app, which gives you free access to all of your sewing pattern instructions, important information and additional features from your iPhone or iPad. Anytime, anywhere.
As always please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!