Sunday, January 31, 2016

Finished: Style Arc Jennifer City Shorts

Alternatively titled: I Should Have Let January End

The PR wardrobe contest begins tomorrow. I set out to muslin the Style Arc shorts thinking I'd complete those first. I was so excited as I've wanted this pattern for awhile.

Let us talk about the pattern a bit.

a) I'm firmly on the "slash pockets are of the devil" train but I've made them with minimal gaping. And live with it because POCKETS! But these are a special kind of evil.

They extend so far down the hip line that if you are curvy in any.way. you're not going to be happy. 

b) That isn't a waistband. That's a waistband facing that's then topstitched down.

I made a pair of waistband-less faced pants for my daughter (from the 11/2015 Burda) and hated the application. I still hate it.

c) Since that is NOT a waistband, you have to start the zipper at a certain point to leave room for the button. I thought it was weird that a 7" zipper fit kind of perfect. Sigh. But by the time I figured this out there was no way I was ripping it all out to lower them. I was fairly sure at that point that I wasn't going to wear them.

d) Most importantly...I missed a BIGGIE. Look at the modeled photo...

They're intended to be worn low, on the hip.

Ah crap. I don't wear low rise pants. I have too much 37 year old, mom of 2 belly fluff to even consider low rise bottoms!

So yeah, in summary, before starting, this isn't a good pattern for me.

Okay, the specifics:

1) My size 16 SA Sandra jeans are too big. As in, I can slip them on and off without unzipping them. The pdf came with 12, 14, 16 and I decided to print the size 14 and after taking flat pattern measurements at waist and hip, was feeling good.

2) Muslined. I have had "this issue" before with muslins. I don't think they're "useless" but I think if you aren't using something very close to the weight, texture, drape, etc of your intended fabric then...the story isn't complete. The muslin was too tight. I opened the side seams and inserted panels.

Standard shortening of the front crotch and based on the back fit (look at the inseams riding up), I decided I needed a full inner thigh adjustment.

I have done a fish eye dart before and thought maybe that would help and pinned it out:

It didn't seem to help much so I thought it must just be the fabric getting hung up on my thick thighs.

I fussed around with the muslin and did some other stuff, and decided to go ahead and sew my cotton sateen from Sawyer Brook (whine). I really loved this color -- it's an olive-y brown -- and I splurged (for *me*) on this fabric at $14.99/yd. I had 1.5 yards with the intention of making a jean-style skirt. And I am a little disappointed to have it used it for these. WAH!

I had to remove ALL of that additional width I added. It wasn't needed. The front looked good...

...and then the back. What.The.Hell.Happened. 

I pinned out excess here, as I would with a FED and it seems like it would've helped. It isn't perfectly pinned but it doesn't look as bad as the unpinned leg (left). 

Once I realized they were supposed to sit lower, I had a ton of extra fabric in the yoke area. On my Sandra jeans I also had to take a hefty horizontal fold out of the yoke. So it isn't surprising.

But no matter on all the fitting because I just don't like the style.

I don't know what made me WANT these so badly! I have always stayed away from bermudas...Because even when I was 40 lbs lighter, I still had thick thighs. 

While I'm relatively straight from waist to thigh, my thighs are really curvy...

And thus I tend to prefer shorts that go *right* to the fullest part (~3.5" inseam) or just past it (the green line) at about 5" inseam.

Eg: My S1430 shorts:

3.5" inseam
And slash pockets that aren't horribly gaping open.

5" inseam

Looking at these photos I realized I never made the shorts again because I couldn't figure out the front. Well, these were made almost 2 years ago (I still wear the denim pair) and NOW I know that I just need to shorten the front crotch! yay! :)

So all that to say...for the contest I'll be switching out the SA Jennifer for S1430, with the longer inseam, and copying the side slit (I like that detail)


Well tomorrow is the start of the contest!! I won't have much if any time to sew the next TWO weekends (I know!), so I think I might knock out a couple of easy projects first. 

I want to make these shorts very good and very detailed (back welts, belt carriers, etc) so I might save them for my day off on President's Day.


  1. I gotta say, I love the length of the Style Arc shorts on you. The last picture from the front, they look very cute. Maybe it's just hypothetical you aren't accustomed to seeing yourself in that length? I'm sorry you used fabric you love on something you don't. :(

  2. I hate auto correct! That should be SOMETHING, not hypothetical.

    1. Haha! Auto correct is always out to get me too! :)

      I wore them all the rest of the afternoon and into evening and they just feel so BLAH on :/

  3. Sorry your not happy with the shorts. Best wishes.

  4. I agree with your horizontal and vertical lines. I like when your shorts hit you higher on the leg, it makes your legs look very slim. I can't do slash pockets either :( too much hip! Good luck with the contest and maybe you'll be snowed in on Tuesday to get some sewing done :D

  5. I hate it when a muslin is so far off. I'm just celebrating a great muslin for a formal dress I'm making my daughter. I used an old sheet and the actual fabric will be a bridal satin. I hope it's not too far off!

    Looking forward to seeing the shorts you've chosen to make.

  6. I agree with you on the longer length shorts… I prefer the shorter length on my body type too, so I truly understand! However, you did a great job on the shorts and the fabric is so beautiful, maybe you could donate them! That's what I do when I have a wadder that turns out nice and I just don't like it. It all goes in the "donate" bag.

  7. I liked the bermuda length on you also, thought they were very classy looking and flattering. But those pockets....I can't wear them either.

    I'm a relatively new fashion sewist, love your blog. You tell it like it is and I appreciate it.

    Good luck in the contest!

  8. THANKYOU for saving me from this pattern.

    I also have curvy legs & find a similar length short to yours works best. If I go longer then then need to be straight from the widest part of the thigh, with a cuff.

  9. Thanks for the review. I have a similar body type, so now I don't have to try those. They would fit me the same. I prefer a shorter or longer length on me.

  10. Ugh. I've had this pattern for a while and had high hopes, but I suspect that I'll have many of the same problems that you did with this pattern. Bugger.

  11. You're right about needing to muslin pants. I just made a pair with the waistband in a non-stretch fabric after making a pair in stretch and I can't wear them because I can't sit in them. You'll get them just like you want them.

  12. I feel your pain in the "37 year old, Mom of two fluff" that gave me a chuckle because thats an exact description of me too! You do so well with pants from what I have seen on your PR posts, I would just wad that pattern up and shake it off! Good luck in the contest! I love those PR contests!

  13. Thank you for all the insights! I am really straight--the only ready-to-wear jeans that fit me are men's--- and, Style Arc pants fit me with very little alteration. Thanks for telling us about how low these ride. My tummy is not flattered by low-cut pants!

  14. I am definitely in the thick thighs club with you, and think you did a great job trying to make this pattern work for you. Even though it didn't, it seemed like yu learned a lot in sewing it. I'm sorry it was at the expense of your fabric. But, I'm sure you will do great in the PR contest!!

  15. Thank you for your honest review of these pants. You will spare many of us the aggravation. Best of luck in the PR contest!

  16. shorts in january? anyway - I think I muslined this pattern also, I think I won it in a PR contest a while ago and tried it one time. Terrible! I used the size indicated by my measurements and it was a squeeze just to try them on. weird! I have tried a few Style Arc patterns and always think they fit strangely. I know they are popular but I can't figure out why since they are so expensive compared to Burda et al.

  17. So sorry you lost your nice fabric and the pattern was a wash. I've never tried the SA patterns. Onward to better things though.

  18. So who does that pocket work for then, I wonder? Maybe slim-hipped women who want the illusion of wider hips (I've never met those women!). I actually like the idea of the non-waistband which is just a waistband facing as I have a ridiculously short area of waist, but the button and zip sound too tricky to make it worthwhile. And the back - I just had the same fitting problem with a pair of Burda pants, just like RTW for me which is very annoying. Anyway, it looks like you have another good shorts pattern to fall back on - when you have the time! Hope you find plenty of time for sewing for the PR comp!

  19. I don't think they look that bad! The front looks really good and the back isn't so bad really.... I know what you mean about the slash pockets, I can't wear them either!


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