Baby, it's hot outside!!!! After all the fancy clothes of the last few postings, let's take a time out and cleanse our palettes with the simplicity of shorts and a summer smart halter top.
White, crisp and cool, my first look begins with a halter top and pleated shorts. Start with the bodice slopers (look in "Pages" for instructions). Measure 3/8 inch down the under arm and mark. Mark the side of your back bodice at precisely the same spot.
Decide how deep you want the neckline and mark on the CF line. I've made my mark down 1 inch from the neck.
Next, starting at the point where the neck meets the shoulder, measure 1/4 inch on the shoulder and mark. On the neckline/shoulder line tip, draw a vertical line upwards from this point by at least 1 1/2 inches. That line will blend in with the V-neck of your neckline. On the other side, draw a straight line to meet the 1/4-inch mark. And from that mark, draw in a new curve to meet the new mark on the front side.
For the back sloper, fold out the existing dart, then decide how you want the back of your garment to look. Draw a line which gracefully slopes down to the CB line. The front pattern is cut on the fold. For summer cottons, roll the edges over and use a dab of fabric glue to hold in place. For silks, you will need to hand sew using tiny stitches. This top ties in the back of the neck.
Shorts are super simple. Take your one-piece pants pattern and cut at the desired length. For my first pair, I wanted a clean, urban pair of shorts. You will not stitch the dart. Instead, draw a line perpendicular to the hem at the base of the dart. Slash and spread. I was very conservative and introduced 1/4 inch, but you can add more if you choose. Make the marks in the seam allowance. Instead of folding the area into a dart, you will pinch the two marks together and sew. You will need to make a waistband.
I also decided to make a pair of flared shorts, featured here with the bra pattern I introduced in the "Summertime" post. For those shorts, you will need to take your 1-piece shorts pattern and separate it at the line indicating the side. Just as you did with the flared skirt, fold out the darts in both the front and back. This will through fullness to the hem.
The first thing you will notice is that from front to back, the fullness is not equal. Measure the difference in fullness between the front and back. In my case, the back was 1-inch fuller than the front. Divide that figure by half. Add half to the front and deduct half from the back. In other words, I added 1/2 inch to the side on my front shorts pattern and I took away 1/2 inch from the fullness of the back. When you are finished, there should be roughly the same amount of fullness in each pattern. I added a tiny flap to the back just in case you need to adjust the pants. For these shorts, I simply folded the shorts over at the waist.
Of course, there's nothing stopping you from making a simple pair of shorts using the original 1-piece pattern. Here, I've made a pair of (lined) evening shorts cut from lace and worn under a satin tunic.
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