Let’s be honest here. We all have bias whether it’s a choice in restaurants, music, people and yes, STYLE!!! True Bias Lander is now my favorite go-to pattern for a great pair of shorts. I haven’t made the pants yet, but that’s just around the corner. These have everything I love, want, need and desire in a pair. High waist, perfect fit in the hip, button fly OR zipper (expansion pack), belt loops, and pockets both front and back. The designer, Kelli, spent some quality time perfecting her craft in New York City but info on her website says she’s now has moved to Colorado and continues to hone her craft. Check out her website to learn more about her at True Bias.
Sew…here we go. This pattern comes in size 0 – 18. I cut a size 16 and it fits perfect without any adjustments…except one… or two. One very important one that I strongly suggest you heed depending on your body structure. The waistband is patterned in a straight strip. Add an extra inch to each end to make it longer before you cut. It will give you a little wiggle room for error. Now, I know my body is not straight up and down so I have a bit of a curve to my waist. Not much, but a bit. Easy fix. I’ll show you how to get a more curved band that won’t gape in the back when worn as we get further into the tutorial. I chose to use a woven quilting cotton because it’s an easy summer cotton that is not too thin, and it’s a beautiful print from Keepsake Calico. Now True Bias suggests using a medium to heavy bottom weight fabric for this pattern, but I have had great success with my easy breezy cotton…and it’s SUMMER! I also used the Keepsake Calico for the lining of my pockets. It takes about 2 yards of fabric for a pair of shorts and 4 buttons. This pattern uses a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Before we get too far into the tutorial, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite tools. These items have saved my life more than once. OK.. maybe not that drastic, but these babies are so helpful in constructing these shorts. I can’t remember the last time I actually pinned a pattern to the fabric since I was introduced to pattern weights and a rotary cutter. My point turner is not only useful in getting those points nice and pointy but it’s a beautiful piece of art handmade from 2 kinds of wood. My chalk marker is great and so is my water soluble ink marker. AND.. the thin piece of wire with the hook on the end is a Godsend to turn the belt loops right side out.
Are you ready to sew? Nope, not yet. Fuse your interfacings in place. Make sure you marked all your dots and notches. OK. Let’s get to it.
Complete the back darts and set aside.
Grab your back pocket pieces and press 1/4 inch over the top, then fold the top at the notches with right sides facing and sew them in place at the side seam using 1/2 inch seam allowance. Turn it back right side out and take your point turner and get those points nice and pointy. Press the remainder of the pocket seam allowances down for preparation to sew onto the back of the shorts.
This is a great time to check out all those cool stitch patterns that your sewing machine does. We need to sew that top folded flap in place before we sew the pockets on, so how about we do something FUN! I went through my stitch patterns and chose a cute little heart repeat that I thought fit the style of the shorts. You might want to practice on a scrap piece of fabric before you start stitching on your pocket though. Better to be safe than sorry!
It’s important to line the corners of the back pockets up with the four dots on the back shorts pieces for proper placement. Sew them in place.
Now it’s time for the front pockets. You should have 4 pieces, two main and two linings. I used the same fabric for my lining just because it was there. Pin a main and a lining together and stitch them along the curved side and the NON SEAM sides. You will need to be able to turn them right side out so don’t sew that seam side or the very top where it attaches to the waistband. Clip the curves, trim the corner, and grade your seams so it lays nicely when you turn it out. Use that point turner again to get some really nice points on your corners. PRESS. I suggest you use the same decorative stitch that you used on the back pockets here around the curved edge of the pockets. YAY. Sew Cute!
Place your front pockets on your front main pieces, matching the notches and stitch in place. I used a double row of stitching just to make it more sturdy.
Here is a TIP. Go ahead and finish the raw edges of your pieces individually before we start seaming anything. Use a zigzag or overlock stitch. We will be doing some seams that will not allow you to finish them later so go ahead and just do it now.
Seam up the inner leg seams by takin one front and one back piece and matching them up at the inner seam. Bring together your two newly sewn pieces and match them up at the crotch and back seams. Sew them together from the back waist to the dot. Backstitch to secure it.
Take your left fly piece and finish your edges of it too. Now, I messed up by cutting my fly piece on the wrong side of my fabric and applied the fusing to it. No worries, I just cut another fly and sewed it to the other piece so I have an extra heavy duty fly. It definitely won’t fly away! OK. Not a comedian. So my fly has two right sides.
Attach the fly sewing from the waist to the dot. Turn it to the inside and press. Do your top stitching following the curve of the fly. I did a double row of stitching here too just to make it more secure.
Time to make your button holes. No time like the present. I made three button holes and used a 7/8 inch button.
Under the lowest point of the fly, clip into the seam allowance on the right side of the seam. This helps the seam spread apart so we can sew the right fly. Speaking of right fly, take your right fly piece, with right sides together sew the bottom seam. Trim the seam, turn right side out, give it a good press, and surge or overlock or zigzag the long raw edge together.
Sew the right fly to the right front from the waist to the dot. Turn the fly and give it a good press.
I know this will be hard to see because this print is WILD, but now on the right side of the shorts, make sure you have lined up the front like you would have buttoned them up and make a couple tack stitches to hold the front fly in place.
Time for the side seams. I only sewed a 1/4 inch seam allowance down my side seams. I can always take it in if it’s too big, but it’s a pain to rip those stitches to let it out. Finish those seams. Also, remember I told you to cut the waistband a couple inches longer???? This is why. Once you complete your side seams, set it aside while we make the belt loops. Fold your belt loop piece down the long side and sew using a 1/2 seam allowance. Trim the seam and turn inside out. That’s where that cool little wire with the hook at the end comes in handy. Give it a good press with the seam running down the middle. Cut into five equal 3.5 inch pieces. Baste them to the waistband in the strategic locations marked such as the back seam, the side seams, and the long side of the pockets. Set it aside for now, we are going to do an adjustment to the waistband.
My body structure has a bit of a curve from my hip to my waist. I like my pants to do the same. If you don’t want your waistband to stand straight up when you bend over and want it to follow the curve of your body, this adjustment is very slight but oh so nice. All you need to do is make a slight half circle curved dart in three locations: the center back, and the sides. These areas should already be marked by your notches when you cut the piece out. Start 1/2 inch from the edge, make a slight curve stitch to the other side 1/2 inch from the edge. See below:
When you fold it in half you get a perfect curve for your body.
Take your iron and press a 1/4 inch turn on the un-notched/un-marked edge of the waistband. I’m going to suggest sewing your waistband like this: Pin your unpressed edge to the WRONG side of your shorts, matching the notches if possible after you altered your side seams. You should have cut a couple extra inches to this band for that wiggle room. All you need is to have an extra 1/2 inch on each end once it’s pinned in place. Trim any extra you may have past the 1/2 inch length. Sew in place using 1/2 inch seam allowance and ensuring your button loops hang down properly. Press the seam up toward the band. Fold the band with right sides together and sew the short edge together leaving about 1/8 inch longer overlap for when you turn it right side out and do your topstitching. See Below:
Turn the waistband right side out and give it a good press ensuring that 1/8 extra overlap covers the stitch line. Topstitch it down. And top stitch around the band top too. Sew your belt loops to the edge by folding a 1/4 inch over and tack it down to the top of the waistband.
Finish your last button hole on the waistband, sew your buttons on and WAAA LAAAH! You’re done. SUPER CUTE!!!