Scallop Hem Shorts

I hope you don’t think I’ve abandoned you but my latest project took much longer than I had originally anticipated. I was so excited about my Kimono Sleeve Dress that I purchased three more patterns from Pattern Runway – the scallop hem shorts, the sundress, and the shirt. I got right to work on the scallop hem shorts and when I say “right to work” I even skipped the muslin!

Pattern: Pattern Runway’s Scallop Hem Shorts – $9.50

Fabric: cotton twill remnant purchased at Britex – $6

Notions: invisible zipper – $2


I cut out the pieces on Monday and started in on the back welt pockets. I thought that these would be fairly straight forward since I’ve made bound buttonholes before but I just couldn’t get them right. After turning the first welt, the welt backing was facing the wrong way so I cut out the pieces again. No matter how many times I read the instructions through the welt backing was still backward. I decided to continue going forward but my brain was fried and I couldn’t figure out how to attach the pocket. I put the project away for the evening, hoping that my brain would solve the problem in my sleep. It didn’t. But I decided to fake my way through it and give the pocket my best shot. This approach worked and I was able to move forward.

After the welt, the project was more comprehensible and I slowly finished it up on Thursday. Unfortunately, I’m just not thrilled with the results. These pictures are, sadly, more flattering than the shorts in person and there are both fit issues and sewing issues.


  • The crotch length is way too long. I could shorten it a good two inches in the front and possibly the same in the back if I lengthened the crotch depth as well.
  • I would cut a medium rather than a large and then give myself a little bit of breathing room in the waistband.
  • The center front bags. I’m not sure how to fix this. Perhaps cutting a smaller size or taking up the crotch length will help but any suggestions are welcome!


  • This fabric wrinkles like crazy. Combine that with the ill fit and it makes for a really sloppy look.
  • The waistband was sewn well and the seam was really smooth until after I added the facing and secured it. You can see how the seam bunches and waves and it drives me nuts. I’m really at a loss as to why. It’s mostly in the front and is really bad near the sides.

The instructions, overall, were good. I contacted Sarah at Pattern Runway about the welt pocket and she said that she has a tutorial  in progress. There were two small issues that I wanted to note as well. First, the pattern pieces for the waistband do not mention cutting interfacing but the instructions (and experience) do. Second, when sewing the side seam together, there is a typo. It notes a 1cm seam allowance but converts that as 1/4″ not 3/8″.

Although the finished garment is less than thrilling, I really like the scallop hem. I would have thought that drawing attention to the largest part of my thigh would be a bad thing and I’m surprised at how flattering it is. I do plan to make another pair – maybe in a woolen for winter – so hopefully these pattern changes will help. Any and all advice is welcome!



12 Responses to “Scallop Hem Shorts”

  1. aww, I think they’re really cute, even with the issues (which aren’t at all obvious from the photos, btw, we’re always so much harder on ourselves)! I think they will be fabulous with the fit problems solved and in a woolen. I am *really* loving shorts and tights for winter.

    Re: baggy crotches—I have this problem with commercial pants patterns a lot, and for me it’s always a combination of the thigh being too wide and the crotch length being too long from front to back. I thought my issues were crotch *depth* for the longest time, but it turns out that that’s usually fine and shaving off some of the crotch *length* usually solves like 80% of the problem for me. Pants fittings drive me nuts…it always feels like some kind of crazy alchemy that isn’t especially predictable or logical.

    At any rate, I’m super excited to see what becomes of these!

    • we’re always so much harder on ourselves
      Isn’t that the truth!
      I’ve always been afraid of making pants because fitting mystifies me so thank you for the suggestions regarding crotch length and depth. Since I’m pretty happy with the back’s fit, I think I’ll shave off an inch from the front and see if that fixes the problem. It’s probably best to take baby steps so that I can see what each change does.

  2. I agree with eunny – we are much harder on ourselves (note my constant questioning of looking, ahem, frumpy in every single thing I sew. haha!) But these are adorable, and will look great in wool. I’m no expert in crotch length v. depth though… some day I’ll finish my jeans, and maybe then will have a wise word.

  3. Mine came out a little big, as well. I think I could cut a medium next time with the large waistband, too. I think the shorts are meant to be worn a little loose, but if that’s not what you’re accustomed to wearing they seem really, relly loose. I hope you’ll be happier with your second go round.

  4. I just bought this pattern and am dying to try it. Unfortunately, winter is just about to begin here and I’m not sure if I should try making them now anyway… maybe in a woolen fabric as you said. I do think that would be so cute with tights! I think yours look good from the pictures, but I know that if they don’t feel good, it’s very frustrating! I hope your next pair come out better and I’ll try to let you know if I ever give my pattern a try!

  5. hi Lizz, I just found this post after googling for reviews of these (yours are the ones that came up!). I love the gauze version you made – so pretty! So I was curious if you ever made a size down. I downloaded this pattern last fall and really want to make at least one pair for summer. I’m trying to figure out which size to cut as the closest size to me is about a 1/2 inch bigger in hips and waist than my measurements. I’ll definitely make a muslin, though!

    • Hi, Amy – I would imagine you’d be fine going down a size. I cut according to my waist (and like you it was about 1/2 inch larger) and the shorts are roomy. I could see myself easily going down another size and still having room to shave off here and there. Hope this helps!

      • Thank you! Yes, it helps. I was surprised because they look so fitted on the model but I do like shorts with a bit of room anyway. And I had some fun reading some of your earlier blog posts. I love all your Pattern Runway makes–I’m really drawn to all her styles.


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