Iris by Colette

by Adrianna

To kick off our 2nd annual sale this weekend I’ll be sharing a three-part blog with you ladies on some darling, easy, classic basics you can whip up just in time for summer! I’ll be demonstrating how to pair our fresh stock of lightweight, breathable, summer friendly fabrics with some of our favorite sewing patterns and books.

My first excerpt is about Iris by Colette Patterns paired with Bolt’s cotton/lycra indigo stretch twill, which you can always find in our apparel section mixed in between the Knit and Denim bins. This is my second time working with Colette Patterns and I have found some similarities and differences from my last experience (and blog post).  My recent experience was definitely more enjoyable, the only twists this time are based on personal preferences and fitting. 

I haven’t worn shorts, besides for working out once in a blue moon, in honestly almost a decade. I’ve always wanted a nice pair but the past styles of shorts never have sat well on my body type; no pun intended. Now everyone has his or her own shape, and unfortunately not all styles and trends look very well on certain shapes. To get to the point, tight, hipster, short shorts are not a flattering look for me (talk about muffins), and I am beyond grateful for current fashion re-accepting the high-waist straight leg cut! I am also grateful for this awesome Colette Pattern that adheres to that cut… with some personal adjustments of course.

Having learned the hard way with my last Colette Pattern I started this project out with a muslin, and I would again HIGHLY recommend doing so for the Iris.  When checking my finished garment measurements I noticed I was ranging between 3 sizes. Knowing I would be using a stretch fabric I decided to make my sample out of the middle size, adjusting appropriately in the areas that needed increasing or decreasing.

After sewing the sample I noticed several alterations would need to happen.

A common fitting issue that I read in some reviews, and discovered myself, was the length of the center front seam. This length totally depends on your body shape and where you would like the waistband to sit on your torso. For me, the center front seam came a few inches lower than the side seams, creating a V effect in the front. This was an easy fix as I planned to adjust this seam anyways to make the shorts high waisted. The pattern is supposed to be a higher rise, but the rise will depend on your body type. For me it came to about mid-rise. If you would like to make the rise higher it is important to measure your “center front seam” from crotch to where you would like your waistband to sit, and then separately measure the same distance from your hip to waistband. Depending on your body type these measurements may not be the same, so your waist-line may not be straight from center front to side seam. As long as you do not add or subtract width from the sides to CF you won’t need to adjust your waistband.

Since I combined 3 different sized patterns to create the best fit for my shape I additionally adjusted the waistband, length, circumference of the leg hole, and added a cuff. All very easy adjustments, and if you find yourself in this position and have any questions please come into the shop and either myself or one of the other lovely gals at Bolt will assist you :)

 Colette is wonderful for their sewing instructions. They provide very detailed and easy to read instructions and links to video tutorials if you need additional visual assistance with certain techniques (I sure do sometimes!).  This pattern is very simple and quick to complete. With making a sample, adjusting the pattern, stopping for a snack and a quick episode of the Twilight Zone, I completed these shorts in just less than 4 hours. Also included in the pattern are versions where you can add pockets and buttons for embellishment. I have been a sucker recently for clean and simple, so I did the most basic version, sans pockets, buttons, and back darts (which I adjusted for in the waistband) to have a very clean finish. The pattern does recommend using a woven fabric, but since I personally dislike any sort of restriction on my lower mid section and do a lot of bending, walking, and bike riding in my daily routine I chose to use a stretch fabric with this woven pattern. The result is the most comfortable short I have ever had! ­­Not to mention it actually fits and flatters! Huzzah!

Finally, a short pattern out there that is an essential summer classic piece that can easily be tailored to any shape and pairs well with a variety of tops. I decided to outfit Iris with the Airelle Blouse by Dear and Doe Patterns, which I will discuss more about in my next blog post.

Happy sewing!