Summer shorts and clothes swapping

I am not a natural shorts-wearer. I feel a bit self-conscious in them unless the temperature is over 28 degrees, so basically they never see the light of day in the UK.

But I have a trip to Italy coming up and it’s going to be HOT (hooray), so I wanted a pair to take along.

shorts 2

As they’ll only get an outing once a year, I needed a quick and easy pattern. I went for this Burda one from the Februrary 2013 magazine, because there’s no welt pockets, no fly front, an invisible zip, and only two darts to sew.

They were definitely a speedy sewing project. This pair took me less than 2 and a half hours to sew, including cutting out, fiddling around changing the thread in my overlocker for 20 minutes, and unpicking an entire waistband.

This outfit also features a new top that I got at a clothes swapping party a couple of weeks ago, which was organised by

I took Lizzy with me and we had a brilliant time, and I managed to break only one entire glass of wine all over the floor. The swap was very well organised and I came away with two really nice tops.

Here is an embarrassing visual record of our evening (sorry Lizzy)

crazy photobooth picture

Anyway the lovely Fleur who ran the event asked if I’d do a post showing how I styled the things I got, and I’d just finished making two pairs of shorts, so it seemed like a perfect pairing.

I am pretty rubbish at ‘styling’ things anyway, so hopefully my sewing skillz will distract you.

shorts 5

The top above is a green oversized t-shirt from Topshop – the front is viscose and the back and sleeves are jersey, which I think would be an awesome idea for a Scout tee. It’s the perfect summer t-shirt.

Voucher Codes also very nicely gave me 35 pounds to spend on accessories, so I bought these pleasingly massive 70s-style sunglasses and triangle necklace from Urban Oufitters.

The second top I swapped was this chiffon tunic thing from Dorothy Perkins, which caught my eye because of the lovely crochet embellishment on the front.


I’m wearing it with some pink shorts which were my first version of the Burda pattern, made from a fabric remnant I got from the big swap in May. It’s a lovely brushed cotton, but it does wrinkle a lot.

Here’s a better view of the two pairs. The blue ones are some kind of strange imitation linen/wool fabric in polyester from Dalston Mill Fabrics, which drapes really nicely.

shorts 4

I added little covered buttons to the blue one and actually did a blind hem (on the machine, I’m not insane), which seems a tad over the top for shorts but topstitching didn’t look right.

Here’s my notes on this pattern in case anyone who wants to make it:

  • It runs true to size. For my second pair I actually sewed a size 14 as I wanted them to sit further down.
  • They are very high waisted, and really nicely drafted so the back waist sits higher than the front.
  • They’re forgiving to fit. The waistband is just a rectangle you cut yourself, and they taper out from there, so as long as you get your waist circumference right, you’ll be laughing.
  • They only take 0.8 metres of fabric. You can make them from the smallest scrap of material ever. Cheap project!

So now I have at least two of my holiday outfits sorted. Huge thanks to Voucher Codes for organising the party!


36 thoughts on “Summer shorts and clothes swapping

  1. Kathryn August 25, 2016 / 5:43 AM

    I’ve just made these shorts & rediscovered your versions in the process! I think I need to make a navy pair now!

  2. Haylee July 3, 2013 / 7:30 PM

    I’m seriously so glad to have found your blog when I did because these Burda Style shorts have been on my radar for a while now and seeing how cute yours turned out has pushed me to finally make them I think. I love that they only took you 2 and 1/2 hours! I also just really, really love how yours turned out, and your styling is spot on PS, what are you talking about saying you’re a rubbish stylist? Psh, not true at all- I love your entire outfit. That first one especially, I would totally go out and buy that shirt, those shorts, those shoes (!), that necklace, seriously everything. I love the way you put the outfit together.

    • yesilikethat July 4, 2013 / 10:53 AM

      Thank you so much Haylee, that’s really nice of you! The shoes are brand new from Clarks, I am in love with them but they do make me over 6 ft tall so haven’t worn them much yet…

  3. thesecretlifeofseams July 3, 2013 / 6:06 PM

    The shorts look great and you look fab in them too. Your honeymoon sounds dreamy, I love me a good ruin. But how do you all get this fab stuff out of Burda? It always seems like pulling teeth to even get the patterns traced!

    • yesilikethat July 4, 2013 / 10:55 AM

      I tend to block out the tracing process. I was going to post about it but I couldn’t face reliving the ordeal.

      It is brain-meltingly hard to see the lines now Burda cram about 500 patterns on to every sheet. My only tips are to go over the pattern pieces in highlighter once you find them (which takes about 5 hours of intense searching), and then use a very sharp and spikey tracing wheel on the pattern with your tracing paper underneath. I normally limit myself to patterns with less than 4 pieces or I would go mad.

  4. Marie July 1, 2013 / 10:45 PM

    Oooh, these shorts (and the tops you paired them with) are so cute…and you certainly have nothing to be self-conscious about with pins like that ;o) I’m pretty sure your pink brushed cotton is one of the fabrics I took to the swap as it looks suspiciously like my first Miette skirt! Glad it went to a good home, but sorry about the creases…I have the same problem :o(

    • yesilikethat July 2, 2013 / 8:27 AM

      It is lovely fabric though! I used the slightly more linen-y side and kept the brushed cotton on the inside so they’re very nice to wear. I think a few creases in shorts add to the charm 🙂

  5. notches and notions July 1, 2013 / 8:41 PM

    I love these you have the perfect pair of pins to show them off too! Fab!

  6. flossiejamieson July 1, 2013 / 7:54 PM

    I may be a bit slow on the uptake, but are these shorts part of your trousseau? If so, fabulous makes! Not that they wouldn’t be fabulous otherwise, but how lovely to have special honeymoon clothes made by yourself to start your married life. A bit of an old fashioned phrase I’m afraid, but well meant. I hope you have an amazing day and a delightful holiday. I am, as they say in the county next door, well jel.

    • yesilikethat July 1, 2013 / 8:14 PM

      Do you know what, I suppose they are! That’s such a lovely word and idea, I am going to start calling them that 🙂 Thank you so much for your good wishes.

    • flossiejamieson July 1, 2013 / 8:29 PM

      Part of your Trew-Sew! Ha, geddit? Sorry, this pun only just occurred to me so I simply had to pop back and write it down.

    • yesilikethat July 1, 2013 / 9:39 PM

      That is a quality pun my friend.

  7. gingermakes July 1, 2013 / 5:06 PM

    These shorts are so cute! I love them on you, especially with your awesome shades! Have a great trip!

  8. crab&bee July 1, 2013 / 4:27 PM

    Those shorts look perfect on you! Bon voyage!

  9. lizzylikescake July 1, 2013 / 3:23 PM

    Awesome shorts! They look great on you. I save getting lots of leg out for super hot days and holidays also! Makes me feel self conscious. Plus sometimes I worry about my bare legs against the skanky old bus/tube seats……..
    I look rather insane in the photos but it was a very fun night! x

  10. Kelly July 1, 2013 / 3:23 PM

    Those are wonderful summer shorts, and I think your styling is excellent 🙂

  11. Kirsty July 1, 2013 / 1:16 PM

    I adore that first outfit. Must try and chase down that burda pattern.

  12. Donna July 1, 2013 / 11:45 AM

    I know how you feel about wearing shorts (perhaps a bit oddly, since I grew up in Arizona!). Those look fantastic though. Easy to dress up and down. 🙂

  13. dandeliondrift July 1, 2013 / 10:22 AM

    These turned out great! They both look so very professional.

  14. Louisa Blackmore July 1, 2013 / 10:17 AM

    Wow these are amazing! I am not good at sewing but you make it very inspiring. Love both pairs of shorts, they look fab on you. Great choices on the tops too. Have a lovely holiday!

  15. whatkatiedoes (@whatkatiedoes) July 1, 2013 / 9:31 AM

    Oh I love them! Especially like the look of the navy ones with the green tee – great colour combo. I have a scrap of chambray left from my Kelly skirt so think I’ll be picking up this pattern too.

    • yesilikethat July 1, 2013 / 3:16 PM

      I think they’d look great in chambray, I nearly got some from Dalston Mill Fabrics instead of this navy stuff but it was £10 a metre and it just seemed too expensive…

  16. shivani July 1, 2013 / 9:30 AM

    love the shorts! Very flattering. and excellent styling 🙂 Have a super holiday (and is *it* this weekend? If so, hoorah and have an amazing day!) x

    • yesilikethat July 1, 2013 / 3:16 PM

      One more week – it’s on the 13th. Not long! 🙂

  17. Fiona July 1, 2013 / 8:41 AM

    They are lovely shorts! I don’t know why you feel self conscious in them, your legs can totally do shorts! I like your styling choices too! Have an amazing wedding and time in Italy

    • yesilikethat July 1, 2013 / 3:16 PM

      Thank you lady! I definitely will 🙂

  18. Chuck July 1, 2013 / 8:28 AM

    Where are you going in Italy? Not that it really matters, everywhere will be lovely. I am very much with you on ‘shorts are for abroad’, they just look wrong here, although yours aren’t too shortsy (compliment, I promise!). x

    • yesilikethat July 1, 2013 / 3:15 PM

      We’re off to Sorrento for 5 nights, as a base for exploring the Amalfi coast and various Roman ruins. Then we’re staying on Ischia for five nights. I am looking forward to it immensely. Although I may shrivel up and die from the heat, given the average temperature in the UK over the last few years.

  19. Kathryn July 1, 2013 / 7:22 AM

    Both your shorts are lovely! The navy pair look ace with that green top, and that top is gorgeous! The swap sounds like great fun. Enjoy your holiday in Italy!

    • yesilikethat July 1, 2013 / 3:14 PM

      Thanks Kathryn! I can’t wait…

  20. Clipped Curves July 1, 2013 / 7:19 AM

    Both pairs are great. And work well with your swapped tops.

  21. grtescp July 1, 2013 / 7:11 AM

    these look great – and I so get not wearing shorts below 28ºC (or hotter)!

  22. Thea July 1, 2013 / 7:04 AM

    I remain in awe of your ability to make awesome-looking clothes from Burda. Love the shorts, and the styling looks great! I might have to blatantly copy these, but like you, I don’t see much danger of hot weather here, so we’ll see 🙂 Yay for holiday in stylish clothes!

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