As our final pattern for the #CurvyYearofSewing Extras and Accessories Theme, we wanted to share a pattern option to answer a question that is often asked in the CSC Facebook group: What do you wear under skirts or dresses? Whether its to prevent chub rub (yes!), preserve modesty, or help when chasing kids around, it seems like a lot of us are looking for some sort of shorts option to wear under our dresses. Well, Tanya and Megan are both happy to recommend the Seamwork Kaye shorts as a great option! We both tried them out in different fabric options, so we have lots of information to share.
This pattern has both a bralette and shorts option.
The shorts feature:
- A fairly inclusive size range: 25″/36 cm – 46″/117 cm waist and 35″/89 cm – 58″/147 cm hip
- Seamwork uses a different draft for plus sizes (16-26) which will hopefully result in a better fit
- Negative ease designed for knits with at least 25% stretch
- Lots of opportunity for pattern hacking and customization!
- Measurements: Bust –45″/114cm, Bra Size – 40C, Waist – 42″/104cm, Hips – 53″/130cm, Height – 5’7″/170cm
- Body Shape: Pear
- Pattern size used: I used the 2X, which is the size I measure into.
- Alterations: For my first version (above in pink), I mostly sewed the shorts as drafted. When it came to the waistband, I inserted it like I would a neckband, stretching it as I sewed. I would say its 4 or so inches shorter than drafted, I don’t think they would have stayed up with the waistband as drafted. Instead of folding and hemming as suggested in the pattern directions, I added fold over elastic to the hem to help keep them in place throughout the day. As you can see in the photos of the pink version, I had some crotch length issues. For the second version (below in purple) I added one inch the back rise and removed one inch from the front rise.
- Fabric: The pink fabric is an athletic knit from Joann Fabrics, which has about 25-50% stretch. I highly recommend this fabric if you want to use this pattern for chub rub prevention, its very lightweight, quick dry, and shouldn’t cause too much static cling. The purple fabric is rayon spandex blend with quite a bit more stretch, I intend to use these for loungewear around the house, so I used a more comfortable fabric.
- Fit: Overall, the fit on me is fine. If I was going to wear these alone, not just under something, I might nit-pick the crotch curves but in this case, I’m just going to let it go! I will say that I originally thought the back and front pieces were swapped because the front crotch curve is much longer than the back. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but this makes the inseam and crotch seam sit a little further back on my body, which should be good for minimizing chaffing. After I adjusted the rise as described above, I am pretty happy with the fit.
- Changes for future versions: I have already altered the back crotch curve for future versions. I scooped it out a bit more and added more length near the crotch point. I always need more room for the booty. There will be many more versions of this pattern! And, as you can see below, I tried out the bralette too (review coming this week on my blog).
Measurements: Bust – 49″, Waist – 43″, Hip – 54″
Body Shape: Pear-ish/Spoon
Pattern Size Used: XL/2X
Alterations: I added 1″ of leg length to the lengthen/shorten line for my last versions. I also did not hem them and sewed on stretch lace instead which also helped to elongate the leg. I needed elastic in the jersey knit waistbands.
Fabric: I used rayon, cotton and bamboo jersey knits. Two of them (the black pairs) have a heavy-ish cotton double knit waistband. All of these fabrics were remnants from my stash.
Fit: For my first version (not shown) I sewed a 2X in rayon jersey following the directions and they literally fell down off me while I was walking. With my second version of cotton jersey, I sized down and added elastic to the waistband and they fit great. For my third/fourth versions, I made them out of rayon jersey and used double knit for the waistband and I didn’t need the elastic to hold them up. For my fifth version (the ivory shorts with lime green stretch lace), I sized down as with all of the others and they are a bit more slim fitting as that particular rayon jersey has less stretch than my other fabrics. They are wearable, but it seems like for me, if I’m using a fabric with less stretch, than I will cut out my regular size. I love the fit with my alterations and they stay up at my waist and down on my legs with the stretch lace. I literally walked miles in my shortlettes in heat and humidity and I was comfortable and chafe-free.
Changes for Future Versions: I’m going to add another 1/2″-1″ to the length on future pairs. I’d also like to try some foldover elastic on the leg instead of stretch lace and see how I like that. I’d also like to experiment with a crotch gusset and see how that works.
Thoughts: I love how quick and easy these are to make and they are certainly a life saver in the heat to prevent chafing. I used remnant fabrics from my stash (and notions — the stretch lace and elastics were all in my stash, too) and I didn’t buy fabric specifically for these. My favorite combo for future versions would be bamboo jersey with a ponte/double knit waistband, although I would also like to try cotton modal and the athletic knit that Megan used for hers. I’d recommend sewing your first pair in your size according to the measurement chart. After that, experiment with how you want them to fit and how much stretch your fabrics have to find out how to make this pattern work for you.
Before I made these shortlettes [as I’m calling them], I used other methods to deal with chafing and I have to say that I prefer wearing these. I can confidently walk around comfortably in heat and humidity in my dresses and along with no “chub rub”, I also don’t worry at all if my skirt flies up as I’m covered with these shorts. I’ll probably make 10 more. Well… maybe not 10 more as I already have 5 pairs, but perhaps 5 more in neutral/nude colors. 🙂