Gateway to Pants – Sew Caroline Boardwalk Shorts

Colder temperatures are finally making their way to the Los Angeles area so I can now start looking at transitional pieces.

With that in mind, allow me to introduce you to something called the California uniform. It’s comprised of a hoodie, shorts, and flip flops. I fully admit that it makes no sense whatsoever to wear a sweatshirt with shorts, but it’s what we do. Apparently Californians only get cold on top.

I didn’t even realize this was a thing until I went to college on the east coast. When you grow up dressing a certain way, I guess you don’t give it much thought. But in college someone pointed out that we Californians all dressed this way, and so it became known as the uniform.


And so that’s how I styled my kelly green boardwalk shorts, with a hoodie. I had the shorts fabric left over from making my (unblogged) Upton that I’m wearing in my profile pic. It was très cheap quilting cotton from Joann’s and the perfect weight for a summer short.

The last time I wore these before this shoot was in October in Florida, where humidity was approximately 1,000%. I don’t know how people survive in those conditions but at least my shorts were nice and cool.

The pattern is very simple with a front, back, pockets(!!!), and a paper bag waistband. I finally learned what a paper bag waistband was when making these shorts. The elastic runs through a channel in the middle of the waistband, allowing the top of it to ruffle, kind of like a paper bag…? I’ve since learned that I don’t like it as a waist feature. It draws attention to the muffin. No like!

Anyway the pattern is only found in Sew Caroline’s Weekend Style book. This is a very cute and full color book of about 15 patterns all available via PDF in the enclosed CD.

I opted for the extra large size given my hip measurement at the time. The pattern sewed together very easily though the pocket pieces didn’t seem to match up properly. One was slightly bigger than the other, maybe to create a bag? I don’t know.

I am not one for short shorts so I added 2 inches of length below the crotch, at the lengthen/shorten lines. Then I ended up rolling the hems up 2 inches in a makeshift cuff, so lengthening turned out to be totally unnecessary.

All in all, it was a quickie make even for someone who had never made proper pants before. I failed at leggings twice trying a self-drafted method but my (also unblogged) Megan Nielsen Virginia leggings were okay. I did learn that I needed a crotch adjustment for this. The crotch hangs a little too low for me so I had to raise it about 1/2”. Pants fascinate me because I can’t “see” the finished product in the flat pattern. It’s kind of like a dark magic the way the pattern wraps around the body to make an actual wearable garment. So finally taking a dive into them AND having to learn how to make an alteration was exciting. I feel like I leveled up a peg!

I haven’t had a chance to remake the pattern since altering it. I do want to though, because I think that will be helpful in moving on to the main event: pants! Shorts are like the gateway drug to pants. So now that I have that accomplishment under my belt, let’s see if I can tackle the big boss.

Everything can be related to a video game.


Pattern Recap: 
Pattern: Sew Caroline Boardwalk Shorts
Size: Extra Large
Modifications: added 2 inches at lengthen/shorten line, added 2 inch cuffs
Notes for next time: raise crotch 1/2″, remove additional length

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