Pattern Reviews

Fitting the Shorts, Part 2 – True Bias Lander Shorts

True Bias Lander shorts in light blue hero

(Let’s talk about crotches, baby!)

I feel like I should title this FITTING! THE! SHORTS!!! This has been the ultimate journey, and yet I know full well we are just at the beginning of fitting actual pants. But for the moment, I really want to revel in the feeling of having decent fitting shorts.

The Lander shorts took 2 muslins, 2 fully made garments, and this journey began all the way back in July. Two whole months toiling over crotch fit, which is super fun when you have both a junk in the truck AND hood AND you’re also short in the pelvis.

I got the crotch curve right after the first muslin, though the waistband was still too big so I followed Lladybird’s hack for adding elastic after the fact and they’re passable.

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I really love the color of that first pair so I just kind of grin and bear it. Though those pretty buttons keep popping off no matter how many times I sew the damn things back on…

Still, the rise was still too high on both the front and back. I finally made a second muslin where I dropped the waist to the corresponding area, blended together at the side seam. AND IT WORKED!


This time I decided to make the zipper version because of the aforementioned button fiasco. Let me pause here so I can sing the m’f’g praises of Kelli’s instructions. I had inserted a zipper in a different pair of pants and the instructions for those were kind of baffling. When I compared Kelli’s way of doing it to theirs, which by the way also includes 4 extra steps and illustrations for this seemingly complicated procedure, I was blown away. I know not everyone needs their hand held through a zipper insertion, but I do, thank you very much. And Kelli delivered!

Someone on Instagram asked me if the additional zipper expansion pack was worth buying. I wholeheartedly screamed YES! Not only do you have a few changes to the front opening and waistband, the instructions alone are worth the extra $6. Do it. You will NOT regret it.

So back to this version of the shorts. Zippered, pockets on the inside, and lowered rises. Once again I added an inch to the inseam, and needed to add the elastic to the back waist, but I actually kind of like that look. It’s comfortable, and not immediately obvious that they have an elastic waist while I’m wearing them.

True Bias Lander shorts in light blue back shot

Because I blended the back rise from a size 8 at center back to a size 4 at the side seam with a size 18 width, I wasn’t sure what to do about the back pockets. I didn’t put them on yet because I wanted to fit the pants right. I also didn’t know which corresponding marks to use. The size 18 would have them centered, but up too high. I didn’t know if the size 8 or 4 would be better, so I waited until they were done to check placement…and now I don’t think I want them. The front pockets are large enough to fit my massive iPhone, so maybe I won’t put them on. What do you think?

Oh I also got a new toy!! After fooling around with a stupid cheap jeans button on El Husbando’s Cargo Shorts, I invested in both good quality 17mm buttons AND a press to insert them from Gold Star Tools in downtown LA, which I visited for a little sewing retail therapy. It wasn’t the cheapest machine, I think it was actually more expensive than my first sewing machine, but definitely made this incredibly easy. Worth all $69 of its pink glory. And I really appreciate the padded handle.

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I think I might close up the buttonholes on my first pair and just add these jeans buttons to them instead.

The fabric is a lightweight blue and peach double-sided cotton remnant I picked up at Chic Fabric Remnants in Long Beach. It’s a tiny store crammed full of a seemingly random selection of fabric and thread, and nothing is labeled so I really have no idea what kind of weave this actually is. It’s not as stiff as quilting cotton or the poplin I used for the first pair. I also picked up the only 2-yard scrap they had, and that was last winter so I doubt they still have any. Regardless, it was really easy to work with though lighter weight than called for, and the jeans zipper I got at Joann’s was close enough to the blue color that I was happy about it.

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I love my Lander shorts so much. I’m so glad I stuck with this pattern until I got the fit right. Now I’m wondering if I should try the full length Lander pant. I certainly do not need any pants right now, as we’re in week 8,000 of melty hot heat in Los Angeles. And they’re blue! I actually wondered about which color side to use, but between the #sigcotm being blue and this shade being more neutral than the peach side, I went with the blue.

I cannot overstate how happy I am with these shorts. I truly feel like I unlocked some kind of sewing achievement by getting the rise down to me-size. All pants I’ve ever bought or made have had a dropped crotch and I just hate it! I feel like a wizard! IT’S THE BEST FEELING!

True Bias Lander shorts in light blue full body shot
True Bias Lander shorts in light blue hero closeup
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