Welcome to the Bamberton Shorts Sew-along! We hope you'll enjoy making these wonderfully comfortable shorts. No matter the variation you choose you have some satisfying construction processes ahead of you.
First let's go ahead and select which design details you plan to sew:
Will you work on some welt pockets? Or add flapped patch pockets? Would you like a knit waistband (soft and comfortably casual, coordinating or contrasting with your main material) or woven (more structured, easier to match exactly to your main material)? Would you like to add contrast details by picking a secondary color for your side panels and even pockets or waistband?
The Bamberton Shorts are best sewn in light to medium weight woven fabrics. Their gathered waistband and wide legs makes them unsuitable for stiffer/heavier weight materials such as canvas. Avoid anything that is too crisp so that the gathers will sit nicely. Batiste, lightweight twills and even quilting cotton will work nicely.
Try a summery seersucker:
An elegant linen:
A sporty quick-dry material:
The Bamberton Shorts are available in two formats in our shop - a women's/curvy pattern and a men's/straight pattern. They feature the exact same design details with the only differences being the body measurement charts they were drafted to fit and the inseam length. The men's pattern has a longer leg than the women's pattern. Both patterns can be easily adjusted to have any inseam length you prefer!
There is a line that you can use to slash and spread or shorten the pattern and instructions included on how to do this within the booklet.
Within the women's and men's patterns are two seperate patterns - one for a smaller size range and one for a larger range. Have a close look at the charts below to find the pattern that suits your dimensions best:
If your hip and waist ration differs from any of the Body Measurement charts above, not to worry! We have graded these patterns to include MANY sizes and nested the pattern pieces in such a way that you can easily grade between the sizes that match your waist an hip measurements. There are also many fitting suggestions within the instruction booklet.
Now that you've decided on a style and size, let's gather the rest of the details before we begin to sew. Aside from fabric, as discussed above, you will also need to select the following notions:
  • Ribbed Knit Material (if you've chosen to sew a knit waistband): Look for 1X1 ribbing that is quite thin. Anything thicker than t-shirt weight will result in a waistband that is too bulky. If you're choosing a knit waistband for comfort, I'd recommend finding something made from bamboo or a bamboo/cotton blend...so soft!

  • Pocket Lining Material: This can simply be your main/self fabric or you can have fun by adding a secret print (quilting cotton or other thin material) or something suited to your intended purpose for the shorts. For example, if you're sewing quick-dry activewear or swimwear you could look for a mesh material that keeps your shorts light and quick-drying.

  • Elastic: The pattern calls for 3/4" elastic which is narrower than the finished waistband. The elastic fits within the drawstring channel so the area above and below the elastic is left unstructured for a very casual looking effect and a comfortable unconstrained feeling when worn. If you prefer a more structured waistband you can choose elastic up to 1 1/2" thick to fill the entire waistband and provide more firm support around the waist. Simply widen the drawstring channel topstitching to match the width of the elastic you chose. Look for braided elastic and, if you are sewing the shorts as swimwear, look for chlorine resistant elastic specifically. If you have a woven elastic in your stash this could work too as long as it isn't especially thick and rigid. The main aim is comfort here!

  • Interfacing: Any light to medium weight woven interfacing will work! It is used to add structure to the drawstring buttonholes and some of the other small design details.
  • Drawstring Cord: The cord you choose can really alter the look of the finished shorts. If you're after something beachy and summery, choose a double woven 5mm cotton cord and simply knot the fraying ends. If you'd like to create activewear, search for something flat like a shoe lace (in a pinch, if you want to shop local and can't find the cord you are after, simply repurpose two shoelaces by sewing them together to create your cord. The seam where they join will be hidden in your drawstring casing).

  • Thread: Remember to select thread colors to suit each of your contrast details unless you want visible topstitching!
  • 2 Buttons (for the patch pocket variation): Any flat style of button measuring 5/8" will work here. Avoid anything with a shank and much depth as these buttons will be sat on!
  • Aglets (optional): If you are knotting your drawstring ends you will not need aglets. Likewise, if you are using shoelaces, your aglets will already be installed. There are many styles of aglets or drawstring end caps. You could even add beads to the end of your drawstrings to contribute to the overall style of the shorts!

June 05, 2024 — Morgan and Matthew Meredith