Spring Palette Challenge Week Ten! Phew, I’m done!


Folks, I’m pretty shocked. I actually managed to finish all of the garments I planned for my Spring Palette Challenge within the ten week time frame. I’m pretty proud of myself.

These shorts were my final project, and I finished them last week. I love them! The pattern is an out of print vogue pattern (8365), which I used since it was pretty much exactly what I was looking to sew, so why draft a new one? I think the pattern is pretty good, though I had to make a lot of fitting changes, but that’s expected with any sort of trouser / short. I rotated the crotch forward, lengthened the center back to avoid the dreaded wedgie effect, took them in almost 2 inches (!) at the waist in back.

I also shortened them a little. I’ve been training for running a 10K this month, and I must say, I think the way my legs look these days is a nice side effect of all that mileage! I’m really happy with how strong and healthy I look in these shorts.

The fabric is a bright coral-orange-pink heavy cotton with a bit of stretch. I’m afraid the color is difficult to photograph, but the poor morning light in our current house doesn’t help much. Of course, I’m wearing it with the yellow blouse I also made for the challenge!

I decided to add self-piping to the waistband and pockets, and lined the pockets in a diagonally striped cotton that I already had on hand. I also had some bias binding made with the pocket fabric, so I used that to finish the inner waistband. I am a big big fan of making things that looks as good inside as they do outside. It’s just so satisfying. For the seams, I used a mock flat felled seam.

I already have two or three more pairs of these planned for summer! One in a lilac pique, another in a gingham canvas, and maybe even a polka dot pair.

I hope all of your challenges went as well as mine! I’m definitely up for doing this again for the Fall/Winter season. How about you?

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

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Comments 42

Ms.Cleaver mscleaver.com

Love the piping detail – it adds a subtle “something”

Sarai colettepatterns.com

The piping was really really easy to add because the fabric has a little stretch, so I didn’t need to cut the piping on the bias! It definitely gives it a more finished look, I think.

Jane handmadejane.blogspot.com

Really lovely shorts, they look fabulous on you. And yes, I’d kill for legs like yours! Your yellow blouse looks so sweet with the buttons added too, please tell me you’re going to launch a pattern for it soon?! x

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Stay tuned Jane… coming up this month! I’m going to make a pre-announcement for it soon.

Casey elegantmusings.com

WOW! These turned out great and you look stunning (bravo on your training for the 10K–I’m always in awe of people who can run! I can’t because of a bad knee… Gah!)! The color is amazing too, and reminds me I need to dig up some short lengths of fabric I’ve been hoarding for shorts this summer.

♥ Casey

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Ouch, knee problems seem like the worst. I’ll echo MB’s recommendation for swimming though! I think I like endurance sports for the mental exercise as much as physical.

Anyway, the color is so weird! It looks really pink in some light, and really orange in others. It’s a happy color, whatever it is!

Tilia tilialinden.com

They look great! It’s so handy to have a good shorts/trouser pattern. Once you have the base you can variate so much. :)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Definitely! Caitlin and I have been discussing doing a basic trouser pattern for Fall, perhaps.


You look amazing! I totally agree that is feels wonderful just knowing your clothes are lovely inside as well :)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I think it makes all the difference in whether you wear them too! I feel much more inclined to wear something that feels well made (or even luxurious).

MB @YarnU iPhoneapp v1.2 marybethmakeshats.blogspot.com

Casey, as of earlier this year, I can’t run either…bad ankle. :) Other sports will have to beckon! Horse-back riding will get you into shape quick-o. Ditto swimming, water aerobics. Anyhow, the shorts are cute, Sarai. I dug out a pair I sewed from 1950s fabric a few years ago. I’m ready to make another pair now!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Swimming is the best! I just hate the chlorine. Otherwise, its one of my favorite athletic activities. Like running, it’s somehow really challenging and really relaxing at the same time.

Come to think of it… kind of like sewing!

Ann diyfashiondesigns.blogspot.com

It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL!
I was so sad when I realised that the ten weeks were over soon when I bumped into your Spring Palette Challenge.
I so wanted to do that. Oh well – I’ll join the Summer Palette Challenge – ’cause there will be one, right?!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I was thinking of just doing one for Fall, mostly because I’m going to be sewing so much stuff for my new house for the next few months! But if there’s enough interest, I could be up for hosting another for summer?

Ann diyfashiondesigns.blogspot.com

Oh would love to – maybe a fall is better, have to hand in my Bachelor thesis in May. So anything that start before June won’t for me – so a fall would be nice.
Oooh this makes me want to start planning for it, a new coat and some trousers. Longs sleeves and a button-up…
Also I need to finish my on Cal Patch, pattern making challenge myself first.
I guess I’m trying to say that a Fall-challenge sounds PERFECT!


You rotated the crotch forward? What does that do for fit, and how do you do it???

Sarai colettepatterns.com

It’s very easy. You are basically adding length to the back CB near the crotch, and removing some at the front. This way, the crotch seam sits farther forward on the body.

I found it was too far towards the back on this pattern (at least for my body), which led to too much length in front and some bagginess near the crotch area. It also helped give it more length in back, which made it more comfortable to sit. Basically, it mimics the shape and movement of the body a bit better.


I’m a beginning sewer and I would love to know how you finished the waistband on those shorts. They look so cute! Could you do a tutorial on that sometime?

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I’ll add it to the list! In a nutshell, instead of folding the inner waistband under, it’s finished with bias binding. It’s actually a really easy waistband finish, but you just have to make sure it won’t add too much bulk with your particular fabric.

Meg megthegrand.blogspot.com

I love your shorts! The piping is fantastic, and the contrast pocket is delightful. The color is perfect on you! Also, good luck with your 10k! I feel that running has made my legs look so much better this spring :)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Thanks, it’s my first ever race! I’m still learning the basics, but I think it will be fun.

Amanda sewinintherain.blogspot.com

I love those shorts, very cute! I’d say yes to a fall/winter challenge, but I’m still trying to get through the spring one! :)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I’m actually surprised I finished mine on time! But a Fall/Winter one won’t take place for a while anyway.

Lauren lladybird.wordpress.com

love the shorts! what a great color, and the piping is a perfect detail. i’m also a big fan of making the inside of my garments look pretty – even if no one else can see it, knowing that it’s there is enough to make me smile :)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Definitely, and it’s especially nice when it adds a little extra color of pattern. That’s one reason I love binding and pockets so much.

Nancy toboldlysew.wordpress.com

Gorgeous shorts – and you look great in them! Love the colour – so happy and springlike!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Thanks Nancy! I can’t wait to wear them with sandals and shades… for the one hot week in Portland every year.


Wow, those look great!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Thanks! By the way, I have to ask, did you take your name from The Wind-up Bird Chronicle? It’s what helped me name my two patterns Nutmeg and Cinnamon. :)

Katrina katriniella.wordpress.com

Love the striped pockets and the piping details. And the color is phenomenal! Now if only the weather cooperate for spring!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

No kidding! Of my entire spring challenge wardrobe, the yellow blouse is the only thing I’ve actually been able to wear outside of the house so far!

Brittan brittansalisbury.wordpress.com

These are so awesome! I love inside pocket contrast!

Can you please host another palate challenge? Ill be graduated by that then and will finally have time to sewwwwww!!!!! woohoo!!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

You got it! I think we’ll at least do another in the late summer, for Fall/Winter.


Great job!
I’m so glad to read the blouse will be a pattern, can’t wait to buy it.


Everything turned out beautifully! Can’t wait to hear about new patterns!! :)

lizajane lizajanesews.blogspot.com

I love your shorts! The piping is spectacular.

mahaila ficklesense.blogspot.com

Absolutely loving these! They caught my attention as soon as I saw this post. The teaming of the shirt and the shorts is perfect! and I love the striped material in the pockets. Good luck with your running!

Lee flickr.com

Beautiful shorts. And yes to the Fall Palette Challenge!

Leah strugglesewsastraightseam.wordpress.com

Love the shorts. Love love love. So nice, such a great fit, such an adorable sunny color. I want to do the Fall Palette Challenge, I couldn’t do the Spring but I feel like Fall would be doable for me.

A question, about shorts/pants fabric. What fabrics would you recommend for bottoms? I mean, other then wool. I want to make some trousers and capris and maybe shorts, so what are good heavier weight fabrics that wont break my machine or fall apart as I bike around? I tried googling this with laughable results. I feel like this should be self explanatory but to my chagrin it’s NOT. Anyone can answer, anyone. Bueller? Bueller?

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Leah, you might start a thread in the forum, since I’m sure lots of people would have recommendations!

These shorts are in a heavy cotton twill with a little bit of stretch to it. Cotton twill, pique, and canvas are all great summer options that are very sturdy. Denim is great, of course. Cotton sateen can work, but personally I don’t like the way it shows every little ripple. Linen can be lovely and breathable and sturdy, but it does wrinkle a lot. You can even use lighter fabrics like seersucker, if you are making loose fitting shorts. Generally, lighter fabrics work better with a looser fit.

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