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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Chataigne shorts

P1130533Last summer I was trying on shorts off the Anthropologie sale rack, and when I checked the labels it seemed like every single pair was made in China. Then of course came the inevitable declaration of seamstresses the world over from time immemorial: I can make these!

So here’s a (typically belated) two-in-one sewing post: the Chataigne shorts from Deer and Doe, two versions from the same linen-rayon blend recommended by Ashley at Grey’s Fabric in SoWa. (I LOVE Grey’s. Love love love. Superlative customer service; gorgeous selection of fabrics, patterns, notions, and random gifty things; they sell Taza at the register!!; and now I have a punched-up rewards card giving me $10 off my next purchase.)


I made a pear-green pair last August; then, wanting something more practical, I went back to Grey’s this spring and picked up some more of the linen-rayon blend in a medium gray.

I don’t have much in the way of notes or mods on this pattern, as the instructions are delightfully clear (unlike commercial sewing patterns, which is why indie designers like Deer and Doe, Colette, Victory, et al. are doing so well). The attention to detail is terrific without getting too fiddly apart from the V-shaped waistband, which is totally worth ripping and re-sewing a few times to get just right. (Also, a sewing PSA: diligent rounds of pressing are crucial to a successful finished garment!) I definitely want to make more Deer and Doe patterns (like this one and this one and maybe this one).


photo (6)

Faux pockets. Photo by Valaree.


I haven’t done this yet, but my only suggestion (if you are using a linen or linen blend similar to this one) is to apply Fray-check along the seams to keep them from fraying too much over time. Also, I always hand wash these shorts. (I wash every garment I make by hand.)

The green pair were a really good confidence-booster for me. I started my garment-a-month sewing challenge feeling way more competent than I had before!


msva group pic at victoria's launch

With Danielle, Jen, Lois and Adrienne at Victoria’s book launch.


When my “I love animals too much to eat them” t-shirt arrived in the mail from Herbivore I squee’d at how perfectly the lettering matches my green shorts. One of my new favorite outfits for sure. (They’re really wrinkly in that photo, but in fairness to the linen-rayon blend, I had been sitting on the bus for four hours!)



Pair #2. Photo by Faith.


I have another new dress to show you next!


2 Comments to Chataigne shorts

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    August 7, 2015 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    The shorts look great! I don’t have the inclination to sew my own but I did just get a bunch of super cute clothes at the local thrift store.

  2. Susan Grant's Gravatar Susan Grant
    August 7, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    They do look great. And you look like a model in a fashion magazine!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.