Please welcome Stephanie with a really simple and great tutorial to shorten your Bryce Cargo Pants into a pair of bermuda shorts. Note that if you want to shorten them further, the leg opening tends to get slightly wider as you decrease the inseam length. I suggest starting by adding 1/4″ – 1/2″ on the inseam and outseam for a 3″ inseam and reducing it as the inseam gets longer.
This spring I had my heart set on making a pair of Bryce Cargo Pants. I wanted to shop for fabric in the store, but due to the pandemic, everything but grocery stores were closed. So, I found the most beautiful color of mint stretch twill from Koshtex.
I waited for a sample, then ordered my fabric. Problem was, NO ONE online had this exact color of thread to match my fabric! I ordered a catalog for Guterman thread, I scoured the internet, and still came up empty. This was very irritating because I knew my big box store down the road had it, and yet their website wouldn’t let me choose in store pick up. Grrr….Anyway, eventually the store opened again and I got my thread. It matched perfectly! I chose to use some pretty buttons for the back pockets and a jeans button for the waistband.
If you’re scared to use your pretty fabric to muslin a pants pattern, I recommend using your less expensive fabric first. But let’s be honest…some of us are impatient, and we don’t like muslining something we aren’t going to wear. This is why I have a habit of muslining any pants pattern in my pretty fabric as SHORTS!
Most fit issues take place in the top ⅓ of a pants pattern. By muslining your pants pattern as shorts, you use less of your precious fabric for a pattern you may potentially want to improve for subsequent iterations.
Also, making shorts is fun!
Bermuda Shorts Drafting Changes:
Adrianna recommended the following drafting changes to convert the Bryce Cargo Pants into bermuda shorts:
- Lower the rise by ⅜” in the front. The rise adjustment is to help balance the way shorts sit on your body and fall from your hips vs. the way pants sit on your body. It’s a small thing but it definitely helps the fit and comfort. This is done using the slash method https://designerstitch.com/how-to-shorten-your-front-rise/ and overlapping at the hip point. This is from the lower pocket point to just under the fly flap and for the back it’s from crotch notch to hip notch.
- Straighten out the inseam and the outseam equally. The Bryce Cargo Pants are a more fitted pant, and bermuda shorts have more ease in the thighs. Because I already have thin thighs, I only added ½” ease at the bottom edge of my shorts and blended this line up towards the crotch (for the inseam) and towards the hip (for the outseam).
I have a short laundry list of fit issues to tackle, the most infamous being my low/flat derriere. That’s right…there ain’t much junk in this trunk. This can be improved upon, by doing squats, but the last 5 months in quarantine have reduced my strength training regimen to, well…nothing most of the time. Hey, but I’ve been sewing masks! That’s good for something, right?!
I also have to adjust for my petite height (5’1”), which for me means taking 2” out of the upper thigh for shorts, and removing ⅜” from the rise. I need a flat pubis adjustment. If you have this fit issue, but haven’t tackled this adjustment, you should! It will change your life. I grade a few sizes bigger from the hips to the waist. To top it all off, I have slim/thin thighs to adjust for.
As you can imagine, shopping for pants is no walk in the park either, and always left me disappointed. Fitting pants takes some time but is SO WORTH IT!!! RTW pants and shorts don’t fit me and they are often uncomfortable. My me-made pants and shorts are not perfectly fitted, but they are loads better than what I can buy. They are comfortable, and I love them.
To help with my flat derriere fit issue, I used a very specific kind of adjustment called a fish eye adjustment https://iconicpatterns.com/2012/01/14/muller-vs-fish-eye-dart-the-full-cream-version/ . I may need to tweak this adjustment, but it did take out some of the extra fabric just below my seat area.
There is still some wrinkling in the back of the shorts, but I’m very pleased with the result! These remind me a bit of chinos I could buy at the store. The topstitching on the pockets is a fun detail. These shorts are actually a fun neutral and could be worn with navy, grey or black, in addition to green tones. Lots of options!
Design Changes Made:
I liked the idea of simple bermuda shorts, so I omitted the leg pockets. I omitted the belt loops because I never wear belts. I can always add the loops later if I change my mind.
I’m really glad I could finish these (in September) before the weather cools down. Also, with autumn on my mind I’m already thinking of what fabric I want to make my Bryce Cargo Pants version in!
Thank you so much for sharing your cute shorts, Stephanie! I love the versatility of turning pants into shorts!