Thursday, 26 March 2015

Cocktail Shorts (Vogue 9008)

You: Ooh, what's that?

Front, cocktail shorts (Vogue 9008)

Back, cocktail shorts (Vogue 9008)

Me: They're cocktail shorts!! Wanna see them on?

You: Sure, knock yourself out, take them for a spin, do a little dance...

Vogue 9008 cocktail shorts - perfect for dancing

You: Woah there Nelly, enough with the dancing - I was KIDDING! Let's get those lights back on pronto. OK, have you calmed down? Deep breaths, think of something sad...

Right, now let's have a proper look at the side and front views. Sensibly though. And I think we'll leave the back view for now - I know what you're like when you're in a silly mood!

Me: It's OK, I'm not going to do any more dancing!  Side then front, yes?

Side view, Vogue 9008 shorts
Front view, Vogue 9008 shorts

You: You know, they do actually look like cocktail shorts - not that I even knew there was such a thing, but I guess shiny silver would be about right. What's the fabric?

Me: Who knows, who cares! These are just for fun; they're the practice shorts! It's not like I actually GO to cocktail parties these days, is it.  I was actually going to make cushion covers with the fabric* but I just couldn't be...

*: Fabric source: Home Dec department in Lincraft. 

You: So they're just a muslin?  I was wondering if you'd really wear silver shiny shorts out - you had me going there for a bit!!!  Let me have another look at them... turn around slowly would you, I want to check something...

Side and back, Vogue 9008 shorts

Front, Vogue 9008 shorts
You: So have you made the real shorts yet? If not - don't take this the wrong way, and the cocktail shorts ARE great - well, they're just a smidge on the snug side, aren't they!  You'll make them a bit bigger in the final version, won't you?

Me: Yeah, I know... I haven't even shown you the waistband yet, have I:

Too tight, Vogue 9008 shorts

Me: So I do know they're too tight, but I kind of got carried away and cut out the next ones before I'd checked the fit of these properly...

You: Sigh... then maybe you just need to cut down on the chips or something...

You: Look, why don't you just tell me about the sewing pattern or something?


You're invited to cocktails at 7 o'clock. Dress: shorts.


Once upon a time there was a pair of shorts.

No, make that a couple of pairs of shorts; these shorts. But they were the ONLY ONES left on the Sass & Bide sale rack that day... 

Up close they looked beautifully made.  No internal debates - I tried on the largest size - oh, please, gorgeousness! But alas, it was not to be. Although they fastened, the shorts were just too small. And yet somehow they still looked flattering on... 


I headed back to the ranch as quickly as the corporate workday and commuter train would take me, and soon enough found myself flicking through patterns - which would it be, which could it be?

Bingo! Vogue 9008, view B would be my starting point:

And then I promptly fell off piste.

Here are the (easy!) modifications I made to the straight size 14, view B version of V9008:
  • removed the fly from centre front
  • added an invisible zip in centre back
  • removed the waistband from front pieces
  • added waistband length to front leg pieces
  • continued angle / wrapover of back leg pieces all the way up to waist
Although the shorts photo above shows there's a pleat front on my inspiration shorts, my memory didn't even register the pleats, and swapped the front waist band to a back yoke. View E would have been a better match, but once view B has been modified to fit (ha! that's going to have to be for shorts number 4) I assume its crotch curve and other basic measurements will be consistent to view E.

And for the sewing? I probably could have found some stripes in my stash, but I wanted to test my modifications first. So I dug out this unloved home dec fabric, and end even though I was thinking these would just be test shorts I found I couldn't help myself - I pattern-matched on CF and CB, and I tried to place the florals and swirls at an attractive height and location. My pattern placement isn't spot on - I think the back florals should really be at the same height as the front ones, and the "moustaches" on the front waistline look silly - but these shorts look much better than I expected, and I can imagine wearing them out for drinks if I had that kind of a lifestyle :).

Fit wise, as you can tell from the photos above, there are some big problems. I probably need to start by going up a size, and then by drawing a longer waistband piece. I should use a fabric that has a bit more give than this shiny stuff, And I also need to compare this pattern to some pants that fit and work out where the crotch curves are different... 

Straight after finishing these I cut out another pair from a small piece (0.55 metres!) of blue and white striped cotton ticking, and then another pair from an old favourite skirt that hasn't fitted me in a very long time. I didn't alter the size for the striped pair as I wanted to see how much difference the fabric would make, but with the brown pair I used narrower seam allowances and also lengthened the back darts. Both pairs are nearly done but I've now misplaced the facings. When I finish these I'll share them with you, and THEN for shorts #4 I'll try to get a bit closer to that inspiration pair at the top of this post - and yes, there will be a 4th pair!

See you soon!

- Gabrielle xx


  1. You are on to something with these here shorts :)

  2. katherine.peter26 March 2015 at 08:58

    Cute shorts. If you don't go out for cocktails these days, perhaps you could wear them for sundowner drinks on the lawn at home? It can be fun to dress up at home s well.

  3. Oh you make me laugh Gabrielle! Good choice of top... covers that gape! They look really good though.

  4. Such a fun post! I love the look of these shorts. Maybe I should make a pair like this for myself :)

  5. Thanks chacha! Fingers crossed that the fabric in the next 2 pairs has enough give to help the shorts fit me better :)

  6. lifeinamadshouse27 March 2015 at 04:55

    Oooo, nice shiny shorts! I would wear that fabric in a second, manufacturer's intentions be damned. :-) Loved this post, too--so funny! I hope you'll make a striped pair a la the inspiration photo, and I might just copy you and do the same!

    (Incidentally, the striped shorts photo reminds me of an outfit set at H&M about 18 months ago--it was essentially a "Sl*tty Beetlejuice" outfit complete with shorts, a blazer, and a sheer tank top, all in the same B&W vertical stripe worn by Beetlejuice himself. I still regret not buying the whole kit!)

  7. I never get to go out for cocktails these days Katherine - or dancing! Sundowner drinks sounds great though; maybe I need to invite some people over :).

  8. You are set for the next fancy dress party at least! Pants are such an interesting garment to make I look forward to seeing how the curves differ.

  9. Oh good, I'm always glad to cause a bit of laughter :). Thanks, they're obviously a bit shiny for daytime but I think they're OK considering they're home dec shorts - I just need to cut back on treats for a little while to help them fit!

  10. Thanks fooniks! The later the time of posting, the sillier the post :). Yes, do try a pair of these for yourself! They're kind of fun, aren't they - and I forgot to mention it above, but they only used about 0.6m of fabric!

  11. You. Are. Hilarious. And I want to go drink cocktails with you in those shorts pronto. Surely we can both find babysitters for one night (hubbies perhaps!!??). Truly they are the business. If only they were comfy I reckon you could give the Mums on the school drop off a run for their money. Jokes. Forge on, lovely, and get that 4th pair happening.

  12. OMG you are funny and sew so quickly! A FOURTH pair.

    I would totally wear these, (and have used upholstery fabric for shorts a few times now, great success) but I'd hem them shorter. I like short shorts! ;)

  13. Very cute. I can see them sashaying across a dance floor - you would have to cover that back waistband. Very groovy.

  14. Fabric Epiphanies30 March 2015 at 12:22

    They are a really great cut and cocktail shorts should be a thing! Maybe they are and are actually hotpants! Given it is autumn, are you going somewhere summery soon?

  15. BWAH HA HA! This is the best!!!

  16. I know - who cares what someone thought the fabric would be used for!! I want to try to make those shorts but the weather here is cooling down fast :( so the shorts plans might have to go on hold...

    Oh that sounds like such an excellent outfit - I love the sound of it! Maybe you should recreate it!?

  17. Yes, that's true! I know - I find it very interesting to compare the shapes of different pants patterns, but I still find it hard to envisage what those small changes in curves do to the fit :). And speaking of intetesting pants, a huge congratulations on your winning jeans!

  18. Shall we do it??? First you would need to fashion yourself some sort of coordinating shiny upholstery outfit - or I'd be embarrassed! Ha!

    I am looking forward to shorts #4, very much so - argh but the weather feels like it's turning!

  19. Oh thank you kindly Veronica!

    Upholstery fabric can be so cool, can't it - I can absolutely imagine you rocking these shorts, definitely shorter though!

  20. Thanks Beajay, apart from that annoying optimistically too-small waistband I would LOVE to take these shorts out dancing - actually I'd love to go out dancing, full stop!

  21. Thanks Andrea, it's a very nice little pattern!

    Yes, maybe they are a thing somewhere? Given cocktail pants, cocktail shorts should be the tropical equivalent, shouldn't they? No, sadly no exciting travel plans, just a case of sewing where my whims take me!

  22. Thanks Amanda :). The tireder I get, the harder it is to hold back the tide of silliness... Late nights rock!


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