Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Clever Charlotte Finch Shorts Tutorial ~ Finch goes Formal

I finally finished my fabulous Finch shorts and they are indeed fantastic!
Now,to put some furphy's to bed!
They do not have dozens of pieces to sew,the cuffs and waist are in several pieces to give you a very chic finish.
They are not tricky,the instructions are very,very clear and the pieces are well notched.

There you go,don't fret,do buy this pattern!

Just to reassure you,I blogged the construction!
(It's a long one,you may need coffee and chocolates)

As per instructions,transfer your markings.
I carefully poked a hole in my pattern and then used my tailors chalk pencil to make a dot.

Transferred markings

Interface the front waistband,I double interfaced mine as I use a soft product and I didn't want the waist band to roll(disregard my piecing,I live a long way from the shops)!

Shorten your stitch length to 2mm. This is a great tip when sewing small fiddly things that will require turning.
Thank you Charlotte!

Following the instructions,sew the side tabs together.
I like to mark the centre with a chalk line so I know when to pivot.

This can help find the centre when sewing.

Pivot on the chalk line.

Trim the tabs,turn,and gently push out the corners.

Top stitch the edge.
I added a velvet ribbon trim-twice-long story!

I decided to interface the front tab.

Pin the front tabs together leaving a 2 inch opening for turning.

Trim the seams. Turn and press.

Topstitch around the edge securing the opening.

Re-set your Stitch length!
(you guessed it,I forgot)

The front piece
The instructions are very clear on making the pleats,the pattern has arrows to show you the pleat direction.
I find it helpful to draw my fold lines in.

Fold on one line to match the other and then press in place.

Pin pleats top and bottom.

The front legs.

The back legs only have pleats at the bottom.

The back leg

Baste the pleats in place just inside the seam allowance.

I pre-neatened the inner leg seam with a narrow zigzag.

Right sides together,stitch a front to a back at the inner leg and press the seam open.
Next time I shall overlock these seams together and the stagger the seam allowance when sewing the crotch seam. 
Not sure what I mean? Have a peep here!
It will save some time and I am sure it will sit just fine!

Next sew the two front and back sections together.
I placed my pieces together,clipped the curves and then neatened the seams separately.

Neatening the clipped edge.

The neatened edges ready to be sewed.

Pin together.

The sewn seam.

Press the crotch seam open.
Next time I think I will sew the seam and press to one side.
I will let you know how it goes!

Again,consider neatening the side seams before sewing them together.

Sew the seams.

Press them open.

Turn and press!

Pin and sew the side tabs in place as directed.
You may choose to sew your buttons on at this stage.

Following the instructions,sew a front cuff to the back cuff.
This will give you 4 loops,2 main cuffs and 2 lining cuffs.

Press all the seams flat.

Attach the cuffs to the shorts.
I follow a similar method to Charlottes,however I do mine ''backwards'' as I like to top stitch.

So I pin the right side of the cuff lining to the wrong side of the shorts.

Sew in place.

Trim the seams as per instructions.

Press well making sure the seams are down towards the cuffs.

Pin the right side of the main cuff to the right side of the cuff lining and sew.

I like to pre-press the seam allowance up before sewing in place.

Sewn,trimmed and pressed cuff.

Fold the cuff in place and press well along the seam.

One cuff ready to be sewn.
It can be helpful to turn the shorts in side out to sew this.

Top stitched!

Matching the notches,sew the two back waist bands pieces to the front waist band.
Press the seams open.

Sew the back waist band pieces together and you should have 2 loops.

Follow the instructions pin the waistband to the shorts top.
I sew the right side of the waist band lining to the wrong side of the shorts top.

Trim the seam.

Press the seam up to the waist band.

Consider pre-folding the seam allowance before attaching the waistband.

Attach the right side of the main waistband to the right side of the waistband lining.

Press and trim the seams.

Fold and press along the seam.

Topstitch the waistband leaving a 2 inch gap at both side seams to thread elastic through.

Giving the waistband a jolly good pressing!

Stitch and press.

Measure the elastic,there is a chart in the pattern instructions.
Thread the elastic through the back of the shorts

Stitch the elastic in place at one edge of the back waistband.

Pull the elastic through and catch with a pin before checking the fit.

Yes Darling,there are pins in it!

Sew the elastic in place and finish the waistband opening.

Pin the waist tab in place and sew on the buttons.

I did re-inforce my front tab-just in case!

We are excited!!!!!!

Fabulous Finch!

Fantastic Finch!!!!

Gorgeous to sew,gorgeous on,very special shorts indeed!
Clever Charlotte,you are on to a winner!

Is anyone still out there?

x N


  1. oh these are so lovely!! I love the trim you added and the front is just beautiful. It's hard to find "girly" shorts as lovely as these. Thank you for posting the making of these fab shorts! They are must have for my little girl this next summer.

  2. Fab Nicole! I can't wait to see them modeled as part of an outfit!

  3. I've always wondered if I could piece interfacing like that!!! I always end up tossing out little scraps. I will give it a try next time :)

    I love these shorts, Nicole. Gorgeous.

  4. I'm out there!
    Thanks so much for blogging this Nicole! I really feel that I can make them now :-) (with many checks back to your tute!)

  5. I have made a pair for Ella - just need to add the buttons that I have been waiting close to two weeks for. I have heard a couple of things about there being 'so' many pattern pieces, but I didn't think there were any more than necessary to create a really nice pair of shorts.

  6. Just went back and checked your interfacing piecing - well done that is an achievement. I have pieced interfacing a couple of times, but that is extreme dedication to the interfacing scraps.

  7. Great post Nicole, might buy this one now. Thanks for the permission to eat choccie at 7am too!

  8. This is sooo on my list of must-get patterns. You've done such a fantastic job!

  9. Honestly, Nicole--you should be making a commission from the pattern companies! You've more than once sold me with your lovely renditions and/or your pictorial assistance. These Finch shorts are gorgeous! And how often does one get to use the words"gorgeous" and "shorts" together?!

    xo, MM

  10. Oh WOW!
    Thank you Sharon,Millie,Sandi,Justine,Jen,Claire,Susanne and Margaret!
    I know it is so long AND I left bits out but they are so nice to sew and very straight forward.
    The Twins are begging for School short versions.

    PS,If you are a perfectionist (Woo hoo Angela)the inside seams could easily be pressed to one side and bound!

    Thank you all for reading!
    x N

  11. Nicole:

    We love your "Tuxedo Shorts" and the great tip about marking the pivot points on the tabs--why didn't we think of that??

    Erin, Carla & Charlotte

  12. Thank you Erin and Carla!

    I am pleased Charlotte approves! The Finch Shorts definitely get the thumbs up in our household!
    x N

  13. Nicole, I'm about to start these shorts, thank you for this tutorial! I was planning on making them up in wool. Thicker than wool suiting fabric, more like a thin coating. Do you think the pleats will be a problem? I worry they won't be crisp. Perhaps I can top stitch them in place, or on the underside like in the O&S Music Box Jumper.

    Kelly (Donovan)

    1. Hi Kelly, I think they would be stunning in wool.
      If you want a really crisp pleat I actually blogged another tute here I wonder if you press a thin strip of interfacing at the fold line and then top stitch if that would give you a really firm pleat.

      and here is one for lining them

      Good luck
      xx N

  14. Thank you thank you thank you! As usual, you're a source of great inspiration. I'll line and topstitch per your advice, and might even get a little crazy and add some pockets!

  15. May I also ask how you pre-treat/wash your wool? I found some tutorials, and have considered just dry cleaning for future washes, but want to avoid the chemicals on little bodies if possible.

  16. I pre-wash my wool in Softly(a recognised wool wash)on the wool cycle of my machine. I then dry it on a large wooden clothes horse.
    I do not handle dry cleaning chemicals so I am pretty sure the children may react too,thus it is not an option for me.
    If you are worried how the wool will handle hand washing,wash a sample,wool is pretty tough .
    In between wears,woollen garments rarely need laundering. An air,a quick brush will remove mud or smuts and a damp flannel (facewasher)will remove most spots or soils. I like to use a few drops of lemon juice in the flannel rinsewater.
    Sorry for the huge answer!

  17. Thank you, Nicole! Just washed my wool on my wool setting and it's drying on my dining table beautifully. Very helpful!

  18. I am so pleased!
    Wool is wonderful to work with.
    Have you sewn with it before,if not there may be some helpful tips in the post .
    Good luck!
    xx N

  19. I finished the Finch shorts this weekend and couldn't be more pleased with how they turned out. The pleats look pretty crisp on their own without top stitching, though I'll see how they wear and maybe add it after if they start to look frumpy. I am in LOVE with this pattern and plan to make many more! Thanks for your help!!

    1. That is my absolute pleasure Kelly. I am so pleased.
      xx N

  20. Hi,
    I just used your tute to make some lined velvet Finch shorts. I hardly needed to look at the written instructions, this is so thorough. Thanks!

  21. Wow, thank you Suzie. That is great, thank you so much for letting me know!

    I have been meaning to blog a 'Quick Finch' post as I have sewn them so many times I have developed a super speedy method.
    What a lovely excuse to make more!
    xx N