Latest Project — Swim Shorts

So because I’m not busy enough, and because I think I was in sort of a spandex withdrawal after finishing 40 pieces last month, I took on a new project — pattern tester for 5 out of 4 Patterns.

I’ve never used PDF patterns before (weird, I know), so that was really the only part of the project that worried me a bit. This first pattern test was for a pair of ruched, reversible swim shorts, but honestly the most time consuming part of the project was finding space in the studio in which to work — there are still scraps of this fabric, a few inches of that strapping, tiny bags of random stones, and miscellaneous pattern clippings everywhere. EVERYWHERE.  But I found about a yard’s worth of space, which was all I really needed anyway.

I made two versions of these shorts, and my “model” loved them both.  Despite the fact that I’ve probably sewn 400+ leotard crotches in my life, I’ve never done one with a gusset — and I think I might actually incorporate it into some future skating projects, surprisingly enough.  The part that seemed to be most difficult for the majority of the testers — topstitching the spandex waistband so that the shorts are reversible — wasn’t a big deal for me, having just finished oh, maybe, 100 yards of spandex topstitching in the past two months alone (that’s a hell of a lot of appliques and straight lines!)…but I did have a bit of a hard time with the elastic arrangements.  For the first pair, I did my usual skating dress elastic thing…but I really needed to follow the instructions exactly in order to be a viable tester, so for the second pair I used clear swim elastic, inserted into the seam allowance.  Worked great, and I learned something in the process!  I doubt I’ll use this technique on any skating or dance garments, but I feel like I have a new “tool” in my shed that I can pull out when needed.

If you’re looking for a good PDF pattern company (and I’ve also learned through this project that all PDF pattern companies are NOT created equal!) that specializes in activewear, this is the one.  She creates her PDF’s in layers, so that you don’t have ten different sizes on one sheet, which is a serious challenge to decipher — instead, you can click on just the size(s) you want, and the rest disappear, making it so easy to find your correct cutting line…which is so important when making form-fitting clothing.  I can attest to the fact that the sizing is perfect, and this pattern went through many, many revisions and testing before being finalized and released today.

Here they are — pardon the sailboat on land, by the way…sick kid meant no early trip to camp to take better sailboat pictures on the lake!  Still, you get the idea.

XS side
Side view. Skater butt, of course.
XS blur
Back view

Pattern is on sale for a week, starting today!

You can also join the 5 out of 4 FB group: Facebook Group

*I did not pay for this pattern, but I’m also not being paid to review it, so there you go… 🙂

2 thoughts on “Latest Project — Swim Shorts”

  1. I’m really intrigued by your website and your expertise. I have a daughter who is really into gymnastics and while I love sewing, the thought of gluing tons of rhinestones onto a leotard makes me get all twitchy. 🙂 When you were talking about the elastic, you said, “usual skating dress elastic thing” versus the way I had you attach it in the pattern. Do you typically serge the elastic on and fold over (like in a leotard)? Thanks for helping make this pattern awesome!


    1. Hello! Sorry it took so long to respond…we’ve been away at the US Nationals, so sewing really took a back seat for a while. When we attach elastic for a skating dress, I zigzag it about 1/8″ in from the edge first, then fold it over and finish it with a running zigzag. I don’t serge skating dresses, for several reasons. This reminds me that I never posted that elastic tutorial I promised ages ago!! Now I have something to work on this week 🙂


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