Rainbow Brite Shorts: Burda Magazine 6-2011-111

I haven’t owned or worn a pair of non-athletic shorts in well over three years. I mean, I used to have some. But, they got ratty or I outgrew them.  And, I just never found any that I liked and which fit (blame my tragic waist / thigh ratio). I decided this was the summer I was going to have a week’s worth of summer shorts. After all, I’m working on having ‘dog walking clothes’.

I ordered material from Mood Fabrics online. I want to point out that when the box reached me, it was already open. Why? Because I took delivery at work and my co-workers (Project Runway fans) couldn’t wait for me to come out of my meeting before opening it for me. They said they knew I would understand. But, I digress…

Anyway, here’s the plan: seersucker, red poplin, laminated linen and black embroidered cotton. I think these will run the gamut from dressed up to dressed down. I’m not sure I’m going to make the madras anymore. We’ll see…

For this project, I chose this #111 pattern from the June 2011 Burda(link to $5.40 download on Burdastyle.com) I wanted a short inseam. Longer shorts make my legs look like tree trunks. I like to distract from the width of my legs with the shortness of my shorts 😉

These have a nice flat front, side zip and contoured waistband. All things I knew I wanted. For my first pair, I eliminated the side pockets.

I’m calling these my Rainbow Brite pair, heh. I love color and stripes and seersucker. I was sold on these the minute I saw the material.

I underlined them in cotton batiste (also from Mood online). When I made this skirt last summer I realized that light seersucker is see through. I means you can not only see my underthings, but you can also see clothes tucked in to them.

The underlining also gave the fabric some more structure. I’ve seen seersucker shorts in the store and they never seem to be substantial enough. But, the seersucker suits I see at J.Crew and Brooks Brothers seem to be much thicker.

I also used a template to make the pockets. This made sure they were both the same and gave a nice sharp edge / finish with pressing. Oy. As drafted, pocket placement is comical on me — just  6 cm from the waistband. I moved these down and out several inches.

I’m very very happy with this patch pocket version. I found the waist a too high by one inch for my taste and have altered the pattern for my next go round (red poplin this weekend I hope).

The nice thing about the higher waist is there’s no belly to hang over the waist band or fear of showing my underwear when sitting. But, I’m still going to tweak these.

I’m happy! It’s been so long since I’ve had shorts that fit me well and are flattering!


  1. These look great! Swift thinking on the pocket placement – I have a similar body shape and you have to be alert at all times with this stuff!!

  2. Okay, I have mixed feelings and rules about adults and short but u are going to make me change all of my rules. They look great on you!

    • I might agree with your rules to a great extent. But, I remember a few years ago Lucky Magazine saying it was the first time they were showing shorts because they thought they were finally nice enough to be publicly accepted. Since then, I’ve been trying to find some that would work for me. And, I figured I should squeeze them in before I’m 40.

  3. Wow! These shorts are so cute on you. I love them. And underlining was a great idea. I have always thought that RTW manufacturers have access to thicker seersucker than we can get our hands on and underlining is the perfect solution.

    • I do think at least J.Crew and Brooks Bothers have nicer seersucker. The stuff they have is thick and stiff. It used to puzzle me…

  4. They look fab on you, love the pocket placement, it gives a very good effect. I really like the higher waist, but then I’m older than you, which probably says everything about why you want it lower ;o)
    Super cute work.

  5. Oh, cute cute cute. The fabric reminds me too much of my very first sewing project, a pillowcase, sewn at age 8 on my mother’s White electric machine, for me to covet this pair. I make no such promise about the red poplin ones.

  6. i’m sorry, i have to say it, YOUR BOOTY IS SO CUTE. upon seeing you walk the doggie in these, peeps are going to spontaneously break out into happy musical numbers. like the beginning of the last muppets movie. perfect!

    • Oona, Thank you! This rear is the bane of my clothes fitting existence. I think if not for it, I may not have gotten in to sewing like I have, lol! I also recognize in the eyes of many, it’s my best asset!

  7. Cute! Cute! Cute! Brilliant idea on underlining the fabric. Now that would also probably be the solution to cure me of fear of white pants.

    • I was thinking of white shorts but was afraid I’d look like I was playing tennis. And, I’m not big on doing laundry…. But, yes. Underlining hides a multitude of sins.

  8. Well, I wear ALL of my shorts short. Longer ones just are not flattering on me and make me feel like an old lady. These are cute and very summery. I can’t wait to see your red pair!

  9. Your work friends opened your box of fabric !?!

    Nice shorts–I like the underlining and information about the pockets.

    Your work friends opened your box of fabric?

  10. The shorts are so cute on you – I can’t believe that you’ve not worn casual shorts a few years! Don’t send the plaid back – I think they’ll be an adorable pair of shorts, too.

  11. Such cute shorts. The underlining tip is brilliant.
    It is so funny that your co-workers opened your fabric box. You must be converting them to serious fabric appreciation – are they sewing yet?

  12. I love the bright colours of the seersucker fabric you have used for your shorts!! The style and fit are indeed flattering on you. You look good!!!!

  13. They look fantastic! The fit is great, and the batiste makes them lay really nicely. The multi stripe makes them just a little 70’s awesome too.

  14. I love these shorts so much! Seersucker is in my Top 5 All-Time Favorite Fabrics, but rainbow striped seersucker??? Do you know I actually have dishes that could match your shorts? Birthday gift from my Dad (possibly with subliminal message but whatever!).

      • It’s SUPER narrow. With my adjustments (and the size of my butt) it’s really hard to squeeze the pattern on to it. And, after pre-treating it’s a scant yard. So, if I were to make them, I’d have to use other material for the waistband and facing. Just more work than I feel like putting in to them I think.

  15. Oh my I’m obsessed with these rainbow shorts!! I already added that rainbow seersucker to my mood online cart and I’m moments away from pulling the trigger. You look so freak tabs in these! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • I’ve had the material in my cart for months. For real. I LOVE it. I want a whole suit from it. Hmmm. I may have to get more for a little blazer…. And, I’m totally adopting ‘freak tabs’. That is the BEST new word I’ve heard this year.

  16. Wow you got a fantastic fit on these with hardly any adjustments by the sounds of things. They look great on you, you’ll be the most stylish dogwalker around!

    • Oh, man. I had adjustments. I just thought they were too boring to rehash, LOL. I’ll try and do a separate post about them. Nothing crazy. Just my full seat, full inner thigh and swayback. The usual.

  17. I’ve told you before that you have great legs, but I’m telling you again. You look fantastic! I love these shorts and look forward to the red ones. I plan on making this same pattern when this magazine makes its way down to Australia.

  18. Ah ha! I’m actually planning to make a pair of shorts in the near future, and was worried about the light color being see-thru….I would never have thought to interline them! Thanks for the suggestion! BTW, I love these, they will look fabulous with your cute little doggie strutting down the street looking for the *perfect* spot. 😉

  19. Miss Celie, you look fabulous in these. The shorts are really cute. I like the high waist on shorts and pants, but I know a lot of folks don’t. I think it makes your waist look smaller. I’m not into that low rise thing. I don’t think it’s really flattering on anyone. Once again, your interpretation is terrific.

    • I agree higher is generally better. For these though, when I tucked in the proportions were off a hair. I’m only taking the waist down 1/2 inch. Hopefully they will still look good!

  20. These are totally adorable on you! And I can fully relate to your feelings as I’ve had them myself for several years. Funnily enough, this seems to be the summer of shorts for me too – I made 3 pairs the week before last! They were all the same pattern – a vintage early 60s one that I modified (aka shortened like crazy, lol) and are actually not that dissimilar from your’s – albeit the high waist is something I wanted and intend to keep on my pattern. I have to say it was quite satifsying to sew up a full garment in under 2hrs – something I don’t do often.

    I also discovered that sewing decorative buttons along the front darts creates a really cute sailor-ish look!

    Again – super-fun-happy-time-cute shorts!!

  21. You know…it occurs to me that Gus Woolens might have suit weight seersucker. They have every other suiting imaginable, if I recall your photographic evidence correctly!

    • Oh yeah…. They are big on linen but I should check them for seersucker. I would really like to make a seersucker dress with matching jacket for summer. Thanks for the reminder!

  22. Oh my! Never mind the booty…if I had legs like yours I’d wear shorts in the snow! These are very cute indeed and you look amazing in them. Very stylish dog walking duds.

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