Preppy Red Poplin Shorts (and a dash of #fail)

Meet my super preppy  red stretch poplin shorts made from the June 2011 Burda magazine. Man. It’s hot as Haiti here. I took photos before 8 a.m. and it was already pushing 90 degrees (32 C).

For this pair, I was inspired by an H&M shorts I saw in the store. I tried these on and it was horrifying. I wear a size 8/10 RTW on the bottom.

Source: via Renee Cidell on Pinterest


In H&M I just start in the 12/14 range and cross my fingers. These were falling off my waist and creating a tourniquet at my thigh. Truly, horrifying. Their clothes are just not built for me. But, I really liked the preppy details of double welt pockets.

Source: via Renee Cidell on Pinterest


I also saw a similar pair on by Alexander Wang for a pittance at $240. They aren’t available yet but you can pre-order them for fall!


I transferred the three welt pocket details to my 6-2011-2011 Burda pattern and used Kathleen Fasanella’s technique for double welt pockets. Instant prep. These will be great for weekend’s on my friend’s boat or running to the market. The funnel tee shirt below is from the April 2011 Burda and discussed here.


Red is really hard to photograph 😦 But, I placed double welt pockets on the back but the color is wonky and you can’t really see them in photos.

The fabric is from my July Mood Fabrics online order. It’s described as a medium weight poplin with heavy stretch.


I was worried before it arrived that it might be more shirt than bottom weight. I like this fabric and think it would be awesome as a fitted dress, jacket or capris. I went on the site to see if I could get it other colors because I liked the density of the material so much. But, alas, just white. And, I’m not making white shorts that stretch, LOL! .

Are you ready for the fail?  I did want a little double welt coin pocket on the front of the shorts like the first photo from H&M shows. I actually almost skipped adding this pocket but told myself *not* to be lazy.

How do you like that placement?  Instead of putting the pocket toward my hip, it’s at center front. Man. How did I manage to do that? My shorts kind of look like they are on backwards.

And, when I put my finger in the pocket, I look …. inappropriate. Yes, I said it. But, it’s the truth.

I wasn’t going to finish these when I realized my mistake. I was showing photos of it to folks at work and they just bust out laughing.  But, I think they look fine as long as I don’t tuck in. I mean, these things happen. Heh.

I’ve got my next pair cut out from a black embroidery. Hopefully this weekend I’ll get those done too.

** After looking at these photos I’ve decided these are 1 inch or so shorter than my seersucker shorts. Odd. So, I’m going to re-hem  a bit longer and use interfacing to stabilise. That will hopefully take care of the puckered hems.


  1. Super shorts! Such a shame about the coin pocket but at least a long top will cover it. Who would pay $240 dollars for RTW shorts?

  2. OH. oh that pocket. oh pretty please get a chain and attach it to the shorts like you keep a pocketwatch in there!!! it’s just too cute tucked in!

  3. Don’t think of it as a coin pocket — think of it as a way to carry a tiny little vase with a fresh blossom! Instead of a lapel boutonniere, you’ll have a flower fly.

  4. Very great shorts, isn’t it so disappointing when we make a mistake like that? We are always the hardest on ourselves but you have found the perfect solution, so wear those cute shorts with pride Awesome job!

  5. They’re so cute, great job, it’s a shame about the coin pocket, but at least it’s easy to cover, and without your fingers in it (sorry – laughed out loud at that photo!) it doesn’t really stand out as odd, I’m sure most non sewists wouldn’t bat an eyelid, there are such odd details on RTW.

    • You are not the only one to laugh when they realize that’s not the back of my shorts! You make a good point though. Who decided that was the place a coin pocket goes?

  6. I think the shorts look great and they are perfect for dog walking, too. The red is just the right shade, too. A perfect red which screams summer! I’m always a little apprehenisve of working with a stretch woven, but you have so much success maybe I should try again.

  7. I think they look great on you. And had you not pointed that out, I would’ve thought they were flawless!

  8. The shorts look gorgeous, and the pocket is easily covered by the shirt. Very nice.

  9. Those are great shorts – I’m beginning to think maybe I can wear shorts too! What kind of needle/stitch are you using on the stretch poplin?

  10. lol. Oh well. Those are very cute and they fit perfectly. I wish I could help with the heat. It’s been in the 50s and 60s here, so I am sewing for fall.

  11. You could make the front pocket wider and see if it looks better. It would be more functional that way but then you would have bulges if you actually used the pocket for more than a coin. I have been known to cut out pocket bags and sew pockets shut for a
    sleeker line on RTW pants.
    Love the smooth look of the welts on the back much better than patch pockets.
    Very nice.

    • I am so mad now about the bulge for the pocket as it is. The pocket bag is RIGHT on the CF so not too smooth. I think I’ll take your advice and sew it closed.

  12. The fact that you own up and share that error makes you even more of a goddess.

    • Awww! Thank you! I think this is the first time I’ve done double welt on pants. That’s what I get for watching TV while sewing.

  13. I love these, they are. too cute! They fit you just right. I wonder if they’re downloadable, I no longer sub but I must have these.

    • They are in fact on the Burda site. I think they are $5.40 to download. I think they are kind of worth it. That being said, I’m sure the other pattern companies have one that are less. But, I seriously love this pattern 😀

  14. Seriously just don’t tuck the shirt in! And be proud of the welt pockets that are fabulous on the back of your shorts. Can’t wait to see the embroidered pair!

  15. I’ve been sewing for over 50 years and I still have the occasional boo boo. We just move on and learn. (And don’t tuck in!)

  16. I love Lin B’s suggestion of a flower fly! These shorts are great on you. Is there no colour that looks bad on you? Plus, you’re ahead of the trend. I outgrew my favourite pair of red shorts a few years ago and now I want some more!

  17. Oh Miss Celie you made me laugh out loud! These things happen and I totally would not have noticed unless you pointed it out. They look great. Well done.

  18. Great shorts! and the looking “inappropriate” comment, especially combined with your expresssion in the prevous photo, had me in stitches. Funky pocket or no, they look terrific.

  19. Cute shorts. I have to say that my dd and I went to H & M where she tried on clothing and her normal size is a 4 and she was at least a size 6. The sales woman said that their sizes run small. Hope that makes you feel better. Marcy Tilton has some nice cotton lycra colors right now and I think that Emmaonesock still has a few colors as well.
    It’s a shame about the coin pocket since the back pockets are excellent and now you can’t show them off. Better luck with the next pair.

  20. I’m with Oona, I love the pocketwatch idea! That would be awesome! 🙂 Anyway, I love the color, and the style is really cute, so I think you should wear these until they fall apart. 🙂 I’m dying to know what the blouse is in the first picture, I want one!

    • Oh! The blouse is from H&M last month. I’ll be honest. I’ve worn it three times, haven’t washed it yet and it’s already pilling. I do like it though but it may not last the summer 😦

      • Bummer! Both about the pilling and that you didn’t make it. Though it seems like Colette has a similar pattern….

  21. Clearly that is your appendix pocket.

    The shorts are cute and I would think no one would be looking at your front pocket when you were wearing them since you look like a hottie when you’re sporting them.

  22. Cute, cute, cute ! Gotta watch that pocket placement though LOL. Isn’t it great you can make for yourself the RTW that appeals to you.

  23. Thank you, thank you, thank you, you made me laugh out loud so early in the morning! The shorts are super cute on you, but that picture with the pocket, it’s hilarious. Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they will never cease to be amused.

  24. You did a great job on those pockets. Imo, little things like that can totally make or break a project. Your shorts look 100% professional, my hat’s off!

  25. I love these shorts. They look great on you, you have a wonderful figure for them. I’m going to try this pattern with a couple of inches of length. The tiny pocket made me laugh a little. What to you think of sewing it closed and placing another one in the correct spot. It could be an interesting design detail… Keep you hands out of that pocket – Ha ha.

  26. I love the red shorts. Great idea, because red is so hot for pants right now as well. I’m thinking I should dust off my shorts pattern and opt for red too. You did a really great job! I love the pocket. It is totally something I would do too. I especially love the irony of making this perfect pocket, only to be placed in the wrong position. Hey, at least it’s a conversation piece.

  27. That is hilarious! I love, love, love these shorts! My friend who’s an artist just wrote a post on why NOT to point out your mistakes…basically because no one will probably notice if you don’t tell them! This could have been a personal design touch for all anyone else knows!

    You should continue to where them with pride…I would! (I mean you can send them to me and I’ll wear them for you!)

  28. These shorts are absolutely lovely on you. What about making a matching cute little bow to sew in place over the coin pocket if you really can’t learn to love your mini weltiness, and thanks for making me splatter coffee everywhere whilst laughing !! (I wouldn’t have noticed it btw if you hadn’t mentioned it)

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