Full-fat Flora

One of the things about making my own clothes is that I’m able to look at a pattern, not actually really like it at a first glance, but then look at it again and imagine what it would look like with a few tweaks. So it was with one of the free patterns for a pair of summery ladies’ shorts on the Pattydoo website. The pattern is called ‘Flora’ and is free, which is always a draw.


The original, using light cotton material and with curved edges around the bottom of each trouser leg.

Better still, it comes with a marvellous (German-language) instructional video that shows you how to make the garment step by step. And finally, someone in the Pattydoo Facebook Group showed hers, which had already been tweaked slightly. That made me think. I’m not a huge fan of the curved edges around the bottom of the trouser legs in the original pattern. And I had some cord fabric lying around instead of the cotton fabric that is recommended. But then I thought about it a bit & set to work.


photo 1Firstly, having looked at the pattern, I saw that a pattern without curved edges was possible using the same pattern. Great news! I then cut out all the bits and serged all the edges so the fabric wouldn’t fray.

While I was doing that, it occurred to me how sweet these trousers might look with appliquéd pockets. Particularly round ones!

I got a compass, drew a circle and then drew another one next to it, so that the two circles overlapped, as in a Venn diagram. I then cut out the template, which looked a bit like a circle that someone’s taken a bite out of.

photo 3

The pocket is edged with cuffing material. I sewed this exactly as I would sew on a cuff on a sweatshirt, meaning I folded over the cuffing, and sewed it on the cord fabric, all the while stretching the cuffing slightly. The next step is slightly fiddly – I folded over the cord fabric (about 7mm) and ironed this ‘seam allowance’ to the left. Because it wasn’t a lot and didn’t produce bulges I didn’t cut any of it off. Finally, I sewed the pocket on my shorts, making sure that the seam was really close to the edge. This sort of thing takes practice, and the seam of my second pocket is noticeably ’rounder’ and nicer than the first. Best advice: going slooooow.

photo 2


Something else to note is that the pattern does not have outer seams, which means that it’s best to fold each trouser leg in half before attaching the pockets & noting that the seam is in the middle – otherwise the pockets face the wrong way…

photo 4

Here are all my bits and pieces aligned for the final seams.

I added cuffing for the waistband, sewing in a buttonhole to be able to insert elastic band. I also added a small carabiner so that I’m able to dangle my keys off it – something that I always find useful when I’m out and about.

And here’s the finished pair of shorts:

photo 5


If you want to make these shorts either in their original form or as a creation of your own, here’s the (German-language) Pattydoo tutorial. Now let’s hope for more summery days…

Update September 2015:

I made another Flora – one that really deserves the name. In eye-watering pink! Well, whyever not…

This Flora has slightly longer legs than my first one, which I think I prefer. Other than that, it also sports round pockets (slightly larger) and the usual key-karabiner attachment.

photo 1

Flora Mark 2 came to Germany on holiday with me and, boy, was I glad to have her. German summers can be quite warm these days…





About alycevr

Academic, translator & maker of things
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