Well here I am again, this time with the 2nd instalment of my Simplicity menswear makes (#simplicitymenswear). If you didn’t catch the last post, you can read about my New Year outfit here.

Due to time constraints (decorating and renovating the flat) and wardrobe necessity I have gone for another easy make. In fact this one is a Super-Easy make, it says so right on the front of the pattern.

Before I try making ‘Pantalon Jeff‘ again (in a lighter weight fabric to wear in my tap dance class) I thought I’d have a go at a pair of light weight jersey shorts… say hello to Burda 6719. Sadly, neither the vest, facial hair or attitude are included in the pattern envelope.

Flying in the face of the recommendations (1.3m) I used a metre of jersey I recently picked up for this exact purpose from one of the Goldhawk Road fabric shops. (I wish I could remember which one, I can never remember which shop it is… but I promise to take keen note next time I’m there.)

(For reference, the double fronted one, about halfway up on the right (if you’re coming from the market) was the one that really stuck in my mind this visit)

Those recommendations are there for a reason, and I only just managed to get all the pieces cut out of my 1m. I made it though and had little wastage. The fabric is a medium (I guess…?) weight loop back jersey. The loops are really short. It’s lighter than a sweatshirt but heavier than a tshirt, if that helps…?

I made this pattern exactly following the instructions with no alterations to fit. I did however measure-up to a 38, but cut out a 36 assuming they’d come up big (… more on that later…)

Construction Notes:

All the seams were overlocked (with my rainbow thread!) after being stitched on my Janome DKS30. Rather than use the built-in lightening stitch (which stitches slightly off-centre) I used the zigzag stitch with 1.5 width and 2.0 length.

Never forgetting the GOLDEN RULE of always starting with the needle (a No.70 Jersey) down in the fabric.

  • Sew the pockets right sides facing, trim, turn, press & topstitch.

  • Line up the pocket facings & sew to the pocket bag. Baste the top & sides of the pocket to the leg.

  • Sew front leg to back leg along the inseam and side seam.

Be careful to keep both legs separate at this stage or else, in the famous words of George W Trippon ‘You’ll wind up with a skirt’ (6min 25sec on the clip for the quote, but well worth watching the full 8 and a half minutes!) 😂

  • Put one leg (right side out) inside the other leg (right sides facing). Line up the centre back, inseam join and front seams. Pin and sew from centre back to the stop mark at the base of the fly.

  • Sew around the fly shape keeping 1.5cm seam allowance.
  • Overlock this entire seam including the awkward shape around the fly.
  • From the inside, press the fly to the left. Pin it and stitch it in place from the front.

Now all they need is a waistband. I’ve only put an elastic waist into pyjamas before, that seems like ages ago! So this is only the second one I’ve done recently… they don’t crop up much in menswear… at least not so-far in my menswear. I guess I was pretty naive on my first one, in my defence, the instructions were in French and I made absolutely no attempt at translating the text. So I took full advantage of these instructions being printed in my mother tongue, followed them to the letter and marvelled at how smoothly it came together.

  • I fraychecked the front of the waistband where the eyelets would go before punching the holes. I use one of the all-in-one kits and hammer them down on the corner of the kitchen counter.
  • Then, at the other end, stitch just the outer half of the centre back seam.

  • Pin all the way around with the right side facing out.
  • Then pin the waistband to the shorts, matching up centre back seams and keeping the eyelets central across the front fly.
  • Sew in place.
  • Feed the elastic through the gap at the back seam, zigzag the ends of the elastic together and hand sew the gap closed.

I tried them on and liked the length as they were, so I secured the ends of the overlocking with some fraycheck and have left the hems unfinished.

I only threaded a short piece of cord through the eyelets as it isn’t actually needed to hold the shorts up… and here they are…

I was a little bit over zealous when I sized down, they are on the snug side (although far from indecent, thankfully) but they are fantastically fit for purpose.

The vest, facial hair and attitude turned out to be unnecessary; I felt great in tap class!

Notes to self:

  • If longer shorts are required, get 1.5m of fabric.
  • I’m really happy with the not-too-baggy fit, definitely try a full length pair in the future.
  • Although not too hot in tap class, I was freezing on the way there and back… I should wear these under the others for the journey!