Thursday 15 January 2015

Oliver + S ~ Sunny Day Shorts ~ Pattern Review...

It's the middle of Summer in Australia, so definitely shorts weather. I've made quite a few Mud Puddle Splashers this season and while I love the pattern, it was time to try another style. Oliver + s offer a free shorts pattern, so I thought I'd give them a go.

Oliver + s - Sunny Day Shorts - Pattern Review by Threading My Way

The Sunny Day Shorts can be downloaded in two sizes;- 6M - 4 and 5 - 12, so a wide age range. Depending on the fabrics you choose, they're suitable for both boys and girls. The PDF is very easy to tile and piece together and, as there are only three pattern pieces, it doesn't take long.

After taping the pattern pieces together, I could see that the shorts are not as long as the style I was after, and the finished measurements chart confirmed this, so I added 2" to the length of the legs when I traced the pattern.

Oliver + s - Sunny Day Shorts - Pattern Review by Threading My Way

The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. At the beginning there is a glossary - very impressive for a free pattern. Explaining terminology at the beginning makes for a concise pattern. You can skip any, or all, points you already understand.

Pictures are in the form of clear diagrams. Referring to the key shows at a glance the right and wrong sides. I don't mind whether a pattern has photos or diagrams, as long as they're easy to interpret. 

Measurements are only in inches. Suits me just fine, but if you prefer metric, you may need an online calculator.

All necessary information is marked on the patterns pieces  - grain line, notches for matching, name of piece etc. I'll be honest and say I didn't bother with marking the notches as it's such a simple pattern, but if you're new to making shorts, you'll be glad they're included.

You can just see a yellow pocket in the photo above. Little Mister likes pockets, so I almost always add them, even if they're not included in the pattern. In seam pockets are very easy to add. Little Mister always looks to see what fabric I've used for the in seam pockets. Often I use fabric from my scrap basket, but this time I used the same as the waistband.

The waistband is a lovely feature of these shorts and the technique used in the pattern makes for a very professional finish. It really doesn't take much longer than a turn over waistband. The pattern mentions how to stop waistband elastic from twisting, something that's not always included in patterns.

The fit is spot on (don't forget I deliberately added extra length). There are no photographs in the pattern, so it's a little hard to tell exactly where the style is designed to sit, maybe just above the knee. On the download page there's a photo, but the boy is sitting down.

As you can see in the action shots, there's plenty of room for movement. 

Little Mister now lets me take as many photos as I want. It hasn't always been so. The secret is a soccer game with Mr TMW. In amongst lots of blurry shots there's a few good ones. And he's happy to stop for a few seconds every now and then for a few posed shots.

  • Michael Miller - Lab Animals, with a solid yellow for the waistband (1st shorts)
  • Riley Blake - On the Go (2nd shorts) teamed with the Charlie Tee.

Resources for the Oliver + s Sunny Day Shorts:-

This is a great pattern and one I'll be using again. In fact, I have another pair already cut out. Prior to sewing the Sunny Day Shorts, I've only ever made one Oliver + s pattern, an art smock. I have read lots of good things about Oliver + s patterns; amongst other things, the construction techniques are solid and there's consistency across patterns re sizing.

Have you sewn any Oliver + s patterns? Which ones are your favourites? I do own a couple that I haven't made up yet, but I know these won't be the last.

... Pam


  1. As we are in the midst of winter with temperatures that are sending me into hibernation mode (apparently, I'm part bear), shorts are not on my list right now! I will, however, pin this post cuz these shorts look great. On another note, thanks for those photos at the top of your page. Every time I come here, I'm reminded of all the great pillow ideas I still need to steal from you. You do keep us sewers busy!

  2. I made several Popover doll dresses and they were very easy (although I used bias tape instead of a yoke and deepened the arm scythe to compensate). You did a great job on the shorts!

  3. What a great blog post and a good review of the pattern.

  4. Very cute! I love the action shots.:)

  5. I printed these and never got around to making them last summer, they look great! I usually take pictures of my son mid-running around too :)


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