Holly’s Helios shorts!
Hey all, I’m on the Felicity Fabrics Blog this week with a pretty, easy breezy, summer shorts pattern. I’ve been a little out of the blogging habit recently so I hope this review is interesting and inspires you to sew something summery.
I chose ‘Bonnie’, a mid blue double gauze fabric which has little white daisies embroidered over it for my next make. It’s lightweight, has a lovely crinkled texture which is typical for double gauze fabrics and is 100% cotton so wonderful and breathable for this extraordinarily hot summer we’ve been having!
Next up the pattern: I went for the I Am Helios which is a relatively new pattern by I Am, classified as a ‘simple’ difficulty and boasts 7 different garments all in the same pattern. I decided I could do with a casual pair of shorts in my wardrobe and this double gauze would be the perfect colour to match with lots of things I have already, and be lovely and loose to wear on hot sunny days. They have an elasticated waist with a drawstring tie closure also, front slash pockets and finish at the mid-thigh.
This pattern doesn’t have the largest size range but goes from a 30 3/4 inch bust to a 44 7/8 inch and a 33 inch hip to a 47 1/4 inch. I went for a size 38, which is slightly smaller than my waist measurement but bigger than my hip measurement. I figured the elastic in the waist is where most of the fitting is so I could use however much elastic was comfortable whilst not having too much fabric around my hips. I used just over a metre for this size. Take care when looking for the right and wrong side of this fabric as it can be a little confusing. I managed to identify the wrong side by looking for the glue around the embroidery which I think has been added to keep the embroidery stable. It’s subtle but you can make it out around each of the flowers.
I washed this fabric on a 30 and then air dried and pressed it lightly afterwards. This pattern did not have many notches so bear that in mind when placing pieces together. Because this fabric is quite lightweight, I decided to use a little strip of interfacing on the pocket opening edge, as well as the whole of one of the waistband pieces – this wasn’t part of the instructions but I’m so glad I did this as these areas are holding up their shape really well after a couple of wears!
The instructions are straightforward enough I’m just not a huge fan of how they’re laid out. They provide enough detail but all the instructions for all the versions are all together, rather than being split up. As long as you know which letter of the version you’re making you can follow it along easy enough – I just kept forgetting which letter it was I was meant to be following! I get why they’ve done it the way they have though as otherwise a lot of the instructions would be the same for each version. The graphics are brilliant though and make it really clear to follow. The fitting of the shorts was also very easy being an elasticated waist.
I found it quite fiddly inserting the elastic, the waistband is actually made of three separate channels, you insert elastic through two of them and the drawstring through the middle, which gives the illusion that the waistband has been stitched through. I had to be quite precise with my sewing though in order to get all the channels an even size. The elastic was very tight in some places and required all my patience to get through and then distribute evenly! So I wouldn’t recommend doing this last thing at night or on an empty stomach!
Overall I’m really, really happy with these, I only have one other pair of me-made shorts in my wardrobe so these are a great addition. They are so comfortable, I love that they have decent sized pockets and the drawstring is a cute detail. I also like that it’s not a huge piece of elastic sitting round my waist and the fact that two thinner pieces are used makes them so much more comfortable to wear for me. I will certainly be making more and have some fabric already earmarked for another pair. As well as this there’s 6 other versions for me to try!