Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chataigne, je t'aime.

Winter shorts. They're a Thing.
 I've been looking for an alternative to my denim Grainline Moss Skirt that I wear so much, I don't even want to admit quite how much. (Let's just say it's a testament to the strength of hemp in the denim how well it's holding up.)
Enter the Deer and Doe Chataigne Shorts. In, um, exactly the same denim.
Hello, new winter staple.
Deer and Doe patterns are designed and printed in France on recycled paper. They are drafted for an average height woman of 168cm (5'5") with a C-D cup bust and larger hips. I find their patterns very true-to-size and so far, they fit me right out-of-the-box. If you are a similar shape, you might love Deer and Doe as much as I do!
I made Chataigne View A, which has a low waist and cuffs. There's a side zip, for which I used the regular kind rather than invisible as suggested.
Due to the thickness of the denim I lined the waistband and pockets with Liberty scraps from the stash, instead of self-fabric. And because, well, Liberty.
The front pockets are perfect for tucking your hands in or carrying your hanky. The small front pleats ensure there's enough room there for pocket use and comfort, without being excessively baggy. In fact I wasn't too sure about the pleats to start with - bad memories of baggy pants of the 80s, anyone? - but the shaped front waistband means a nice flat front where you want it and those wee pleats begin well below the tummy.
The back pocket flaps are just for show. Sometimes I find that sort of detail a bit odd but somehow Deer and Doe have got it right here. They seem pretty much perfect to me. I wouldn't use real back pockets anyway.
Construction notes:
  • When inserting the zip and stitching down the waistband lining, I took a leaf from the book of Jen of Grainline Patterns, and machine basted (using contrasting thread) from the wrong side before topstitching from the right side, then removed the basting. After inserting several Moss Skirt zip flies I understand now that a bit of basting - by machine or hand - can save a lot of pinning hassle. 
  • I couldn't get the waistband lining attachment to work around the zip like it does in the instructions. I'm not sure if this is because I did not use an invisible zip. It didn't matter; I just sewed the straight line around the top and turned everything else in and stitched down in the next step.
  • Thinking these will end up in high rotation, I used Gutermann Sew All (poly) thread for strength, and double-stitched the crotch seam, overlocked it and top-stitched it down. 
  • Wherever possible I used an overlocked finish, which also helped minimise the 5/8" seam allowance. 
  • Once again, channelling my inner Grainline Jen, I graded seams allowances where appropriate to reduce bulk.
  • These really come together much faster than you might imagine.

PATTERN: Deer and Doe Chataigne Shorts, View A. Pattern available in store, or email or phone 08 7324 5883 (Deer and Doe do not allow others to sell their patterns online.)
SIZE: 44, no alterations, yay!
FABRIC: Hemp & Organic Cotton Denim, 150cm wide, 1 metre. Liberty Tana Lawn 'Ranga' scraps.
NOTIONS: 8" regular zip, Gutermann Sew All thread, lightweight woven cotton fusible interfacing on waistband outer.

Worn with: long sleeve top from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design in NZ cotton knit 'North Sea/Kalamata' (in stock again soon), Adventure Pants by Captain Robbo, boots by Duckfeet.

I love these so much I need another pair right away. Scalloped hem, coming up!

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. These are adorable!! And the best part is, they will be great summer shorts too! I think you might need a couple more pairs of these. I saw one version of this pattern turned to a skirt with that yoke and little pleats and pockets and it was SUPER CUTE, just sayin'.

    1. Thanks Inder! Yes I already cut some fabric for a second pair because I'm about to wear these for the third day this week :D The skirt idea sounds rather good too, hmm!


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