Summer stylin’ in Madras Prefontaine shorts.

As I write this post, it’s about 90 degrees with icky-sticky humidity in Milwaukee County.

Welcome to September in Wisconsin!

Lots of people start freaking out about fall as soon as we hit the ninth month of the year, but I know the truth. September, for the most part, still is a summer month where I’m from.

That means it’s perfectly OK to sew shorts. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

I’ve been cranking on three different shorts patterns: Prefontaine from Made with Moxie and Nantucket and Weston from Seamwork magazine. Check ’em out:

Left:ย Prefontaine
Center:ย Nantucket
Right:ย Weston


Prefontaine shorts: The details

The first pair I crushed was the Prefontaine. I’ve had this pattern the longest, so I decided to treat my shorts trilogy FIFO.

Check out that welt pocket!

I love these shorts, you guys. Here’s why:

They’re comfortable. They’re pull-on shorts. Is there anything easier to wear? This was the first time I used 1.25-inch sport elastic (for the waistband), and I think I’m in love. Wide elastic hugs your body so wonderfully.

They’re flattering. You can shorten or lengthen the inseam, which can range from 1.25 inches to 5 inches. I made a size 2, with an inseam of 4 inches, and for me, they’re the ideal balance of sassy and modest.

They’re retro without looking like a costume. As a person born in the early ’80s, I actually remember this style of shorts, and I’ve always had a soft spot for them.

They’re versatile. I made an ultra-comfortable muslin from a low-stretch and heavyish poly-cotton knit blend. My final pair are in a cotton Madras. The pattern suggests everything from quilting cotton to terry cloth! Check out these options:

They taught me how to make welt pockets. Now I want to add welt pockets to EVERYTHING. Welt pockets are the pocket doors of the garment world: tidy and discreet. (That comparison comes from my husband, BTW.)

They’re named after Pre, who ran all out, all the time. I’m runner, and I gotta respect Pre. Plus, I want to make some of these shorts for working out.

Tips for stitching Prefontaine shorts

When you make this pattern, here’s a few things you should know:

Binding aplenty: A man’s large undershirt makes enough binding for at least two pairs of shorts. Trust me, you won’t run out of binding. And if you’re paranoid, get your hands on a XXL T-shirt. Call it binding insurance.

Leave tails: When attaching binding, I left about an inch at the beginning and end. After I folded the binding and stitched in the ditch, I trimmed the excess length. This ensured that the edge of the binding and pattern pieces were aligned.

Typo alert: There’s a typo in the welt pocket directions. When you cut through the center line of the pocket opening box, you should stop a 1/4 inch, not a 1/2 inch, from either end.

Edgestitching protip: The welt pocket directions have you edgestitch one short side of the pocket opening, turn, stitch one long side of the pocket opening, turn, and stitch the other short side. I suggest stitching slightly higher on the short sides so that when you edgestitch the other long side, all corners of your box of stitching will connect. Check this out for clarification:

When to stitch: The pattern isn’t explicit about when to stitch together the two shorts front pieces or the two shorts back pieces. There are tons of photos, so I have faith that you’ll figure out what needs to happen when. In a nutshell, you need a front unit and back unit before you can join them at the crotch. (Bonus points for you if you press the front unit seam allowance and the back unit seam allowance in opposite directions to reduce bulk in the crotch!) If I were at Made with Moxie, I would update those steps for the sake of clarity.

This pattern uses only one yard of fabric, so it’s a great stash buster. Plus, it’ s a fab pattern for quilting cotton or any other wack-a-doo-patterned fabric that you’re unsure how to use.

Stay tuned for even more shorts talk. My Nantucket muslin is shaping up, and a final version could even be stitched up this week! (Follow me on Instagram, and I’ll post progress pics!) We’ll see what happens with the high-waisted Weston shorts. I have a vision of them in suede for fall/winter (if the weather turns before I finish a cotton twill iteration).

When your photographer makes a joke.

Over to you: What’s your favorite shorts pattern? What’s your favorite stash-busting pattern? Could you also see Weston in suede? Please sound off in comments!

P.S. If you want to jump ahead to the other installments of the shorts trilogy, here you go!

Seamwork shorts sewing pattern: These ain’t Nantucket Reds
Shorts pattern review: High-waisted Seamwork Weston

P.P.S. For the record, this is not a sponsored post, and I bought these patterns with my own cash money. Transparency is important to me, and I’ll always give you a heads up if my content is driven by a marketing relationship.