First pair of shorts from Dress Shop pattern

plaid shorts from Dress Shop pattern

I recently started using Dress Shop, a Windows application that generates custom-fit sewing patterns.

The application comes in three flavors: Quick Start, Deluxe, and Pro. They are variants of the same application. One can try the application for free by downloading the application, installing it, and check out its functionalities. The only thing one won’t be able to do during the trial is to actually print out the pattern. Other than that, the trial version of Dress Shop has the same functionalities and features and the Quick Start version of Dress Shop.

Dress Shop recommends making a fitting sloper first so that’s what I did. I could have just selected a standard size and started with that. Instead, I figured since this is something I’d do only once and it’d be important to be as precise as possible, I opted to measure and enter my measurements into Dress Shop. There are 59 different measurements altogether! However, many of them are common measurements, just split up into front and back portions e.g. front bust side seam to side seam, over bust) and back bust (side seam to side seam across back at bust level). I generated the dress sloper pattern, and made the sloper from some junk fabric I had laying around. The sloper was basically a princess seam sheath dress that has zero wearing ease. The fit of the sloper gave clues as to which measurements to adjust by how much.

Next step was to try making something. I decided to try making a pair of shorts, since I don’t have any shorts whose fit I really like, and since summer was coming. I had a light cotton flannel plaid bought at Michael Levine in L.A. during a trip out there to do a runway show. Since it’s a plaid, I had to do a lot of matching, cutting the pieces one at a time. I’ll write more about how I did the matching in a future post.

plaid shorts from Dress Shop pattern plaid shorts from Dress Shop pattern

To add a bit of pizzazz to what is otherwise just a “wearable muslin prototype”, I added V slits at side front of the hem and added multi-color buttons:
close-up of slit and buttons detail

The V slits would be very straightforward if they were situated at the usual position, in the side seam. Instead, I wanted the slits to be more towards the front of the thighs, where there are no vertical seams I can’t think of any way to do such a slit other than creating a diamond-shaped openning with the diamond’s short axis on the hem line.

A “prototype” of the diamond-shaped opening, backed with lining:
close-up of construction of in-hem off-seam V slit

The diamond-shaped opening, folded as it would be in the actual hem, forming the V shaped “slit”:
close-up of construction of in-hem off-seam V slit

Construction detail of the diamond-shaped opening:
close-up of construction of in-hem off-seam V slit

Full disclosure: I am not only a satisfied user of Dress Shop, I am also the owner! 🙂