If I had to choose only one pattern to sew and wear during the summer, it would definitely be the Goji shorts! Their short length and wide legs are perfect for dealing with the hot and humid summers in North Carolina, and I find them more flattering than classic shorts on pear silhouettes like mine.
There are three in my wardrobe, which are in constant rotation between May and September. The first is the chambray one shown in the online shop, which I sneakily grabbed after the photoshoot 😉 The second is this gingham number, which is actually a muslin I made during the development of the pattern.
Muslin means quick finishes, so this version has no drawstring, but worst of all… no pattern matching! I almost never skip this step in a project. Even for a quick sew, like the final muslin of a pattern, I at least cut symmetric pieces flat on the unfolded fabric. But here I had to be especially quick, so I had to let go of my usual process and the gingham is all over the place (well, I still respected straight grain, I’m not crazy). I hadn’t planned on keeping it, because with all the style lines of Goji the unmatched gingham was all I could see and it drove me insane! But in the end, two years later, these shorts are so perfect for summer that I don’t even notice anymore.
This gingham fabric is the same as the one of my boxy Hoya blouse: a 100% cotton gingham, more mediumweight than lightweight really, and with a lot of body. While this fabric was definitely too thick for Hoya, it’s perfect for Goji because it allows the shorts to maintain their shape and highlights the flare of the hem.
Apart from the lack of a drawstring and the unmatched gingham (boo), the only issue I have with these shorts is that the waistband elastics are a little too tight, and I have not yet had the motivation to take them out to insert longer ones…
I wear these Goji shorts with a Plantain tee I made out of the Lebenskleidung jersey scraps from the Plantain worn by Diane in the Agave photos. The only difference is the size. I found the perfect recipe for my Plantains (38 bust, 40 hips, 42 length) and they fit me like a glove. This organic Lebenskleidung jersey knit is perfect for a t-shirt and the quality is great, so with all that I think I’ve just made my ultimate basic 🙂
My third version of Goji, more summery, is sewn in a Tahitian fabric which had been given to me by Eleonore during a fabric swap a very long time ago. The fabric is also 100% cotton, but it is much softer and fluid, which results in a completely different drape, with much less volume at the hips.
Just like the previous version, these shorts are a size 40 with the length of size 42. Choosing a size for Goji is a bit tricky: as they are very loose-fitting at the hips and elasticated at the waist, one would think they’d have some leeway. The real constraint, however, when you have a small hip-to-waist ratio like me, is the waistband measurement: in order to put on the shorts, the waistband has to stretch enough to go over the hips! So even though according to my measurements (66 cm waist / 100 cm hips) I should in theory fit in a size 34 (90 cm waist/ 111 cm hips), I need to sew a size 40 (102 cm waist) to be able to put them on without cracking the seams. The waistband ends up with more gathers, but that’s not a problem.
Here the elastics are less tight, and I took the time to sew and insert the drawstring, which makes the shorts much more comfortable. Having experimented in the meantime with several techniques for sewing elastic waistbands, I prefer to the Goji method (which uses several thin elastics, each inserted into their own casing) the one that uses a wide elastic that is topstitched with the waistband, with the drawstring inserted in the casing thus created between the topstitching lines. This is how it’s done for instance on the Hudson pants, and a lot of my ready-to-wear elasticated pants. With this method, there’s no risk of ending up with one elastic slightly tighter than the other, which can be extremely annoying once you notice it.
I don’t think I’ll make another pair of Goji shorts anytime soon (three is enough right now), but if I had to make a fourth pair I think I would choose a linen or linen-rayon mix with a more natural look. This way I could skip out on the ironing!
Goji – Deer&Doe
Size 40 with length of size 42
Gingham cotton from Toto tissus
Goji – Deer&Doe
Size 40 with length of size 42
Tahitian cotton from my stash
I love the way they look! (And it’s funny to see you again on the D&D website). I’ve added the pattern to my list of to-sew items for summer next year 🙂