Chi-Town Chinos and FSA experiment

Warning, this post is long and full of bum photos. Proceed at your own risk.

So far this summer has been full of pattern testing for me. I really enjoy it! If I see a call for testers for a pattern that suits my style or is something I always wanted to make but never really got around to, and I have the time to do it, I usually jump on the opportunity. It is a really fun way to get to know the designer, other sewists and learn something new. So without further ado, here is to the pattern that brought us #buttfie and #chinception. What are #buttfie and #chinception you ask? Well read on!

I wear shorts pretty much non-stop in summer, but somehow this summer I found myself without a solid pair of shorts to wear all the time. I am convinced my favorite cut offs either shrunk in the wash or I outgrew the “I want everything tight” phase. Although I am sure the real reason they are no longer comfortable is because there are a few extra pounds on me this summer over the last summer. Oh well! So I answered the call for testers for Chi-Town Chinos eagerly and was ready to make some new shorts.

Anya Chi Town Shorts 4

The pattern has a relaxed fit, mid-rise and the shorts are straight through hip and leg. It was exactly what I was looking for. To top it off, there are a few different back pocket options, a faced waistband, which I’ve never done in shorts or pants, and a pattern for a skirt! It’s a full packaged deal!

If you want to see pictures of the finished product and ignore the muslin and FSA details keep scrolling down to the next bolded and italicized paragraph.

My measurements put me into size 10 waist and size 14 hips. My plan was to blend in between the sizes, starting at size 10 at the waist all the way to size 14 at the hip. I also knew from previous pant making experience that I need a deepened seat curve and a shallower front crotch. I ignored my usual adjustments to start off  to test the seat curve of the pattern as is. My shorts muslin came out okay!

shorts 1

It’s not perfect! But when it comes to a pant pattern having a good place to start is half a battle and this pattern was great! The seat curve and the fit were good. Right away I knew I needed my usual adjustments. You can see from the photo in the top left corner that my front crotch was a tad too long. And from the big bum photo you can see that my bum looks like it is “eating” my shorts, so I needed to scoop out and deepen that seat curve to get rid of that. Here is what the shorts looked like adjusted:

shorts 2

I pinned out the excess at the front and scooped out the seat curve and the shorts already looked so much better. I really could have stopped here, but Lindsey from Inside The Hem , who was also testing the pattern, convinced me that I should try Full Seat Adjustment. See, through testing you meet so many awesome people. But back to the FSA, see the drag lines in the bum picture above? The ones that are going out in all directions? That tells me that there is not enough space for my bum in the shorts and it’s literally bursting out.

Speaking of bum photos, this is where the #buttfie came from. We took SO MANY butt selfies during the testing process! In the end everyone was super proficient in snapping those butt selfies and #buttfie was born. Feel free to put it to good use!

For FSA I went with the By Hand London tutorial in their Holly Jumpsuit sew along. I found this tutorial to be most clear for me, although I still had some questions after reading it a couple times. Nonetheless, I printed off a new copy of the pattern and went in, eager to give it a try and see what happens.

Full Seat Adjustment Clarification to By Hand London Tutorial

So to refresh your memory, my waist fell into size 10 and hips fell into size 14. The difference in hip measurement between size 10 and 14 is 3″ (39.5″ and 42.5″ receptively). That would result in a pretty big adjustment! So I decided to start of with size 12 instead. I could always take in a inch or so at the waist in the end and the difference in hip sizes between 12 and 14 is only 1.5″. That’s way more workable.

Following the By Hand London tutorial I drew my lines in the same colors onto my pattern. I slashed them as per instruction.

From the paragraph above, the difference between size 12 and 14 in hip measurement was 1.5″. This needs to be divided in half since you will need 2 back pieces and together they will add up to what you need in the end. So, divided in half my 1.5″ extra that I needed, resulted in 3/4″ I had to add to my pattern in the blue line. I also slightly increased the crotch length by adding about 1/2″ to the red line and 3/8″ to the pink line.

From there I trued up my lines. This resulted in more room in the seat and a deepened dart. Here is what my muslin looked like in the end.

shorts FSA

There are still some drag lines on the side, but overall I was super happy with how the muslin fit in my back. So to compare it all, here are all the muslins together in one photo:

shorts comparison

1.  It is pretty clear that No 1 is not the best fit. It is digging into my bum I am also not happy with how the bottom of the shorts flares out .

2. The fit is better and my bum is not “eating” the shorts anymore. Yet, it still looks like it is slightly bursting out and the shorts hang outward rather than follow the curve of my bum and leg slightly towards the front. This was making me feel a little exposed.

3. I really like the fit in the bum. It seems that there is enough room and I am not bursting out of my shorts. The shorts also hang nicely and follow the curve of my behind.

To clarify, both No 2 and 3 had deepened seat curve. That is something I have to do to every pant pattern. I blame genetics, squats and Sir Mix-a-Lot for it.

Ok, back to the pattern and the finished product!

Anya Shorts Front

The shorts came out great! As you can see from all the wrinkles I have been wearing them pretty much non-stop. I used olive cotton twill from Fabricland for my pair and it worked really well. Twill softened up with wear and now I really don’t want to take them off. Ever.  I also refuse to wash them, because that would leave me with no shorts. I guess I just need to make more now.

Anya Shorts Inside

Also, check out my pretzel pockets!!! I found this quilting cotton in clearance section in Fabricland and couldn’t pass it by. I bought a few meters of it just for pocket linings. Can you tell that I love pretzels?

Anya Chi Town Shorts 3

I have to say that the pattern instructions are great! They are very well illustrated and clear. Alina also makes you do all the prep work first, like getting your belt loops and zipper facings ready so that putting the shorts together is a breeze after that.

Speaking of zippers, the instructions for the zipper closure are great! Everyone learns differently and picks up on different explanations. For me, the zipper closure instructions for Chi-Town Chinos really were an aha moment. I felt like I finally truly got the zipper mystery! May be the instructions will have the same effect on you if you are struggling with zippers?

If you haven’t figured it out already, I loved the shorts. So much that I proceeded to wear them hot off the sewing machine AND cutting into the Chi-Town Skirt. I was wearing Chi-Town Chinos while making Chi-Town Chinos… Not to get all cheesy, but this was a true … #chinception!

Anya Chi Town Shorts

I was planning to write about the Chi-Town skirt in this post as well, but it is already too long. I will do a separate, shorter post on the skirt soon instead.

And finally, I don’t normally go around wearing high heels and shorts. This was done purely for the photos. Being the self-conscious human that I am I didn’t like the way my photos looked with flats on, so instead I donned heels and re-took the photos! I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I am running around town in heels, looking perfectly coiffed all the time. Some days I am happy I brushed my hair and put concealer on. Ha!

On that note, if you are still reading, thank you for staying with me and my ramblings. Until next time!





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  1. These look great! I love the faced waistband (because ugh I hate sewing waistbands with a passion!) and how awesome that there is also a skirt variation. I’ve been loyal to my Thurlows, but I might have to give this pattern a try!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! I have fallen in love with the faced waistband after trying these. It’s so much easier 🙂 Thurlows is also a great pattern! I haven’t tried it in shorts though. I really should!

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! I am so glad that you enjoy the detailed post. I, myself, have an attention span of a gold fish so it is always amazing to me that someone would read it all! Thank you 🙂

    1. Thank you! Really? Even in winter? That is so cool! I love shorts! All kinds! I really need to make more 🙂

  2. Your hard work paid off – the shorts look so good! I really enjoyed reading about your adjustments; I only made shorts for the first time this year and I also needed to shorten the front rise and deepen the back, but I still have some fit wrinkles. I’m going to check out that tutorial.

    1. Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Shorts and pant fitting is such a process. I also find that once I make a perfect muslin it will not always mean a perfect garment since not all fabric s behave the same way. Ugh!

  3. You’ve done a great job. I’m certain I need that adjustment…. And I really need to start taking arse selfies too….I’ve really struggled to get a winning shorts pattern, but thus far the Salme slanted pockets pattern has been pretty good.

    1. Thank you! It is a really handy adjustment, I definitely recommend! And arse selfies prove to be invaluable in fitting process haha the trickiest part is to stand still and not twist. I’ll have to check out that Salme pattern!

  4. heatherandthepugs July 15, 2016, 2:28 pm

    Anya this is such a great post!! I am such a huge fitting geek and I love to see people’s adjustments, so this was super interesting for me to read. And you take great buttfies!! LOL Thanks for sharing! I bought this pattern after seeing your version on Instagram and I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Thank you so much Heather!! Me too! I love seeing people’s adjustments and how they got to the perfect fit. It is so interesting and such a great opportunity to learn.
      LOL I don’t know if I am proud of that skill or not, but it comes in handy for sewing and fitting purposes! I can’t wait to see what you think of this pattern! I need to make a couple more shorts as soon as I move.

  5. Your shorts look so good, Anya! I definitely need to try a full seat adjustment at some point– I usually blend between sizes but I’m sure this will get me a better fit. Thanks for all of the details!


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