Sew For Victory Sailor Girl Shorts

Wearing History Sailor Girl Shorts

I had big ideas for Sew for Victory this year, but ended up with one pair of shorts. Fortunately, they are darn cute, darn flattering, and I’m pretty darn happy with them (although definitely a little jealous of the Pinhouse Playmate for making a much more awesome version!). Generally, I abhor shorts. I’m not one to judge them on other people, but I really, really hate the way they look on me. The only pairs you’ll catch me wearing are heavy and layered for winter (and both of those I actually just donated because I found I didn’t wear them at all this winter). But something about the high waist and full leg on these takes them out of mental short status and makes them feel like a skirt, so I’m sold.

1940s sailor girl wearing history shorts

These shorts are from the Wearing History 1940’s sailor girl pattern. I intended to make the full shorts, skirt, and blouse set. As you can see, I did make the shorts. I also sewed up the skirt out of a heavy denim thinking it would be great year round, but I just don’t like the cut on me. I’ve worn it several times and each time feels forced. So, I’m considering changing the shape or changing the length or maybe just passing it along to a friend. I bought a blue chambray and fun white braid trim to make the blouse, but I kept dragging my feet. I’ve been thinking about how much sewing I do that makes a pretty product, but isn’t something I end up wearing, either because it’s not flattering in shape or color or because it just doesn’t feel like me. I was feeling like the blouse was going to fall into that category right now, so I decided not to sew it. And I’m proud of me for making that decision.

1940s style sailor shorts

I used a heavy linen (meaning that they do get wrinkly with wearing) that I had in my stash and white for all of the stitching. I love the detail of the braided trim on the pocket :) The buttons are vintage and made of shell and were cut off of something at some point, but, other than coming from my vintage button jar, I don’t know much more about them.

linen shorts facing

The shorts are pretty simple to construct for a confident sewist, although the instructions are NOT for a beginner. In fact, I was a little surprised that there were many, many pages of cutting layouts but very few actual sewing instructions and fewer illustrations. I spent quite a bit of time getting the fit right, but I think it ended up being equivalent to grading down a full size (smaller than was printed on the larger pattern pack which is what I had). Being full through the hips and thighs, the fit was all focused on the waist, making it not very challenging.

sew for victory forties shorts

Comments 12

  1. They look cute on you! I love wearing shorts, but those shorts have to be perfect. Otherwise I feel like a frumpy, chubby mess. This is reminding me that I need to make a new pair for visiting family in the desert this summer…

  2. Those are super duper cute! I love them! Good job on stopping yourself when you realized you weren’t sewing for yourself and good luck on your move!

  3. Those shorts are so cute. I love the sailor button up flap. And the trim you used for the pockets really added a great element. Perfect vintage style.

  4. Waahooo!! These look great!!!
    And you even have one of those cute sailor hats that I want! (note to self: Make hat.)
    I love this in the traditional colorway, and with that little pocket. I think I’ll make one more now :)

  5. there is nothing more flattering than the ’30s and ’40s … these shorts look so great on you .. i’ve just ordered my pattern, as i’ve been looking for these for a very long time … Thank you thank you thank you for your blog … i’m pretty excited about these!

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