Mink Shorts

Is it summer yet? I see all the signs that it’s coming here. The sun rises earlier and brighter, there’s the sound of running water as the snow piles visibly shrink by the day, the arctic bunnies are turning brown again, and we have a new summer-y pattern for you! It’s not a new swimsuit this year, but we do hope you’ll get just as much use out of these. Introducing: the Mink Shorts (available in both girls sizes 2-16 and miss sizes 0-20)!

First off, the line drawings. I do like how you can really see a garment and its details without the distraction of fabric choices through a line drawing. A chance to use your imagination for the colours/options YOU’D like to try. These shorts can be made as a single layer basic short in knit/stretch fabric, OR you can opt to add the athletic short under layer for a sportier look and a bit more coverage.

For those who love being inspired by other sewists we always love to show off our testers hard work! Check out some of the details and features these shorts have to offer. Which would you choose???

Summer short pattern for girls and women in knit or stretch fabrics.
Piping down the side is optional.
Jeannine (top left) and Cathy (top right) choose to add piping to the side seam of their short.
Anja (bottom left) and Ashley (bottom right) opted to leave it off their shorts.
Side details on a quick summer shorts sewing pattern.
Annie suggested adding a second row of piping on the other edge of the side panel.
We love her vision, and added the design tip to the instructions.
Basic short with optional athletic under short layer sewing pattern.
Genevieve (top left) and Carolyn (top right) chose the basic shorts for their daughters – perfect for warm everyday summer wear!
Leslie (bottom left) and Jennifer (bottom right) added the athletic under layer to their shorts giving a little more coverage and making them perfect for an active day!
Optional back pockets on a quick summer shorts sewing pattern.
Back pockets are also optional.
Leave them off for a super quick sew like Kimberley (top left) and Liesel (top right) did.
Choose just 1 pocket for a cool assymetrical look like Daryl (middle left) and Lisa (middle right) did.
Or include both like Amanda (bottom left) and Trish (bottom right).
Simple or zippered back pocket on summer shorts sewing pattern.
Lastly we have 2 pocket styles to choose from.
The opening can be left simple/open through the use of a little bit of permanent hem tape.
Morgan (top left) and Heather (top right) chose this quick option.
For a sleek look the pocket can also be made with an invisible zipper opening like Trish (bottom left) and Myriam (bottom right) used.

Train the way you look at and plan for your next sewing project:

Fabric always matters in how a garment feels, looks and wears. While we know we are STILL learning when it comes to all the options out there, we always try to give you some good guidelines for what will work with any pattern we put out. Let’s apply those guidelines to the basic Mink short:

The FEEL of Mink: Who doesn’t love soft? Here our mind goes to bamboo, tencel, Interlock or fleece back options.

The LOOK of Mink: With a wider leg hem and free-hanging slit we don’t want anything that’s going to stretch out but not recover when topstitched, or simply be so stiff it “bells out”. So now we add “structure, but not stiff” and “a bit of recovery” to our fabric search/options. Bamboo, Tencel and Interlock are all still great options. Something with a small amount of lycra would be good.

The WEAR of Mink: Does it make sense for the actual day-to-day use of the shorts? If I lived somewhere super hot I likely would not be reaching for my dense, cozy fleece-back french terry in this case. On the other hand, we also know for it to sit nicely I’ll want something with some structure so bamboo-lycra is out. Do you need it for a day at the beach or day at the museum? Can you sit in it? Can you do the splits in it? Do you even want to????? All great things to consider when choosing a fabric.

Consider any details and topstitching: Details usually = seams. And topstitching and seams can = added structure/stretching out when it comes to knit garments. To avoid this with Mink I always lengthen my topstitching stitches (usually no less than a “4.0” on my machine) and use a walking foot if possible. If necessary I reduce the tension of my bobbin (ex. – hemming with a twin needle, I drop the tension to half what it would normally be). Any piping/binding being added to a seam is done in a lightweight fabric so I’m not adding extra bulk, and I consider grading the seam allowance in this case (ie – trim each layer of the SA slightly shorter than the one above it).

Knit or stretch woven fabric ideas for summer shorts sewing pattern.
Top left: Kimberley used the reverse side of her french terry to add texture to the side panel.
Top right: Trisha used a waffle knit for the details of her shorts.
Bottom left: Rachael used a stretch corduroy for a classic look.
Bottom right: Annie combined stretch woven fabric over swim fabric under-shorts to make this whole outfit beach worthy!

In the end – have fun with your choices and maybe even try something new…..just to see if you can! I found this piece of faux suede in the clearance section of a fabric store, saw that it did have about 25% stretch and thought “I really want to see if this could work!”. The results were everything I hoped for: soft, decent drape, and no restrictions in movement. They are definitely heavier than some options would be, and I likely wouldn’t choose them for a really hot day……..but we honestly don’t get a ton of those where I live so these are perfect for my lifestyle!

Faux suede shorts for women.  PDF sewing pattern.

We can’t wait to see what you try and what options you love! Share your makes with us over in the Sofona Sewing Group on Facebook or tag us on Instagram @sofionadesigns . #sofimink #sofimissmink #sofionadesigns

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