In Favorite Projects/ Featured/ Sewing

Cynthia Rowley Shorts – Simplicity 1371

I probably picked the worst day to blog about a pair of shorts, since it’s been raining, it’s windy, and it’s freezing, but Hey! New shorts! A cold windy day makes for a good opportunity to wear my new super ridiculous…ly adorable cat stockings though, so I guess today was a good day to wear shorts after all!


The pattern is Simplicity 1371 designed by Cynthia Rowley and I’m super happy with the fit. Surprisingly, I made no major adjustments! I cut a straight size 4* and the only changes I made were to the waistband and the zipper (and those were style changes not fitting changes). I never get that lucky with sewing! I swear if I’m not making 8 muslins I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. #sewingproblems #thestruggleisreal

(edit* – I should mention my actual measurements are a size 8/10 but I cut a 4 based on the finished measurements and my preferred wearing ease.)


Though I did no fitting, I did have to do some creative cutting to get all my pieces to fit. I was attempting to work just from the leftovers after cutting out my VIFPMCW Hollyburn and the yardage evaporated quickly. There’s a seam running through the inside of my pockets (eh hem, because I cut them wrong and then tried to fix it) but it doesn’t make them any less functional. If anything it just makes me feel slightly smug, like “Hey good job, you. Way to mess up make do and mend!” – I like those little secrets in sewing projects.


The fabric I used is a lighter weight cotton twill by Robert Kaufman. I really love the way this fabric feels, it’s a great summer weight, but I am rather disappointed with how much the color ran in the wash. I know bright reds (Tomato red in this case) are tricky to make truly colorfast, but still, I prefer not to have to sort my laundry. It won’t stop me from buying this exact same fabric again (in fact I plan on it), but I’ll have to be less lazy with my laundry sorting habits when I do so I don’t ruin more socks.


I think the pattern calls for an invisible zipper but I went for a centered zip instead. On my next pair I’d like to try an exposed zipper since I keep seeing them pop up online and I like the look! Megan Nielsen has a great exposed zipper tutorial on her blog which I’ve bookmarked for future reference.

Alright you guys, the last time I shared a pair of shorts there were many readers who were disappointed with the lack of butt shots (of all things lol!). I can understand that though, honestly. Pattern envelopes can be deceiving and I too like to see all angles of a finished garment before I sew it myself. Soooooo… butt shots, I will deliver. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Children, shield your eyes!



Outfit Details:
Shirt – Grainline Archer
Shorts – Simplicity 1371
Sweater – Awesome21
Cat Stockings – AM Landen
Shoes – stolen from my mom
Headscarf – Thrift Store
Glasses – c/o Victory Optical
(20% off all frames with code LUCKY20)


I’ve been wearing my Archer shirts constantly since Me Made May, and the fact that I haven’t sewn one since last year is utter madness. I’m going to remedy that soon! I originally picked the Sewaholic Granville for one of the pieces in my VIFPMCW ensemble but I might have to swap it for Archer. I like Archer. It fits. It’s comfortable. It ain’t broke so why fix it, right?


Speaking of the VIFPMCW Challenge, these shorts are my first completed piece! My matching Hollyburn skirt is 80% done but I made the mistake of stopping and moving things before I got the waistband on, and now I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Anywhere! I think I may have accidentally thrown it away with the scraps… Oh no, I guess I’ll have to buy more fabric then. Geeze, what a terrible, terrible thing (said no seamstress ever).


One more butt shot and then your eyes can recover 😉

Seriously though, CAT STOCKINGS. They make my life better. Things have been pretty gloomy in the life department lately (I’m not talking about just the weather), and when things get gloomy I like to dye my hair fun colors and wear ridiculous things like cat stockings (and run. I’ve started running). It’s a surefire way to feel better and keep the darkness at bay.

Sewing really bright red things definitely helps too. It’s a great power color. Tiger Woods knows what’s up.


  • Lauren Eckhart

    Hi Rochelle! I just discovered your blog. I’m so excited I did because
    I’ve been trying to find a sewing blog as lovely as yours. (My own blog
    is half painting, half sewing and was having trouble finding others
    similar to that.) Maybe I didn’t know what to search for. haha! I love these
    shorts. Such a flattering fit from waist to hips.

    • Hi Lauren, thank you for sharing such kind words about my blog! …and my shorts 😉 <3

  • Stephanie Holladay

    If you are worried about the color running out of your shorts there is a product that quilters use, but I can’t remember what it’s called. I haven’t tackled a red and white quilt for this reason. I bought this pattern too so I’m excited to see that you didn’t have any trouble with them. I’m working on my VIFPMCW as well. I’m using this shorts pattern too. It’s just so great. I love high waisted shorts since I am high waisted. They make my curves look awesome! And who doesn’t love that??

  • Tamara Jenner

    That is like the cutest outfit ever! I love cats and those cat stockings are to die for! I wonder how they would look with a pair of black booties for the winter? Hmm, the wheels are turning… Love the shorts too 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I definitely plan to wear them with boots once the weather gets cooler. Prophecies tell me it will look adorable 😉 😉

  • Abigail Howatt

    I love this outfit so, so much. Next on my list, Ginger jeans and then these shorts! Also, I need to start wearing a headscarf. Every day.

    • Thank you! I’m sure your Ginger Jeans and your shorts will turn out great (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad pair of Gingers)! Bandanas are seriously my go-to hair accessory in the summer. I love them! 🙂

  • Your shorts look amazing – they seriously look like the most perfect pair of high-waisted shorts ever. Your whole outfit is really, really good though! I think I need some cat stockings … ^____^

    • Thanks, Lisa! You totally need some cat stockings. Everyone does 😉 😉 Also, LOVE your hair color <3

  • Thank you, Naomi! I completely agree with you about the muslin thing, I always want to skip directly to the “real” sewing but every time I try I usually regret it lol. Knitwear seems to be much more forgiving in that department though. I should really sew with more knits! More Archer shirts are on my list too! I really need to get on that, especially since New York summers are only 3.5 months long, if we’re lucky 😉 The cooler weather will be back to stay sooner than later!

    Thank you for thinking of me with your prayers. You’re so thoughtful. I’m really starting to feel much, much better now. Sewing is excellent therapy!


  • jannapyj

    The butt shots are FANTASTIC!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! My only gripe now is that I don’t own a pair of awesome cat stockings…nooooooo!!!! So to clarify, I need to sew up these shorts (in Red of course), buy cat stockings and a yellow cardigan…I already have the Green bangs and pretty scarves to choose from. Oh dang, I just realized that my loafers are brown! Hmm, I wonder if I can find brown cat stockings instead of black???


    • I’m so glad to hear they’re appreciated lol! We could totally be outfit twins. And for the record, they SHOULD make different breeds of cat stockings. Russian Blue. Classic Tabby. Who can we contact about that, I wonder? 😉

  • I still adore that Archer – it’s perfect! Great shorts and I love the blue hair!

    • Thanks, Heather! I know I keep saying it but I reaaalllllllyyyy need to sew more Archers! I mean really really.

  • they look awesome! I really like them high waisted and bright red, that is just perfect.

  • Those really are ridiculously adorable stockings. Awww!!! And the beyond perfect pair for a devoted, awesome pet mama like you.

    I hope that you guys are having a terrific summer and that the sun returns on your end really soon.

    Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  • Gwen

    These shorts look so great! High-waisted shorts are so hard to find in modern shops and I have been dreaming about making my own in a range of colours. This post has just inspired me to really make me dream a reality! xo

    • Thanks, Gwen! I agree, it’s hard to find ready-made shorts now that aren’t super tiny in both the rise and the inseam. I really enjoy making shorts because they’re pretty quick to sew, and don’t have as many potential fitting issues as pants do 🙂

  • Victoria Anderson

    Those look great! I love primary color outfits.

    • Thanks, Victoria! Me too 🙂 You can’t really go wrong with those colors.

  • I really like how everything fits toghether. And those shorts are awesome.
    I love shorts and long sleeves, I wish it would be that kind of weather all the time.
    I’ve commented on Facebook as well, but the stocking are super super cute 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂 It’s back up to terribly hot temperatures again, and I have to say, I prefer the shorts/stockings/long sleeves weather! …though the sunshine is always welcome 🙂

  • Hope things get brighter for you, soon! You look super cute!

  • evie skelton

    I absolutely love all of the colors you’ve got happening here, from your hair to the shorts! You always look so cute.

  • Fabulous shorts! Great color and fit. And those cat stockings are just awesome! I just love how you style your looks!

  • Jennifer Hill

    I’m sorry things are gloomy in the life department at the moment, but red shorts (and is that blue gingham lining I spy?) HAVE to cheer a person up! And cat stockings!! A beautiful make – and an enviably slender butt, lol ; ) I think I may be about to try trousers for the first time, gulp. Jen

    • Thank you, Jennifer, you’re so sweet! Good luck with the trousers. You can do it! 🙂

  • Love the shorts! They are super flattering. For your laundry issue, I’ve been using Shout Color Catcher sheets for a while and that allows you to skip the sorting part altogether, it works great. Also great for fabric with stripes or polka dots.

    • I’ve heard of color catchers but I’ve never tried them. Thanks for the suggestion! I will most definitely give them a shot for next time. Sounds like a super great product. Just what I need!

  • Love the shorts, Rochelle! 🙂 Such a great colour and fit. Those stockings! I looooove them! 😀 😀

  • I LOVE the color, stunning. I feel like Cynthia Rowley’s patterns fit far better than other Simplicity patterns. Yay for no muslins!

    • Thank you! Yeah I’ve actually had some pretty good luck with her patterns! She must draft a wee bit differently from the standard. I like that 🙂

  • These look great on you! I’m glad to see how well they fit straight out of the package, so to speak. This pattern is also part of my #vifpmcw challenge, so I’m inspired and excited to get started on them!

    • Thanks! I can’t wait to see your version! 🙂

  • Juliana Restrepo

    Love the color! Maybe if you soak the fabric in vinegar (like a ton of vinegar!) to help fix the color? That’s what knitters frequently do with hand dyed yarns. It has worked for me. My mom also told me that salt helps fix colors. Love your blog! 😀

  • Juliette MIJEON

    That’s a lovely outfit! And thanks for posting the tutorial about exposed zippers, it’s not so easy to find! I mean, you see loads of tutorials for invisible or lapped zippers and so on…but this must be the first time I see one about exposed zippers!

    • Thank you! And you’re welcome 😉 I’m excited to try my first exposed zipper on my next project.

  • They are such a great shape, so flattering. These are just the type of shorts I can’t find in the shops – sitting high on the waist, just perfect to wear with vintage jumpers! Thank you for sharing. You’re so talented.

    • Thank you, Theodora! I agree, shorts nowadays usually have such a tiny rise and inseam. I never seem to find anything in shops that I truly like. Being able to make your own ideal wardrobe feels extra good in situations like that! Now I just need to work on my knitting skills so I can make my own cardigans, too 🙂

  • Very nice! The fit and the fabric is great!

  • Sara

    nicely done! Pants and shorts seem so scary to sew!

    • Thanks, Sara! Pants and shorts can be scary sometimes, but there are plenty of patterns out there that make it much less complicated than you might think, and the effort is worth it 🙂

  • Emma

    Well done! They look super flattering. I don’t even like wearing shorts, and now I want a pair.

    • Thanks, Emma! I really don’t wear shorts that often but having just one favorite pair is really nice when the summer temperatures make pants unbearable!

  • Hey green hair sister! I think this outfit is so you! Love it.

    • Thanks, Laura! Woo hoo! Green hair twins!! <3

      • Mine is gray into green, so if Blake Lively is “bronde” I am “grayne”.

  • AuntyMaimu

    I have the same stockings! Only that my cats look like fat house cats who do nothing but eat and sleep LMAO!

    Butt shots are crucial! Sewing people are very obsessed with fit, thus we need to see the garment from every angle possible.

    Love the red! I think I wore shorts that short very long time ago. Nice legs!

    • Haha! Oh fat house cats who do nothing but eat and sleep? Gee, that sounds awfully familiar… I think I have about 4 of those in real life 😉

      Glad you appreciate the butt shots. I agree, fitting things can become an obsession!

  • Rachel Proffitt

    Love your cat stockings! Love the shorts too:)

  • Sarah Koch

    Love the outfit styling. Those cat stockings are the bee’s knees.

  • I wish there was such a thing as dog stockings…..sigh………but for reals, those shorts are beautiful!

    • I don’t remember seeing any dog ones, sadly, but that company makes bear ones and dinosaur ones and rabbit ones and all sorts of ridiculously adorable stockings! I wonder how many different pairs I could own and wear regularly without crossing some kind to Too Cute line lol 😉

  • Girl, those cat tights are making my day better, and I wasn’t even having a bad day! I bet you smiled at your knees all day. And those shorts! Amazing! They looks so good!!!!

    • Haha! Thanks, Gillian! Yeah I did catch myself looking down at my knees a lot lol 🙂

  • Olivia Hoak

    Those shorts are the cutest! You’re making me want to attempt some. Although, it’ll be a while before I can wear them. It’s pretty cold here in Melbourne.
    I have the same cat stockings!!!! I had actually just put them on when I saw the link on facebook. They’re fabulously fun and a great way to brighten up your day 🙂 I hope life gets better soon.


    • Thanks, Olivia! I think if everyone had a pair of cat stockings the world would be a better place 😉 xo