I got a lot of positive feedback on my Sail Away Lander shorts that I made in the Who Made It Best challenge. They turned out pretty close to my vision, so I’m happy.
If you’d like to make a pair for yourself or borrow any of my ideas, I’ve put together a tutorial of my modifications to make it easier for you. Check out my Sail Away inspiration board for even more ideas.
I made modifications that fall into three categories: 1. Angle the pocket opening 2. Lengthen for a higher waist and 3. Relocate the fly closure.
I’ll also share how I attached my slotted buttons.
Size: I originally made a pair of Lander pants and shorts in size 10 per the measurement chart. I like the length I get in that size, but really needed to size down to an 8 for a better fit in the width. For my Sail Away Landers I wanted a pretty slim/snug fit in the stretch twill, so I sized down even further to a 6, still keeping the length of my pieces at a size 10.
- Angled Pocket
Trace off the pocket pattern piece in your size and be sure to add the grainline marking. Measure and mark a line 3 1/2in away from and parallel to the long edge of the pocket. Mark the point (a) where the slightly curved top edge of the pocket meets the newly drawn parallel line. Measure down 1 3/8in from your (a) mark and mark again (b). Mark point (c) where the original pocket curve meets the side of the pocket. Connect (b) and (c) with a straight line. You now have an angled pocket opening. ** You may have to tweak these measurements slightly for a different size, but they will get you really close. (Original design lines are in grey pencil, newly drafted lines are in blue pencil)
Next up you’ll need to draw a new pocket interfacing piece. Simply trace your new angled pocket edge and draw a matching line 1in away to create the new piece.
2. Lengthen for a higher waist
I measured down 1 1/2in from top of the side seams (front & back pieces) to mark my lengthen line. Your lengthen line should be perpendicular to the grain line. Cut and spread 1in (or more). I’m short-waisted so 1in was plenty for me.
I chose not to lengthen my pocket piece. If you choose to, I suggest lengthening below the angled pocket opening, so you don’t skew those proportions.
3. Move the fly
We’re mostly just switching up the construction a little. Pin or mark just above the pocket on the side seam. Stitch the side seam closed from bottom(hem) up to your marking and back stitch to reinforce. The dot marking on the fly pieces will match up to the top of your side seam stitching.
In the pattern instructions the left fly attaches to the left (as worn) center front and the right fly piece attaches to the right (as worn) center front. Instead, you will attach the Left fly to the Front pant/short piece and the Right fly to the Back pant/short piece.
Follow the pattern instructions for completing the fly and button closure. The fly pieces as cut will extend up past the waistline, simply trim any excess. Once you have the fly completed, you’ll want to add a securing bar tack through the two fly pieces. Make sure they are laying flat over each other like they do when the fly is closed. Pin together and sew the bar tack through the two layers.
Note: Moving the fly to the side will make the pattern notches on your waistband irrelevant, but you’ll be fine. Simply attach following the directions and ease any areas that need it.
Things to consider.
- I’ve made two Landers before, so I knew I would be ok with a shorter side fly.
- I made mine with stretch twill, so going down a size and the shorter fly still works for me.
- Raising the waist may require further alterations of your CB seam, darts, and possibly the waistband.
Attaching Slotted Buttons (aka Canadian buttons or bar buttons)
I turned to the Self Sewn Wardrobe facebook group for direction with these. I got the suggestions that these are attached with a ribbon, twill tape, or self fabric running through them and an example pic from a rtw jacket with this type of closure. I haven’t found a tutorial to verify that I did this properly, but this will get you started. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
Your ribbon will run right down the middle of your buttons, so mark your button placement to the outside of each button so you can still see the markings after laying down the ribbon. Don’t skip the marking because we’ll be shifting those buttons up and down on the ribbon as we sew.
Cut your ribbon about 1.5 times the length of the fly and slide all the buttons onto the bottom of the ribbon. Starting at the top of the fly. Slide one button up to the top of the ribbon leaving about 5/8in of ribbon extending above the top of the button. Position your button to line up with your placement mark, fold under the top edge of the ribbon by 1/4in and pin the ribbon in place. Also pin or mark your ribbon just above the top of your button. Slide the button down and out of the way to make two bar tacks. One along the top folded edge of the ribbon and the second on the marking for the top of the button. Straight stitch along the edges of the ribbon between the bar tacks.
Slide the button back up into position and get ready to experiment with how much slack you’ll need in the ribbon. I tried using a match stick, chop stick, and a couple other things before settling on the shaft of my seam ripper. Place your spacer beneath your button keeping the button centered with your button placement marking. Pin down the ribbon to line up with the bottom edge of the button. Your next bar tack will go where you pin. Remove your spacer and test how well the button fits through the button holes. Adjust as needed. When you have the slack determined and the ribbon pinned, slide the button up as far as you can and make a bar tack where you pinned. Your first button is now secured.
Repeat this process for the rest of your buttons. Positioning your button with the ribbon flat, marking and sewing the top bar tack along the top edge of the button, repositioning the button with your spacer to get your slack, and marking and sewing the bottom bar tack. If you have a presser foot that will fit, straight stitch along the ribbon edges between your buttons. (I couldn’t make that work.)
After all your buttons are secured, leave enough ribbon to extend to the bottom of the fly and straight stitch along the ribbon edges to secure. I was also able to catch the bottom of my ribbon in a bar tack that I used to secure my fly pieces together. Trim any excess.
Next time I’d do the top button with a separate piece of ribbon. I think I’d like the looks of that better. I’d also apply my buttons before attaching the waistband, then I could secured top edge of the ribbon in a seam and have a nicer finish.
As always, thanks for reading today.
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