A Two Part Blog Series: The Parkside Shorts and San Fransisco Swing Top

Part I: The Parkside Shorts and Skirt

I didn’t get around to blogging my very first pattern test (killer start, Marshall) which was the Parkside Shorts and Skirt from Caroline Hulse at Sew Caroline. Let me tell you, though, I was exhilarated that I got selected to be part of the testing team. After not getting picked for a couple tests that I applied for I was fully expecting this one to go the same way. Then came the “Push Notification” on my phone from Facebook which was shortly followed by rapid fist pumping and other unmentionable celebratory acts that only my lucky husband got to witness.

The test went smoothly and I over-zealously sewed up three pairs of these shorts because I was excited I got picked to test (you can chuckle, it’s fine) and I LOVED the shorts. Here’s why:

Versatility. Depending on your fabric choice and how you style them you can make these shorts casual or dressier. I made a chambray version, a sturdier cotton version, and an even more robust pair from an ikat print. Caroline also offers some tutorials on her blog for adding a drawstring or double welt pockets.

Union chambray from Robert Kaufman
Olive green cotton from Moda Fabrics

Style Features. The thick elastic waistband on these shorts is such a great style feature because  it makes the shorts really comfortable (even after consuming your body weight’s worth of Mexican food and margaritas) but also, because of the thickness, look really cute with your shirt tucked in and sitting a little higher on your waist.

The pockets on these shorts are a huge bonus. They’re lined pockets sewn to the front of the shorts and are deep enough to carry odds and ends….in my case, it’s pacifiers and legos.

These shorts have a bit of a wider leg which I love. I think the look is flattering and it’s beyond comfortable. Now, that said, for a dressier, I’m-going-out-for-a-girls-night look, I’d suggest sizing down as they do tend to run a little big in my estimation.

Quick Sew. These shorts don’t take any time at all to sew up. The construction is well-executed and methodically explained in the pattern’s tutorial. You’ll be walking out the door sporting your new shorts to your company picnic (boo.) or a lunch date with your new crush (yay!) in no time!

I haven’t even gotten to the skirt portion of the pattern. It has all of the advantages as those described above except an inseam. I used a textured chambray from Robert Kaufman for this one and I loved how it turned out. You can pair this skirt with a lot of different footwear and get just the look you’re going for. I put a thin cotton liner in mine. Caroline added a tutorial for doing this on her blog here.



The Parkside Skirt goes well with my next pattern test for Sew Caroline:

Part II: The San Francisco Swing Top

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I was excited that I got to test this pattern for her as well, my SFran Swing has been on heavy rotation since I finished it. I used a rayon, jersey knit from LA Finch Fabrics which you can find here. The fabric has excellent drape and a unique texture.  I think the geometric print brings a subtle interest to the large paneled front and back of the top.  I love how it turned out. I love even more how well it goes with my Parkside Skirt!

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The multi-faceted style of this high neckline top will get you through a myriad of occasions and has the flexibility to get you through all seasons. This top looks so cute by itself, festooned with a statement necklace or layered with a scarf or blazer for later this year. The back boasts a flowy (and flattering) silhouette that give you some breathing room but isn’t too “tent” like. If you don’t like the split back, the pattern offers a full back option.

The pattern also offers quick length alterations with a shorten/lengthen line. There is a dress option in the pattern, too, that looked very cute on the testers! Fun fact: We had a pregnant tester on the team and she looked so cute in her dress!  Like I said, it’s good for all of the seasons and all of the seasons of your life.

Well, if you’ve read this far then thank you and I just want to pass on that I would highly recommend both of these patterns. Caroline did a great job of developing the patterns and tutorials that will ensure you get some versatile additions to your wardrobe! You can find the patter on sale HERE!

Here’s to a weekend filled with stitching!

Leslie M.



  1. I absolutely loved reading your blog this morning!! Truthful and honest and the cutest kids!! Would love to collaborate…not sure what yet as I need caffeine in my system…. but definitely something 🙂 Have a great weekend!


  2. I really enjoyed this post! I don’t think it’s long (maybe that’s an indication that mine are too long, hahaha). I remember that joyous feeling of getting accepted to my first test, too, and can assure you that I was right there doing all the celebratory dances 😉 Love the thick waistband on those shorts. And the fabric you used for the top is so pretty!


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