The Start of Summer in Christmas-Colored Chi-Town Chinos

Summer is here! Which means you’re behind if you haven’t made your Chi-Town Chinos yet. No, really, stop reading this and get to work on this pattern, it’s that good and these shorts were SO fun to make. If you can spare an extra three minutes though, great, continue reading. It’s okay, I was behind on making them as well seeing as I’ve had these on my list forever. “Forever” being since last summer. Waiting this long to make these shorts is officially my biggest sewing regret to date.

I tested the Panama Tee and the Hampton Jean Jacket (blogged here) for Alina and  so I knew the Chi-Town Chino pattern was going to be just as good and my expectations were exceeded. This was Alina’s first pattern release and she knows her stuff! She makes everything really easy…..even the construction of the zip fly. She also provides insight on fit adjustment and has drafted the pattern to accommodate different body types for those with smaller waist/hip ratios.

My waist and hip measurements are 28″ and 38″, respectively. I made a Size 8 that specified those exact measurements! Yesssssss. As it goes though, pants/shorts usually need a little tweaking but mine was very minimal on this pattern and I only decreased the side seam and inseam allowances. The pattern calls for 5/8″ seam allowances and I used 3/8″. This just gave the shorts a little fuller look around my thigh which is personal preference.

I used some really sturdy and durable olive green twill from Threadbare Fabrics. I LOVE this stuff. What really sold me was the selvedge. There is a thin red ticking stripe that I wanted to use as some sort of adornment on this project and I decided to spice up the back pockets. I just slashed the pocket and pocket flap pattern pieces and cut them so that the selvedge ran right through both of the pieces. Then I just stitched the pieces together by sewing right on top of the red ticking stripe with red thread.

The red ticking stripe prompted me to use the red Les Fleurs rayon from Cotton and Steel for the pockets and then I decided to complete the look  by using red serger thread for finishing the seam allowances. Needless to say, I love the guts of these shorts! Would it be weird to wear them inside out?

I added a cuff to these to make them a bit sportier and added heavy duty snaps to the pockets and front fly instead of buttons.

I would HIGHLY recommend this pattern. I found the fit to be flattering and comfortable and they were so fun and easy to make thanks to Alina’s expert directions and illustrations. I’m going to make many more of these.

The fully-lined tank top is one that I drafted and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I used muslin fabric for testing the fit and I definitely see some changes in the design and fit by using rayon instead. Obviously this is going to be the case but I think it needs a little more tweaking using a drapier fabric.

This windowpane rayon crepe is from Indie Sew and it is so beautiful. It’s the perfect summer fabric because of how light and breathable it is! It is a bit shifty and so I took Allie’s advice and used some spray starch to stiffen it up a bit which helped a lot…especially when it came time to pattern match those stripes!

I had a lot of fun putting this outfit together for the kick-off of summer. I loved constructing the Chi-Town Chinos and also loved the challenge of drafting something for myself! I put in a fair amount of work for this ensemble……and then decided to showcase my work by standing in front of a wall that matches my skin tone perfectly. Brilliant. I guess, though, this was a pretty effective way to showcase the garments seeing as you can ONLY see the garments. Ha! I laughed pretty hard at my blogging mis-hap, because life is so much easier (and funnier) when you can laugh at yourself.

Happy Summer! What are your sewing plans for the season?

The Chi-Town Chinos pattern and windowpane rayon crepe fabric were provided to me by Indiesew, but all of the opinions and thoughts stated above are solely by own. 



  1. I love that top (and the chinos too!). What a perfect summer outfit – I can’t wait for your next steps on the tank top 🙂


  2. I have never sewn shorts before, only shirts, dresses etc, but all my shorts are tight this year and I can’t bare to buy any. I might just have to try these!


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