Style 1961 vintage shorty-shorts and 3/4 trousers

7 Mar
  • Shortyshorts
And 3/4 trousers
  • From Style 1961, printed 1977, which makes it a year younger than I am. I figure that makes us both vintage, right?
  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Shortyshorts – cotton-lycra poplin remnant. 3/4 trousers ribstop cotton
1 invisible zip each
  • Inspiration for the garments
I do a lot of walking and bike-riding and just needed new shorts. I used to have a pattern for shorts like these, years ago, but it never really fit well in the crotch, so I TOADed it long ago. This was back in the days were I knew how to sew but not fit. I found this pattern amongst a large haul of patterns around my own age, and around my own size, in an op-shop. (Awesome! One happy op-shop/sewer that day!!!) And decided to give it a go.
Discovering the shorts fit all over and especially nicely in the crotch – and the hips and waist (I have a small waist compared to hips so it is usually a real pain to fit things that go right to my waist. Much easier to fit slightly lower rise shorts/trousers), without needed any alterations (omigod, so perfect. What a find those patterns were! Whoever sent them off to the op-shop, thankyou thankyou thankyou!) I took the bermuda shorts pattern and compared crotches to ascertain they were the same. I then got measurements of leg length and width from a pair of rtw gaucho pants (from an op-shop, of course ;-P) that look very nice on me, and used them to draft the longer length of legs.
  • Useful info
The waist-hip ratio was more than modern patterns seem to be. ie smaller waist to bigger hips.
A valuable invisible zip lesson:
I made another pair of 3/4 trousers (not pictured) in a chocolate brown ribstop, and the fabric tore near the invisible zip, at the base. After inspecting I realised I hadn’t lined up the seam below the invisible zip too well. It had a wider seam allowance than the zip, which put stress on the point between zip stitching and the beginning of the seam. I was able to stick some mending tape on the little tear, and set the zip back in with a wider seam allowance – and it still fit. YAY!
  • Cost
Pattern – op-shop: 20c
Fabric: stash remnants = $0
Invisible zip = $2.50
Thread – stash = $0
This is the point where I think “Oh no, what if I’ve added it up wrong, I will look like a right dill!!!”
But I will bravely put a figure out there anyway, and hope it is right 😛
Total= $2.70
Purple trousers:
Fabric – ribstop cotton 1.5m @ $2pm = $3
Invisible zip – $2.50
Thread – $2
Total = $7.50
Brown trousers:
Fabric – ribstop cotton 1.5m @ $2pm = $3
Invisible zip – $2.50
Thread – stash = $0
Total = $5.50
Total for three garments:
  • Last word

The pattern pretty much overnight became a highly treasured TNT pattern. I traced off the shortyshorts pattern and the gaucho-pants version of it onto pattern trace so I can reuse to my heart’s content, while having the original to refer to if I want to do another version.

I totally ❤ that cotton ribstop. It is a lovely weight, it has a body that suits trousers and skirts well, but is actually very light, and cool. It is rather stretchy though! But after all those years of cotton-lycra, I am kinda used to stretchy clothing 🙂

And yes, it seriously is $2 per metre. I keep wanting to buy more – there is this lovely lovely sort of “rose beige” colour ribstop at Spotlight….

4 Responses to “Style 1961 vintage shorty-shorts and 3/4 trousers”

  1. Josie Brady March 8, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Both garments look great. That was a real find, all those patterns that fit your figure type. I remember reading that the Australian woman’s figure has changed, smaller hips and larger waist. That has always been my shape, so hard to fit at the best of times. The waist is really large now, of course.

    I will make a point of sending you all my pre1980’s patterns.

    Spotlight Hobart only has nylon ripstop. I was looking around recently for a reasonable weight cotton for pants, and ended up with a fabric from the Lisette range. I’m not excited by it, but I have tops that will go wtih it.


    • Tropical Threads March 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

      Yes, they are great for me. I love them. I have been finding these retro-style dresses work very well on me, looks like the trousers do to. YAY!

      Josie, I am a very willing recipient of any patterns you send me!

      I was in Spotlight this afternoon, they still have a roll of chocolate ribstop. I can get you some and send it to you if you want.

      I checked out the lisette range too. I rather liked some of them, but I have enough fabric for the time being! How disciplined of me *shocked*. I’m glad you found something that will at least work with your wardrobe, if not really inspires you.



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