A monthly box of sewing goodies, delivered to your door

Harriet’s Goji Shorts

With festival season comes standing in a (usually very muddy) field, surrounded by lots of very excited and usually quite drunk people

Plus the seemingly ever-present worry in the back of your head about what state the toilets might be in. And, of course, incredible music.

Festival wear gets more and more ‘out there’ every year, and I LOVE looking at what everyone’s wearing. I have to admit though, I’m not particularly into sequins myself and usually tend to lean more towards comfort and practicality rather than heading for glitter central, but whenever I go to a festival I still want to fit in! Which means that this month’s cute, cool chambray was right up my street.

Shorts with an elasticated waist have been on my ‘to sew’ list for what feels like 13 years (it absolutely hasn’t been that long, but I do really need some in my wardrobe), so I finally got around to making them! I chose to use the Goji shorts pattern from Deer and Doe. Deer and Doe are a French pattern company, but their translated instructions are amazing, and their accompanying illustrations are even better. The Goji shorts have some really cool design features too – the paper bag waist, featured pockets, fake fly, panels and facings around the hem – which gave a lot of opportunity for playing with contrasting fabrics. I was very tempted to bring in some contrast but in the end, I decided to keep it simple and do everything in the main fabric – I’ll get more experimental next time though!

I loved everything about the chambray included in this month’s classic (and mini) box – the blue is a really lovely shade, and the little roses are an adorable feature; they look like polka dots from a distance but you can see them close up… I love fabrics like that! Because chambray is made with a blue warp yarn and a white weft yarn, it gives a textured appearance which I absolutely love – sort of a denim look, but in a lighter weight – making chambray perfect for shorts, skirts and shirts! It’s perfect for summer weather too, because it never leaves you too sweaty. And, how could I forget, cutting it out makes you feel all kinds of wonderful – that noise!


As I said, the shorts came together much faster than I expected them to, considering how intricate they look on the pattern cover. I did change a few things, but that was down to personal preference rather than finding any faults in the pattern – I decided to get rid of the drawstring around the waist, and to change the width of the elastic in the waistband. Instead of two channels of 3/8 inch wide elastic, I went for one channel of 2cm wide elastic, just because I find thicker elastic to be more comfortable around the waist. The only thing that meant changing was where I sewed the elastic channel lines, and to be honest, it’s much faster to sew one bigger channel, and I still ended up with the very snazzy paperbag waist look.

There were only two elements that I wasn’t particularly fond of, and they’re both purely down to personal preference. The first one is probably slightly more applicable to everyone else – the pockets. While I love the method of attaching the pockets to the outside of the shorts rather than having to faff about with pocket yokes and whatnot, a method which is much easier and means that this pattern is really suited to confident beginners, the pockets themselves aren’t actually very deep. It looks like they should be, but I discovered that a lot of the pocket is just the diagonal line across the top where you pop your hand in. This can be easily fixed for the next time though, and we can have deep pockets galore! The second problem that I had really is down to me – it’s not something that I imagine many of you would experience, unless you’re the same height as Danny Devito like I am (In case you were wondering, he is also 4 foot 11 and I’m very proud to be as tall as he is). The shorts did come out a little bit long and a little bit wide, so I think I’ll size down next time. I could easily fix the length on these shorts by just taking off the facing and hemming them as normal, but I really do love the facing feature, and the length isn’t something that bothers me enough to sacrifice that!