Pleats: Muslining the Rita Shorts from Wearing History

I have been in love with this pattern since the first day I saw it… no idea why searching the web last night, and searching pattern review, didn’t get me a single response.  Am I alone in my love for these shorts?  Well, the rest of y’all are crazy.


Front. To the camera’s right is the adjusted pleat. Sorry about the weird side stitching, that’s where the zipper ended. The waist will be more defined in the final, I just wanted to make sure it fit for now. Loads of room in that waistband.

This is the first pair of shorts or pants I’ve ever made for myself, so I had no idea what I was doing.  I graded up the pattern (which was pretty straightforward) and … here we are.  A quick muslin.   Fit pretty much as soon as I graded it up – I am going to have to remove some fabric from the curve of my back and replace it on the hem… but I’ll move the pleats there first to see if that fixes the issue.

I am HOPING you guys can see what I did with the pleats – the side near the zipper has been moved substantially outward.  Regrettably, I carry most of my weight in my lower abdomen (aka why I wear endless A-line skirts), and I don’t have much in the hip department.  This design was drafted for someone much slimmer than I.  (Yes, this is super sloppy sewing.  I don’t keep my neat sewing for muslins made out of my son’s old sheets).

Moving the pleat outward, at least in person, resulted in a vastly improved silhouette (I need to try this in the back too).  Gives me a bit more hip and less belly.


Side without pleat moved


Side with pleat moved

Perhaps you’re thinking, “These don’t look like shorts” – no, they don’t.  That’d be the point.  🙂  I fell in love because I *love* a pleated skirt… and one in which I can weed my busy-front-yard-garden is delightful!


back, no pleats moved


4 thoughts on “Pleats: Muslining the Rita Shorts from Wearing History

    1. hearthie Post author

      Can’t wait to sew up the real ones! 😀

      Does anyone know why you can’t find waist-height shorts in the stores now? Or, you know, shorts fit to be seen on anyone with a less-than-ideal figure? It’s odd.


  1. Anne

    Well, other than the length, I liked your photo a few weeks ago. The only problem I had was that they looked like a miniskirt. Making them longer solves that problem. I’d make them out of twill, though. (Yes, I know this is a muslin.)


    1. hearthie Post author

      My legs aren’t miniskirt approved at this time. 🙂 Anyway, though these are shorts, I intend to bend over in them (the point of having shorts at all) in public, and thus want a bit more thigh coverage. I should have my pair ready for tomorrow – have everything except the zip.

      I’m pretty pleased, this is a real problem-solver of a pattern. I think it might end up looking like I’m wearing a dress, which is a huge win IMO.



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