City Gym Shorts For The Girl Who Never Goes To The Gym


<<Ha!  I just realized that I forgot to make the sides line up perfectly.  And this is why I never sew with plaid fabric!>>

Sometimes I sew incredibly frivolous items that never get worn, and sometimes I sew something that's actually useful.  I'm pleased to say that this little pair of shorts actually falls into the latter category.  You see, I have one pair of lounging-around-the-house shorts that have been in heavy rotation for years and are about to die so I needed to add a new pair into the mix.  Luckily the stars seemed to align as the City Gym Shorts pattern was released by Purl Bee just when I needed a pair of casual shorts (and the pattern's free!).  If you search the internet you'll find tons of versions of these shorts sewn up in all sorts of incredibly cute mix-and-match fabrics, so I'll just point out the completely obvious fact that mine are definitely on the plain side.  But I love them all the same.

The fabric is from my stash and I have absolutely no idea when or where I bought it.  It seems to be a 100% cotton fabric with a little bit of texture and luckily it works perfectly for these little shorts.  I took extra time to cut everything out perfectly so that all the plaid lines align but when I finally got around to sewing the shorts I totally forgot about matching everything up and all the lines ended up being a 1/4 inch off.  Of course, I didn't realize this until I had serged all the seams and I don't know about you, but ripping out serged seams is the bane of my existence.  I made it through about an inch of ripping when I just decided to cut the shorts out again.  Problem solved.

I probably should have taken that mistake to be a bad omen because I had all sorts of trouble sewing up these shorts (all of it of my own doing).  I did a crappy job sewing on the bias tape and ended up having to rip it out and sew it back on.  I sewed one side of the shorts together wrong so I  had to rip that out too.  And my waistband kept getting stretched out as I sewed it down despite the many, many pins I used, so I had to spend quite a lot of time fiddling with that too.

I don't know what my problem was!  I swear that these are simple little shorts to sew together!  In the end, though, the effort was totally worth it and I love the final product.  So much so that I took them on our little family camping trip and wore the heck out of them.  I'm pleased to say that they lived up to the task!

What are we looking at here?  Oh nothing...just this view! Gotta love those San Juan Islands.


  1. Ha, I also downloaded the pattern but haven't gotten around to making them (yet). After your description of your sewing woes (so just like my own kind of sewing) I might just not make them! ;-)

  2. Oh, these are so cute in plaid!!! And I love your "plain" version, since I have to admit, I am not confident enough to wear mix-and-match short shorts, my legs are too distractingly white! But plain ones, yes, I could do. You are too cute working hard on your camping trip, but if you don't mind me saying so (and just ignore me if you aren't interested) I kind of miss seeing your face on your blog? I wish you'd stop cropping it out!

  3. I so need a pair or three of these. Maybe next summer. :)

  4. i need to hop on this bandwagon! but i'm, like, already into the fall sewing thing. haha. nice candid photoshoot, Ben! assuming it was Ben...?

  5. Looking good, and love that view at the end!

  6. Ooh metallic bias tape :)


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