Skip to content

Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe: Orange Shorts


Ok, readers, I know I owe you one more One Week, One Pattern shirt but my weekend has been busy and I haven’t taken photos yet, but I did wear it. These photos on the other hand were taken a couple weeks ago so I’m going to show you my shorts instead.

The Goal: As you read in my Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe planning post – one of my items to make were a pair of orange shorts. More specifically Tangerine Tango shorts – aka the Pantone color of the year for 2012. I like this color and wanted to incorporate it into my closet this summer.


The Pattern: This is a new spring New Look pattern which I picked because I liked the cuffs on the legs, the tie belt and the ease of inserting an invisible zip rather than a front lapped fly. (Because I’m lazy, ya know.)


The Fabric: No matter where I searched I couldn’t find any orange fabric that was both the right color and the right weight for shorts. Then Tempest Devyne in the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle suggested I use Rit Dye’s formula for the Pantone Spring colors. (Thanks!)

So I did! But being the first time I ever tried to dye anything that wasn’t just thrown in the washer, the color didn’t turn out quite as even as I would have liked. I bought the dye plus some white twill from Joann and did the stovetop method but even with constant stirring some spots had less color than others. But I went with it and turned mistakes into features. You can see the pocket insets are lighter than the rest of the shorts.


I learned my lesson and next time my dying experience will be better.

The Changes: A couple people have already asked about the fit of this pattern. Firstly, while I should have taken the legs in a little at the thighs, I thought I could get away without it. Next time, though, I’ll shave a little excess off the sides.

But the bigger problem was the length. I’m 5’6″ and I’m convinced the model on the envelope cover was six feet tall at least because the legs were WAY long. The rise hits at about my belly button. On the model it comes up below hers.


I had to cut the length of the shorts by about three inches. Here’s a pic with one leg shortened with the cuff added and the other at the original length. Now, I know shorts length are a personal preference but the pattern’s length wasn’t working for me at all. You can even see how wide the legs were originally.

As for other fitting – because I had already done my crotch-analysis-of-doom I knew that I probably wouldn’t have to make any changes to the crotch line and I was right. It worked out pretty well as-is.


Oh, and to answer your questions – I think those horizontal lines at the back darts are from me pulling the fabric by putting my hands in the pockets. I only took one non-pocketed photo and I didn’t really have that issue. And to answer your other question – yes, my legs are that pale.


The Results: I like ’em. Comfy and fun to wear these shorts will put their weight this summer, I’m sure. With such a bright color I’ll need to stick to neutrals to balance the top but I’m glad I went out of the box and tried a super bright color on bottom.

I also posted these shorts on the Sew Weekly for their Pantone theme. Check it out!!

Comments (24) for post “Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe: Orange Shorts”

  • Add a cup of salt to the boiling water before adding the dye. Then let the fabric boil for a good long while, stirring occassionally. I’ve been using this method with Rit dye for years and everything has always turned out beautifully.

    Having said that, the shorts are terrific.

    • Hmm, that’s a good point. With the iDye it said to add salt to the mix but for the box Rit instructions it didn’t say that. It also said not to boil the fabric and said to stir continuously (stirring for 30 min straight is a lot of work!).

      Thanks for the tips! No doubt I’ll be dyeing again and I’ll try your ideas!

  • Oh the tie at the waist is such a wonderful detail. The color is so wonderful! It looks so nice with that t-shirt, and it will look wonderful with so many other colors. Orange/tangerine is my favorite and I’m happy to learn that RIT has dye to match the Pantone color of the year. Watch me stock up! And rock those pale legs – mine are that pale and they stay that pale, with just a few more freckles.

    • Thanks! I really like the color. And I have a ton of leg freckles, but you can’t really see them in these photos. 😉 Go pale!

    • My pot was too small for all my fabric. Next time I’ll get a bigger pot or I’ll try pre-cutting my pieces into smaller bits so I’m not dying the full length of the fabric all at one time. The liquid couldn’t penetrate through all the fabric layers in the pot, even when I stirred the fabric.

      I could have tried the washing machine method with Rit but their instructions for front loaders were a little complicated for me. I preferred iDye’s little packets you just throw in and do a normal wash, no watching the cycle and adding dye at the right time.

    • Thanks Alessa! The shirt is a Built by Wendy brand t-shirt from several years ago when I was really into her Simplicity pattern line. I love that t-shirt.

  • When I made a muslin of these they were totally super long compared to the model on the envelope! I agree… she has to be uber tall. I’m 5’8″ and they seemed way longer on me. I am convinced that many of the garments pictured on the major pattern co. envelopes are altered to fit the models… which isn’t helpful of accurate for consumers!

    • I, too, think that the envelope clothes altered which I find misleading! I want to know exactly how it’s going to look when I make it.

  • How did you make the cuffs/ put them onto the shorts?

    I’m thinking about making the same shorts, but I’m only 5ft tall, so I am for sure that I would have to alter the bottom.

    I actually like the way it looks with the cuff better than the original! They’re really cute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SidebarComments (24)