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Bella Sunshine Designs Tess Tulip Shorts

When I saw that Bella Sunshine Designs was drafting a tulip style short, I was cautiously excited. It is hard to draft this style of short. ...

When I saw that Bella Sunshine Designs was drafting a tulip style short, I was cautiously excited. It is hard to draft this style of short. Heck, its just hard to draft shorts and pants in general! I watched carefully as the testers photos rolled into the group and I did not see anything that said these were going to be a bad investment. So with quite a bit of trepidation, I spent my last discretionary paypal money on the Bella Sunshine Designs Tess Tulip Shorts. There was no turning back because you can't buy a pattern for $2.13. I was committed.

I can't tell you how much angst this pattern was causing me. As I put the pieces together and checked that all the seams matched up, everything looked good. Maybe too good. I was giving myself anxiety over it being too good. <sigh>

Since this pattern sews up so fast, within about 30 minutes I had my first muslin done. As expected, it didn't quite fit. But pants NEVER fit me. and I knew exactly what to do. For my muslin, I sewed up the size 8 pattern, straight. I was actually in between the 6 and 8 for my hip, but I was certain, I would want the extra room in the front leg. I was right. Also, no surprise, but my back leg was big and open and not flattering.

Quilting Cotton

I was fairly confident with this information that #1- this pattern was well drafted. And #2- my fit adjustments would fix most of my concerns. YAY. Time to cut into my "good" fabric. I used the Simply By Ti Stretch Twill for this version. I was hoping the stretch of the fabric would allow me to cheat a little on the front leg. I didn't want to have to mess with the front pattern piece. I was wrong. <DOH>. Notice the pull lines on the front leg. Never try to cheat yourself out of a good fitting pair of shorts.

Before I started cutting, I shrunk the back pattern piece down from a size 8 to a size 6. THEN, I took a 1" wedge out of the center back leg. This was the same adjustment I did on the Moxi shorts to get a good fit on my thin back leg. It worked beautifully. No more flyaway back leg!

That left me with just 1 problem. The outseam on this pattern has a beautiful curved shape. This is great for ladies with a defined hip curve. I however, have MUCH less hip curve than the typical hourglass shape. So, I knew that I would need to slim that out. For my final version I took a scant 1/4" out of the widest part of the out seam and blended it up and down. That is a MUCH better fit to my less prominent hip. I copied the same curve that I smoothed out on the front to the back and the petal.

Stretch Twill

This pattern includes 2 inseam lengths and pockets! We all know pockets are the gift that you give yourself! But that wasn't enough for me. I wanted shorts with the little curved hem on the side. Easy peasy. I cut 2 fronts and 2 backs. Then, I copied over the front curved hem to the back, so they would match up at the seam allowance.

For reference, this pattern is 100% drafted for wovens. I do NOT advise using a drapey knit fabric for this style. It will NOT hold up well. But it turned out perfectly in the Simply By Ti Stretch French Terry. The stability of the french terry means the shaping looks accurate. I completely cheated and put on a yoga style waistband because I didn't want to interface my front waistband. I left the hems raw. I'm hoping that over time they will roll up. It would sit better over all if I had used an actual waistband as drafted but these are by far the most comfortable shorts I have EVER owned.

French Terry

Now for the best part.

#1- the Tess Tulip Shorts were just released on July 20th, and it is July 21st, so you can still take advantage of the release sale!

#2- All fabric at Simply By Ti is also still on sale. Use coupon code SUMMERBLOWOUT to save 25% off your entire cart! So if you want Stretch Twill or French Terry Tess Tulip Shorts, grab your fabric now!

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  1. Your shorts look amazing! I agree, a great fitting pair of shorts are worth the time investment to fit them to yourself properly. Great job!


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