A Review of The Heat Wave Hot Pants PDF Pattern by George & Ginger Patterns.
I actually purchased The Heat Wave Hot Pants pdf pattern a year ago and have made many versions. I have tried many different fabric types - some more successful than others!
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The Heat Wave Hot Pants are described as:
... a must-have! Darted for a flattering fit, slim and wide waistband versions...and optional pockets! Make something fabulous for YOU!
Recommended fabric for The Heatwave Hot Pants is a 2-way heavyweight knit with structure, such as ponte, Liverpool and cotton lycra. However, any knit fabric with at least 50% stretch will work. The first pair I made were from a very stretchy knit and they ended up being too big around the waist - I had to open up the waistband and insert elastic - still a perfectly wearable pair of shorts though. I also tried to make a pair out of stretch cotton - these were too small. Luckily they fit over my hips so I just had to re-cut a larger waistband. The pair I made from stretch crepe are my most worn. The stretch in them is perfect so I didn't have to alter the waistband and they are super comfortable. My only regret is that I didn't put pockets in that version. My two most recent pairs have been made from scuba and again the fit is perfect. You really must follow the recommended fabric in patterns if you want a good fit!!
As with all the George & Ginger Patterns I have tried the instructions are very good with nice clear
diagrams. I love the way the pockets are drafted - they sew in nicely and are really roomy. I have made some changes to the pattern with each version I make. Mainly the inseam length, the original pattern has it at 2.5" which is too short for me. I originally added 4" to the inseam but now have settled on adding 2" as being the perfect length for me.
The pattern comes with a slim or wide waistband. The slim finishes at 1.75" high whereas the wide finishes at 3.5" high. The Heatwave Hot Pants are drafted to sit at the waist and I have found that if I cut the waistband at 6" it gives a finished height of 2.75" which is perfect for me.
My only real niggle with The Heatwave Hot Pants is the way the darts are drafted. There are two at the front and two at the back giving a lovely shape. However, on the pattern pieces they are drawn straight across. When you sew them up and then press them to the side the raw edges do not line up. The seam allowance is only 1/4" so when you sew the waistband to the shorts front and back the raw edge of the darts does not get caught up in the seam allowance but is left exposed. I think this gives an untidy sloppy look to the inside. Does that make sense? Its hard to explain. To overcome this issue I have glued paper to my pattern pieces at the darts and worked out what size they need to be to line up with the raw edge - creating more of a diamond shape. A bit more fussy to cut out but the overall finish is better.
This scuba fabric from Loris Textiles is lovely to work with. Don't be scared by the word scuba - its not like the thick fabric you associate with wet-suits - you can get so many varieties and a lot of designers are drafting patterns that use scuba because it is easy to work with - it holds structure well but still has fluidity to it. You can also get many wonderful prints and designs! The downside to scuba is that it can get hot. Its ok for my little shorts but I wouldn't consider making a matching summer top. The scuba I used for The Heatwave Hot Pants has a look of denim mixed with leather but with an extremely light weight feel to it.
To add a little bit of interest I added buttons to the pockets - these are purely for decoration (although if you wanted real button holes it would be easy to do). These buttons from VP Craftland look like metal but are actually plastic - keeping them lightweight stops any pulling of the pocket shape.
Final Thoughts: I do really love this pattern! I like that they are made with stretch so are without fastenings but they don't need elastic in the waistband either. Just make sure you use the recommended fabric structure!