Tested: Greenstyle Venice Beach Shorts

How has your summer been friends? We are set to start school this week with the kiddos (homeschool, of course!), but it still feels like summer outside, as temps topped 110 degrees F this weekend. So, while other parts of the world might very much be looking toward hoodies and jackets, I’m still very much sewing for summer, and the newest release from Greenstyle, the Venice Beach shorts, fit right in with my plans.

These are a cute, athletic style short with a separate side panel, and finished with bias binding, just like my favorite pair from Nike. The Venice pattern offers options for side scoop pockets, a contoured or cut-on elastic waist, and three length variations.

Naturally, given our weather, I went with the shortest option possible- the 2.5″ inseam. I was a little concerned that I might be pushing the limits of what a nearly 38 year old woman should wear in public, but honestly, I just don’t care anymore. I’m not sure if its the social isolation of the pandemic talking, wisdom garnered with age, or just the humidity index, but I’ve become less and less concerned with how I look lately. If I feel most comfortable running in shortie shorts and a sports bra, I’m gonna do that- because I’m out there doing what makes me feel good, and that’s what’s important!

My first pair of Venice shorts was made with this abstract ocean print (on preorder now!) knit from Sew Dynamic Fabrics– I managed to squeeze this pair of shorts and a bonus pair of Super G’s (coming soon to the blog!) out of a single yard, with enough scraps left over for a sports bra of some sort (thinking about a Jalie Pika!).

This base is made from recycled bottles, and has a really high quality athletic feel. All my orders from Sew Dynamic also come with these adorable little clothing tags- I keep forgetting to put them on, but they are perfect for adding a little RTW touch, and reminding yourself that not only do you have somehting awesome to wear, you are doing good for the planet at the same time.

The side insert is a striped mesh from the Fabric Fairy, and the binding is done with white Olympus knit.

Bonus Lille Tank

Immediately after constructing the shorts, I decided a new white athletic tank was in order, so I stitched up a modified Lille tank to match out of the mesh. Ya know, for those times when I deem it socially necessary to wear something in addition to a sports bra, but still don’t want to suffer under any more clothing than absolutely necessary.

Sewing Tips:

There are two ways to do assemble the shorts- I followed the instructions for this first version, stitching on the binding after sewing the side panel in, and then coverstitching it down. If you follow this method, be sure to note that the side panel needs to be sewn WRONG SIDES TOGETHER with the front and back of the shorts- this is the type of thing I often miss in instructions, assuming that I know how they are going to come together because I’ve made so many pairs of shorts/leggings, so I thought it was worth mentioning here, in case you’re also an instructions skimmer.

The second method of assembly, and my preference, is to sew the bias binding to the front/back of the shorts and then coverstitch the side panel in with a second line of stitching. This makes for an easier and cleaner finish. I highly recommend using wonder tape to hold the side panel in place before stitching it down if you are going to go with this method.

Venice Pair #2

I used this second method on my next pair of Venice shorts, this time out of stretch woven (Fabric Fairy- print here, solid navy here, and rose solid out, but similar here).

Since I was using a stretch woven, I sized up to a C, but kept the waistband in a knit. This pair is absolutely divine to wear. Immediately after I made them, that old Nike pair got donated- bring on all the Venice shorts!

Zipper Waistband Hack…as usual!

I knew I’d want a place for my phone, so I hacked in a little back zipper pocket (tutorial here) on both pairs. This will hold my device more securely during long runs than a front scoop pocket, and has become a habit for me in pretty much every athletic pattern I sew.

Both pairs of Venice shorts feature the contour waistband- I wouldn’t have been able to insert the zipper into the elastic option, though I think it’s really cute for a pair of casual track shorts, and will likely make a pajama pair using that option soon.

Sizing

If you are making the Venice shorts out of a knit, especially a knit like cotton lycra, I would recommend sizing down. I’m technically between a size B and C, but my knit pair are a “B”, and I like the more fitted silhouette in the shorter length for keeping the back of my bum covered.

I did size up to a C for the stretch woven pair, because I wanted a bit more airflow, and I think that’s a great solution for a fabric that has more drape, and less stretch (20% as opposed to 50-75% for knit). I did not change any of the construction when using stretch woven, and still used the single fold binding method in the instructions (tutorial here).

So friends, share with me! Are you sewing for fall, or still rocking summer? I hope things are cooler in your neck of the woods!

Real Life…

On another note, my son broke BOTH his wrists a couple weeks ago on our trip to the Redwoods. The coast was absolutely beautiful, but this was not the type of souvenir we wanted to find. He fell off the bunk in the RV, and needed surgery on one wrist, a cast, and a brace on the other. We feel very grateful that his injury, though series, could have been worse, and I am so proud of this kid for how well he has put up with all the medical intervention, and the activity restrictions of his casts. We are hoping he heals quickly, so he can get them off and hop back in the water to cool off!

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