Shorts On The Line – Mustang Pocket Sketchbook Shorts

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sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

Hello everybody! Are you having a wonderful Monday? Is there even such a thing? Generally, when I have a wonderful Monday, it’s only because Monday forgot itself, or it’s playing a mean trick and lurking around the corner of Tuesday morning. What does this have to do with shorts? I’m not entirely sure.

It’s shorts on the line happening here on my little blog today! Shorts on the line is an annual blog celebration of shorts sewing, and a great way to get inspiration for your own sewing. This year it’s hosted on Kollabora

For fun, I dredged up an old photo from when I did SOTL back in 2012…..


It’s little Clover! I sewed her some Oliver and S Sailboat shorts with added placket details on the sides, and a Figgy’s Banyan tee with freezer paper stencil. Somehow despite the use of the ubiquitous blogger photo shoot fedora, this photo shoot fails to impress two years down the road. Guess I should be pleased that my photography has improved over time?

Ok, down to the Hawthorne goodness I have waiting for you




Hawthorne is rocking an assortment of fun stuff.

The Main Details:

Shorts // Pattern: Oliver and S sketchbook shorts Fabrics: Double cloth check from Imagine Gnats, Cotton and Steel mustangs from Finch sewing studio

Shirt // Pattern: Flashback Skinny Tee modified with my lap tee tutorial Fabrics: Gray organic jersey from Finch Sewing Studio


bubs bleach shirt - girl like the sea

sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

I’ve got this really picky streak when it comes to sewing kid shorts. They need to have certain aspects if I’m going to get thrilled about them. Fit has to be great obviously. Sewing instructions have to not tax my brain. They need to have a separate waistband, and just enough detail to make them interesting, but not be overly complicated. If that makes any sense.

After having sewn up two versions of these shorts so far, I definitely think this one is a big winner. There will be lots of little sketchbook shorts in the future for this guy. sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea


I love that they have slant pockets, which don’t take much time to sew, but add special professional detail. And the pleats. I love the pleats! A faux fly is great too because I like the look of a fly, yet know I don’t need to be throwing sewing time away putting one into baby shorts. Ok, if I’m being realistic, with my proficiency when it comes to zip flys…..time will be wasted regardless of whether they are a useful addition to a garment. Heh.


sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

My only peeve is that the shorts are super long on my little guy. I sewed them in the 6-12m version for my 12 month old and they are clam digger length. NBD though because I just cuffed them and tacked the sides down. They can be let down when he grows. Boom. Style element with practical use.

sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

His shirt was fun/crazymaking to put together. Because I’m like that, I decided to just dive into throwing bleach all over the good fabric without experimenting beforehand. It was a learning experience. Sometimes learning can be annoying, but don’t tell my homeschool kids….However, now I have a better idea of how to make designs with bleach.

sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

As I watched the bleach creep into the shirt fibers, transforming the colors in a wave, I was reminded of my time in hair school learning about underlying pigment. Having witnessed enough people’s dark hair bleach down to red, orange, and pink, I knew all too well that you never know what’s lying under there waiting to be unearthed. Well, this gray fabric just happened to have a lot of underlying pink. And that’s as far as she bleached. And like any good spaz, I tried to make it go further and just made things worse. So the nice stencil I had going on in the front bled through.

sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea


My face looked pretty similar to his up there, all abandoned on the little wood wall. Apparently he didn’t appreciate how cute he looked on it. Y U no like perching precariously upon walls, Hawthorne?


sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

It’s not that I really mind pink on boys. But we just made him a birthday shirt with quite a bit of pink in it, and I kinda wanted the guy to have something a little more dudely than all that. He’s a rock star though, so he can pretty much wear whatever he wants and call it awesome.

sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea


We just finished watching a certain HBO show (cough The Wire cough) and this shirt was inspired by it. We call Hawthorne “bubs” which is also a character in the show. Granted, that character is a homeless dope fiend who hawks stolen junk from a shopping cart on the streets….but in the end he’s one of the good guys, and he gets redemption.

By the time I was done torturing this shirt (sewing and ripping out the sleeves three times INCLUDING SERGER STITCHES) it looked pretty vintage and homeless, but in a good way. Hobo chic, baby.


sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

The sketchbook shorts don’t typically have a back pocket, but I jacked the pocket piece from the incredibly cute button up shirt that comes in the pattern and just tweaked it to have a pointy bottom. The pocket was carefully, and with much trepidation, cut from a precious cut of cotton and steel mustang fabric. You don’t even know. This stuff kills me.


bubs bleach shirt - girl like the sea

sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

sketchbook mustang shorts - girl like the sea

Somebody needs to explain to me why my BABY looks like a 3 year old pushing this cart around. This requires an explanation! The camera adds ten years? Hawthorne, I don’t approve of this.


bubs bleach shirt - girl like the sea

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you! Another installment of shorts on the line over and out!


This post is part of the Shorts on the Line sewalong.  Shorts on the Line 2014 is sponsored by: Britex FabricsHawthorne Threadsmiss matatabi, and Soak Wash.  Hosted by imagine gnatssmall + friendly, and Kollabora.


  1. says

    That pocket is absolute perfection! I have this pattern but for a reason unbeknownst to me, I decided to get it in the larger size range. My skinny almost 5 yr old probably won’t be able to wear them until he’s 8!!

  2. says

    You kill me. Hobo chic, baby? Oh Tara. Please write posts for me. Will pay you in wine. The shirt turned out awesome, as did the shorts. I guess I will go and get some of that cotton and steel now, if you say so. It is darling. How do you feel about the old Melissa and Doug cart? I remember whining and wheedling my way into getting it for the kids and now my walls are so badly damaged from it that I fantasize about lighting it on fire…
    Brienne recently posted…We Won! Plus a Humble How-To: Embroidered Kitty TeeMy Profile

  3. says

    hehehe got them white tees, whiteys right here y’all! oh bubs. poor bubs. he might be one of my favorite characters in the history of TV, though. what a story arc on that guy. anyway, this outfit is super fantastic, love the stencil and the horsey pocket, and i agree about the sketchbooks – they’re great but a bit long. good thing is, they really do fit forever! O has been wearing his Zissous for 2 years. 😉
    kristin recently posted…flashback class picnic shorts on the lineMy Profile


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