When Seamwork recently released the Dorian shorts they really appealed to me because they looked relaxed yet presentable. I then realised that I had a piece of linen in my stash left over from an old project that was just the right size for the pattern so it seemed silly not to give Dorian a try!
The Dorian shorts have elastic in the side of the waistband to cinch in the waist but still be comfortable. The shorts close with a zipper fly and button, and also have nicely sized inset pockets that are an interesting design feature.
The skill level is rated as beginner intermediate which I would say is fair. You probably wouldn't want to take this on as your first project because there are quite a lot of pieces and a couple of steps that need a bit of concentration. At the same time, there's nothing particularly complicated about the pattern and the recommended fabrics - medium weight wovens such as twill, denim and linen - are all easy to work with.
The instructions are also really detailed (I'd probably go as far as to say the most detailed I've ever used). They're very clear and illustrated with great diagrams, so if there are any steps that you're not entirely familiar with then they should help you through. I personally had never sewn a zip fly using the method in this pattern, but didn't have any trouble with that step and the fly turned out nicely (even if I do say so myself!).
I also liked the fact that the instructions provide two methods for finishing the waistband/inserting the elastic (one where you attach the elastic and then sew down the inner waistband, and one where you secure the inner waistband and then thread through the elastic) because I think that's the kind of technique where personal preferences can vary quite a lot.
In terms of sizing, my measurements (waist 32", hip 42") exactly match the size 12 for this pattern and that's the size I cut. The only change I made was to lengthen the inseam by 3 inches. I haven't worn shorts for years so I wasn't sure what length I'd like, but I knew I'd want them a little longer than in the pattern. I opted for 3 inches because that was the most I could lengthen the pattern by and still be able to fit it all onto my fabric! I was fairly sure from my toile that 3 inches would be enough and I knew that I would be able to cut a bit off/use a deeper hem if they felt too long. As it turns out, the length feels just right for me. In case it helps for reference, I'm about 5'9".
As I mentioned earlier, the fabric I used is left over from an old project (specifically my Anise jacket - enjoy my old short hairstyle there!). It's a jade green linen that, according to my Anise blog post, I got from Calico Laine - although given that I got it over 6 years ago it's probably unlikely that they still have this exact fabric in stock. It's a good fabric for these shorts and will be nice to wear when it's hot. The colour goes well with quite a few of my summer tops so hopefully I'll get a fair bit of wear out of them this summer - weather permitting of course!
The top I'm wearing the shorts with here is the top hack of the Tilly and the Buttons Marigold that I made last year - blog post here.
I enjoyed sewing my Dorian shorts, and I think they turned out really nicely. They're a good shape on me and, most importantly, they're super comfy! I'll definitely be making at least one more pair because my mum likes my shorts so much that she requested her own for her upcoming birthday. I also quite fancy trying out the member bonus trouser version of the pattern so you might be seeing that at some point in the future. If you're looking for a comfy pair of shorts that are interesting to sew, I can definitely recommend giving Dorian a try!