City Gym Shorts by Purl Soho – Pattern Review

purl soho city gym shorts pattern review main pinterest photo

7 Reasons Why You Should Sew the City Gym Shorts by Purl Soho

The City Gym Shorts from Purl Soho have been one of my favorite sewing patterns since I started garment sewing.

I’ve made three pairs and I have several ideas for new pairs that I want to make. They are perfect for warmer weather and lounging around. They are comfortable and cute enough to wear out and about!

As I started writing this blog post there were so many highlights that I wanted to touch on for this pattern, so I made them into an easy to ready list with 7 things that I love about these shorts!

1. Cheap: Free Pattern & Scrap Busting Project

three different pairs of City Gym Shorts by Purl Soho

Did I mention that it is a FREE PATTERN! Free patterns are some of my favorites to dive into. I feel like there isn’t as much pressure to make them perfect and it’s not quite as much of a leap to start the project. They are available to everyone, just on the Purl Soho website!

Shorts are a pretty small garment, so they are a perfect project for scrap busting! The construction of the garment also allows for some fun piecing together of different fabrics if you don’t quite have enough of one.

You could make the bias and waistband out of one fabric and the legs out of another. Some also make the front and back different. There are so many possibilities! Check out the Instagram Hashtag – CityGymShorts for more inspiration!

2. Great for Beginners

mid sew of City Gym Shorts

This pattern is a quick and straightforward sew. If you’re new to garment sewing it is a great project that you can learn some new techniques with: shorts/pants construction, bias binding, and elastic waistbands.

There are just two pattern pieces to print and assemble (front and back legs) and the instructions are thorough and full of pictures. If you find yourself a little stuck, there are plenty of videos on Youtube (like this one! that walk you through all of the steps!

3. Use a Variety of Fabrics

fabric samples to use for shorts sewing pattern

These shorts work well with a variety of fabrics. If you have a bunch of fun quilting cottons that you bought when you first started sewing, this is a great project to use them on. This maroon geometric quilting cotton was one that I had in my stash and they look great!

I’ve also seen shorts like these in a chambray, linen, linen blend, tencel, lawn, or even knit fabric. I even used an old sheet for my floral pair. There are so many possibilities!

The only fabric I would stay away from are heavy weight fabrics: home decor fabrics, canvas, and denim. The shorts would not be comfortable.

4. Dress Them Up or Down

wearing a pair of City Gym Shorts by Purl Soho in geometric patterned red with white contrast bias tape

Based on what fabric you choose and if you add some extra customization there are so many possibilities for these shorts!

For a more put together look you can make them out of a chambray and add a paper bag waistband or you can add pockets with a hint of pattern on the inside.

To dress them down a bit you could make them out of a dreamy soft double gauze (perfect for PJs!) or you could make them out of a silly and fun quilting cotton print.

5. Easy to Fit

Since these are loose fitting shorts with an elastic waistband they will be an easier garment to fit. If you’re working with a precious fabric, I always suggest making a muslin first. I found that they fit true to size, and I graded in between two sizes for my last pair to try to get a more perfect fit.

I always have issues making my waistbands too big. At this point I’m usually excited and rushing to finish so I can try on the shorts. Take the time to make sure you really fit the elastic to where the waistband to sits. Fit it against your skin, not over your leggings!

You should also try on the shorts BEFORE you finish sewing the waistband closed, that way if you want to make adjustments, it will be much easier!

6. Available in Kids & Adult Sizes

Easy to make for both kids and adults! Perfect if you have different sizes of scrap fabric that you want to use up or if you wanted to make a matching mom and little one outfit.

I made my daughter three sets of pajamas with the Purl Soho City Gym Shorts and the Wiksten Smock Tops out of double gauze from JoAnns. I was able to get it on super sale and since she is little and they were summer jammies, I was able to make the full of set of pajamas out of just one yard!

7. Easily Customizable

inserted slash pocket onto City Gym Shorts by Purl Soho

There are so many fun hacks that you can do with this pattern! Here are just a few examples!

  • paperbag waistband
  • patch pockets to the back
  • add slashed pockets to the front (like I did in the photo above)
  • make a matching top for a faux romper
  • add a pop of color with coordinating bias tape

Share Your City Gym Shorts!

If you made your own pair of City Gym Shorts, please share them with me! Especially if you did any fun hacks. Tag me on Instagram! or comment below!

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