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How to lengthen The Portland Shorts

If you wanted to change the length of your Portland Shorts, don’t let the curved shape of the hem confuse you! It’s a really straight forward alteration. The trick is just to avoid cutting through the curved area, if you are making your shorts longer, so the shape doesn’t distort and the proportions of the curve stay the same.

But I’m also going to talk you through shortening The Portland Shorts and cutting straight through the hem detail, so the split doesn’t get too high on the thigh!

We have the adjustment lines already marked on The Portland Shorts. It’s a staggered line so you can decide which method works best for you. The same principal can be applied to any pattern where you have a detail you’d like to avoid changing; in this case a curve but it could be a placket or a side split that you want to keep the same length. If you don’t have an adjustment line on your pattern just draw one on, keeping it at a right angle to your grain line.

Learn how to lengthen or shorten a shorts pattern


  • Your pattern (or copy of your pattern if you don’t want to alter your original)
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • tape
  • Paper

Things to be aware of

  • If you are doing lots of alterations to your pattern, do any length adjustments first.
  • Keep the grainline or “place to fold line” IN A STRAIGHT LINE, do not allow them to stagger.
  • The Chain Effect: when altering one pattern piece, also alter the corresponding pattern piece in the same way and remember to check they still fit together after your alteration. In this case, the length of the side seams and in-seams will need to match.


First decide how much longer you would like your shorts. You can measure yourself or an old pair of favourite shorts.

Cut along the adjustment lines marked lengthen (highlighted in the picture) and separate the pattern piece. The line is staggered to avoid cutting through the curve of the hem.


Place a piece of paper behind your pattern and tape the top portion of your pattern to it.

Extend the grain line. Draw a line parallel to the your adjustment line the amount you need to lengthen the pattern by. Tape the lower portion of your pattern to the new line, matching up the grainline. 

Join the pattern pieces back together by re-drawing the seam lines so that they are a smooth line. Then cut away any excess pattern paper.


When shortening your pattern if you use the upper section of the adjustment line, the split will move upwards and potentially could sit quite high on your leg and possibly interfere with the pocket. To keep the upper most point of the split in the same place when shortening your shorts, use the lower section of the adjustment line.

First decide the amount you want to shorten your shorts by. You can measure yourself or an old pair of favourite shorts.

Cut along the adjustment lines marked shorten (highlighted in the picture) and separate the pattern pieces.

Place a piece of paper behind your pattern and tape the top portion of your shorts pattern to it.

On the pattern, draw a line parallel to the your adjustment line the amount you need to shorten the pattern by.

Overlap the pattern pieces to shorten, taping the lower portion of the pattern to the new line and matching up the grainlines. 

Re-draw the in-seam and the hemline to make sure they are a nice smooth line. Then cut away any excess pattern paper.


Make sure to do the same alteration to the front and back leg, and double check they are the same length before cutting out!

All done! Off you go and enjoy those shorts!

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Our New Pattern Collection Bundles

Save 10% with our new limited pattern collections.

I’m so pleased to introduce our new limited edition pattern collections! Each bundle has 3 sewing patterns and are available as either a PDF or paper pattern bundle.

The Sunshine Pattern Collection includes The Joy Dress, The Barcelona & The Wendy Smock, all perfect for the summer sun and make the ideal me-made holiday capsule wardrobe.

The Essential Collection Pattern Bundle contains 3 of my most favourite and most used sewing patterns; The French Dart, The Maria Apron & The Somerset.

And we do like you to make the most of your sewing patterns so don’t forget to take a look at our free tutorials for tips and pattern hacks.

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Introducing our new pattern – The Joy Dress

Say hello to Joy!

We are so happy to share a little Joy with you!

Our newest pattern Joy is the perfect easy-to-wear dress.
She’s a lovely versatile addition to your summer wardrobe, comfortable and yet smart enough for any occasion.

Style Joy with flip flops for the beach, trainers for sight-seeing or heels for cocktails on the terrace.
Your choice of fabric will mean Joy can be casual and fun or choose a luxurious silky fabric in a fabulous print to make a chic statement dress.

Joy has a scoop neckline and the option of a plain back or why not make Version B that has this delightful gathered back detail.

Joy is a slim A-line shape with a relaxed fit through the waist, frilled hem, and tie strap and, of course, I included in-seam pockets.

Version B has a little more ease at the waist and hips due to the gathering detail on the back bodice.

As always, we’ve made this pattern with the idea you may want to pattern hack!

Joy is midi-length, finishing comfortably past the knee, but it’s easy to lengthen using the adjustment lines on the pattern should you fancy a bit of swishy ankle length drama. Or you could easily make her slip dress style without the frill if you are short of fabric.

We have kept the neckline the same as The Simone Set, so it will be easy to interchange the straps. And keep an eye out for our upcoming joyful blog post from Jen Hogg with all the details on how she made her dresses (3 of them!) with a fixed strap instead of the tie option and added extra fullness.


• Version A – plain back
• Version B – gathered back detail
• Adjustable tie straps
• Bust darts
• Scoop neckline
• In-seam pockets
• Frill hem

The Joy Dress is and Advanced Beginner pattern and is available in UK sizes 8-22 (see listing photos for more detailed info).

The Joy Dress is currently available in PDF only, but we hope to print her soon.

FABRIC DETAILS | Floral silk from Selvedge & Bolts // Linen from Ikea bargain corner stitched with Celofil Tencel thread from James Tailoring and machine dyed orange with Dylon dye.

As always, we will be donating 20% of the profit from our launch weekend. The charity we have chosen for The Joy Dress is

Every day Coram offers direct, practical help and emotional support to vulnerable children, young people, and their families. They extend support through the Coram Group Charities to help children and young people access their legal rights and school children avoid harm by making safe and healthy choices.

I want to just make it clear we are not in any way linked to but coincidentally my maiden name is Coram and Mr M and I have recently joined our business together and are officially called The Coram Group Limited!

Happy Sewing from Maven HQ




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The Somerset T-shirt | details

So, here she is…our newest PDF pattern, the Somerset t-shirt!

20-22nd December | This weekend, to celebrate the release of our latest pattern we will be donating 50% of all sales of THE SOMERSET T-SHIRT PDF pattern to in support of their work in providing refuge against domestic violence.

I have a thing for a bateau neck (or slash neck, if you prefer) t-shirt, always have, always will! I find the neckline is a really flattering shape and I have had various incarnations over the years all of which became staples of my daily wear. So, my mission for this pattern was to create an every day, hard-working pattern that would be a useful foundation piece for any capsule wardrobe.

The Somerset is a slim-fitting t-shirt, designed to fit closely fitted through the shoulders and bust area while skimming, rather than clinging to your body, through the hips and waist. As she is a multi-sized pattern in UK sizes 8-20, you blend between the sizes to create your perfect fit. She has been designed for knitted fabrics with approximately 40% stretch (around 5% elastane) but we have included a handy stretch guide in the pattern, to make sure your knit is suitably stretchy. The elastane content (Lycra and spandex are the same thing) will help your t-shirt retain its shape after wear.

And of course, we want you to get multiple uses from your pattern so we have 4 different sleeve options.


STRAIGHT SLEEVES | Opt for the classic 3/4 length or the long sleeve which is perfect as an everyday t-shirt or for layering.

BISHOP SLEEVES | make a statement with the cuffed bishop sleeve, which comes with a choice of a short cuff for a 3/4 length sleeve or use the deep cuff option for a full-length bishop sleeve.

SIZES UK 8-20 | SKILL LEVEL: ADVANCED BEGINNER | designed for knitted fabrics with 40% stretch (approx 5% elastane)

| available as a PDF pattern for instant sewing fun! Paper pattern to follow soon |