Pomona Shorts from Anna Allen

How many styles of shorts can I achieve even though they will all have elastic waistbands? When I was selecting patterns, I wanted a variety of styles from different designers. I also wanted to choose designers that, in the past, weren’t always the best fit for my body. Why? Because I love challenging myself, and I partly attribute some of my previous struggles to my lack of knowledge. Namely, I wasn’t selecting the correct size and didn’t know how to adjust the shape and drape to match my body. I chose the Pomona pattern from Anna Allen Clothing because of the style and because I hated the two Persephone pants I made years ago. I’m really happy I choose this pattern because the shorts are lovely.

Analyzing Style and Fit

The Pomona shorts feature no side seam, which is why I was initially drawn to the pattern. The shorts have an elastic waist, high rise, and loose fit. They also include two patch pockets on the front and or back. The other really cool feature is how the waistband is constructed. Instead of having a separate pattern piece, the waistband is constructed by folding over the top edge, thus eliminating the extra bulk you would get with a waistband seam. Ultimately, you only have one pattern piece to cut out and a second piece if you want patch pockets. Cool. I am thrilled with the simplicity.

Materials and Notions

Meet Milk Two-Tone Stripe Twill in Pecan

I made my shorts using Meet Milk Two-Tone Stripe Twill in Pecan. The material is a medium-weight woven twill made with TENCEL. The fabric consists of yarn-dyed subtle stripes running lengthwise in a lighter and darker shades of the same color. The material is 185 g/m2 (~5.5 oz) and has a fluid drape. The fabric was a little tough to work with because I was trying to keep my lines lined up nicely. I took a simple pattern and made it cumbersome with my fabric choice. It was worth it.

Sizing and Version

Body Measurements


My current body measurements are a 36-inch waist and a 44-inch hip. If I consider my anterior tilting pelvis, my hip measures 46 inches. I was uncertain what size to pick because I was between the sizes. I decided it would be better to use the larger size since it is easier to adjust the pattern smaller. I used size 18.

Final Garment Measurements

Front Rise11.2511.511.751212.2512.512.751313.2513.513.751414.25
Back Rise15.2515.515.751616.2516.516.751717.2517.517.751818.25

I really appreciate having a final garment measurement table. I can double-check that the size I’ve selected will work. First, will the waistband fit? My natural waistline is 36 inches, but I like to wear my waistband lower, so 37 inches will be close if not perfect. Second, will the stretched waistband fit over my hips? The stretched waistband for size 18 is 47 inches and will easily fit over my 44-inch hips. Third, will I have enough room to sit in my shorts? My seated hip circumference is about 47 inches, and the final garment has 52 inches at the hip. That is plenty of extra room, and I will be able to sit comfortably. Next, will I have enough room around the hem of my shorts? Measuring 5.25 inches down from the top of my inseam, my thigh measures 25 inches around. The hem of the shorts is 29 inches, so I will have enough room for my legs.

If I were still uncertain about size 16 vs. 18, I could use this table to further guide my decision. The unstretched waistband of 35 inches is my first indication that size 16 is perhaps not the correct size for me. My final waistband needs to be bigger than 36 inches since I wear my waistband lower than my natural waistline. The stretched waist is 45 inches and getting awfully near my hip measurement. If I had any subtle changes in my body, the stretched waist would be hard to get over my 44-inch hips. This alone tells me that size 16 would likely not work for me, so I feel confident about my decision to use size 18.

Conveniently at the bottom of the table in the pattern’s PDF, the designer states, “If you are between sizes, go to the next size up.” The designer also emphasizes selecting a size based on the stretched waist measurement in relation to your largest circumference (hip/butt/thighs). Great tips on choosing the correct size for this pattern.


I made Version C, the shorts, with two front pockets, in size 18. The shorts are meant to be roomy and comfortable, and I feel like I’m honoring that style with my size choice.

Fitting Method

To bring you up to speed, I’ve already concluded that I can’t mark the center grainline on anything other than full-length pants, so that is where I’m starting. I can assess fit and drape with the full-length legs before moving on to the shorts version.


Immediately, this pattern presents some fun challenges. First, this pattern has no separate waistband, so I couldn’t sew together a waistband and pin the pattern to my preferred waistband placement. Instead, I just wore a 2-inch elastic, the same size used in this pattern. I measured down from the top where the bottom of the elastic should be on the pattern (see pattern PDF for specific measurements) and determined how much vertical ease I needed along the center front, the center back, and the side seam. I find this process easiest when using just one leg, so you can visually see the crotch curve around your body and the amount of ease. I determined I needed to lower the center front by 1-1/2 inches and the center back by 3/4 inches.

Key Grainlines

The second challenge was to determine the vertical grainlines. Thankfully, the pattern designer marked where the side seam should be. To find the front center grainline, I found the middle point between the front inseam (excluding the seam allowance) and the side seam mark. To find the back center grainline, I repeated the same process as the front. Remember, the side seam doesn’t have a seam allowance, so it is critical to not include the seam allowance when determining the middle of the ankle.

During my waistband placement, I also made sure the mark the middle of my knee so I could include the knee level in my pattern. Finally, I marked the front and back crotch levels. The back inseam is about 1/2 inch shorter than the front inseam, and that’s intentional. It helps fit the back leg around the butt. When I drew the crotch level, I ensured the lines were perpendicular to the center grainlines. I ended the front and back crotch level at the side seam, and it is correct that they don’t touch.

Does the Center Grainline Bisect the Knee

I’m disappointed I didn’t have to do more work with this pattern. The front and back center grainline bisected the knee level, and I did not need to make any changes.

Find Your Body’s Center Grainline

I wanted to study adjusting the center grainline on a pattern like this. Unfortunately, but fortunately, the center grainline matched perfectly to the laser level on my body. But let’s review again how my method works. I stood before my laser level and lined up my ankle and knee with the laser. Next, I marked at the crotch level where the laser appeared (red line). For the front and back pattern pieces, the laser level was spot on in the same spot as the pattern’s center grainline. I know you all are disappointed, too, with this perfect fit!

If you need to review again what I mean when talking about how I line up my feet with the middle of my ankle and knee, review this helpful YouTube video.

Going from Full-Length to Shorts

Let us return to the original pattern and compare the wide legs versus the shorts. I want to assess if the legs are made any wider or narrower, the length of the inseam and side seam, and if there is any curvature or shaping along the hem. The shorts and the wide-leg versions share the exact same leg shape. I also noticed the hem of the shorts curves a bit, so I want to include that in my drafting. Finally, I just need to match the leg length of the shorts.

Original vs My Final Pattern

The original pattern is in blue. My pattern is outlined in red. In the end, the only thing I changed was the waistband placement! Amazing.

Final Fit


I’m definitely of two minds about this pattern. I’m thrilled it took so little to make the pattern fit my body, but I’m also disappointed that I did not have more chance to study grainline placement on pants that feature no side seam.

Since I can’t say more about the fit, what about this fabric? The two-tone stripe is funky, and I loved turning the fabric 90 degrees on the pocket to add visual interest. On the other hand, the fabric was a little finicky since it is incredibly lightweight and flowy. I have enough material left over, so I’ll try to make a matching top, but that might not be for some time. As always, thanks for visiting my blog and reading all about my pant-fitting journey!

p.s. My only complaint is that the PDF pattern did not come with layers. I’ve gotten so used to printing just my pattern size that I was mildly annoyed when I had to print all the sizes.

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