Saturday, 1 November 2014

These things take time

These shorts have been on my sewing table for a good three months, but they are finally finished, and what a marathon effort they were. They might even get the award for the longest project this year! I had one very good friend comment week after week that these shorts did not seem to be progressing. Ha. Thanks for that!
Starting off with an arse pic. Ha. But check out the welt pockets!
Anyway, I think the reason they took so long wasn’t in fact that the sewing of them was particularly tricky, but that there were sooo many pattern pieces – over 20 if I remember rightly – and there were a lot of techniques I hadn’t attempted before. So I took the project slow and steady… like a tortoise. So slow that they were on my before holiday sewing list, but weren’t quite finished by the time I boarded the plane. Oh well – we’re heading into summer now so they can get plenty of wear soon.


Where shall I start with these? Firstly the fabric is a beautiful soft French linen that my sister bought me when she was over in France earlier in the year. When I first saw the fabric I had no idea what I was going to make with it. I’m not an overly floral girl but the fabric was beautiful. I was a bit stumped, but finally decided a pair of cuffed summer shorts. I had the sewaholic thurlow pattern in my stash (thanks to the stitcher and the gatherer) and thought this pattern would do the fabric justice.

The instructions were a tad brief for my liking. Some of the steps came together really well, but other parts had me stumped. There were many a time when I looked at the pattern pieces and just couldn’t quite work out how it would all fit together, but then it would come together in a ta-da moment: like when the pocket bag folded on itself and produced the most beautiful front pockets. Or when the back welt pockets folded up on themselves to create the back pocket bag. Genius! This pattern was so cleverly drafted, but I definitely could have done with a few more steps and pictures.

One thing that I didn’t like was that there was sooo much excess fabric at the back seam of the shorts which was intentionally drafted to easily adjust the waist size. I had thought that this would be a really clever design, but in reality, there was just way too much fabric back there and getting the stitching line right was a little tricky. I ended up taking the shorts in even further then the stitching line on the pattern, but that may be because I have a sway back. Either way, I hacked off a good inch of excess fabric off each back panel at this point, and even then I was still left with an inch seam allowance for future adjustments (in case my waist measurements increase but my hips and thighs stay the same??)

I also made a slight mistake on the inside trouser flap and ended up having to over lock the excess fabric off as my waist band piece didn’t line up with the front trouser piece. I must have somehow misread one of the instructions for the seam allowance when attaching the trouser flap. Oh well. Luckily this bit can’t be seen.

I just think this pic is funny - so unladylike Myra!

All in all I am super happy with the construction and fit of these. I love the welt pockets (they’re square and straight!) and I am pretty impressed with myself that I pulled off welt pockets, front pockets and a trouser zip in one garment. I also think I’m a floral convert – these shorts are pretty yet not overly girly. I did wear these for the day today and I would say that the only negative is that the linen relaxes a bit too much over the course of the day, resulting in a slight sag of the welt pockets and a sag across the front zip section. That is completely my fault for choosing a soft linen, but on the positive, they are uber comfy. I think I’ll make these shorts again in a stiffer material – maybe a solid linen blend? And I may even attempt the trouser version in a light wool suit blend for work? I think I may have found a shorts pattern that rival my love: move over Iris, the Thurlow is here.

I am definitely channelling tortoises in my sewing life at the moment. Every sewing project seems to be taking much longer than anticipated. I really need to start a baby quilt for my friends' first child - she's about to pop and I haven't even cut out the fabric, and I want to sew another DD#2 top and a Kielo dress. Argh. These things definitely take time.