Striped Thurlows

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With three short completed its  time to battle fit…please step up Sewaholic Thurlows

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Pattern: Thurlow Shorts by Sewaholic Patterns
Size: 10
Alterations: A 1/2 inch full seat and 1/2 inch full abdomen adjustment
Fabric: Stretch cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics

The complex patterns continue for the Summer of Shorts as we have a fly front, double welt back pockets, centre back extension and belt loops.  Definitely one for the details!

Flat front

Sewaholic Patterns are sized for a pear-shaped figure: smaller waist, larger hips and thighs.  Well, I guess I am an extra pear pear as I needed some additional space for a full derrière and the absence of a flat tummy.  I completed a quick muslin in a size 10 and then The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns keeps me in good stead for the adjustments I needed.  I did check out Nancy Ziemans Pattern Fitting with confidence but I just didn’t understand what I needed to adjustment so I moved on.  Thankfully with The Perfect Fit I was able to match my fit problem to the mass of fitting photos within the book and go from there.

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I think I was falling into the rabbit hole that is fitting as I panicked when attaching the waistband I adjusted for another smidge for the ‘protruding tummy’.  As a result the waistband does not match up as nicely as if I just left it alone.   Aahh, the punishment of overfitting!   And I am still not convinced by the fitting.  Adding to the drama, my hip measurement has dropped since I made the test muslin not significant but just enough that the shorts seem to wear a tad lower than I intended.

Back welt

The back welt pockets went in nicely, and the belt loop technique was a breeze.

The fabric makes the project and this make is certainly no different.  The striped cotton is from Gorgeous Fabrics – its still available and now I notice that another colour way is available. The fabric is well behaved and there were no dramas in the construction.

Front pocket

I got some perfect stripe matching on the front pockets – like a boss!

 

The centre back extension that I didn’t use to fit the shorts.  But now I think be able to bring in the waistband.  I used the blind hem stitch that came with my sewing machine to get the stitching in the waistband ‘ditch’  which works like a charms as long I have given the waistband a good press with a iron beforehand and I smooth the waistband as it goes through the sewing machine.

Inside back extension

 

One of my few deviations from the instructions was to french seam the front pockets.  Such an awesome finish to try!

French seam front pocket

 

I love the finish of the shorts.  It is seems very much ready to wear – love the details on the front waistband with the extra button to support the closure and little point on inside.

 

Fly front

 

My  other deviation from the pattern instructions was to complete the hem with a double fold and top stitch with some topstitching thread I had in the sewing stash.

 

 

Topstitched double fold hem

Some things to note for next time – Not the biggest fan of the small slash pocket.   I think if I switch to the side slash pockets from Pattern Runway scalloped shorts to the Thurlow I think I have found my tried and true shorts pattern.

Next up for the Summer of Shorts – probably some hibernation as Brisbane transitions into somewhat ‘cooler’ weather.  I am considering some corporate trousers for work in a wool suiting.  Perhaps with a ‘lighter’ dress zip the fly fronts will be mastered as I edge towards a tried and true pants pattern!  I do have more shorts in the pattern stash – but I may need to wait til the next time warmer weather is around before the knees make an appearance.

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Scalloped Pique

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My challenge to fill my lack of separates is progressing with more shorts – now we have the Scalloped Hem Shorts by Pattern Runway

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Pattern: Scalloped Hem Shorts by Pattern Runway
Size: L
Alterations: Nothing
Fabric: Cotton Pique from Spotlight

side front

Back

Another pdf download for this pattern but thankfully putting the pattern didn’t take too long – a great benefit of a short patterns is for sure the smaller pattern pieces but this has certainly been the most complex pattern for my Summer of Shorts adventures.  We have welt back pockets, side pockets and hem bands.

The fabric is interesting – a great find at my local Spotlight.  Spotlight is by far the most convenient fabric supply store for me but wow I really wish there wasn’t so much polyester rubbish to wade through to.  Cotton pique has a kind of stripe/rib woven into it and wears in really nicely – like a heavier weight linen.  I checked out Clair Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide and Sandra Betzina’s Fabric Savvy to ensure no funny business was required – but all good pretty much treat as your usual cotton.

Back welt pocket

We have my first successful attempt at welt pockets – not too bad if I do say.  I did have a false start though for the first welt attempt.  You may notice the back welts are only on one side of the pocket, well I ended up with one welt being upside down.  I didn’t have any spare yardage (which is a benefit of Pattern Runway – suggested yardage is always on the mark with no waste) – so a quick dash back to Spotlight for a little bit extra to recut another back piece.

Close up front

I also had a double take on the side pocket facings but I got there in the end and it provides a neat finish. Oh and the bagging of the back pockets got me confused but I again fuddled my way through – I have working back pockets so no complaints.

Close back

I cut out a size L with no alterations.  I did consider adjustments based on reading Nancy Ziemans Pattern Fitting with confidence but the crotch length which is actually provided in the pattern instructions was on the money so I continued on without any alterations.  Overall I am very happy with the fit (but I think its time to start getting these shorts patterns to fit better)

Hem and hem band

The hi/lo hem line is sweet and pique just loves to be top stitched.  For the first time ever, the method of machine stitching the waistband facing by ‘stitching in the ditch’ worked nicely.  I  used the blind hem foot that came with my Brother sewing machine to stay within the ‘ditch’ – it may not be completely hidden in the waistband seam ‘ditch’ but it is very neat and looks good from front and inside.

WS front pocket

WS back pocket

Some things to note for next time – As sweet as welt pockets look are they really worth the effort??  They do break the space across your back.  Oh well, maybe they will grow on me. 

Next up for the Summer of Shorts – Sewaholic Thurlow (off to now get serious about fit)

Maritime Duck

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The summer of shorts continue with the Maritime Shorts from Grainline Studio.  I am definitely enjoying the increased presence of shorts in my wardrobe and we are only two shorts in which I am honestly a little surprised by.

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PatternMaritime Shorts by Grainline
Size: 12
Alterations: Nothing
Fabric: Duck cloth from Spotlight

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I cut out a size 12 with no alterations.  Generally Grainline patterns fit so well I dont need adjustments but I discovering that shorts/pants are a whole different ball game.  Overall I am pretty happy with the fit though I can definitely notice some issues.  I think I need to investigate the crotch length.  As the shorts ‘wear in’ I definitely felt that there is excess fabric – but maybe I am wearing the shorts too low? (as the length in these pics look fine).

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The fabric is a duck cloth from Spotlight – but for all accounts it is basically a med weight printed calico/muslim.  Pocket lining was a light cotton batiste for the fabric stash, but potentially a little too light weight.  This me-made was the first completed project on Singer 99K31 I got myself for Christmas and it handled the fabric like butter once I got the tension behaving.  The topstitching went really well – though I am still not used to the speed machine goes at! yikes, no precision projects for this machine yet.

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Some mean pattern matching was involved.  Both back pockets perfectly match and are really only noticeable due to the topstitching.  Side seams, pocket facings and back seams are a good match – the waistband was no chance.

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The shorts have the usual front fly opening, while I have only previously completed two front fly opening before quite successfully. I somehow ended up with one side of the zipper tape exposed.  I just couldn’t work out the turning under one side bit in the instruction.  But surprisingly the exposed zipper works.  The zipper is a good colour match for the fabric and when the fly is done up – the exposed zipper tape is not showing.

Excluding my fly front confusion – everything else went together like a breeze.  Jen’s instructions are detailed and clear with just enough illustrations to clear up any confusion.

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Some things to note for next time –  the duck cloth may not the best choice for shorts.  As again, a couple of wears in and the fabric around the inner leg is starting to pill but I am beginning to think that this is the nature of shorts .  I think I would prefer a bigger hem next time – a more substantial hem I think would suit the heavy weight fabric better.  And well obviously as endearing the ‘exposed’ zip may be to some, I really do quite dislike it so next time I need to remedy this front fly insertion method. Oh well, until next time.

Next up for the Summer of Shorts – Pattern Runway Scalloped Hem Shorts

Trellis Raven

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It may be the unusual heat that we are currently experiencing in eastern Australia at the moment but this Summer is definitely providing some short wearing whether.  My wardrobe is certainly lacking shorts – I only have gym wear ones or pajamas or skirts.  So here is the first Summer of Shorts make!

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Pattern: Raven Shorts by Sinbad & Sailor
Size: 12
Alterations: Nothing
Fabric: Home decor fabric from the stash

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The pattern I purchased a pdf download but thankfully putting the pattern didn’t take too long – a great benefit of a short patterns is for sure the smaller pattern pieces.  This was the same for the fabric, I scavenged through the ‘alteration/mending’ pile to find a dress I had previously made using a Anna Maria Horner home decor fabric and along with scraps of other Anna Maria Horner quilting cotton scraps I was able to gather sufficient yardage to cut the shorts out.

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I cut out a size 12 with no alterations.  Size 12 matched my hip measurement perfectly and I was hoping that the press fasteners style waistband meant I had ‘wiggle’ room to fit across the waist.  And it worked – overall I am pretty happy with the fit (especially for my first short experiment – excluding the various knit and pajama shorts of course)

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These shorts were such as a quick made that I added a few fun inside bits.  Around the hem I applied binding and delicately hand stitch the hem up. For the first  time ever the stitches were completely invisible on the face side – not sure how I managed it.  I also made the bias binding for the pockets from leftover dotty voile scraps (moreAnna Maria Horner).  And hand stitched the waistband down.

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Pockets are a little limited in their usability as only bottom half of the pocket bag is enclosed – the top of the pocket bag is open to allow you to actually get into the shorts!  The little peak of pocket facing from the side is very cute.

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I did have fun bringing out the hardware to attach the press fasteners.  I did not use the placings suggested on the pattern but tried the shorts to find the right placement.  The pattern also uses two fasteners on each – I did three each side.  Using three helps the studs stand out a little bit, and it is a very loud fabric to stand out from.  And to be honest, six fasteners come in the packet.  What do I do with two sets of loose press fasteners! A word of warning – attaching the back fasteners is a little tedious as the ‘applicator’ does not nicely fit around the stud.  I did smash one a little too much and it has since fallen out 😦

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Some things to note for next time – I would not suggest Home decor fabric for shorts.  Only a couple of wears in and the fabric around the inner leg is starting to pill (curiously this fabric was functioning as a dress for years earlier with no signs of wear).  And to not skip interfacing the waistband.  I thought that two layers of the home decor fabric would provide enough strength to waistband – I was wrong it doesn’t.

Making the Raven shorts was great fun and all the contrasting fabric makes me smile but I think the shorts will be for lounging at home only.  With the bright colours I struggle to find a t shirt to match them.  Though once the Summer of Shorts is complete, I would like to revisit the pattern with a more subtle fabric – those press studs are just too cute.

Next up for the Summer of Shorts – Grainline Maritime shorts