Shorts making - some wins, some losses.

Meh. I'm over shorts at the moment. I've spend the last 6 weeks or so making 3 different styles and patterns, and for the most part they've been duds. I can't say it's been a complete waste of time, but its been a moderate waste of time, fabric, and general sewjo.

We'll start with the positives. In an effort to be a bit more frugal I decided, rather than buying the Grainline Maritime shorts, to try some shorts out of one of my Ottobre mags. I thought they looked fairly similar, and was keen to try this pattern in particular, as it was essentially the same as a pair of fitted trousers in the same issue, so essentially they'd be a wearable muslin for 2 garments.


Ottobre Spring/Summer 2013 - 'Sleek and modern'
The photo is terrible, but they are a slim fitting short, with sort of welt zip pockets designed for a woven fabric with 3-5% stretch. I didn't like the zip pockets at all, so redrafted them to look more like the Maritime shorts, with reasonable success.


I also lengthened them by about 3cm, as they were pretty much hot pants, and switched the straight rectangular waistband piece for a curved waistband from a Burda pattern (one of my failures, coming up). Because of my sway back and not-insignificant backside I find that a curved waistband suits me a lot more - I tend to get less gapage with a curved waistband. They fit quite well straight off the pattern, particular the rise, which is the biggest win for me - there's no shortage of other trouser patterns in the mags I have. They are very fitting, and short, which is why I'm not modelling them - I just didn't feel up for expanses of white leg today. But I have worn them quite a bit (the crazy print looks good with navy), and whilst I doubt I'll make the pattern up again as shorts (I just don't like shorts that are that tight around my legs) I'll definitely consider the longer length for trousers. I think maybe next time I'd just do inseam pockets though, as the curve is a little gapey (undoubtedly my drafting 'skills').

In decreasing order of failure-ness was an attempt at Burda Lace Shorts 04/2013.

Fail fail fail. These reached a rare spot in my sewing room - the bin. I was pretty cranky with myself too, as I'd used some nice stretch denim (I was short on time, and took the risk). The fly was diabolical - I tried to draft a fly shield, with some success, but the whole thing was just nasty. The pleats sucked. The rise sucked. The only decent thing about them was I was able to scavenge the waistband pattern and use it on the Ottobre shorts. 

And finally, my mediocre tale of shorts woe ends with todays project, the likely-to-be-unredeemable Kwik Sew K3854 Sailor shorts. 


I had such high hopes for these. I've decided to share with you the vision of my almost finished shorts (oh how it shits me to essentially finish a garment except for the hem and only find out at that point that it sucks). I still love the idea and the look of them on the hanger, but on me they are truly awful.




Linen. French seamed. PIPED. I've only pinned the buttons on, hence the wobbliness. I had visions of gorgeous cornflower blue linen (from an op shop, so let's be thankful for small mercies) with black piping, black buttons. At least I got to practice my piping skills (major lesson learned - try avoid a bulky fabric). I cut a size medium, based on the measurements, but because I fell in between a small and medium I decided to do 6/8 inch side and crotch seams, rather than 5/8 inch. I ended up taking in the waistband and upper leg side seams an extra probably half inch, so the small probably would have been fine. These shorts are proper sailor shorts, in that the closure is the front bib, with buttons. That bib section on me - ghastly.

They may have resembled this:


But bad.

What's a girl to do. Make a stripy dolman tee I think. Sigh.


Comments

  1. I've made the Kwik Sew shorts - they were okay on me, but then I realised that I don't wear shorts. So off they went to the oppy. I really like the first pair that you made, and feel with you about the wadder. If you want to see a sewing failure - you can check out my latest Lekala dress. But I had to laugh when I read your last sentence - because straight after that Lekala failure, I went and made a stripy dolman tee.

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    1. Haha thanks Lara! Dolman stripes are the perfect comfort sewing! I think I'll give version 1 another go with wider legs....if we have more warm weather....

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  2. What a shame about that last pair as they look cute. BTW, I've been loving your wardrobe architect posts.

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  3. Oh no! I think shorts are the trickiest garment to buy... let alone make! With such little fabric there is just so much that could go wring in fit! I'd love to make some for this summer, although I've only just made a wearable pair of pants! I have the Thurlow Trouser pattern to try, or may just spend the 8.50 for the Grainline pattern.

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    1. Yeah I think you're right! I think I'm splurging on the maritime shorts next summer.....

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  4. Gah! Those wadders can sap a girl's sewing mojo!
    Ask me how I know...
    :-) Chris

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    1. Oh chris, it's so demoralising isn't it? Gotta get back on the machine though! ;)

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  5. Oh, this sucks so bad! Maybe it's some weird cosmic energy thing (or something) I've had a couple of lousy sewing weeks too, blah. They do look cute on the hanger though, but we know how that goes :) Any post that ends with a pic of Mr. Darcy though is a total winner in my book.

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    1. Thanks Ono! Yes mr d is a dreamboat! It's scary to think that was nearly 18 years ago! Eek makes me feel so old!

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  6. Noo, sad! I've been afraid to try shorts because I too loathe tight short legs. (I totally don't trust patterns that use the same piece for both the shorts and pants version!) I wonder if you could add some leg width to the pattern that turned out pretty well? I've been thinking about trying something similar with my pants pattern. And I think you've earned yourself some comfort sewing!

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    1. Thanks a great idea Morgan, I really should persist. I never thought I'd write this sentence, but a good crotch curve is hard to find!

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  7. Oh no! So much promise and so much work! This is why pants scare me. Bad pants. I loooooove the sailor shorts! I have some sailor pants on my want list, but I think they can be tricky to wear. I can't believe you had to bin a pair. Sob...

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    1. I know. SO much work. I'm hoping I can maybe reuse my sailor shorts styling on another pattern. But summer seems to have abandoned us here in Melbourne, so I'm giving shorts the stink-eye for the moment and moving onto a dress for my friends wedding.....

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  8. Oh, what a shame! So much work...But both pairs do look great on the hanger! (Love that print) I always feel it's pretty cold comfort to write it off as "a good learning experience", but here's hoping that everything comes together for the next pair. The Ottobre pattern as trousers sounds promising in any case!

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    1. Thanks Danielle - the Ottobre pattern really was quite a good outcome really. I'd have had something to really whinge about if all 3 were abject failures!

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  9. I love the fabric on the shorts at the top. I've had a hard time making and even finding perfect fitting shorts. Skirts are so much easier!

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    1. Thanks Beth, it's great isn't it? I've a heap leftover so I need to make something with it that does it justice!

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  10. What a shame - the Kwik sew ones do look cute on the hanger though!. I am planning to get cracking on the Colette iris shorts soon so I hope these work out so I may get a few wears in before the weather turns too cool.

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    1. Good luck - I'm sure they'll be awesome!

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