and now for something completely practical

this is a post completely unrelated to wedding garb. hoo-ray! while i still have some work to do, namely making three bridesmaid dresses… i have so many non-wedding projects i have completed over the past couple months i’m not sure where to start. so how about some shorts?

they look all shiny and new here. thankfully many wearings
and a few washings later, they’re nicely broken in.

eventually i want to venture into the world of making pants, and figured shorts were a good place to start. as a bonus, they sew up quick and don’t require much material. i searched for a shorts pattern and was more than disappointed. all i want is a regular fly, pockets and belt loops and no elastic. is that too much to ask? eventually i found mccalls 5391 which hits almost every note. it has a zip fly, but it’s not faced and there are no back welt pockets. not a big deal to add this in myself, just… annoying. i’m sure the market for making shorts is not a huge one, but these few details are not hard so i have no idea why they are constantly omitted from patterns!

i’m done ranting. for now.

this mccalls pattern is about the closest to RTW i could find and with a few modifications they’re pretty darn passable! i chose a blue twill (it’s organic! look at me being all environmental!) with no stretch. i made up a muslin i had hoped would be wearable, but the material sorely needed underlining to stabilize it. it isn’t see-through, just not tightly woven. oh well, i got the sizing changes i needed.

these were surprisingly easy to fit, and i only had to make a few changes. i did a “large bottom adjustment” (i swear that’s what my book says!) to fix the terribly gaping back waistband thing. i should have also have added length at the crotch point as the lady bits are a little more snug than i prefer, and there is a bit of wrinkling in the front. though the wrinkling is far more obvious in pictures than is noticeable in person. then again, in person i’m not staring at my own frontside. moving on. i also added length to the front rise. these were surprisingly not granny cut. my biggest beef with short/pants out there is that the waist is either old lady high or just low enough that they hit below le leftover bebe belly. not super attractive.

large bottom adjustment

the construction was pretty simple and straightforward. i had made a couple pairs of shorts for my son, so this wasn’t entirely foreign territory for me. the pattern directions have the fly reversed though, which is weird. as in zip with the left hand instead of the right. i don’t know if that is an old fashioned thing, or what. i’m pretty sure most ladies zip their own pants these days. it got a little confusing as i constructed the fly the way every pair of pants or shorts i own is constructed because i had to reverse every instruction—left for right and right for left… eventually i managed to get it all sorted. i also added a fly facing. why this little detail is omitted is beyond me. i don’t get it. us sewists can construct ball gowns but not a fly facing? please.

mmm… i heart welt pockets.

i did have to sew the waistband with miniscule seam allowances to make up for the extra width, but that’s not a big deal. next time i’ll think to make the waistband longer from the start. i also added back welt pockets. welt pockets can be a little tricky, but i still wish the pieces and placement were included on patterns. i mean, you could always opt to not put them in. right?

photo bombed

all in all i am super happy with my shorts and i have worn them a ton! i’m itching to make up another pair with a couple more changes to perfect the fit and add a little more top stitching. by the way, have you noticed the severe laziness in RTW these days? most of the shorts i own don’t even have waistbands! they’re fake! i thought maybe this was just because i buy cheap clothes, but out and about i spied a pair of not so cheaply branded shorts sans waistband! is this lazy or just a “design element”? i really don’t know. my money is on cheap and lazy, but that’s not to say i’ll never copy this move. i do have a weird hate for cutting out waistbands.

—lisa g

5 thoughts on “and now for something completely practical

  1. lisa g. says:

    it did kinda work out like the opposite of a swayback, now that you mention it… i think this pattern just has a very low rise and is a little flat bottomed. if i'm curvy anywhere, it's on my backside and/or hips!

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