spotty shorts and white top

My younger sister sews a little bit but hasn’t done much recently, so last time she was visiting I thought it would be fun to work on a project together. We both wanted shorts, so looked through my list of potential patterns and decided to buy Salme’s “shorts with side zipper”. I would love to be able to show you our finished shorts but basically I really did not have a great experience with that pattern Some of it was down to personal preference, eg. there were no seam or hem allowances, but I also felt as though some obvious improvements could have been made.

I’ve made a number of pairs of pants/shorts and pretty much know the method for putting them together, but this time the pocket construction made no sense to me and the lack of detail in the instructions (and lack of notches!) definitely didn’t help. For instance they might say to attach two pieces but not specify ‘right sides together’. Honestly I normally wouldn’t need that much hand holding but this pocket situation was crazy. My mum, sister and I were all stumped – we couldn’t understand why anyone would make pockets that way! I keep feeling like I must be missing something and there is a reason – but it’s not explained anywhere.  For my second muslin I redrafted the pieces so that there were two instead of four, which created less bulk and the ability to more cleanly finish the insides, as well as making construction much more straightforward. I also added my own under stitching to stop the pocket bags poking out.

Anyway, after one size ten muslin and one size six muslin – neither one fitting my sister or I very well, we decided to shelve it for awhile. (Well probably forever). Anyway, I do have some other shorts to show you and a top 🙂 These went so much more smoothly and apart from being a tiny bit tight they fit well.

shorts1

The pattern is New Look 6100, version B. I used some leftover rayon – probably less than half a metre. They have an invisble side zip, waistband and pockets. This was of my first invisible zips with my new machine, the presser foot is just awesome!

shorts-closeup

They’re pretty floaty but definitely not wide enough to enter culotte territory. I made them quite short, which is my preference with this style – too long and they start to feel like my old school uniform!

shorts4

shorts2

The top is another Simplicity/Cynthia Rowley 1366. I hadn’t originally thought to make it in a structured fabric but saw some versions online and was inspired by a linen top I saw on pinterest. I think my fabric is a cotton/linen blend (from The Fabric Store) but it feels a tiny bit stretchy, so maybe I’ve got that wrong. I really like the feel of it, and it is a very crisp white. Actually the first bit of fabric I bought for this got ruined when I pre-washed it with a blue poplin, gahhh!

shorts3

I have just started using my machine’s blind hem setting – I was scared of it for awhile. L-O-V-E, I tell you! If you haven’t used it, you must try out. The finished garment feels a little bit big, but the same size made in a drapier fabric fits. I still like it though, it’s different than anything else I own and I love the fact that it is plain so I can wear it with all my patterned bottoms!

Well hopefully this is the beginning of a long hot summer of shorts-wearing weather … fingers crossed.

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