Hi, sewing friends, and welcome back to the 2017 Summer Sewing roundup. I have two more summer sewing projects to share after this one and then it’s time for fall sewing on the blog! I think next year I might wrap up my summer sewing a little earlier, especially since it feels weird to post summer projects in October. Maybe it will give those in the southern hemisphere some warm weather inspiration now that it’s spring by you. 🙂
They are also just the pattern I’ve been searching for. It’s oddly hard to find a trouser pattern with angled front pockets and back welt pockets (as opposed to no back pockets or faux welt pockets which were the options with these pants). Luckily this pattern has staying power. Even though it came out several years ago and the leg shape is a little different from what you often see today, it’s not impossible to change that if you want to.
I really wanted some chino-type shorts in a cotton twill, and since denim is a type of twill, I decided to use the Cloud9 tinted denim in Maize. Colored denim is not my favorite in general, but (1) I actually LOVE the look of this denim and (2) I have had a strangely hard time finding cotton twill bottomweight fabric in a color that I like and at a price I can afford. While this denim isn’t the cheapest, it’s also not a crazy price, and you need less of it for shorts than you do for pants, so it was a good pick. It also helped that I was able to pick up both pattern and main fabric (and sparkly zipper!) at Pintuck & Purl when I was up there, so: problem solved. I bought Bemberg rayon from Jo-Ann Fabrics for the pockets and waistband lining.
I prewashed and dried the denim on hot several times to get any excess dye and shrinkage out. The fabric did bleed and fade a bit, but in a way that I really like. (I use Color Grabber sheets to check how much my fabric is bleeding when I prewash.) I’d also love to try the aqua and pink Tinted Denim at the shop, but there’s only so much time and money, you know? Maybe next summer.
I had read that this pattern had a lot of pieces, and that was no joke. It does, including a different right and left front. As I was tracing my pattern, I could see how much thought and precision went into it, which made me feel hopeful about my final outcome. Because I’m not a pear shape (which is what Sewaholic patterns are drafted for), my waist was a larger size than my hip measurement. I decided to go with the waist size and try to fit as I went. This worked well for me. I ended up using a larger seam allowance on the sides than the pattern called for. Other fitting things that were necessary for me were making the shorts tighter over the behind area and looser at the waist, which you can accomplish at the back seam.
One other issue I had was that when fitting the pointed end of the waistband over the fly shield, the fly shield seemed too wide. I simply folded it in a bit, ironed and stitched it down, but I wonder if maybe I made it extend too far in the first place.
I wanted shorts that were a bit more straight legged than this pattern is, so I took an inch off the outside of each leg, tapering to nothing at the pocket, and a half-inch off each inseam, tapering to nothing at the crotch. This does throw the hem off slightly, but I decided to ignore that this time and deal with it if I make these again. Rather than cuffing these shorts, I turned under 1 1/2″ at the hem and then folded in the same amount again for a 1 1/2″ double-turned hem.
The instructions were really clear, and even the welt pockets weren’t too hard. Mine did fray a bit at the corners after I washed the shorts, but I will chalk that up to inexperience and trust that I’ll improve in my technique over time.
This pattern is obviously very well done, and I really like that it incorporates an alterable center back seam, which is often seen on men’s pants (and really should be seen on women’s as well, if you ask me). This helps with fitting while sewing, and also allows you to change it up if you gain or lose inches in the future. I wouldn’t recommend this pattern to a beginner, but if you have some experience under your belt, this is a real winner.
I’m so happy to have some longer shorts that are comfortable and durable, have pockets, and feel great to wear. I hope to make more of these in the future. I also recognize that because fitting pants is an area I’m nervous about, I need to keep making pants and shorts so I can gain confidence.
- If you, too, are looking for trousers with welt pockets and whatnot, there is another recent pattern release along those lines. Check out the North Point Trousers (PDF only) from Itch to Stitch. They have single welt back pockets instead of the Thurlow’s double welt back pockets and a leg shape that is more current. I’ve never tried an Itch to Stitch pattern, but I’ve heard good things.
- I just tried this Baah yarn for the first time, and it was so amazing! I don’t think the website does it justice. Mine was a fluffy pink skein. It looks like cotton candy without the stickiness!
- My sister-in-law sent me the Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook, and I’m having a lot of fun trying out the smoothie section.