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Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Lady Wears Shorts Part 2



Knocking another project off my September Sewing Plan!
I focused a lot on the importance of shorts in my life this summer. Summer might be over, but the warm weather in the San Francisco Bay Area is still with us. With luck, I'll be wearing shorts off and on for another couple of months. We're expecting a few hot days and getting these shorts done seemed like a great idea. Otherwise, I was a little suspicious I might just have them cut out and then not get them sewn until next year. Old cutouts never look as appealing as the freshly prepped piles of fabric, pins and tissue. Sometimes they end up getting recut as tote bags and purses - four or five years later!

I'm pretty darn happy with this sage green shorts and cap set. Yup, another home dec fabric. And why not? It seems to wash OK, especially since I don't machine dry stuff I've sewn. And I like the weight of the material. I'm going to track these and see if they fade any faster than the blue denim I made earlier in the summer. Those are actually starting to fade a little and they are just regular denim. Shorts are a hard wearing garment, and I probably can't expect them to last more than one or two seasons, given the number of times I'll probably wear them, and the fact they'll get relatively sturdy-demanding use hiking, biking and walking.

Once more I used McCalls 6403. That's the third time this summer for that pattern. I still have to fool around getting the fitting just right, because each different type of fabric seems to react differently around the waist and hip area, but I'm starting to get a feel for the pattern. I need to retissue/trace the pattern and file a full set of tracings away. I'm still relying on the altered tissue pieces combined with a few original pattern pieces and that's asking for trouble when it comes to losing a piece. Better to keep one master set of pieces and a complete altered set. 

 I'm looking forward to wearing my new outfit to my Sunday afternoon sewing class and then for a hike on Monday after class.

Times have changed since I was a little girl when it comes to shorts wearing. I've lived through some cultural changes when it comes to the social acceptance of pants wearing. Those pensamientos are in an article I wrote a few weeks back, The Lady Wears Shorts: Part 1.

Techniques: 

Fitting:
* I made a lot of trips back and forth to the mirror, pinching, pinning and marking. A machine basting stitch and several safety pins sped the process up. I never had to resort to the seam ripper, because I basted nearly everything and quick checked. A nice fit at the waist and hips is crucial and no pattern piece really does it for me when it comes to getting the garment smoothed over right. Probably the variety of materials I've used for the three different pairs of shorts I've sewn using the same altered pattern tissue affects the need to work slowly through the hips and waist fit.

I even basted the cuff seams before doing the official seams. And I was glad I had.

Waistband: 
* I meant to interface with regular fusible interfacing, but by mistake I used two sided fusible. Well, why not? I'm giving it a try. Note to self - start labeling the interfacing! The plastic wrap directions sheet doesn't always indicate what I bought.

* I sewed Petersham ribbon over the inside of the waistband. I did the same thing on my last pair of shorts I sewed with this pattern. I've been pretty happy with that pair, though the waistband still loosens up between washings.

*I'll probably add belt loops, but they are absolutely wearable now. I tried to fit them a little tighter at the waist to avoid the loosening up over time challenge, belt loops or no.


Fly Front Zipper

* I'm still fighting the fly front zipper. Next month I'm taking a pants construction 4 session class, hoping to get more comfortable with the techniques, particularly the area right around the top and the transition between the front and the waistband. Trudy's fly front zipper Hot Patterns tutorial gave me the confidence to take on fly fronts, but I"m not really there yet.


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