Friday, September 01, 2017


...but more blue! It's a blue summer!

When I made my pajama set I didn't really think about how to turn them into shorts, I just picked a spot on the leg and cut across. I ended up with the back leg and the front leg being different lengths. About a week after doing that, I came across a tutorial on how to properly do it. It never crossed my mind to look for a tutorial. I wanted to make "real" shorts and considered using my own pants pattern, but then decided to try a "real" pattern. I know in the sewing (and knitting) world, there is a push to move from published patterns to your own slopers/blocks/patterns, but since I'm still learning techniques and want to challenge myself a little, sometimes a published pattern is the way to go. And I really wanted to try a zipper fly on something that wouldn't have too much time or material commitment.

So I dug out Kwik Sew 3614, which I bought years ago because I read it has a good tutorial for doing a zipper fly. So I was also trying to ease my guilt of buying patterns that I don't use!

I laid out my pants pattern over top and went "Mmmm...?"

According to the measurements, I needed XL for my waist and L for my hips, but I was shocked at the width of the upper thigh. Then I thought about it and realized that with pants, you don't want extra fabric at the upper thigh because it will twist, bunch, rub, flap, etc. But with shorts, unless you're Daisy Duke or Lance Armstrong, you don't want skin tight shorts. Okay. Let's move on. That picture was taken in late April. I got out some fabric and made my choice, pre-washed it, and... side-tracked by a ton of other stuff and the fact the weather was terrible and I didn't need shorts yet anyway.

 So, the above picture comparing my pants to the pattern was late April. This picture is mid-July. Yeah.
I didn't worry about matching stripes. I figured there were enough stripes and these aren't going to work anyway, right? I was more concerned about fitting in all the pieces with the grain the proper way. Not having grain lines on my DIY pants, I wondered if I hadn't done them right and that was causing some of the fit issues. I cut the pattern for a Large, but shortened the rise. I bought a large easel pad of graph paper and it's awesome, though it seems the squares are slightly more rectangle (only noticed because I tried using a piece I cut off to extend another piece and it didn't match up).
 The fly. It was going well, but one step was stumping me--the inside fly flap and the description of folding over as much as you can--I seemed to be able to fold it over entirely. It all worked out though. The inside flap seems a little narrow though, doesn't it?
 I think this was to show the inside of the zipper. If not, then I have no clue.  I did have some issues with the waistband--there's four pieces all the same (but cut with  the fabric mirrored) and you interface "a pair".  I wasn't sure if that meant two identical, or two mirrored? I just went  for it and figured as long as the interfacing ends up going all the way around my waist, it's all fine. The flappy bit overlapping at the fly was tricky, but since I don't tuck in my shirts, I'm okay.

I finished up and had to go buy the "hook and eye" sets, which were actually bars and eyes. Why "eyes"? Neither part looks like an eye. I needed two sets and it came as three sets. However, I recently declared my husband's dress pants too ratty, and there's a set or two on them! Score! And then, in the bags of random stuff I got recently at Value Village, there were more!! I'm all set for a couple more pairs of shorts. Or pants, since we never had summer.

I had issues trying to sew the hooks and bars on. There were no placement guides, just the sketch. So, I laid it flat, and sewed it so they lined up. Well, on me, they pulled. The waist was a bit high compared to the pictures, and I think that meant the waistband was a bit tight since it wasn't at my narrowest point. The hips are fine. I need the rise a bit shorter which will mean the band will be even tighter since the rise is shortened through the zipper area. So how do I make the waist bigger but not the hips? I guess I will have to widen the hips?
 Totally mom shorts in the back. I love how the striping goes on the waistband. The fit is good around my bum. I wonder too if it's the stiffer hand of this fabric and the fact they're shorts, so no fabric to really droop.

I like the length, even if they're mom shorts. At least I didn't make the longer version!

I wore them a couple times and then when we were away for the week, the bars loosened and pulled away. I didn't have a sewing kit with me, and I haven't gotten to it yet. I've barely worn shorts this summer. Capris or lightweight long pants mostly.

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