Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I sewed a pair of shorts? Its been a long time, like a really long time! Maybe sometime in the 1980’s or so? Anyway, during one of my obsessive trips to a thrift store, I picked up a Simplicity easy-to-sew pattern for pants, shorts and a skirt made with woven fabric and a knit fold-over waistband. I have a knit skirt like this and it is really comfortable. I was a bit curious about making this combination of woven and knit fabric and decided to give it a try.
The first (and only) hurdle was deciding what size to cut. I am sure I am not alone when I say I dislike measuring my hips and waist. The number is never what I think it should be, which is to say I think I should be the same size as when I made that last pair of shorts. Ha. Guess what? I am not. When I took measurements and looked at the pattern, it indicated I should make the shorts as a size 14. The vanity running through me said, well that is clearly a mistake because I don’t wear that size. Truth be told, I almost cut the pattern out as a 10 (which is my ready to wear size). Vanity runs strong and deep my friends. At that point, I had to have a very firm talk with myself. It went something like this: What does it matter if you cut a size 14? Well, of course it matters – it means I have gone from a size 10 to a 14. No, no it doesn’t and if you cut these at a size ten, they won’t fit and you will be so irritated. On and on we went, the two of us inside my head. Finally the pragmatist won and the vain side lost. I cut them as a size 14 and here I am telling all the world about it – well, at least the portion of the world who reads my blog.
Guess what? The shorts took maybe an hour to make and THEY FIT GREAT!! Shout that to the world – in handmade shorts, I wear a 14 and I made a pair that fit!!!
I debated whether to actually take a photo of the waistband but decided I should because I am being all mature and accepting of whatever size I am and the waistband is the cool part of the shorts. (If that isn’t a run-on sentence, I don’t know what is.). I love the fabric I used – it is from Alison Glass’ Handcrafted line of batiks and is called Artifact in Navy. (Click the link if you want to check it out in the shop.). Overall, I love these and will wear them a lot. My only disappointment is I didn’t put pockets on them. I like having a pocket for my phone and car or house key if I go for a walk. I think I can put a patch pocket on the back side still and that will fix things right up! The next pair are going to be in knit fabric for top and bottom. I want to see how that changes things up. I suppose my take away from this project has to be that the numbers are just numbers. My hips are what they are and if you want something to work, just follow the size and measurements as laid out on the pattern. They didn’t put those numbers there to make me mad, rather they put them there so I could be successful with the project.
One other quick sewing project I did last week was to bind a quilt that someone in my guild made for Community Service. This project was pieced and quilted, it just needed someone to bind it. I happen to enjoy binding so that was an easy one to help with. When I got it home, I saw the binding was made and was quite narrow. The maker cut a two inch strip where I usually cut 2 1/4 and sometimes 2 1/2″ strips. I decided to machine stitch it to both front and back sides so it would be really durable.
As I came to the end of the binding strip, I realized it wasn’t going to be long enough. I should have checked it before I started but I made the assumption that the maker had done that. Looked like it was going to be a scrappy binding. I found a little print that seemed to work with the polka dot binding provided with the quilt. It all looks fine.
I especially like the backing for the quilt. It is a nice denim with a printed pattern. This quilt will last for a long time. It is earmarked for the local foster youth program. When the kids age out of the system at 18 years old, our guild gives them a quilt to add to their belongings. This one will work for a guy or girl.
Last story of the day….. on Saturday, over the weekend, I was picking berries early in the morning. It was gorgeous out and there are a zillion berries right now. I popped one in my mouth and guess what? There was a beetle on the underside of the berry. Ugh! It was horrible. There I was having my zen moment picking berries all alone and all of a sudden, I was spitting beetle out of my mouth. Yuk!!! I will be a little more careful before tossing another berry in my mouth. 🙂
Reminder – I will be back on Wednesday this week with the June Blogger Bundle. It was curated by Paige Alexander of Quilted Blooms and I am really excited to see what she has made with the fabrics! See you there!!
Linking to Cooking Up Quilts, Lets Bee Social, and TGIFF. Info is at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
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Saw a meme the other day that said “When you make it, it’s whatever size you say it is!” 🙂 This story made me think of that and laugh! I don’t like looking at the size I need to cut something out at in order to fit, but I can say whatever size I want! 🙂
Haha, that is perfect. It is just etched in my mind that I should be a certain size and this one threw me for a bit. It shouldn’t be like that but it is! Have a great day Sandy. 🙂
Paper patterns always run small. Depending on the brand, it can be a huge difference. That’s why the experts recommend making a muslin first. Not that I ever do. LOL! The shorts look good and they look very comfortable!
I know making a muslin is always taught as the first step but I would rather use fabric and have a wearable item – rather than make something I won’t get to wear. I have been sewing for a long time so I can (usually) get a good fit without a muslin. I suppose if I were wanting to make something with expensive fabric, it might be a good idea to do the muslin first.
I love your shorts, and I don’t know why but patterns always size differently to ready made. Unfortunately my waist isn’t much smaller these days than my hips, but that isn’t the fault of the pattern! Still in this mind frame of trying to make myself something to wear, I found some purple fabric the other day in a cupboard, i think would make good shorts, or maybe a short flippy skirt. In my head anyway!
Great job on the shorts, Bernie! Don’t patterns run small anyway?
Yes, I guess they do and now I am ok with it! Just took me by surprise there for a minute or two. 🙂
The shorts look great Bernie, and I love the waistband! Hmm, I’ve never had beetle before. Doesn’t sound like something I want to try! 🙂
Haha – that was the worst. Just awful. No more beetles for me!
They look great on you! Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday and leaving a comment. I don’t have your email addy;)
I love sewing clothes, but agree that it’s really tough to get the right size made for myself, especially on the first go-round. You’re very fortunate to have figured that out! It’s so difficult to know one’s ready-made size and then determine how to translate that to a pattern. I’ve mostly given up making shorts or pants. But I do enjoy making a dress or top.
I still run into a problem here or there but I am very happy with this pattern and I will surely make another version. Thanks for stopping by Linda.
Thank you! I am enjoying them – perfect for summertime. 🙂
The shorts look great on you. I play that numbers game all the time. We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves.
You are so right! It is silly – Thanks for the sweet note Anja.
it’s perfect shorts for summer! I especially love the waistband idea. I don’t like elastic waist esp in summer. The patchy binding idea is really great too! Thank you for linking up.