Shorts, Shorts, and More Shorts-Part 1

This is a tale of personal stubbornness, my own to be exact. It is a long story because I am quite the stubborn person. Some months ago, I found a cute piece of fabric while shopping at Ben Franklin. It was green with tiny black and white cows all over. I thought it would be fun to use it for a pair of sleep shorts for Julia. Then it sat on the shelf, patiently waiting to be cut up and used.

When I finally got around to making the shorts it all came together quickly. The shorts were so cute.

I was even feeling smug that I thought to add on a little pocket on one side for the ever present cell phone.

But smugness is not a quality that bodes well for a person. The shorts didn’t fit Julia at all. They were very tight across the bum and the rise was too short. I had already finished and trimmed the seams and couldn’t let anything out to make them bigger. Why I didn’t have her try them on earlier in the process is unknown to this sewist. Another mystery is I have made her flannel pajama pants from this same pattern a couple of times and they fit just fine.

Luckily, they fit me so I decided to just keep them for myself – who doesn’t want a pair of shorts with tiny cows all over? Determined to make my daughter a pair of shorts, I decided to take the pattern, cut it a bit larger and have another go at it.

This time I used a batik fabric I had on hand. I knew she wouldn’t really like them but I wanted to figure out how to cut them to fit her and then I could make a pair that fit her. (Note – I knew I liked the fabric and would keep them for myself anyway so no loss of effort here!)

This pair fit better across her backside but was still too short in the rise. Of course they were too short in the rise, I had not adjusted that at all. I only adjusted the width of the hip area. Oh well, another pair of shorts is put in my drawer and I returned to the proverbial drawing board.

These look wrinkled because I have worn and washed them a number of times already.

Talking to Julia, I decided I would try making jersey knit shorts. Maybe a stretchier fabric was what I needed. I have some knits left from my shop and cut out a pair of gray shorts – after prewashing the fabric to avoid any shrinkage problems. But guess what? They didn’t fit – not at all. OK – what is that saying? Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. (Rita Mae Brown) I was absolutely stuck with this whole project – totally stuck. Julia very patiently asked why I continued to use the same pattern (well because I am stubborn, that’s why). She pointed out the rise in the front and back was the same. She needed the back side to have a higher rise than the front. A lightbulb burst into flames right above my noggin. Of course! Without sharing too much info, I have a very flat bum and Julia’s is not. She is much curvier than I (lucky girl)! Jeez, why didn’t I see this? Because I am s-t-u-b-b-o-r-n, that’s why.

I went on line and looked at tutorials and patterns. I landed on the Life Sew Savory page and found what looked to be a great (free!) pattern. Lounge shorts that could be made with either a woven or knit fabric. I printed it out and got it all taped together.

I made a pair right away with an old piece of knit I had bought at a thrift store some years ago. They fit!!! Julia loved them! Success! OK – the story doesn’t end here. Come back tomorrow for Shorts, Part 2 – the Spoonflower Version. See you then!!

24 thoughts on “Shorts, Shorts, and More Shorts-Part 1

    1. Bernie Post author

      True about perseverance… but really I could have solved the problem much sooner had I just looked at the situation and really thought about the pattern!!

      Reply
  1. Roseanne

    I am loving the shorts story . . . and can’t wait to hear Part 2! I love that Julia patiently asked you why you continued to use the same pattern! {{Hugs}} I’ll be back for the rest of the saga. ~smile~ Roseanne

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      EXACTLY – and Julia doesn’t sew but she is a logical one, where I am not. She clearly knew the pattern was wrong for her. Sigh.

      Reply
  2. SarahZ

    Haha! I love this! Determination is key! Julia was going to get a pair of shorts, come hell or high water!!!πŸ˜† Can’t wait for part 2!!!!

    Reply
  3. Wendy Tuma

    Oh bum-mer (sorry, had to!)! I can completely relate to your stubbornness, although I have long since gotten over sewing clothing – LOL. However, when I come up against a pattern that’s not working, rather than finding a new pattern, it becomes “the principal of the thing” – a challenge that I know I can overcome, right? So, yeah, yay for stubborn – or not! Can’t wait to read Part 2!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Bum-Mer!!! Hahaha. Yes – it was a bit of a challenge to me and I just kept thinking I would get it right – since I had made those dang pj pants. I still don’t get why they fit and the other shorts didn’t. Anyway, alls well that ends well!!

      Reply
  4. Kathleen McCormick

    What a PITA (Pain in the A**) – I hate when I keep doing the same wrong thing over and over. I am glad you found a successful pattern and look forward to installment #2.

    Reply
  5. Elana Goldberg

    Bernie, I can completely relate to what you’ve experienced. Some of us are smart but we have to learn the hard way. Julia was lovely to keep trying on and finally hitting you over the head. Meanwhile, you’ve found the perfect shorts pattern and now, nothing will stop you from making more for her!!!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Emily! I hope the shorts fit Julia – the fabric is so cute. Fall is here and I am loving the cooler weather. How about you?

      Reply
  6. Pat

    Another old adage … “at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” … put to good use. I purchased two pairs of capris this summer, same size, same fabric. One fit and one did not. I’m an all about that bass. I measured and they were sewed backwards, with the high rise in the front. Even the so called “professionals” can make these mistakes. It is always good to learn and do something new. Thanks for sharing in my linky party … πŸ™‚ Pat

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Wow – that is so interesting about the capris. Hope you were able to return the defective pair. Thanks Pat. Good perspective here!

      Reply

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