This project came together in fits and starts. When the pattern didn't seem quite right, I emailed the designer, and she came back to me in a day to confirm that she had made a mistake when editing the pdf, enclosing a corrected version and offering me a free pattern to make up for the inconvenience! How kind is that? And you can expect to see a Pussy-Bow-Blouse sometime soon :)
I traced off the pattern on Sunday and cut the pieces from the scantest oddment of fabric leftover from my second pair of Eva Dress trousers. Wednesday evening saw them ready for a zip and hem facings. Thursday... and they were done. Maybe 8 hours in total?
They began life as a muslin, but I think they turned out well enough to "style up" and wear in public.
Pattern: Pattern Runway Sweet Scalloped Shorts, size XS
Fabric: Leftover cotton twill from my Eva Dress trousers, not much more than 40cm in a long strip. Originally bought from CroftMill. A scrap of lining leftover from my teal wool Ginger skirt for the pockets.
Zip: 7 inch in an odd peach colour from a bargain pack of zips bought when I first started sewing again.
Time to sew: One afternoon and two evenings.
The fit is neat. I have to say that I did not expect "extra-small" to be big enough, which goes to show you should not rely on the size-label, but get your measuring tape out. I am quite flat-bottomed, so I get away with it, but I think I will cut the velvet pair-to-be slightly larger, just to give myself a tiny bit more wearing ease.
The pattern is drafted with 1cm seam allowances, which you press to the back for a neat finish. There are lots of "garment industry" tips like this in the instructions, which I found very interesting. Rather like Zo's recent streamlined instructions to sew the Sencha top - a different approach which makes sewing faster, less fiddley, but still well-finished.
It is a beautifully-cut pattern. I really like the panelling on the front, and the side pocket construction. The leg aperture is quite wide and I personally would not dream of wearing these without thick tights underneath. But I am 47 and I live in the frozen North on a farm with thistles and nettles at every turn. A 17 year old cheerleader from the Sunshine State might feel differently.
I didn't make back pockets, but the instructions looked clear. The side pockets are very well-designed, with fashion-fabric facings on top of lining pocket bags, so you get crisp outer edges but silky innards - and no Visible-Pocket-Lines.
Cleverly, the back legs are shaped with a gentle curve, reserving all the scallop action for the fronts, creating a flattering thigh-scoop. It is a scallop, yes, but without too much fussy frilliness. The scallop facings fitted perfectly. Ooh - imagine a trim of contrast piping at the hem edge!
So much attention to detail - I am impressed!
In the interests of full disclosure, I have to confess to a bodge-job at the junction between the top of the waistband and the zip. It was the old story: I didn't have an invisible zip so tried to adapt the instructions to suit an ordinary one. It was all going really well until I turned the waistband facing the right way out. Then, suddenly there was lumpy fabric, a curving zip-top, one side of the waistband facing with a fold of excess fabric and the other with barely enough to reach the zip edge.
It is possible that I sewed the facing on back to front. Sigh.
It looks fine from the outside, and on the inside I sewed a piece of polka dot ribbon over the facing edge where it didn't quite reach far enough. It is a design feature. Ahem!
I really must get to grips with invisible zippage. I have the correct foot for my sewing machine now, so I just need to buy some zips - it's not that hard!
|Carry On Camping|
But imagine them in a heavy lace? Or indeed purple velvet? Mwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Actually, let's have some inspirational images of "dress shorts" shall we?