As disgusted as I was with YED2, I did not quit sewing. I switched instead to a TNT, the Style ARC Talia, and made shorts. I did want something super ease to sew and no fitting issues.
I’m still needing shorts. As I wore the survivors from last year, I found several that are too tight in the waist. Funnily enough, they feel fine in the morning but must be undone after dinner — if not before. I decide to copy the Talia and make a shorts pattern. In past years I’ve simply folded up the leg. That doesn’t quite work. I don’t seem to fold the same amount on both legs and then I’m ‘making it work’. … And I do. I do make it work but I prefer to avoid the frustration of ripping and stitching and pic’ing over and over to get it right. So I traced from waist to the knee notches. I drew horizontal lines at 3″, 4″ and 6″ above the knee notch. See I’m also not sure what length is right for me. Oh I know it when I look in the mirror but I’ve never measured. I can’t quantify; can’t assign a number to where the hem should fall for me. I’ll make this pair 3″ above the knee …. which will really be 4.25″ above the knee because I’ll make a 1.25″ hem. No pockets. I don’t want to twiddle with this. No zippers but that has more to do with the fabric. And the simplest of waistbands the straight, elasticized.
My fabric is a rayon, fine-hounds tooth. The teeth are about 2mm. I use a similar fabric a few years back although it was a remnant from a failed blouse project. To my surprise, the rayon made a comfortable pant and the hounds tooth works well with nearly all prints. Somehow the eye doesn’t find the hounds-tooth jarring when placed against prints. Especially a small hounds tooth, like this one. The eye seems to blend it into a grey; not reading a shape at all. Downside is that like all rayons, that pair shrunk. I was able to use it for 2 seasons but only after reinforcing the crotch. Houndstooth will blow out in the rear.
Construction was really simple. I did the waistband first, but I’ll talk about it in detail at the end of this post. I serge finished the waistband then serged the front to back inseams. That gives me too big pieces to which I fuse interfacing along what will be a hem. I serge finish the hem, then serge the side seams and crotch. I reinforce the crotch at the sewing machine and hem the shorts by top stitching which disappears into the pattern of the cloth.
Onto the waistband
Talia has a two piece waistband. Since I haven’t developed the expertise to join the two pieces without a jog, I’ve moved on to a much simpler waist treatment. I measured the length of the two pieces, added together and subtracted 2 seam allowances. For me that equals 49″. No that’s not my waist. If you happen to follow my instructions, don’t use your waist measurement. The old waistband is 4.5″ wide. So I cut my waistband 4.5″ wide and 49″ long. I serge finish both sides before joining the short ends. I fold the waistband in half lengthwise, press and set aside. Don’t use your waist measurement to cut the elastic either. I used a 1.25″ elastic cut 34″ long because when I put this elastic around me and pull, that is the shortest length that is also comfortable. Other elastics may require other lengths. I join the elastic by butting the ends and stitching over a scrap of fabric. I zigzag once over each end and then once down the center where they abut. Then I Frey Chek the stitching and trim the excess fabric scrap. It creates the nicest, flattest, most comfortable join I’ve ever used. I have to credit Nancy Zieman for that one and I think she learned it from someone else. I quarter both my waistband and elastic; then snug the elastic into the waistband meeting the quarter marks and pinning through both elastic and waistband. Without removing the pins, I stitch about 3/8″ from the serge finished edges of the folded waistband first. That joins those edges and keeps them from sliding around, changing the width of my final waistband. I love the next part. Stitching through both elastic and waistband fabric. Technically, it doesn’t have to be done. Elastic is less likely to roll and fabric bunching less likely to occur if at least one line of stitching is made. this time I’ve chose to use 3. 1 is 3/8″ from the edge of the waist band. #2 is 1/2″ below that. #3 is 2MM below #2. When attached 2 & # will appear to be in the center of the waistband; #1 and the waistband will be mirrored.
I now quarter the pant. I learned the hard way you can’t simply assign the side seams as a quarter point. Then match the quarter marks of the waistband to the quarter marks of the pant and stitch together. I added a little black tab in the back during the stitching. I find it really helpful during dressing to have something which says “this is the back”.
If you’ve measured correctly, the waistband and the pant will be the same length. It’s just 1:1 stitching while fighting with the elasticized portion of the waistband. (Not much of a fight). Final step is ironing the pant and steaming the waistband. After all that stitching the elastic is out of shape. Steaming allows it to recover nicely.
These are a nice, loose pair of shorts. I think the fashionistas are calling anything with a little leg-ease “culotte”. I don’t think my shorts quite reach that category but could have if I added 1″ along the side seams and of course an equal amount to the waistband. (But not the elastic). I don’t think fit is an issue. The waist is comfortable. The pants don’t fall off my waist. The legs are supposed to be comfortably loose not necessarily flowing. I do think the next pair I make should be 1″ shorter. Just because it’s a better proportion for me. I’m not ripping the hem out and fixing the length because I can hardly see the stitching. I’m also planning to make a pair of cropped pants that will just cover my brace. As mentioned before, it’s now a part of my everyday wardrobe. The only downside I see with this pair is that I’ll be making these again in a year or 2 because rayon shrinks.