I have been sewing just not sharing. I had some nondescript mending to do. DH wanted me to convert his jeans-that-wrestled-with-barb wired-fences into shorts. His is an easy request. I cut the pants to his desired length; stitch 1″ bias tape to the cut edge; fold it up and slightly roll the bias tape to the inside before straight stitching into place. High temperatures have occurred and so I began wearing my clothing from last summer. Surprisingly most is still wearable. That is really surprising since most of my long pants (made before Jan 2014), have had to be replaced. The shorts made from the very same pattern are OK. Well a little sung along the crotch. Pictures show that they are not digging in or developing tight horizontal lines. I discarded one pair of shorts because of the fabric. The fabric was very firm when constructed last year. I mean it didn’t have a bit of give then and didn’t soften throughout last summer. I wore the pair once this year and decided I’d gotten my money’s worth. It was too uncomfortable to go through that another year.
I sorted through my stacks of Under 2’s. I decided to rearrange into Tops, Shorts, Vests and Scraps. Then I took the Shorts stack and separated into two piles 1) the fabrics I’d like to make into jean shorts, the fabric I’d like to make into MSS shorts. I selected 4 fabrics but then decided that a moleskin would be better as a vest. Moleskin is warm and not really conducive to circulating much-needed air during summer.
I checked the fit of the MSS pattern (Cutting Line Designs 11202 My Swing Set) back in May 2014 (that’s not too long ago); at which time, I added a single pair for my Summer 6PAC. Possibly I didn’t need to add more shorts now, but I like to sew-down those stacks during the summer and those old shorts do feel close through the crotch. I decided to make the pattern as currently fit with the exception of folding down the casing only 2″ instead of the 2-1/4 marked. The result is perfect. I probably should copy that back to the pattern.
I had plenty of Louise’s elastic on hand so I just sewed. I produced a pair a day.
The first pair is a bright blue cotton/polyester that was only 45″ wide. I carefully recorded the steps I make to construct that beautiful MSS pocket. I don’t follow CLD instructions to the letter. Most prominently, I use self-bias instead of fusible interfacing to complete the pocket opening but my construction sequence is also slightly different. Works for me, when I remember it. When I don’t remember, I’m ripping out seams and rustling through the pattern instructions. I wanted the pocket instructions separate from the pattern so they are easy to locate, readily at hand for implementation with other patterns and quick to review. I know I know. Seems ridiculous but otherwise I spend 15 minutes hunting through the envelope to find the right sheet. Yeah, it’s a personal problem.
My 2nd fabric was a rayon/ cotton/ lycra blend. A delight to sew and wear. In the picture, it is freshly washed but not dried. I wanted pictures now and so pulled it out of the dryer.
The last pair, (on the right as we are looking into the picture),is a brushed, polyester twill. Sincerely doubt there is a whiff of cotton or other natural fiber content. I purchased two short cuts thinking I could make 1 pair of long-legged pants. One of the cuts was a mere 30″ long. I never figured out how to cut long pants for me from that short length. Turns out I need to either piece the leg or start with a length of at least 42 inches. It is a soft fabric and wonderful to wear but I am concerned that it will be too hot for the up-coming dog days. I decided to finish it a little better than the other two. It is slightly dressier and very appropriate for the overly, air-conditioned spaces I must visit. I made the legs slightly longer and blind stitched the hems. All the top stitching along the pockets and waistband are done in matching thread. It looks like a classy skirt.
The pockets on each pair of shorts, is decoratively stitched just slightly differently. The bright blue pair uses a triple stitch in navy blue thread. The middle pair uses my Ruby’s built-in cross stitch in a contrasting black. I top stitched the hems of both these two pairs using multiple rows of stitching for the bright blues. I changed up the distanced between rows of stitching on the elastic for each of the 3 pairs of shorts. That added a little interest for me during sewing as well as during wear. I’d venture a guess that if a person didn’t sew, they wouldn’t realize I used the same pattern, same basic design for all three. Not only is my finishing different, but each fabric hangs and fits a bit differently. I love all 3, but I appreciate each one’s individual traits.