I need more shorts. Yep 5 pair just ain’t gettin’ it for me. I’m down there in the laundry about every 3 days sorting thru and making sure the summer shorts get cleaned. Once fitting is done, my pants aren’t exciting garments. I keep my pants basic; plain and usually one of 3 colors: midnight black, chocolate-brown or navy blue. Well, I do like to embroidery the pocket, so maybe not perfectly plain.
I rarely buy fabric for shorts. The remnants from other projects are collected and shorted by length. Those about one-and-a-quarter yards long are shorts candidates. So for the Summer Shorts Projects, the first thing I did was sort through the remnants designated “shorts candidates”. I donated some of them. I’m just not wearing 100% wool shorts. Hoping Goodwill can find someone with an idea for a small cut of a good quality wool. Once pressed and carefully measured, some of the other candidates were of insufficient length. I really need just over a yard. 7/8 will not do. I carefully stacked the remainder and finished cleaning the stash room. I planned to start shorts sewing in the morning. Overnight my creative side offered me options for a blue jean remnant and a silver sage corduroy. (It’s interesting that I pull out corduroy in early November and pack it away early May because it’s too warm to wear. However I promptly pull out the corduroy remnants and wear the resulting shorts. I even wore corduroy shorts in the Grand Canyon. In August. And I was comfortable.)
The Silver Sage Corduroy had good stretch. Not sure how much. I grasped two edges and yanked apart. I was quite pleased with how far it could be yanked. Obviously, not 100% cotton as it must contain a substantial amount of Lycra to stretch like that. Point is: stretch determined pattern. Over night and in my mind, I’d been turning over pattern choices. I didn’t want to do a lot of pattern work and had settled upon 906 for non-stretch fabrics and Jalie’s Eleanor for stretch fabrics; both patterns I thought already fit. I will be using this shorts pattern several times this summer and decided to make a shorts version. Very easy to do. I traced my existing TNT from waist to knee line i.e. lengthen/shorten line about midway on the leg. This should be longer than I prefer shorts but a good place to start. I reread my notes which said I had made a 3/4″ crotch scoop. Well the back pattern didn’t look like it had been scooped. But I wrote that down. So did I scoop the fabric but not the pattern? Can’t remember. I think the safest plan is starting as the pattern is now knowing I will probably make more tweaks.
“More tweaks?” Yes and on all my pants patterns except my 906 . See last year I gleefully refit all my pants patterns after I discovered I could indeed achieve a near perfect fit by following Peggy Sagers’ fitting procedure. At the end of winter, I took pictures of all the pants I’d made and fit. I was dismayed to see the X wrinkles had formed in the back. They were not there when I fit the pants. 4-6 months later, the back of my pants even freshly washed, lightly starched and pressed fell into X wrinkles. I know I will be tweaking pants patterns including the Eleanor pattern. Looking at it now, I’m anticipating an extra tweaking.
My 1-7/8 yard, silver sage fabric had flaws and two 8X10″ rectangles missing from the corners. That and its unusual color is probably why it was still sitting in the stash instead of part of my winter wardrobe. I’ve noted before that the Eleanor is very fabric conserving. Proved again by my cutting 2 pairs of shorts all the while maintaining grain direction and avoiding the fabric flaws. I cut one set of back pockets and fired up the embroidery machine. Yep I’m back to machine embroidery. I’d say “like a fiend” but it feels more like with glee. I love machine embroidery. (I’ll share the details in a separate post). When the embroidery finished I stitched up this pair of shorts. OMG I love this pattern. It is so easy to put together. Seriously fast. Well, I didn’t stop for fitting so maybe that helped.
Before I share pics, let me say none of last winter’s Eleanors looked this bad. But I’m reluctant to change circumference as I didn’t measure the fabric’s stretch. This could be a fabric issue and not a pattern issue.
The wrinkles visible beneath the waistband on the front are even more visible on the sides. It is typical for me to remove a 1/2″ wedge above my hip bone. That wedge (dart) always extends onto the back pattern piece. It really looks like I need to make that change but again I don’t know if I have a circumference issue, a length issue. a fabric issue or a pattern issue. I jumped into sewing without checking the fabric stretch.
When I start seeing the curve of my cheeks, I know I have to do something now. I’m annoyed that the CB is obviously dipped. Did or did not my Eleanor’s fit last winter? Or did I make fitting changes but not transfer to the pattern. I made a 3/8″ scoop immediately and took a second pic of the back side:
Not much improvement. I’m especially displeased by all the excess fabric over the back thigh. I absolutely loved this pattern for its fit. From the get go, this fit nicely.
I scooped again, because I could still feel the back pulling on my coccyx. I broke mine back in 2000. Slid down a flight of stairs on it. It looks fine but when I fit pants I can tell something has changed.
OK still not a huge improvement. Thing is, when I’m fully decked out, I look good:
Those bank line views need only a smile to be perfect. So I’m not doing anything further to this pair of shorts.
Tissue Changes to make:
- Scoop crotch 3/4″
- Add 1/2″ CB length just under the yoke.
- Side Fish eye darts from front dart to back dart 1/2″ deep.