I was pretty happy with my shorts supply when I swapped out my winter for summer clothes. I reasoned that with 6 pairs and I enough to go all summer. I knew I would want to add a pair or two just to make something new and also to keep refreshing the wardrobe. Shorts are, after all, something I can count on wearing every summer. I had a rude awakening when I started actually wearing my shorts. I had forgotten that all these were made before I finished tweaking my TNT’s, Peggy Sagers 3200 and Butterick 5682. Pair had something seriously wrong. One pair was fine while I was standing, but I couldn’t sit. Seriously, they had no stretch and would not give enough for my body to bend into sitting position. How the heck did I wear those last year? I have not gained weight. The scales at my doctor’s office are steadly going down. Not rocketing to the bottom, but a pound less when I visit (my visits are quarterly). I’m 6 pounds less now then when I made the shorts. A few pulled sharply down at CB whenever I sat. Well, I have no intention of running around with my bum showing, so into the Goodwill box they went too. I’m left with 3 pairs of shorts which is not enough during hot weather. Time to start sewing shorts!
First pair is cut from a black and white stripe of cotton/poly seersucker. I don’t care whether seersucker is in or out, I love it for summer garments. Most of my life, it’s been the fabric I could count on to look the same on a summer afternoon as it did in the morning. I’d rather be slightly rumpled all day then to look like something the cat hacked up in the evening. KWIM?
I had already traced 3200 for shorts length. I did myself a favor by tracing it for the longest length shorts I would want and then marking fold lines along the leg for shorter versions. Now I folded it for the 4″ short. I chalked an extra 1″ onto the sides and added 1-1/4″ length at the waist for a fold over waistband. My 4″ inseam is actually marked at the 5-1/4″ level to include the hem so no need to add for a hem. I wanted pockets so dug through my patterns until I could find what I call the CLD pocket.
The CLD pocket is really a thing of beauty. Louise Cutting includes this pocket or instructions for it in a number of her pants patterns. The front side seam is faced at the pocket opening. A single pocket shape (you can vary it) is attached to the back side seam. The pocket attached to the back is placed under the front and top stitched. Yeah, so not clear. It is an easy pocket application. Has the virtue of never gaping; can be added after the fact (with a little seam ripping) and made from a scrap. But you do need to follow an exact procedure or you’ll muck it up. I did. I forgot to read the directions and missed steps resulting in some ripping and creative sewing.. Have a nice pocket, but this could have been so much easier.
I wanted to work some more with the new CS and used the 2340 to top stitch pockets and hems. Hems were fine — I’ve got a new if still awkward procedure for removing the work — but those pockets had me screaming. I used the pocket shape with sharp corners. 2340 does not make nice right angle turns. I had quite a mess..
.. which I top stitched at the sewing machine
trying to at least secure the pocket if not make it look a little better. I was frustrated by the time I finished and even suggested, to myself, that I put the Janome back up and set the 2340 aside until I triple needles was the exact look I wanted. But I remembered that it wasn’t all that easy when I first got the Janome 900CPX. For months all I would do is a hemming stitch. I can remember letting out a deep relaxed sigh each time I completed a decent hem. It was months before I would try anything else. I haven had the 2340 but 3 weeks. Already I pushing it and probably myself.
Note: I can now see real advantages to my Janome 900CPX over the 2340CV. The 900 is much easier to thread and to remove the work from machine. Removing the work from the 2340 is a real fight that seams to be accompanied by either rethreading the machine, or unintentionally raveling
the hem and having to over stitch at the sewing machine. Also, having 3 needles means threading THREE needles with THREE cones of thread. That’s just not going to happen with some colors. In which case I will be winding a bobbin to use at the 2340. I don’t like a lot of fuss. Sewing: YES. Fuss and futzing: NO. Threading is futzing.
A second goof, probably the first really because I did not add enough length for a fold over waistband. I made it work but I must have spent 10 minutes measuring, pinning, folding etc. I think though my measuring was just a little off. These both look and feel just a little close in the crotch
Happily a little scooping took care of it but I don’t seem to have pics after the scoop.
Next time I’m going to read the pocket and waistband instructions. It’s nice to have a multitude of techniques to use, I just need to be reminded of the construction details before I cut.