Friday, June 30, 2006

Some Shorts

Peter has these pants that he lives in. He bought them at the MEC and they have zip-off legs. Mostly he wears them as his only pair of shorts. They are also made of lightweight nylon and dry fast if he gets caught in the rain. One day not very long ago, he decided to spruce them up a little by ironing them. He did this without telling me or having done much ironing, as well as with the typical man's mentality that if 1 on the iron is good, 5 must be better. He melted a hole in them. Oh the crying that day. He went back to the MEC but they didn't sell them like that any more. I took pity on him and put a patch over the hole and so while they wore well, they didn't look very good.

Finally, I decided to brave making him a pair. I had this men's pattern (size large) that I bought years ago for the windbreaker type jacket (which I never made) and it also had some typical elastic waist pants in it.
beloved shorts
Here are the shorts he still wears. They have lots of pockets and he actually uses the small flapped pocket on the front for his cell phone. The pattern only gives the option of pockets on the side seams and I didn't want to make those.
shorts and pattern
I laid the shorts next to the pattern piece and measured the length of the crotch. That indicated to me that I should take up the pattern the full inch in this area. You can also see the patch where the giant hole was, right on the front. I couldn't find any scraps to match exactly.
pocket outlines
I measured all the pockets on the beloved shorts and then cut out rectangles with half inch seam allowances. I used my pinking shears too so I could just fold over the edges and sew them right on. As this pair of shorts was the prototype, I didn't want to spend too much time fussing over details if it turned out that he hated them and would never wear them.
shorts pockets compared
I compared them each step of the way, at least with regard to the pockets. I was also not sure when I went to buy the fabric, what I would get because I really didn't want nylon. Imagine my surprise when I re-discovered good old cotton-polyester blend!
pocket pieces
I ended up making two patch pockets on the back without flaps (because he never used the pockets on the back of the beloved shorts) and two large pockets on the front with smaller butoned-flap pockets on top of them. I didn't give them gussets or pleats in this incarnation, again because I didn't want to put that much effort into something that might be rejected. And I didn't even put interfacing in the pocket flaps!
pocket flap
Here I am eyeballing where the flap should go. I made the buttonhole in advance of attaching the flap because it is easier. I found some old green buttons in my stash which worked well.
pocket measured
Now I'm measuring how far down to put the pockets, given that I have to fold the top of the shorts over to create the waistline casing.
my shorts pocket
As usual, I bought too much fabric and was able to cut out for myself a pair of shorts. I was so inspired by the cool applied pockets I made up for his shorts that I made some for myself as well.
I did all my usual flat fell seam finishing and put the elastic in the waist casing. I fear they are too large so I am waiting for him to try them on and give a verdict before I finish closing in the casing. Even if there is a little too much fabric all over, if they fit in the waist, maybe he can wear them for gardening or something and I can make a smaller pair. In any event, I will have a pair myself that I know I am going to get a lot of use out of.


Debbie Cook said...

Great prototype!! I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the final verdict, but I'm guessing they will be a Big Go.

Miriam said...

they look better than the original!

JuliaR said...

Debbie, there was just too much fabric in them. I'm going to explain how I'm altering the pattern and hope for the best.

Miriam, the originals are horrible! Anything would look better.