Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FO: Simplicity 2654: A Short Tribute to Jane



You know Handmade Jane don't you?

Earlier this year, Jane and I both developed an obsession with Christi's Rockabilly-esque Simplicity 2654 trousers / pants.  You can see them on Flickr here.  Christi made the shorts too.   Jane was a lot quicker off the mark than me, and sewed up a fab pair of navy sailor trousers which appear in her recent list of top 5 makes.  Urban Rustic also set to work to make several pairs of trousers using this pattern, with great success.  But oh - the mortification to see myself name-checked in her August post as a "ruminator"! ; )

So, yes, I admit I have been prevaricating.  I first started muttering about making a pair of shorts back in April.   I talked myself out of them on the grounds that my workplace is not ready for my knees.  Um... hello?  Roo?  Did you know you are allowed to sew clothes to wear at home?  Garments that are simply fun to have around the place, brightening up the farmhouse at weekends?  Can I just remind you about the pink trousers..?!

When I was tidying upstairs in preparation for my son's Christmas homecoming, I came across the ready-cut shorts and I decided to get them sewn up before I changed my mind again.  After all - what was there to lose?


Stats:

 Pattern:  Simplicity 2654, view C, size 10

Fabric:  One yard of navy / black shadow-striped pure wool by "Givenchy Gentleman", bought on eeebaaay from British Fabrics as part of a pack of remnants, approx cost £4.  Gorgeous fabric!

Buttons:    Red!  A surprise in the post from Jane herself, after I loaned her one of my vintage patterns.  :D

Bias binding:  Red bandana print, to face the hems after I lost vital inches off their length...

Label:  "I am half agony - half hope" a quote from Jane Austen's Persuasion, found on Etsy from a UK seller.
The Making:

Ah, it should have been so quick and easy!  But smarty-pants here thought she would give her shorts a scalloped hem, to kick them into the 21st century.  This was my mistake, people.  (No fault of the instructions, which I recommend to you.)

I have no photos of the scalloping.  My shorts were rather longer at that point!

Because after cutting away the excess fabric, I discovered that my 2-inch-diameter scallops were too darned small to turn right-side out.  The gentle curves turned into pointy triangles and I looked like a staff reject from Santa's Christmas Toy Factory.  Believe me when I tell you this:  "elfine" is not always a good look!

I had no choice but to slice away the offending facings, taking my shorts northwards by several inches.  Gulp.

I faced the hems with red bandana print binding.
Verdict?:
I think they are really cute!  I can't get a sensible response out of The Girl, which leads me to suspect she finds them a bit embarrassing.  Maybe she thinks I am imitating her shorts-and-tights style?  Perhaps if I promise not to wear them out in public with her...?  Anyway, I definitely won't be wearing them with suspender-tights or a band t-shirt.  Honest.

FL laughed.  A lot.  It doesn't bother me - he often laughs at my clothes.

They are warm, they are comfortable, they make me smile (red buttons!) and they have the curious effect of making me feel more energetic.  I hesitate to say it:  they make me feel younger than my years.
Would I make another pair?

Probably not.  Despite being what other sewists regard as "wide-legged", I find the pattern a bit too narrow for trousers for me, and I can't imagine wanting many pairs of shorts in exactly this style.

All in all, they are a bit of home-wearable fun.  They inspire me to run around and pretend I am young and fit and full of beans.  They make me want to wear bright lipstick, a big baggy boyfriend cardigan and sky-high ankle boots and call myself Keiko.  Now there's a thought!

Stylist's notes:
Red Percy shawl, blogged here.
Red vintage knitting needle bracelets from The Girl for my birthday (Etsy UK seller)
Boden cardigan
Camper ankle boots
Gap tights
Rockalily "Rockette Red" lipstick :D
Red book:  "The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Eugenides - my current reading matter.

21 comments:

Clare said...

Roo, those are gorgeous. Good work!

Debi said...

Brilliant! I love these!! Those buttons are fantastic and the fabric looks amazing (I've seen that seller on ebay--I should definitely check out the remnants!) Great job...off to check out that pattern now :)

argie said...

I'm reading The Marriage Plot too, and really liking it!

The shorts are very cute.

Anonymous said...

Charmingly, mischievous. A terrific look..

Lynne said...

They're lovely, and they look fab on you. I love the red buttons too.

Jane said...

Oh my god, a short tribute to ME!!!!! That's made my year! I think they look gorgeous and I love the fact that you used the red buttons - it's the perfect project for them. Ignore your daughter, you look fab in them and yes, you do indeed look much younger than your actual age wearing them. Yay!! x

Roisin Muldoon said...

I think these are super duper cute, Roo! And actually very very you, as the anonymous commenter above sad, very mischievious. Well played :)

Suzy said...

They are wonderful, I love the buttons!

Flossie said...

Gorgeous shorts, I love the red buttons and the way you've styled the 'photoshoot'. Just wanted to say, you (and Jane actually) have really inspired me this year. I am ready to jump into clothes making in 2012. Hoping to go to the Crafty Ceilidh too. Exciting!

Anonymous said...

roo - the whole outfit is FABULOUS!the beautiful scarf is so chic, and the red buttons give it a wonderful POP. enjoy wearing it and showing it off, and have fun finding other ways to wear the shorts - the sky-high boots and long cardi - please, please post a photo! hugs, karen

Minnado said...

ah, I love them. The red buttons are a great touch. Shorts with tights are a weakness of mine, they just give a bit more freedom than a skirt. I just finished and enjoyed "The Marriage Plot", having spent Christmas afternoon reading it while zoning out the chaos around me!

Butterfly said...

They look lovely! Their wideness almost makes them look like a skirt. As for the buttons: LOVE them. And they perfectly match your scarf :)

Kestrel said...

Love the shorts, and the outfit you put together. Am off to add the Percy shawl to my Ravelry faves :)

Spikeabell said...

Great outfit love the pink accents...awesome scarf(knit thing, really suits you.

faeriecollege said...

I think they're charming, and they suit you. Plus, red buttons!

christinelaennec said...

You look smashing! People have such preconceived ideas about farm women...

Alessa said...

Aww, they're totally awesome! I love the bandana print hem tape and the bright red buttons! Your whole outfit is gorgeous with its red accents, you should totally wear it out and about! Also, I'm secretly in love with your shawl...

Joy said...

These are wonderful! Love the red buttons. We absolutely should make more clothes for wearing at home - and maybe we'll wear them in public to make other people (besides our children) happy.

Scruffybadger said...

I am slowly catching up & so glad that I saved this post to SAVOUR in the evening as opposed to over my porridge. Class shorts Roo. I love that you feel young & stylish & want to call yourself exotic names. If you only feel able to wear them at home (for now) fair dos, but I see nothing wrong with venturing further afield & showing them to the wider world. Truly fabulous. Ra ra!

House of Pinheiro said...

Amazing trousers xx

tattie-bogle said...

Those shorts are wonderful and look great on you. I came to your blog from the Scottish Knitters Blog Ring. What lovely things you create.