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