Friday, February 03, 2012

FO: Happy Campers: Pattern Runway Sweet Shorts

This project came together in fits and starts.  When the pattern didn't seem quite right, I emailed the designer, and she came back to me in a day to confirm that she had made a mistake when editing the pdf, enclosing a corrected version and offering me a free pattern to make up for the inconvenience!  How kind is that?  And you can expect to see a Pussy-Bow-Blouse sometime soon :)

I traced off the pattern on Sunday and cut the pieces from the scantest oddment of fabric leftover from my second pair of Eva Dress trousers.  Wednesday evening saw them ready for a zip and hem facings.  Thursday... and they were done.  Maybe 8 hours in total?
They began life as a muslin, but I think they turned out well enough to "style up" and wear in public.
Pattern:  Pattern Runway Sweet Scalloped Shorts, size XS
Fabric:  Leftover cotton twill from my Eva Dress trousers, not much more than 40cm in a long strip.  Originally bought from CroftMill.  A scrap of lining leftover from my teal wool Ginger skirt for the pockets.
Zip:  7 inch in an odd peach colour from a bargain pack of zips bought when I first started sewing again.
Time to sew:  One afternoon and two evenings.


The fit is neat.  I have to say that I did not expect "extra-small" to be big enough, which goes to show you should not rely on the size-label, but get your measuring tape out.  I am quite flat-bottomed, so I get away with it, but I think I will cut the velvet pair-to-be slightly larger, just to give myself a tiny bit more wearing ease.
The pattern is drafted with 1cm seam allowances, which you press to the back for a neat finish.  There are lots of "garment industry" tips like this in the instructions, which I found very interesting.  Rather like Zo's recent streamlined instructions to sew the Sencha top - a different approach which makes sewing faster, less fiddley, but still well-finished.
It is a beautifully-cut pattern.  I really like the panelling on the front, and the side pocket construction.  The leg aperture is quite wide and I personally would not dream of wearing these without thick tights underneath.  But I am 47 and I live in the frozen North on a farm with thistles and nettles at every turn.  A 17 year old cheerleader from the Sunshine State might feel differently.

I didn't make back pockets, but the instructions looked clear.  The side pockets are very well-designed, with fashion-fabric facings on top of lining pocket bags, so you get crisp outer edges but silky innards - and no Visible-Pocket-Lines.

Cleverly, the back legs are shaped with a gentle curve, reserving all the scallop action for the fronts, creating a flattering thigh-scoop.  It is a scallop, yes, but without too much fussy frilliness.  The scallop facings fitted perfectly.  Ooh - imagine a trim of contrast piping at the hem edge!

So much attention to detail - I am impressed!

A confession:
In the interests of full disclosure, I have to confess to a bodge-job at the junction between the top of the waistband and the zip.  It was the old story:  I didn't have an invisible zip so tried to adapt the instructions to suit an ordinary one.  It was all going really well until I turned the waistband facing the right way out.  Then, suddenly there was lumpy fabric, a curving zip-top, one side of the waistband facing with a fold of excess fabric and the other with barely enough to reach the zip edge.

It is possible that I sewed the facing on back to front.  Sigh.
It looks fine from the outside, and on the inside I sewed a piece of polka dot ribbon over the facing edge where it didn't quite reach far enough.  It is a design feature.  Ahem!

I really must get to grips with invisible zippage.  I have the correct foot for my sewing machine now, so I just need to buy some zips - it's not that hard!

Carry On Camping
FL says I look like an extra from Carry On Camping. (That's a you-tube link to the infamous Barbara Windsor bra-pinging scene for anyone who wants a cheap laugh.)  That assessment is entirely down to the utilitarian fabric choice, which does a pretty good job of undercutting the "sweet" element of these shorts!

But imagine them in a heavy lace?  Or indeed purple velvetMwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Actually, let's have some inspirational images of "dress shorts" shall we?

All images borrowed from Keiko Lynn.  "Carry on Camping"?  I don't think so!


Lucy said...

Nice shorts! (Not my thing, personally, but they look great on you and well-fitting)

Thanks for the link to So Zo as well, although the main thing that I concluded from reading her post is that I want an overlocker...

Annie said...

They do look good!

kbenco said...

I love your shorts. The scallop front is such a nice detail.

Christine Laennec said...

Great shorts! Just what rural North-East Scotland needs, I reckon.

On the topic of being flat-bottomed, which is a club I belong to as well, I often think of a nickname given to another of our tribe. She was one of those women who never sat still, and was always cleaning or running errands. An affectionate nickname for her was "The Buttless Wonder". (This in America, of course.)

Evie said...

These are too cute! I can't wait to see the purple velvet pair.

Clare said...

I love these - they suit you so well. Can't wear shorts myself as I'm too self-concious about the rear view but am a big fan of the style on other people.

jessica said...

Daym Roo. I was thinking it'd be interesting to see purple velvet scalloped shorts on you, vicarious living and all, but this version has me thinking ME WANTS BADLY!!! Haha. I don't even WEAR shorts and haven't in about 10 years! And, as a member of the "Buttless Wonder" club, it's encouraging to see that they work for peeps like us.

Seriously though, these look good but I think the purple ones will be totally rocking. You are SO onto something here! LOVE!

Felicity from Down Under said...

They look fantastic. And who will see the bit that was an unintentional design feature, and who will even notice?

I confess that I have trouble convincing myself to wear shorts in summer - I'm far from buttless and it gets very hot here Down Under but I'm much happier in trousers pretty much all year - so I'm in awe of your doing so in those frozen Northern wastes - maybe not wastes, but somewhere Very Cold, anyway. Well done, you.

Kestrel said...

They've turned out great - I love the scalloped detail.

On the subject of invisible zips, I go by the instructions in the Colette Sewing Handbook (the same as appear on their site) and now am an IZ convert completely. Good luck!

StephC said...

Your shorts are so cute! Such a lovely shape. :)

I only just "discovered" Keiko Lynn- she's so fun and inspiring!

feresaknit said...

Glad you mentioned the tights I of course was considering the climate up there rather than your age! Love the shorts by the way.

Minnado said...

They are lovely shorts. I am kind of partial to dress shorts myself but a bit scared of bare legs and shorts in summer! I love the camping photo. I look forward to seeing the velvet version. And now I am off to look at the Pattern Runway site.

Debi said...

Love these shorts. So clever that they have the scallops in the front!

Dibs said...

the shorts look cute on you. I might have to take a closer look at that pattern. Might treat myself to a pair of summer shorts.

Scruffybadger said...

They are just too darling for words look cute :-)
I am also off to check out the site - I warned you - I did say, show me some shorts-scalloped-by-Roo & I just might have to succumb ....

Rachel in Edinburgh said...

Truly fantastic shorts! I haven't been totally sold on scalloped edging until today, but now that I've seen these (and Rachel's skirt on House if Pinwheel), I'm starting to reconsider the idea :-)