kcw project four: self drafted shorts


ok, i’m jumbling these both into one post because the weekend part of my birthday week is upon us, and plans are picking up!  birthday dress is done and wearable as of midnight last night…it will make an appearance here in the coming weeks.  for now, it’s time to wrap up SHORTS.  well, capris.

this first pair is for reese, made with kaffe fasset shot cotton (love, love, love) and an accent fabric that i can’t find the selvedge for (again, bought it in person, so i have no idea who the designer is 😦 ).  i was almost going to give the fabric away thinking it was a little too busy or too something, but i think it makes a good accent fabric and matches with a lot of solids i already have in the stash, so you may be seeing it again someday.

anyhow, i drafted these using this tutorial by rae for a basic pattern, then turned a few pairs of existing shorts inside out to try and figure out slash pockets.  i only mildly succeeded.  while i like seeing so much of the accent fabric, the pockets are really shallow and as a result, not very functional. i added a waistband because i wanted the accent fabric to be totally enclosed by the solid color.  i do like the appearance, but hadn’t considered that when cutting the original pants (i assumed i’d do the usual foldover waistband), so these got a little longer than i intended, and it remains to be seen how baggy they are in the crotch.  things like this happen when you sew from the hip and don’t plan beforehand.

fortunately, i did have the foresight to make the cuffs totally cleanly bound, like a quilt binding. so, they can easily be rolled up without exposing any ugly, unfinished seams.  hooray!  other than that, i finished these puppies with some serious, serious reinforced seams.  flat fells all up in here.  they are indestructible.


and now these, the final pair i made for the guest post that gave me a complex.  honestly, they deserve a post all on their own with the psychological distress they caused.  the idea came to me as shorts.  in my mind, the clouds were defined and fluffy, the rainbow ribbon subtle and playful.  there were no raindrops in the original sketch.  but when i sat to make them, things just weren’t going quite right.

first, i decided to make them into capris.  for months, bean has absolutely refused to wear shorts, and i’d already made a pair of shorts for her this season.  making another seemed needlessly wasteful.  so, i decided on capris.  given most of their clothes are with them in michigan, it was slim pickins to use for tracing purposes.  the only appropriate pair i could find were these totally heinous and ill fitting capris which i never allow her to wear, so i’d forgotten how horrible they are.  i made these about 60% of the way in a cotton muslin (after debating fabric choices for at least an hour), and the cut was so horrible i had to scrap it and start from the beginning, as in, drafting a new pattern.  baggy in the butt, tapered in the leg, seriously…WHO DESIGNED THESE?

i started over in a yard dyed essex linen, which looks like denim, to try and make the brightest rainbow ribbon ever scream a little less loudly, like the subtle image i had in my mind that clearly would never become a reality.  the capris are much more normal looking now, but i have no idea how they’ll actually fit.

and then, the cloud pockets.  again, in my mind, these were distinctive, cartoony cumulus clouds.  i think i could have achieved this with appliques, but i wanted them to be *pockets*.  form follows function, right?  but, to be big enough to fit pudgy hands, but not so big as to take over the entire garment, i had to chop them off and give them a straight edge (initially i wanted them to be full clouds with some portion left open for hands).  already much less cloud like, they lost all remaining resemblance when i turned them right side out…i’m sure i didn’t clip enough corners or something, but i was so exhausted by this point, i couldn’t do anything about it.  now they look like used tissues stuck on the pants.

there was a lot of space between the used tissues and the obnoxious ribbon, an issue that also hadn’t exited in my initial sketch.  searching for a way to clarify the image i was going for, i slapped on some freezer paper and made a few raindrops.  honestly, i was so mortified by the final product, not having made something so awful since i first started sewing, i was almost too embarrassed to put them in my guest post.  as suspected, that guest post brought more traffic to this blog than anything else has in history, so i knew what i put forth was going to represent me to many, many, many readers.  i hated to think that these dowdy granny pants with the used tissue balls and eye burning ribbon trim would be my personal ambassador.

but, i had put in way too much time to turn back, and my fabric choices had even been somewhat dictated by how the four shorts would look in a photo collage.  i know.  ridiculous.  i sent in the post a few days early in case meg had an immediate objection to including something so horrible on what’s supposed to be an inspiration board for kid clothing.  i confessed my insecurities, and then i didn’t hear back from her….even late the night before the post was to go live.  i was sure she was trying to think of a tactful way to get rid of those shorts, or to entirely rescind her offer for my guest post.  i was an anxious mess.  but actually, like most normal individuals, she was just on 4th of july vacation and not OBSESSING over blog posts.  she liked the cloud pockets (or so she says), as does my husband, and i suspect bean will, too.  a lot of people seem to like those capris.  i don’t know what’s wrong with all of them.  art is funny that way.

and now, it’s time to put on my birthday dress!

3 thoughts on “kcw project four: self drafted shorts

  1. You did it again, tears from laughter over here! Not even because of the at least unique rainbow-pants, but the way you write about the process is soooo comical! Your guest post already cracked me up, and you succeeded again 🙂 Very refreshing to see something not fully polished & perfect!

    Have a wonderfil b-day weekend, I’m looking forward to your new creations, more or less perfect 🙂

    • haha, “unique.” thank you for being gentle and positive 😉 once kcw is through i’ll figure out how to start posting all my crazy projects for myself. there will be plenty of unpolishedness to keep you giggling!

  2. Pingback: a month in review |

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