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Project Eighty Three: A Pair of Beach Shorts, Just as Summer Draws to a Close

August 31, 2011

It has taken me ages to actually make these shorts, despite great intentions that started sometime in March. I don’t know why, but when it comes to making clothes for myself, I take ages to actually muster up the courage and enthusiasm to see a project through to completion.

So, anyway, I used my favourite pair of linen shorts to make a template for these handmade shorts, finally got round to making the paper pattern, a few days later used the pattern to cut the fabric, and then a week later actually started sewing. It didn’t take long to attach the four leg pieces and put in a front zipper, and then, before attaching a waistband I tried them on, and they were almost too tight to even get on :-(. I couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong, the shorts I used for the template fit me perfectly, I added a seam allowance around my pattern and was really careful with measuring. Then Mr. B pointed out that it was probably because I had used a stiff cotton fabric with no give in it, and my original shorts were made of soft flowey linen with more give.

Unfortunately I had already hemmed up the bottom of the shorts (the design has a nice fold up bottom hem that I had to make before sewing the legs together), so it took me a while to think of a way to save the shorts and make them bigger. Eventually I figured I would just unpick the outside seams and add some red piping and another panel of fabric about 1″ wide to each outside leg. Remember when I lost my seam ripper and frantically posted about it here? Well, that was right in the middle of trying to unpick the outside leg seams so that I could get to work on making the shorts fit me.

I finally finished the shorts, adding a waistband with the same spotty red fabric on the inside as I used for the piping down the sides, and the shorts fit, but I am not as excited about them as I thought I would be. I don’t know why really, perhaps it is the cold Autumnal air that has descended on us, and the knowledge that I won’t be wearing these shorts for at least another eight months. I really don’t like it when summer ends. The nights are already drawing in. I need o get on with making that quilt.

fake side pockets for the shorts

front fly zip, from the inside

and from the outside

the turned-up bottoms, before the outside legs were sewn together

all finished, with the extra side panels making them bigger

close up of the side panels

and from the back

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