Sunday, 5 August 2012

Don't you look back, Don't you look back....

I made it.  I got through July in almost one piece.  I may be slightly pasty faced from a complete lack of sun (or at least as pasty faced as some one with an olive complexion can get....its more a jaundiced looking yellow), chocolate consumption may have exceeded an all time record even for me (is anyone else campaigning for chocolate eating as the next olympic sport?), and there may have been a few tears and mental health days along the way but we finally got through the commissioning of the new stage of our alumina refinery.  The excitement has died down and life will hopefully return to some sense of normalacy.

But before I lock July up and throw away the key, I have to admit it wasn't all work.  I did slip in one sewing project along the way and it literally took the whole month to do.   Now what project could I have possibly picked to do in July.  Well of course being smack bang in the middle of winter here in the southern hemisphere I naturally picked my next project to be.......

a winter coat, I hear your ask.....nope.

how about a maxi dress, that could be weather, not this time

or could it have possibly been some tracksuit pants, that could be warm and comfy........well no didn't make those either.

No, instead I chose to make a pair of shorts......a pair of short shorts......Kwik Sew 3854 to be precise.  In hindsight I have no idea why I picked this pattern or why I chose to do something that I knew would be very hard for me to do in a month where there was a good chance of me going slightly bananas from work.  But none the less, I have made a pair of shorts.

Kiwk Sew 3854 - I did the shorts on the right
Kwik Sew 3854 View B shorts reads as a fitted sailor style shorts with pockets on the front, a wide waistband and a drop front with 3 button closure on each side.  Looking at Kwik Sew website this pattern looks like it is out of print now. 

Shorts are generally a pain for me to buy.  I have such a pronounced sway back plus a lovely pear shaped lower half that I have almost never got anything to fit off the rack.  Generally I always have had to get them altered to fit so I was excited about the prospect of making a pair of shorts that would fit me.

This pattern had a couple of problems for me.  The first being that the sizing is very weird.  I went on my body measurement size i.e. my saddlebag thighs volunteered to take one for the team and we went with the Medium pattern size.  Of course hindsight....if I read the finished product measurements obscurely found on the actual pattern pieces, I would have realised that by 'fitted sailor style shorts' Kwik Sew really meant 'saggy baggy grunge style underpant showing shorts'.  The amount of ease they built into this pattern was extreme - I measured 6 cm ease on the waist on my test pair though they claim it is about 2-4cm.  My tip - go at least a size down on what you think.

Size M in the most tacky poly fabric I had in my stash.
The M was so huge I swear it look like a skirt from front on.  The shape that the pattern had for the pant leg was literally square so you end up with all this exra fabric and no shape whatsover. From side on I looked like a buts or anything!!

Where in the world is my butt?

So back to the drawing board and that is why this pattern took so long to complete.  I ended up using a couple of shorts/pants that I had in my wardrobe and used them as a shape guide for the pattern.  I changed the shape of the crotch curve, I changed the shaping of the short legs, and I modified the shape of the outer seam to better handle my saddlebags.

The shorts are very high waisted and I am still not comfortable with the shape of the crotch. However the shorts are wearable and I am seriously over them for now. In the interest of full disclosure I will share with you a picture of the shorts from the rear but be warned that I have supersonic hearing and I can hear any cyber laughing that may be going on.....

Yes the seam is not sitting right & the curve is not quite right.  My blog title did warn you......

On the inside I had some fun with this pattern.  I used a contrasting fabric for the upper pocket fabric and on the waistband.  I also did flat felled seams for the outer and inner leg seams. Taking the advice of other people who have made this pattern I also sewed up the front flap higher so that the pockets are more usable and also so there is no risk of a 'surprise' gape when I sit and/or walk in these shorts.

Main fabric in stretch denin, contrasting fabric in cotton.  Front flap sewed up to about 1.5 inches from the wasitband
Flat felled seams.  Very tricky but I liked the finish.
I am planning to tinker with these shorts a bit more over the next few months to see if I can get the crotch curve right.  But for now this pattern is going to the bottom of the closet and will move onto the next project.

So in summary
Patterm:          Kwik Sew 3854....maybe out of print....wouldn't lose sleep over it
Fabric:            stretch denim on special at Lincraft. 
                       Contrasting fabric leftovers from my Simplicity 2205 bag.  Extra cheap buttons
                         from Lincraft
Instructions:  pretty good.  This was my first Kwik Sew pattern.  Loved that the pattern
                          pieces were on paper rather than tissue. 
Modifications:  almost too many to mention.  I increased the inside leg seam length to
                             personal preference.   I changed the centre back and centre front curves -
                            still more work to do.  I tapered both the inside & outside leg seam to get
                            better shape on the pant leg.  I removed the back dart.  I had a more
                            agressive taper on the waistband to accommodate my sway back.  I used flat
                           felled seams on the inside and outside leg seams. 
Conclusion:   Don't look back!! Now I remember why I prefer wearing dresses and skirts.

Loki 'assisting' with the patter layout and cutting

Blog Title:  Was going to be Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot but in the end went with tried and true Fleetwood Mac. Title:  Don't Stop.  Lyrics by Christine McVie.

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