MPB is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Mar 14, 2010

Rainy Sunday shorts





The shorts are done; I no longer have to wrap my legs in a tablecloth.

Actually, I think I may have liked these a little more as a tablecloth.  Remember, these were originally a vintage cotton Vera tablecloth I'd found at the Salvation Army last month.  We actually did use it when Michael's parents came to visit a few weeks ago.  Now we will just have to spread these shorts across the table.

Here's the vintage pattern I used:



I made the terrycloth shirt (from a different vintage pattern) two weeks ago.

This is one of those outfits I'm already tired of and it's only March.  Of course -- just to be clear -- it's really for Michael and not for me. I just make and model the stuff.  (He's out of town for the weekend so he'll get to try them on tonight.)

I made some annoying errors.  Instead of adjusting the rise before I cut the fabric, I just cut two inches off the top at the waistline.  This created a few problems:

1) Since the pants are slightly wider two inches below where the original waist was supposed to be, the waistband piece was now too short (in circumference).   I had to splice in a few more inches of band.

2) The pocket openings, which had been about 5" deep, were now only 3" deep.  Have you ever tried to squeeze your hands into a 3" pocket opening?  I don't know how big your hands are, but it isn't easy for me.



See that little slit on the right in the photo?  That's the pocket.  It's a shame because I'd put a lot of effort into those pockets.  At least nothing will ever fall out of them.

Don't make this mistake, readers.  Take the time to fit your paper pattern, or simply measure the rise of a pair of pants you own that fit well, and make sure the rise of your pattern is comparable.

Just to be clear, if I hadn't cut those 2" off the top, the waistband would have been way too high.  If I'd let the waistband fall to just above my hips, the crotch would have been sinking down to my knees. 



The back waistband is kind of cool: it has an elastic insert with two tabs at either end that button onto the waistband.  What's nice about it is that it makes the shorts fit snuggly without pulling in the front.

I should have interfaced the entire waistband; instead, I put a piece of denim in the front, where I sewed in velcro closures.  With a loosely-woven cotton like this, interfacing would have been a good idea.



In closing, these are OK.  One of things I tend not to do is to sit down and read my pattern instructions carefully before I begin a project.  Honestly, that elastic thing in the back came as a complete surprise, and if I'd thought about how the pockets were designed, I might have taken the 2" off the top before I attached them.  Live and learn.

So what do you think?  Were these better as a tablecloth? 

 And now, for your vintage-shorts-inspired entertainment:





Happy Sunday, everyone!

34 comments:

  1. Those are fantastic! Great job Peter. I can't wait to see what your Monday post has in store for us. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The shorts look great. I like them with the terry top. You must have fabric left from the tablecloth. Enough to make place mats, maybe?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Does Michael stand around with his hands in his pockets a lot? Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. I love these but then I tend to love really really bold patterns on pants (not for me, you understand, but just as a general kind of concept). Can you make a hat from the leftover fabric? Very Garanimals For Men, no? Ok, maybe not. But it would be funny.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love them! Sorry you had a difficult time with them but they look great. If the pocket really bothers you then stitch it closed and call it a "detail".

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rather Be Sewing - Lynne WMarch 14, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    I love, love, love the shorts!! Colors, pattern, fit, pose, everything! The entire outfit is perfect for summer (and P-town)- please stop beating yourself up. They are wonderful.

    I know we all tend to obsess about the mistakes we make in sewing, but honestly, if you hadn't mentioned it, I'd never have thought anything was 'wrong'.

    Thanks also for playing *my* movie - I was told constantly as a teenager that I looked like Gidget. Great Sunday clips!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Visually, I think they look fantastic, though I can relate to not liking something I made very quickly. Step away from the project awhile, and you'll see they look great. Oh see them on Michael. Distance helps.

    Mistakes. Ho hum, no one but you will know they're there unless you tell them. And now you know better. I would advise ALWAYS interfacing a waistband though. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Good: I love the pattern and the redesign and I think the print choice is pretty cool too (smudgy greens r a fav of mine) and if one should do prints one should DO prints.
    The Deep Sighs: The pocket thing would make me absolutely buggy and said item would find a second life elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think the shorts look great! Love the print. Love the back elastic. But as Anon 12:18 says, the pockets would make me buggy too, because I use pockets. If Michael uses pockets, think about sewing these closed and adding a side cargo pocket on one leg or both from the scraps I know you must have left over.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The fabric is awesome in a bermuda shorts kinda way. I think I might add cargo pockets or something if I wanted usable pockets, though.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I guess I could add a back pocket for a wallet or something.

    Debbie, I thought you were citing a Bible verse for a moment. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bible verse ... snort! This could be the perfect time to perfect your welt pocket techniques. I have a tute of the P/P technique, on my site here: http://tinyurl.com/yf9yzfo

    Oh, and I hope you borrow this outfit from Michael from time to time because it looks great on YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Weirdly, I think the tablecloth looks great as shorts. Maybe because it's not unlike the print on a cute little kayaking outfit I bought a couple of years ago. Maybe I was longing for the 70s? I love the back waistband; style AND function.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fab shorts!

    Maybe use the pocket for a matching key lanyard that is attached to the waistband? And then some other pockets.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cool shorts. They suit you perfectly. Maybe you should appropriate them.

    Love the sunglasses!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think they make equally cute shorts as they would have been as a tablecloth. Unfortunately Aussies only seem to donate such cool sheets and table cloths when they're all worn out.

    I just cut 2" off the top of a shorts pattern for my daughter for exactly the same reason. I drafted shorts form the Sure-Fit kit from the 80's/90's. Still haven't finished her tights though. The stack of stuff that's cut out and ready to sew is getting pretty high :P

    ReplyDelete
  16. LOVE the shorts. Am now planning a trip to the Crate and Barrel outlet to see if I can get some tablecloths for summer shorts purposes. You are a bad influence

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think these look very cool. Wish I could find great stuff like that tablecloth. I am never that lucky when thrifting.

    ReplyDelete
  18. These are awesome!! They make me want to go to Goodwill and root around.

    I somehow feel that tablecloths look better on fellas?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh, I just LOVE the shorts! I just finished watching "Where the Boys Are" (what a great, classic, campy 60's movie!) and I think your shorts could have played a starring role in the movie (probably on the Jim Hutton character, Frank Gorshin and George Hamilton didn't have the right style). Like you, I love creating fabulous garments out of home dec fabrics/tablecloths; I haven't done anything lately along these lines, but I do have some fabulous tablecloths that will probably never end up on my dining table!

    ReplyDelete
  20. So Lilly Pulitzer. Cute!

    ReplyDelete
  21. You're totally cool! Just love your site. I envy you because you actually have time to sew. Sweet!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think the shorts look great... love the print! Sorry about the pockets!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Cute duds!

    Did you meant to match the green flower on the butt or was that just a lucky happening?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love the shorts and the top. Very cool outfit!

    ReplyDelete
  25. If you've got enough leftovers, I could make a kicky skirt out of that fabric. LOVE it!

    This bermuda pattern would be make swim trunks, too! HOTT!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Tablecloth, schmablecloth. Any old body can have a vibrant tablecloth. Not just anybody (or anybodies, in the cases of you and Michael) can wear it as shorts.

    ReplyDelete
  27. They're still fabulous and that print is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Those are great! I'll take one pair for me, please.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Eeeee! These are so awesome! :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh Peter, you've thrown me for a loop! Those shorts are so unbelievably cool (and so totally up Mr. L's fashion alley) that I might have to veer towards sewing for the Husband, at which point we all know the outcome: all is lost!!

    Seriously, though, LOVING the shorts, and not just because they're made of tablecloth (which is more than half the fun of stuff for me, usually)!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Haha!! I LOVE your blog! I just happened to stumble upon it when I was looking for how to sew a faux fly. I think you should just call the pockets "coin pockets" and be done with it. I mean, isn't that what that teensy little pocket on those 5-pocket jeans is supposed to be for?

    Obviously this is an older post...I'm wondering if Michael wore this awesome outfit at all over the summer! If you pop back in, let us know how he liked it!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails