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.
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:
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!