Readers, I know I have a reputation as a bit of a clutterbug, but even I am having a hard time living (and sewing) amid this construction project-related mess, and it's not over yet.
I am happy to report, however, that I have finished my patchwork madras shorts. You'll have to wait for the final photo shoot (which should include a pale pink linen shirt) but I will share a few construction details.
In addition to the two front "Op shorts-style" pockets, I added two back patch pockets, though from a distance you can hardly tell they're there. Like the front pockets, they're lined in gray shirting, which I attached sewing right sides together, and then turning right side out.
As much as I love my Bernina 930 -- and I used it exclusively for everything except the front buttonhole -- when it comes to things like topstitching pockets, where you have to turn corners constantly, a black Singer straight stitch machine (like my 15-91) gives you more control over your work. I can go into the "why" in more detail, but in brief, since my Bernina machine stops in the up position and turning the wheel to sink the needle also moves the fabric forward, it's harder to get the needle exactly where you need it (to match parallel topstitching lines, for example, or to turn corners). Also, while you can turn the handwheel manually, it's stiff-feeling compared to the looser Singer straight-stitch hand wheels, and smaller. When I sew on an old Singer, my hand is on the hand wheel constantly, almost without my even noticing it -- like driving a stick shift. With the Bernina, I'm very aware of the times I need to turn the hand wheel and it takes more effort.
Anyway, I added belt loops to the shorts and they're all a little different from each other, which is fun.
I split the waistband at the back seam and attached the two edges at a bit of an angle, to allow the back waistband to fit more snuggly at my lower back. (There are two darts in the back of the pants, though they're hard to see.) The waistband is lined in gray shirting which I interfaced with fusible interfacing to add a bit of stiffness.
Above the front fly is a plastic tortoiseshell button closure.
As you can see, these are not Bermuda-length shorts. I don't think they're too short but they don't have that vintage "Mad Men" cut some might prefer in this fabric.
It poured here yesterday, sopping the bolt of purple corduroy I was storing on the balcony, so I have to wash and dry the whole bolt later today. Maybe I can make a second pair of shorts with it.
In other news, I am still enjoying my "Petticoat Junction" DVD's -- so much, in fact, that I'm considering buying more. It's such a well-written and gentle-hearted show, though I must admit that an episode that had Dennis Hopper playing a beatnik poet from Greenwich Village who seduces Bobbie Jo with his protest poems was awfully mean-spirited toward the beatnik. Nearly all those 1960's sitcoms held the counterculture up to ridicule, making fun of hippies, peaceniks, and the whole Haight-Ashbury scene. I'd say Dennis Hopper got the last laugh.
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!