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Jun 8, 2013

Sewing Amid the Chaos + Madras Update!



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. 

Have a great day, everybody!

 

12 comments:

  1. Even the Berninas will the needle down option will have that nasty thing where you will stop where you want then it takes an extra stitch so the needle will be down.

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    1. My Bernina has a needle down option and it stops exaktly when the needle is down. Not one stitch more. (But that might be different on different models. Mine is from the late 1990s.)

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  2. Shorts look SUPER! This splitting of the waistband at the centre back is so clever for fine-tuning the fit. I never really thought about it until they talked about it on the Great British Sewing Bee (and inspected Judge Patrick's derriere up close). It's the proper way to do it, they said. This split makes it easier to adjust for swaybacks as well, so it's something I'll do from now on. Thank you!

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  3. I love the shorts. Might have to stitch up a pair for myself. I didn't think anyone wore shorts that didn't go past the knees anymore. Congrats on getting the Bernina 930, they're a real workhorse.

    Oh, and sorry about the purple corduroy getting rained on. I had to deal with 20 yards of it at once making performance pads for a bell choir. It was kind of tough finding that much purple corduroy all at once.

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  4. Sorry to hear about the "purple rain" you had but what a fab pair of shorts you made! Love them ;) you are so talented!

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  5. I have always liked madras and the shorts look great. How you could achieve anything in the chaos is beyond me. I have a whole room just for sewing and when it gets too messy I can't function. But the mess is all self- made, not an accommodation to outsiders wishes. How long does this go on?

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    1. All next week for Phase 2. Phase 3 starts in July. :(

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  6. Just the other day I commented to someone that I wanted to withdraw from life for awhile and just watch "Petticoat Junction!" ..Scary...as I have not been reading your blog for weeks (shame on me)....am I in your brain?

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  7. The shorts look very well done- really nice work. My remodel chaos continues and I have visiting family for the rest of June. I hope to be getting everything organized and back in place by July-sorry you have next week and July to get through. I haven't had the heart to tell the not kid friendly pets yet that the grands are coming in and they will not be back to normal life for a bit longer. Some things it's best they don't know.

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  8. I'm glad your loving Petticoat Junction. It was one of my favorite shows when I was growing up.. Went back a few posts and sadly I can still sing every word of the theme song. *LOL* Shorts are great!

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  9. Three cheers for the old, black Singers. I have a new Bernina, but still would not dream of parting with my trusty 201-2.

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  10. These are so cute! I love the pockets and belt loops!

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