Finally, it was time to make Michael's shorts from the last fabric he chose for his summer ensemble, a liver-colored linen. (Can you think of a better way to describe this shade? I can't. Dried blood?)
This is one of the heavier linens I've worked with -- it frays easily and has a heavy drape. Given the kind of summer we're having, I might have chosen something lighter, but I was concerned about the shorts not being see-through.
Michael wanted these shorts to look and fit like an old pair of H&M linen pants he owned (which I had shortened to make shorts), and which were too worn out to wear. I decided to cut them up and adapt my pattern to them.
These shorts don't have a regular waistband, but rather a 2" band attached to the top edge that was turned to the inside (formally called an underfacing, I believe). Four rows of topstitching were applied to the band, the 2nd & 3rd row forming a casing for 5/8" woven drawstring that ties from the inside.
You can see the interfaced band on the right, below (on the left, the fashion fabric).
As it turned out, with the exception of the lack of waistband, the pattern I was using, Simplicity 5044, a vintage men's short sleeve shirt and shorts pattern from 1972, was very close to the H&M pants.
For pocketing, I used brown high-quality cotton shirting MPB reader "Babe" sent me last winter.
The construction of the shorts was relatively straightforward. I had to tweak my pockets to make the opening wider (i.e, the bottom lower) since I'd be losing nearly 2" at the top due to the four rows of topstitching.
I incorporated the selvage on the inner waistband so I wouldn't have to finish the edge.
I copied the back pockets off the H&M linen shorts. I even reinforced the back pocket buttons with a little piece of the old drawstring.
These are very nice shorts, if a little on the heavy side for these ninety-plus degree days we've been experiencing. Hopefully by October he'll be comfortable wearing them!
Readers, that's all for today. I'll post pics of the finished shorts later in the week, when Michael will model them with his rayon knit V-neck tee shirt. (Like the song says, anticipation is making you wait.)
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!