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Jul 22, 2013

Making Michael's Linen Shorts



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.)

Have a great day, everybody!

23 comments:

  1. Very professional workmanship. These shorts are terrific.

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  2. Brick or red clay.

    Although I hate when clothing catalogs use names that are meaningless. I can remember one that I could not match any of the colors to the name....birch, flint, hide, decay????

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  3. The shorts look great and I look forward to Michael modelling them.

    How did you wash the linen, and were there any shrinkage issues?

    Thanks

    Spud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I machine laundered and dried them; from now on they'll be air-dried though.

      There was probably some shrinkage but I couldn't tell you how much.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Peter. The fabric looks like it washed up very nicely.

      Spud.

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  4. Dusty cranberry? Faded cochineal? Anyway, they're beautifully done!

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  5. Micheal is going to look hot in those shorts!
    Can't wait to see the whole outfit.

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  6. The linen is a dark rose beige. Or maybe Puce?

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    Replies
    1. I think it is puce! I googled puce and the linen looks pretty darn close to puce.

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    2. Are you sure you don't mean puke? ;)

      Delete
  7. I love that you really incorporate the selvage in most of your creations. I had never thought of that until I began to follow your blog. So creative. I can't wait to see the finished product. I love working with linen but the edges.. what a mess they can become.

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  8. Great shorts! Can't wait to see them on Michael. This inspires me to make some for my husband.

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  9. i'm with mrs c - oxblood. at least that's what we'd (in the UK) call shoes in this colour.

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  10. As always Peter- Great Job! I feel your pain about the temps, here we have 2 seasons...hottern blazes & humid and a lil cooler & humid!;-)

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  11. New Mexico clay. Very nice work adapting that pattern to Michael's old shorts.

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  12. Angry salmon? ;)

    Wonderful job on the shorts!

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