Tag Archives: shorts

Completed: Bikey Maritime Shorts

31 Jul

I love it when a single piece of clothing incorporates a bunch of my favorite things at once.

Bikey Maritime Shorts

Bicycles? Check.
Maritime shorts? Check.
Roisin? FUCK YEA.

Bikey Maritime Shorts

I know they look like polka dots from a distance, but seriously there are teeny-tiny little bicycles all over these shorts and OMG SO CUTE.

Bikey Maritime Shorts

I’m a sucker for bicycle printed fabric – this is a true fact, and I don’t think I even need to say it, because most of y’all are probably nodding your heads (and/or rolling your eyes) from how often I mention it. That’s ok, I’ll say it again – bicycle fabric rules! This stuff is extra special, though, because it came as a gift from my homegirl, Roisin. Recently on her honeymoon in Paris, Roisin posted this shit on Instagram after a fabric shopping bender (seriously… she went home with some really beautiful stuff) and I nearly had a heart attack over the BICYCLE PRINTED DENIM. Because she’s an amazing sport, Roisin offered to go back to the fabric store and pick me up my own 3m length. On her freaking honeymoon! Do you see why this lady is amazing? Because she’s amazing.

Bikey Maritime Shorts
Bikey Maritime Shorts

And because of her, I now am the proud owner of these cute little bike shorts! Yay!

Bikey Maritime Shorts

I’ve made this pattern – the Maritime shorts – a million times, so there’s not a lot left to say about them. I cut my usual size, and sewed these up as normal. I knew I wanted to stick with a good tried-n-true to be absolutely positive that we would have no fitting issues here, especially after all that trauma I had trying to make jorts. Speaking of which, I think I figured out the issue with the zipper – after inspecting the zipper of my jeans (the ones I bought, not me-mades), I noticed that the fly extension is tacked down right at the base of the zipper, which takes a lot of the strain when you’re pulling them off and on. It’s amazing that something as simple as reinforcing the extension with a bartack really makes such difference but it does. After realizing this, I checked the pattern and it does instruct you to tack the extension down. I guess I skipped over it in my jeans haste? I dunno. But hey, now you can learn from my mistake! :D

Bikey Maritime Shorts
Bikey Maritime Shorts

Sorry ’bout all the wrinkles. I took these photos after wearing the shorts all day, so most of them are from sitting and moving around. While this fabric is a denim, it’s pretty lightweight for shorts, so it tends to wrinkle. The fabric softened up quite a bit after prewashing, and also set a few wrinkles in permanently (such as the one you see by the side seam).

Bikey Maritime Shorts
Bikey Maritime Shorts
Bikey Maritime Shorts
Bikey Maritime Shorts

Some additional notes:
– I debated on topstitching with a contrasting thread – either white or gold – but ultimately decided to let the bikes take center stage and kept the topstitching navy. I love how it’s subdued and classy – well, as classy as a pair of short shorts covered in bicycles can be :P
– My pocket lining is Liberty fabric, left over from my recently Liberty make! I know it doesn’t exactly match the denim, but I couldn’t resist pairing these two special fabrics together – after all, they’re both from some of my favorite bloggers, so it seemed only natural :)
– You may have noticed that I didn’t finish the edge of that fly extension. Actually, I did. It’s just up under the waistband because I’m fucking stupid haha. Oh well!

Bikey Maritime Shorts

I tucked my chambray button-down in so you could really see the way the shorts look, and I surprised myself because I actually kind of dig the way it looks (even if it does scream ~Fashion Blogger on Pinterest~, which we all know I most certainly am NOT haha!). For the most part, though, I wear the shirt untucked, as in the above photo.

Bikey Maritime Shorts

The best part – those lil’ shorts use barely any fabric at all, which means I still have about 2m left to play with! I’m debating what to do with the remaining yardage. It’s too heavy to be any sort of top (well, any sort of top that I would wear) and I’m not keen on making a matching pair of pants… but a dress, perhaps? What pattern would you suggest?

Thanks again, Roisin, for being such a star and making these cute shorts a reality! When I finally get my butt to London, I owe ya a drink :) Or two :)

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Completed: Simplicity 1425

22 Jul

Today’s outfit inspiration comes from a completely new realm for me – watercolor painting!

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Remember that watercolor class that I signed up for earlier this summer? Well, here’s a shot of one of the paintings I did in my final class (no, it wasn’t a fashion illustration class, but the teacher was open to letting us paint whatever wanted – and she was tickled that I went with fashion illustration, ha!). I had some swatches from Mood Fabrics that I knew I wanted to turn into an outfit for my next MSN post, but the outfit inspiration didn’t come until my pen er, watercolor hit the paper :)

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Let’s start at the top and work our way down! I used Simplicity 1425 for the pattern, and cut the most simple version (sleeveless, no yoke, no collar). I cut the size 4 and took a little in at the waist, as well as made my normal gaping-upper-back alteration that seems to be a running theme for me when it comes to sewing Simplicity patterns.

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

My fabric is this beautiful white cotton eyelet from Mood fabrics, which I underlined with this bright white cotton batiste (also from Mood Fabrics), for modesty and some opacity. It’s still a little on the sheer side – as in, I have to watch what color undergarments I’m wearing! – but the two fabrics together make such a fun light and airy top.

Also, I just noticed that there is a fly on my boob in this picture (at least, I’m pretty sure it’s that fly that was buzzing around). Gross.

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Sewing was very simple and straightfoward – not to mention fast! Seriously did all this (minus the initial muslin) in the space of a Saturday afternoon. Not too bad! I underlined all the pieces by hand with silk thread (it’s not totally necessary to use silk thread, but it does make it easier to pull out the basting when you attach the seams – which, if you’re as anal-retentive as I am about sewing, you will totally appreciate that, ha!) and I used a 70/10 Microtex needle to prevent puckering, since the fabric is so lightweight. Most of the inside seams are serged, although I did finish the armholes and neckline with bias facing (cut from the same batiste). I can’t really speak for the instructions on this pattern as I didn’t use them at all, but the overall finished top is pretty nice!

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

For an extra lil’ punch, I stuck an exposed separating zip right up the center back. Kind of toughens up the overall sweetness of the eyelet, yeah? :) This pattern was actually written for there to be buttons down the back – which is a cute idea in theory, but they only called for 3. THREE. How that doesn’t look like a fucking hot mess when you’re wearing the top and moving around is beyond me. I imagine that would gape a lot! So I swapped out my buttons for a fun zipper and I’m loving the way it turned out.

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Getting the zipper in was kind of an adventure in itself. I tried googling around for directions on inserting an exposed zipper (I mean, I had a vague idea of how to do it, but I always like to check and see if my technique is right first), but everything I was pulling up was for close-ended zippers. Since my zip is separating (you know, so I can get the top off and on without destroying something in pure rage during the process), those particular tutorials were kind of a moot point. In the end, I kind of winged it, but I think it worked out!

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

As far as the style of the top – well, I like it. I know it’s super trendy- especially with the dang exposed zipper! – but I’m ok with being trendy. I think peplum tops are super cute and the white eyelet will go with lots in my summer wardrobe. Plus, I can tuck that peplum into high-waisted skirts, so it’s like two tops in one! Woohoo!

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Now for the shorts! I used my beloved Sewaholic Thurlow pattern, matched up with my other beloved plum organic cotton twill from Mood Fabrics. My love affair with that organic cotton twill should be well known at this point, I hope. That stuff is amazing. Soft and cottony with a bright, saturated color… a dream to sew, and a dream to wear. I’ve made so much with this particular fabric in different colorways – including moreeee Thurlows! – and I’m sorry y’all have to see it again. Just kidding, I’m not sorry! These shorts rule! Get you some of that organic cotton twill, you won’t regret it!

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

I don’t really know how much more I can talk about these shorts until y’all tell me to shut up. I’ve seriously made them so many times, it’s kind of like autopilot at this point. I found that I did have to take quite a bit of excess out of the legs this go-round… I think I might be getting too un-curvy to wear this particular pattern :( I’m already at the smallest size, so it’s not like I can size down. I’m hoping my adjustments will work for future Thurlow shorts, but I’m kind of afraid to try the pants at this point since there is soo much that needs to be changed now, ugh. I reckon I could find another pants patterns to sub out, but wah! I want to keep making Thurlows forever!

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Anyway, fitting issues aside, these shorts were a delight to put together. I played around with the topstitching on this pair and I really love how the it looks so gorgeous and crisp against this fabric. I tried topstitching around the welts this time – something I’ve seen in RTW and always wanted to try – and I think it looks pretty nice!

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Oh, and check out that fun lining! Yeah girl! That comes courtesy of this crazy/awesome psychedelic cotton voile print, which is unfortuanately sold out now (but take a look at the other cotton voiles from Mood Fabrics. Sweet!). I love putting crazy prints in my pants because, dude, why not? Business in the front, party on the inside. Or something like that!

Since we’re on a roll with all these detail shots, here are some of the top:

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics
Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

I took waaay too many pictures, but there was so much detail to capture! Sorry bout that!

So I guess the next question is – does she have that outfit from the fashion illustration?

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Fuck yeah I do! Ok, maybe not so much the shoes, but I’ve got the purse! Ha! This shit’s from Kate Spade – I bought it after I was having a really rough week (retail therapy totally works, y’all.). It was on sale, but it is still also the most expensive purse I’ve ever bought – and it’s totally worth it! I knew I couldn’t find that lemon fabric anywhere, so I justified it with the purse hahah :)

Eyelet Peplum Top & Thurlow Shorts made with Mood Fabrics

Just for fun, here I am trying to strike a pose like my fashion illustration. Hmm… probably should stick to painting, not posing! :)

Completed: Jorts Fail

28 May

Jean shorts (or jorts, as I like to call them – because it’s ridiculous and hipster and sounds completely stupid) are something that have been on my to-sew list for a looong time. Super long. In fact, my jort supply has long run dry – I used to get those the old-fashioned way, by waiting until summer to hack the legs off my jeans so they’d be warm weather appropriate (and later realizing my huge mistake come fall – argh! Whyyyy!!). Jean shorts are an American thing – and I haven’t worn a proper pair in years. No wonder I always see pictures of bald eagles crying:

zWCcW

Anyway. Back to jorts. I knew I wasn’t going to get them by way of cut-offs (I love my jeans too much to do that to them!), so I figured I’d make a pair from scratch and call it a day.

Jorts

My denim is a bit special – I actually bought it during Imogene + Willie‘s big yard sale. I went because I knew they’d have markdowns on jeans (although, when I finally got there, they’d put all the pants away due to threat of rain, wah), but I didn’t realize they’d also have leftover yardage of fabric! For cheap! I got 4 yards of this ridiculously amazing denim for $5 – yes, it’s super narrow (it is selvedge denim, after all), but still. That’s cheap as shit.

Jorts

The denim was really nice to work with. I always complain that good-quality denim is really difficult to find for the home sewer – either it’s too lightweight, it has too much stretch, it has awful stretch recovery, it feels cheap, the color is awful, etc etc. And while I have found some really great denims that make fabulous skirts and dresses, I’m not so convinced when it comes to pants. This fabric, though, is really good. It’s very sturdy and luxurious, with absolutely no stretch.

Jorts

Jorts

Honestly, I think the lack of stretch is what did me in. These jorts are, unfortunately, a fail for me. Wah!

Jorts

They look WAY better in these pictures than they look in real life – so much, I’m almost second-guessing my fail label. But, no, they’re pretty bad.

Jorts

Jorts

I had a somewhat traumatizing experience while making these. Things were going along great – I’d unearthed my Featherweight to do the topstitching (which is BEAUTIFUL, btw! Well. Beautiful where it’s not crooked lolz), I was having a lovely time stitching that denim, I was confident in my TNT shorts pattern, Grainline Maritime shorts. I love my Thurlows, but these are a fab casual shorts pattern if you don’t want all the fuss of the lining and welt pockets! I’ve made them a couple of times before, and while I’m not going to discuss the sizing and construction in detail on this post, you can read all my thoughts on the pattern here and here.

Anyway, I decided to try them on before attaching the waistband, and the zipper immediately popped in half.

“Well, that was probably a shitty zipper. It looked kind of old, probably just gave up on life right as I was pulling them on. I’ll put in another zipper, should be fine.”

So I unpicked the zipper, inserted a new one (have you tried to insert a zipper into a front fly that’s already been assembled? It’s… weird. Not a fan.), attached the waistband, and was getting ready to stitch down the waistband facing when I decided to try the shorts on again.

Oh, right. I popped that fucking zipper too. DAMMIT!

This is when I took an emergency trip to the fabric store (guys, I never do this – but desperate times call for desperate measures and I am DESPERATE for some jorts ok) and bought the strongest denim zipper I could find. I figured the shorts were probably straining against the bottom of the zipper because there was no give in the fabric, so I decided to let out as many seams as I could. I gave myself as much extra room as I could squeeze out, and then reinserted the (third!!!) zipper and finished the waistband.

Then I tried them on. Meh.

Jorts

Jorts

The fit is just… weird. I’m guessing my emergency unpick didn’t work as well as I had anticipated, so now I’ve got some weird lumps in seams that shouldn’t have weird lumps. They also just feel vaguely uncomfortable – I get that selvedge denim is pretty tough, and needs to be worn in a bit before it’s actually comfortable, but I don’t like it. Not in shorts, anyway. I know it looks like they are painted on, but they are honestly not that tight (except I guess somewhere around the base of the zipper, where it strains when I pull them on). Then there’s that whole issue with me being terrified that I’m going to snap this zipper every time I pull them off.

Jorts

Jorts

Jorts

Here’s a closer photo of the shorts and the way they fit. You can see they’re kind of off – it’s not horrible, but it’s enough to bother me. Actually, I think the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that the damn waistband isn’t lined up. I have NO idea how that happened – it matched up perfectly the first time I attached it (right before I popped the second zipper), but it looks terrible. Oh well.

Jorts

Aside from the fit – and the laughingly terrible waistband assembly, seam pucker and all (fyi, that’s where I gave up) – the construction is something I’m moderately proud of. While I didn’t go as far as doing flat-felled seams (and thank GOD for that, since I ended up unpicking them. Well, it didn’t help in the end. But, you know), I did topstitch them with proper denim thread. It looks so good!

Jorts

Well, I guess it would look better if the topstitching were straight, haha! Oh well! Like I said, I used my Featherweight to do all the topstitching – I figured it would be better than unthreading my Bernina every couple of seams. I’m really glad I did, because being able to switch machines made things go a lot faster. Plus, the Featherweight just produces some of the prettiest topstitching! Now I understand why people flip their shits over these machines. They’re pretty fun!

Jorts

Of course, that machine handles entirely differently than the Bernina I’m so used to, so I definitely went through a bit of a curve with this project. My topstitching isn’t straight, but that’s ok. It was a good practice and I’m over these shorts anyway :)

I’m totally ashamed to admit that I’ve barely used that Featherweight since I bought it, btw. I used it to make a failed Amy Butler bag right after purchase, and after that it just sat on my cabinet as decoration… until I pulled it out to make these failed shorts. And now I’m wondering if this is a jinxed machine ohgod.

Jorts

Anyway, here’s that damn fly that gave me so much trouble. At least I have lots of practice sewing flys now! Haha!!

Jorts

Sorry for all the unclipped threads and general messy inside. I think I just mentally gave up on this project after the first zipper broke.

Jorts

So, overall – these jorts are definitely a fail for me. Not entirely happy with the fit, I think the topstitching looks sloppy, the back pockets are weirdly in the wrong place, they’re uncomfortable, the stupid waistband looks stupid, but most importantly… I will always always be afraid I’m going to break that zip when I’m taking the shorts off. Not worth the stress. Also, as a side note, that’s my Briar I’m wearing and I’m thinking it looks too big and droopy on me now :( Sad.

I’m not entirely bummed with this project, because I had a good time making them (despite the multiple zipper incidents) and I definitely learned a lot during the process. This probably makes me look bad now, considering I just announced my pants making extravaganza, but you know what? Mistakes happen. None of us are immune to the occasional sewing fail, and even if I don’t get a completed outfit out of it, I at least come away with the knowledge to improve on future makes and not repeat those mistakes. I’m also really happy that I reunited with my Featherweight! Maybe I’ll get around to actually fulfilling my sewlution of using that machine to make an entire garment. Sure, it was set for 2013, but… better late than never, right? :)

Waverize It! Maritime Shorts

3 Sep

Ok, this is a liiiittle bit different than a normal post, but there’s still a totally rad finished product being shared, so I hope y’all can get excited about this with me :) A couple of months ago, I was asked if I wanted to participate in the Waverize It! campaign, courtesy of Waverly Fabrics and Joann. I was given a piece of fabric, my only guideline being: Waverize It!

Archer Shirt & Maritime Shorts

I should tell you right now, that fabric they sent me was a total surprise. Upon receiving the package, this was me:

20121202-210149

Haha! Just kidding – I actually really like the fabric, although it’s definitely not a color that I wear or decorate with AT ALL. Coupled with the fact that it’s home decor weight, well, that narrowed my options even more. That being said, I am not one to admit defeat, so I racked my brain for a few days. I realized a couple of things:
1. Home decor weight means ~*~BOTTOM WEIGHT~*~
2. Any color can be improved by adding ~*~MORE COLOR~*~

And that was how I ended up with this amazing pair of shorts.

Archer Shirt & Maritime Shorts

I used the Maritime pattern to make these shorts. I have already discussed making this pattern, so I’m not going to repeat myself – but this pattern is a pretty freaking perfect backdrop for jazz up some otherwise basic shorts.

Archer Shirt & Maritime Shorts

Oh lord, did I actually use “jazzed” to describe these?

Archer Shirt & Maritime Shorts

I know they look pretty plain from the front, but then you turn to the side and…

Archer Shirt & Maritime Shorts

Piping! :)

Archer Shirt & Maritime Shorts

PIPING ON BOTH SIDES, Y’ALL!

Archer Shirt & Maritime Shorts

To be honest, I didn’t have much of a plan in mind when I started these up. I knew the base fabric, and I knew the pattern I would be using, and that was about it. I decided to pair the green with a solid navy (the same solid navy sateen I used in my lace trench coat) for the pocket lining, and upon realizing just how freakin’good those two fabrics look together, I thought I would add some navy love on the outside as well. I had a lot of ideas floating around while working on these shorts – piping around the pocket edging? Piping at the top of the back pockets? Piping at the waistline? Adding a navy sateen cuff? In the end, I chose to keep things simple with a single line of piping down the side seams, and a little bit of navy top stitching.

Maritime Shorts

I could not be more pleased with the finished piece!
(ps do me a favor and don’t look at my legs in these pictures… I was in the midst of a mosquito attack, hence the furious scratch marks everywhere. I know they look disgusting. Ain’t nothin’ I can do about it now!)

Maritime Shorts

In case you were wondering – I did make my navy shirt, too! Unfortunately, it’s kind of a Monet, though it looks fine in these photos. I will go more into that whole saga later this week with a proper post, but right now I’m still a little bit traumatized.

Maritime Shorts

Maritime Shorts

It’s difficult to see all the topstitching in the pictures, thanks to the lighting, but I used navy around the front and back pocket edges, the front fly, the top of the waistband, along the piping at the side seams, and around the bottom hem.

Maritime Shorts

While figuring out exactly what I would do with my fabric was a little challenging, actually working with it was a total breeze! Waverly makes a nice substantial cotton that sews up like a mid-weight denim – which means it presses well, it doesn’t crazy unravel, and it doesn’t require any special handling to get it to do what you want. I didn’t even have to beef up my machine needle – a universal works fine here.

Maritime Shorts

The fabric selvedge suggested that I dry clean my piece, but honestly? I don’t dry clean anything, like, ever. I can see how dry cleaning may be beneficial if you’re making curtains or whatever, but I wear my clothes hard and I don’t have time to schlep to the dry cleaner every time I inevitably spill something on myself (which is a daily occurrence, ok). Nor do I hand-wash, well, anything. Sooo needless to say, I tossed this bad boy in the washer AND the dryer, pre-cut, and I’m totally thrilled with how it softened up.

Maritime Shorts

I even had a lime green zipper lurking in my stash, how perfect is that?!

Maritime Shorts

The topstitching on the back pockets is my favorite part, too bad you can’t really see it in the photos! Oh well!

Archer Shirt & Maritime Shorts

If you made it through this post, yay! Now here’s the fun part – to celebrate National Sewing Month and Waverly’s 90th anniversary, Waverly and Jo-Ann Fabrics are hosting a Waverize It! Facebook contest through 9/22. You definitely will want to enter this one – winner takes home a $250 Jo-Ann Fabrics gift card and $1000 in Waverly Fabrics! For more info, you can check it out here (or click below, do what you want!). Good luck, my friends!

Waverly_JoAnn_Animation

I really enjoyed the challenge of making something with a fabric I would not have otherwise chosen – and I’m super happy with how the shorts turned out. I still have a bit left over, so tell me – what would you have done with this Waverly fabric?

~~Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this post. I did receive 2 yards of Waverly Fabric to review and keep. All opinions are my own.

Completed: Maritime Shorts, Straight Outta the 80s

28 Jun

As I mentioned at the end of Me Made May, I really have been wanting to try my hand at a different shorts pattern. Not because there is anything wrong with my beloved Thurlow pattern – but I want to change it up! Try something new! So here’s my first stab at trying something new.

So, check these babies out~
Maritime Shorts

This is the Maritime Shorts pattern from Grainline Studio. I only just recently discovered these and immediately decided that I wanted to try them. I like that they are similar to the Thurlows but a little more casual – patch pockets instead of welts, no cuffs, and the detailing is a little less fussy. While I was summoning up the courage to buy these (only because I didn’t want to have to assemble the PDF, ha!), Carla contacted me and asked if I would like the pattern as a gift. Yep, same Carla who also gifted me the pattern for those glorious culottes. So not only is she a sewing saint of gifted patterns, but she can also read my mind. AMAZING.

Also, just for the record – taping this pattern together was not difficult. I was surprised at how smoothly it went, actually!

Maritime Shorts

Putting this pattern together was interesting. I’ve slapped the Thurlows together more times than I even want to count right now, so much that I really think I could assemble a pair in my sleep. Jen’s instructions for these is totally different though! Not in a bad way, however, I did have to pry myself away from what I thought was ~the right way~ and let myself at the mercy of the instructions. Turned out ok in the end, though, as you can see!

Maritime Shorts

The only thing I didn’t like about the instructions was inserting the front fly. I don’t know, maybe I’m just stuck way too much up my own Thurlow ass, but I found them a bit confusing. Fortunately, Jen has a whole tutorial on assembling these shorts, from beginning to end, and that includes inserting the zipper! So that helped. I do think that in the future, however, I’ll probably go with the Thurlow instructions just because they make more sense to me.

Maritime Shorts

I wasn’t sure what size to make, since I usually base mine off the finished measurements. In the end, I decided to go with my actual measurements and cut the size 2. The shorts were a little big at the sides, but I was able to pinch those in nbd. However, the back gaped a LOT at the waist. This was super easy to fix – I just pinched out the excess and stitched a new CB line before putting on my waistband. Easy!

Untitled

Maritime Shorts

But hey, it’s fixed! And I managed to avoid mount crackatoa in the process! TAKE THAT.

Maritime Shorts

Oh, so, now let’s talk about the fabric I used!

Maritime Shorts

It is awesome, yeah? I’ve actually been hoarding this for over a year… it was a gift from Sonja during the 2012 Summer Sewing Swap. I could never figure out what exactly to make with it, but I knew a good fabric when I saw it, so I hoarded and waited patiently. I’m happy to say, it totally paid off! This fabric looks perfect as shorts.

I’m tempted to use the rest (assuming I have enough – I haven’t measured my remaining yardage) to make a matching Victoria Blazer, like the most amazing summer power suit you ever did see.

Maritime Shorts

The only change I made to the pattern was to swap out the hook & eye closure for a button. I did originally sew on the hook & eye, but it was pulling the waistband really weird, so I decided to do the button instead. I think the pulling is actually because all the stress is on that ONE closure, so next time I will extend the back of the waistband to be long enough where there can be a second button the inside, as with my Thurlows. Just a personal preference!

Maritime Shorts

I’m also a little bummed about my topstitching choice. Wish I’d gone with a darker thread. Oh well!

Maritime Shorts

The pockets are lined with a super soft purple voile I had in my stash. With such a loud outside fabric, I wanted to keep the inside plain!

Maritime Shorts

And because you guys love inside shots as much as I do, here are some pretty serged seams for ya.

Finally, this is what happens when I get bored with taking pictures of myself:

Maritime Shorts
Maritime Shorts
Maritime Shorts

If you’ve been hesitant to buy the Thurlow pattern because you’re not as curvy as the pattern is drafted for, this is a GREAT alternative. You could even follow the Thurlow Sew-Along for extra hand-holding, since the construction is mostly the same.

Maritime Shorts

Psst! That’s one of my white tshirts I made with fabric from Organic Cotton Plus. I just wanted y’all to know that I am wearing a BLACK bra underneath it in these pictures. Pretty cool, huh?

Also, I have a few updates that need to be mentioned:
– I don’t know if I have any local readers on this blog (well – I know there’s at least one because I met you the other day! :) Hi, Beth! haha!), but I am going to be teaching sewing classes with a local dressmaker :D We are still nailing down details, but it will be a small, open-workshop class where people bring in what they want to sew (so you don’t get stuck sewing something you have no interest in ever wearing) where we will be on hand to demonstrate techniques and answer any and all questions. Classes will be on Tuesdays, last 2 hours, and will start in August. If you are interested in attending the class, please email me at lladybirdlauren at gmail dot com. If the days don’t work for you, we may be able to offer a different class day. Right now I’m just trying to figure out if there is an interest :) So, please, let me know! Teaching sewing has been a longtime goal of mine and I’d love to see it actually happen this year :)
– Theodore has now gone to his new home, and I MISS HIM, but I’m also very pleased that he is in such wonderful hands! Thanks everyone for your support and comments. He’s a little stinker (literally – he stepped in his shit every single morning, and got an emergency bath every single morning as well), but he’s a CUTE little stinker! He is now with my brother and sister-in-law, which means I should still see him from time to time :)
– My other little brother, Matt, won’t be going to England this summer! So sorry to everyone who offered to show him around :( He actually made it across the ocean, but when they asked him for his work visa and he didn’t have one (he told customs he was there for an internship, even though “internship” really meant he was fixing this place’s website in exchange for a free place to stay), they put him in a holding cell for 22 hours and then shipped him home. I’d say poor Matt, except he’s now planning a road trip around the US and some parts of Canada, so I’m actually quite jealous. Ha!
– I finally stepped up and got my own domain! You can now find my site at WWW.LLADYBIRD.COM. No need to update all your readers and whatnot – the wordpress.com site should redirect to the main domain. If it doesn’t, do let me know! GOD, THIS IS ALL SO EXCITING.
– As most of you should be aware by now, Google Reader is dying a tragic death come Monday, 7/1. If you haven’t already started moving your blogs to a different reader, better hurry up! You can follow me here on Bloglovin.

WHEW that was a big ol’ wall of text! If you managed to read through all that – yay! Your consolation prize is another kitten picture:
Untitled

If that’s not enough, Here is a little video of him playing with his feet. I DIE.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to sign up for the Fashion A-Z Giveaway if you haven’t already done so – it closes on Monday!

Completed: The Briar Tshirt (with Bonus Thurlows!)

21 May

Hey, look, I finally got my ass into gear and hopped on the Briar bandwagon! Yay!! I know I’ve hated on the high/low hems in the past (aka mullet hems) but if anyone can make a high-low hem look like something I need in my closet, it’s Megan Nielsen, Our Lady of the High/Low.

Stripey Briar, Linen Thurlows

Actually, I made TWO!!

Red Briar, Linen Thurlows

Oh, and another pair of Thurlow shorts for good measure :)

Linen Thurlows

I mean, why would I pair my beautiful new tshirts with an old pair of shorts? AS IF.

Red Briar, Linen Thurlows

This red one is the first one I made (and sorry in advance for the overly saturated pictures – red is hard to photograph!). I used a super drapey rayon knit from Fabrics for Less in NYC; it’s delicious and airy and PERFECT for this kind of top. I don’t normally wear such loose-fitting clothing (and I know y’all are laughing because this is hardly loose-fitting, but it is for meeeeeee ok!), but I LOVEEE this way this looks and feels. Must make several more.

This version has a tiny pocket (which, yep, you totally can’t see) and I finished the neckline with a binding – partially because the fabric is soo drapey, it wouldn’t work with the normal stretched bands, and partially because I wanted to try a new technique! I must say, I’m really happy with now the neckline turned out. It’s perfect and flat and looks really good. Megan Nielsen, you are a binding genius.

Red Briar, Linen Thurlows

I was smacking a mosquito in this picture (the ‘skeeters were sooo bad this morning, ugh!), but I like that it shows the tshirt doesn’t gape out when you bend over. Nice!

Red Briar

For this shirt, I sewed an XS and took in additional bit at the side seams because it was a little loose. I also cut about 3″ off the length (I cut it off the bottom for this one, but for the next one I did properly slash and shorten the pattern pieces like a good seamstress ;)).

Red Briar

Oh, yeah, and I used the last of my neon yellow twill tape to stabilize the shoulder seams ;)

Stripey Briar, Linen Thurlows

I made the second version immediately after. Ha! This one is a fairly hefty weight knit from Mood when I was in NY. I’ve been hoarding this fabric for the months since and I’m so glad I went with this pattern because I think it’s pretty perfect! Of course, I got way too excited/ahead of myself and neglected to match the stripes at the side seams… oh well!

Stripey Briar, Linen Thurlows

This version is pretty much the exact same as the red one, except that I finished the neckline with a band instead of the binding. I actually tried the binding first, since I loved it soo much – but my machine was NOT having it. The fabric was too thick, anyway. So, band it is!

Stripey Briar, Linen Thurlows

Stripey Briar

I left off the pocket for this one, and also ended up taking in the side seams quite a bit – at least 1″. Since the fabric is fairly heavy, it looked weird all blousey. Like it was too big. This looks much better, and bonus – it looks great tucked in!

Stripey Briar

I really love this fabric and I wish I’d bought several yards of it, oh well!

Linen Thurlows

For the shorts, I don’t have much to elaborate on as this is like my squillionth pair. Haha! I used my TNT pattern and whipped these up in a couple of evenings (they are RILL easy after you made a bunch of them, just fyi!).

Linen Thurlows

For fabric, I used a beautiful, soft grey linen that I got from my new favorite local fabric source, Muna Couture. Muna’s shop is actually a dressmaking shop – and she makes some pretty incredible ball gowns and wedding dresses – but she also sells fabric. Not just fancy dress fabric (although there is plenty of that, and it is AMAZING), but also basic stuff for daily wear, like wools and linens and prints. I got this remnant from her and it was *just* enough to squeeze out some shorts. I love that they’re linen – so breezy and nice for summer! They do wrinkle a bit with wear, but not too bad :) The white lining is fabric leftover from my Madeline bloomers.

Linen Thurlows

This is the only bummer about the shorts – I drew on the fly with my disappearing wax, and it didn’t disappear! WTF!!! I managed to fade it out a bit (put a piece of paper over it, applied heat, and then rubbing alcohol very sparingly, if yr curious), but it’s still pretty disappointing that you can see it. Sooo with that being said, important lesson learned here – ALWAYS test your marking utensils before marking on your fabric! DUH. I should have been doing that anyway, but I wasn’t, and now I know, and it won’t happen again. Learn from my mistakes :)

Side note, today is the last day to get 15% off at Sweet Little Chickadee, so get on it, son! Use the code LLADYBIRDBIRTHDAY and get to shoppin’! You could even get the Briar and Thurlows, y’know, if you wanted to be like me ;) ha!!

Another side note, it’s my birthday todayyyy!! Yay!! Happy birthday to all my birthday twins (there were several of you, yay 5/21!!!) and all the other May Babies :)

me & my dad :3

Here is my gift to you, baby L with my dad :) AWWWW!!!

Completed: Rite of Spring Short-Shorts

6 May

Wooohoooo y’all, Katie was NOT kidding when she described this pattern as “Pin-up style shorty shorts.” These puppies are SHORT.

Rite of Spring Shorts

‘Scuze my white legs. Sorry not sorry.

Rite of Spring Shorts

These are the Rite of Spring shorts from Papercut Patterns and I am 1000% in LOVE with them. I couldn’t imagine how they were going to turn out based on the pattern art and photos – in some ways, they kind of look like underwear, almost – but having made them, I do they think they are definitely just like those pin-up style shorts that we are always gawking over in Time Magazine photos or whatever.

Rite of Spring Shorts

Just be sure you’re ok with showing a LOT of leg because, well, they’s short.

I cut these in the very smallest size – XXS – and shaved an extra 1/4″ off each seam to get a close fit. That’s it! I am actually surprised – and DELIGHTED – at how well these fit straight out of the package, especially considering how much trauma I went though to get my Clovers to fit. I was expecting to have to mess with the crotch length, the depth, the rise, all that shit – but they’re pretty perfect. So yay!

Rite of Spring Shorts

I have so many favorite parts about this pattern, I don’t think I can just narrow one thing down. I love the curved side seams that make your waist look half the size it actually is. Piping is optional – but if you’re making these, I strongly encourage the piping, especially if you’re working with a busy fabric.

Rite of Spring Shorts

I love how the back curves down too – for a little extra butt coverage. I think my very very favorite thing is that the back hem is actually faced with self-fabric – so if it flips up, you still see the right side. I mean, I might be showing asscheek or whatever but GOD FORBID you see the wrong side of the fabric amirite ;)

Oh, and the rise is super high – like past the belly button high – so these are totally suitable to wear with crop-tops.

Rite of Spring Shorts

And look at how the hem flips out on the sides! DARLING, JUST DARLING.

Rite of Spring Shorts

Putting these together was surprisingly quick and easy. There are only a 4 pieces, and even with the piping and the zipper I still had them done within a couple of hours. They also just use the tiniest scrap of fabric (I mean, duh, they’re tiny as it is – but sometimes shorts suck up a surprising amount of fabric, you know?). I should’ve measured, but I think I used something like half or 5/8 yard. The fabric is actually leftover from my Miette Wrap Skirt, and the piping is leftover bias binding from my Blue Lace Robson Trench.

Rite of Spring Shorts

The pattern calls for an invisible zipper in the back, but I was in major stash-bust mode so I subbed in a lapped zipper. I think an invisible zipper would definitely look nicer, but this isn’t so bad!

Rite of Spring Shorts

I’ll confess, I was hesitant about adding a zipper right up the middle of that back seam because I wasn’t sure if it would backfire and look terrible. I don’t think it does, though – it’s totally inconspicuous!

Rite of Spring Shorts

I didn’t do the best job of putting these together, as they’re more so a wearable muslin (oh you just wait and see what I have planned for this pattern…), but I think they’ll actually get a lot of wear during Me-Made-May! Polka dot shorty shorts, yay!

Rite of Spring Shorts

Here you can sort of see the polka-dot piping. Unfortunately, my fabric had the polka dots printed so that they kind of don’t show up on the bias strips… so my piping is only half-assed polka dots. Oh well!

Rite of Spring Shorts

If you’re lurking on this pattern as hard as I was, be aware that Papercut Patterns is currently offering free worldwide shipping. HOT DAMN, Y’ALL. Butt shorts for everyone! :D

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