The shorts factory is closed

shorts for dd1

Thank God.  Although I think I benefited from the zipper practice five times in a row.  At least with shorts things go together quickly,  if you’re not the occasional idiot, like me.  Take the plaid pair, for instance.  (DD1 had been eyeing the plaid fabrics at Fabricland all spring, and since they were on sale last week, I caved for this pair. It’s actually a pretty plaid with silver metallic threads running through the design.)  I’ve already made them twice, so that means I know what I’m doing, right?  HA!!  The first pair were lovely and true to design.  The second pair I actually managed to put together in a mirror version (zipper on the right side instead of the left), and this plaid pair actually required a hook & eye closure because I didn’t follow the directions, but went merrily (arrogantly?) along my way.  I added the waistband after putting in the side zip instead of before putting in the zip.   This is a chronic complaint in my life, and even spreads to flapper pie, which I’ve made countless times… all for the same dear friend…. and all of them different, yet from the same set of directions.   Inconsistency is a annoying character trait.

However, the other two pairs at centre and right are Burda 3-2011-131,  which I was able to put together bee-yew-tifully, in the right order of construction, and I might add, they are identical.  So I can be consistent if I put my mind to it (or take enough breaks from the sewing table).  DD1 wasn’t sure about the fabric, but I convinced her they would be a wardrobe staple in a serviceable fabric in the khaki family of colours.  She reluctantly agreed to the darker pair and has already seen the use of them over the weekend.

B 3-2011-131

Pattern:  Burda 3-2011-131 in sizes 36-44.  I made up view A only.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes – except for the pockets.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Well, yes.  This was the “extra sewing course” in Burda’s June issue, so I could be my lazy self and just glance at the drawings as I went a long instead of actually having to read instructions.  The shorts include a fly zipper with an underlap.  The fly facing is a separate piece that is sewn on  instead of being cut as an extension to the front piece.  Burda’s instructions for this were really good, I thought.  Maybe it helped that they included the line drawings for their sewing course, but their techniques worked really well.  The results look good from the inside as well as the outside.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  DD1 chose the pattern for these again, and preferred the shorter version to the Bermuda length.  She liked the classic look of these shorts, and I liked the simplicity of putting them together.

P7170005Fabric Used:  Both pairs  are from a stretch cotton denim.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I did not include the inseam pockets for this design.  I did use a contrasting gingham (lighter pair) and a yellow/white striped poplin (darker pair) for the waistband lining and the zipper underlap.  On the darker pair I used a clamp-on hook & eye set instead of the recommended button.

I was a little leery of just how much give is in this fabric, having made up a skirt for myself that was true to size, but grew a full size over the course of wearing it for a day. So I cut the first (darker) pair a size 36 without seam allowances. They are a little small, and the inseam pockets gaped, so I eliminated the pockets in both versions. However, they are super comfy, according to DD1 because the fabric is so soft and gives so much.

The 2nd pair I made up with seam allowances, and she is happy with the fit.  I personally think they fit much better than the first, and I probably could have included the inseam pockets, but I didn’t, and she doesn’t care.  Oh.  And I added belt-loops at her request.

Conclusion:  I’m liking these shorts, especially with the classic line that they have.  The Bermuda length that Burda pictures in their magazine is of a lightweight wool gabardine, and it looks quite dressy.  Considering how simply these went together, I’m tempted to make myself a dressy pair.  Yeah, right.  I own one pair of shorts, and I haven’t worn them since 2006.

It’s a repeat: Burda 6-6011-111C

purple shorts detailI’m half-way through the shorts project for the week.  Here’s the second (repeat) installment from Burda’s June 2011 pattern collection.

This time I used purple cotton from DN2’s dress and the contrast from DN1’s dress for the ties, waistband and pocket facings.  After my last post and fiddling with the side zipper, I’ve decided that Burda’s instructions are just fine and easy to do.  There’s a little bit of fiddling at the bottom of the invisible zip, but that’s always the case with invisible zips, I find.  It’s hard to get the bottom to flow perfectly into thepurple shorts seam below the zipper.

I added the back patch pockets on this version, and picked up the red and yellow from the contrast fabric in the topstitching.  I did the hems in a double row of red and yellow stitching, too.  They fit a little on the big side (I cut a straight 36, which is her size), but here’s hoping she’ll get a two summers’ wear out of them before I have to make another lot.

Anyways, DD1 is happy to be wearing these today.  These shorts are about a 3 hour project if you do all the pockets, side zipper and other little trimmings.  I must say, turning four little ties for the sides took almost as long as putting in the zipper.  Go figure.  purple shorts back

Pattern Review: Burda Family Fun Shorts

B 6-2011-111The first installment of shorts is done and wearable.  They fit perfectly.  I just measured and measured and measured again so they’d fit without a fitting.

B 6-2011-111Pattern:  Burda 6-2011-111 view C with side ties in sizes 34-44.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes – 100%.B 6-2011-111 pockets

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Hmmm…. well, I read through the instructions and understood where they were going, but I disagreed with the theory, so to speak, so struck out on my own.

First, the pockets are in-seam side pockets.  I completely disregarded Burda’s instructions for the right side.  They suggested sewing the side seam above and below the pocket opening, pinning the pockets to the opening and then stitching them into the seam.  WHAT?!  My tutoring by Vogue Patterns during the 80’s told me that was not the way to do it.  Here’s what I did:

  1. Stitch one pocket piece to front and back with right sides of fabric together, matching markings.  Use a narrow 1/4”  (6mm) seam.  Press seam toward pocket.
  2. Stitch side seams, continuing around the pocket, pivoting at the corners.
  3. Turn pocket toward the front, clip the back seam allowance above and below the pocket.  Press.

B 6-2011-111 rear viewSecond, the shorts have a invisible side zipper inserted into the left pocket.  I did follow their directions for this step, which were straightforward.  It did the job, but the execution was rough.  I may try a different method for the second pair awaiting stitching.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  DD1 really liked the ties.

Fabric Used:  printed cotton voile from my stash and stretch cotton poplin for the waistband as there wasn’t enough cotton voile.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made no designB 6-2011-111 side back changes, although I did change how I put the pattern together, as already noted.   And I left off the back patch pockets – there wasn’t enough fabric to match the print, and I didn’t want to make them look schlapped together with mismatched patch pockets.  I know it’s a very casual style, but somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to have mismatched patch pockets on the back…..

Conclusion:  These are kinda cute.  DD1 thinks they’re wonderful, and is awaiting the second installment.  It’s an easy pattern to put together, and they look comfortable to wear.  I’d recommend this to anyone wanting a simple pair of shorts to sew tonight and worn tomorrow!

Sidelined again

fabric scraps
DD1's fabric choices from stash

Does this ever happen with your sewing plans, dear reader?  I did have a “to sew” list, mentioned in a previous post.  Most of it’s done, as per my new little widget to the right here called “Summer To Sew List”.

But I’ve been derailed by DD1’s casual mention that she needs shorts.  Hmmm…. what to do?  Quite frankly, I probably would have just popped into the van with her and driven to the local Old Navy or some other such place and bought her a few pairs.  But that’s not economical, is it?  Especially with loads of cotton, linen and various other remnants crying for attention in my stash.

“Choose some from one of the Burda magazines, and we’ll look at fabric for a few pairs,” said I.  So I’m sewing shorts over the next few days.

I’m not quite sure which pairs she wants out of what fabric, but she went through my stash and picked several that she liked.  Hopefully I’ll get a pair done today so she can wear them tomorrow.