I’ve got a bad case of shorts on the brain. I was never a big shorts-wearer, probably because I always worked summers and shorts were less than appropriate for work. But with my current job I’m not working in the summer, and I find myself craving shorts. Back in September I made up a version of the Sewaholic Thurlow in shorts form for my Mini Wardrobe, mostly because I wanted to muslin the pattern and I didn’t want to deal with pants for a muslin. I really didn’t think I’d ever wear the shorts. But lo and behold, as soon as it got a little warm in May I was wearing them like twice a week. Even though they’re made of a horrible polyester material that doesn’t breathe and doesn’t stretch even a little, I still wanted to wear those shorts all. the. time. Well, the legs want what the legs want. So of course I started dreaming of all the awesome Thurlow shorts I was going to make this summer. I even bought three (!) pieces of fabric solely for that purpose at the Loft when I was in LA last. And yet, somehow, my first pair of the summer is in a fabric from the bottom of the stash. Go figure. It’s a stretch poplin or some such with printed polka dots that I found in Solvang a long while ago. The piece was small, about a yard, and I had no idea what I was going to do with it – I just liked it. I would never have dreamt it would become shorts. Really awesome stretchy polka dot shorts.
I decided to make these my first shorts of the summer because I wanted to see how the Thurlows worked in a stretch fabric before cutting in to the fabulous stretch twill I scored in LA. Answer: Thurlows are even better a little stretchy. Because the waistband is interfaced, they fit the same up top (which is to say, fantastically. I will never use another pants waistband), but the extra little give in the legs make them exponentially more comfortable to bike in. They just flex with my legs when I pedal rather than riding up or cutting into the top of my thigh. Win!
This version also served as a second muslin, since my first pair are clearly having some kind of crotch wrinkle party that I wanted to address. I tried this time adding a quarter inch to the rise, front and back, and while that helped, there’s still a little wrinkle shindig happening here. It’s really hard to tell what the wrinkle situation is in the black fabric, but I think I’m still getting “whiskers” of some kind. Next time I’ll keep the quarter inch and also give a little more room front-to-back, as lisa illustrated here.
I also took my first ever stab at welt pockets! Although the technique is basically identical to inserting a zipper pocket in a bag lining, which I have quite a bit of experience in. Granted, that doesn’t make me good at it. I’m quite the coward when it comes to trimming close to my stitching, so the corners are a tad bit wrinkly. But the welts themselves are so pretty! I prefer the look of single welt pockets to double welts, so I ignored the pattern instructions entirely (which was good also because I’ve apparently lost my welt pattern piece) and instead used poppykettle’s excellent single welt tutorial. I really like that the piece you use to back the welt window gets folded up to become the welt itself – brilliant! The only thing I did differently was to interface the welt piece rather than the area on the shorts around the pocket opening. Size-wise, I made my welt window the length of the welt pocket placement line on the back pattern piece (5 inches), and 5/8 inches tall. I centered the window right on the placement line. My welt piece I made the same width as the pocket lining piece and about 3 inches tall, which worked out well. I used the Thurlow pattern pieces for the pocket bag and facing and it all went together perfectly even though I didn’t use the pattern’s welts. Hooray! I pulled out one of the pockets here so you could see my pink polka dot lining (leftover stretch poplin from this dress).
In this picture you can also see the only problem I had using a lighter weight, stretchy fabric – there’s some puckering where the center back joins the waistband and some pulling along the waistband from my (also obviously imperfect) stitching in the ditch. I used self fabric for the waistband lining, but I only interfaced the outer waistband pieces, so I think that was part of the issue. I’ll interface both next time.
I wasn’t sure I would make much use of black and white polka-dotted shorts, but, you know, I think I will. I already wore them for the 4th of July party I went to on Thursday, and folks seemed to like them. They go with a surprising number of my solid colored tops. And I have more shorts on the way! (Which is good, because I’m pretty sure people would notice if I wore these more than once a week…) I’m working on a Thurlow-Burda mashup right now, and I have plans for a couple of no-cuff regular Thurlows as well. And I’m on the hunt for a nice bright solid color twill too – red shorts maybe? Green? Chartreuse would be ideal…
So many shorts, so little time!