Saturday, 1 October 2016

Heather: His n hers on holiday


About a month ago, shortly after booking our late summer holidays, Mr returned from the high street bereft at the lack of summer attire available in early September, and asked me to have a go at making him some shorts. He didn't want anything fancy, but these shorts ideally needed to have have angled front pockets, two proper back pockets (not the welt kind) belt loops, a fly fastening and be made from ticking, ideally with a blue stripe, and red contrast top stitching... Did I mention this was three weeks before the holiday?!.
I'm not sure, then, if it was shock, or a generous helping of wine that found me agreeing to spend a Friday evening, originally designated for my own holiday makes, searching for a suitable pattern for these perfect holiday shorts. 

In the end my searching was actually relatively painless once I came across the range of menswear by Thread Theory , in particular the Jedediah 'Pants' (Trousers!). A quick hashtag search online (good old Instagram) suggested that the pattern generally yielded good results, wouldn't be too difficult to make and there was also a handy video sew along for the tricky bits. I downloaded the PDF and instructions (very handy given the limited time available) and, as an additional bonus, I was able to lay my hands on some really smart blue and white heavy cotton ticking at local favourite Fabric Corner (I believe they have several colour ways available). 

So it turns out that menswear isn't all that different to womenswear (I know, who knew?!). There were a couple of techniques in the make that I hadn't handled before, namely flat felled seams and a concealed fly, but the instructions were clear, and I was able to resort to that video tutorial for clarity on the fly, meaning I was able to complete this part of the make inside 15 minutes!

In the end it took 2 evenings to fully complete this make (about 8 hours) but it was totally worth it for that happy-faced husband at the end!

The day before the holiday, having finally made a start on the packing, I realised that I probably needed some shorts too...

Really restricted on time at this point (less than 48 hours to go), with a wedding outfit still to alter and the rest of the packing to finish, I went straight to the to Burda Style website find a suitable PDF pattern to download. I've made a fair few Burda pieces in the past and knew I wouldn't need to make too many fit alterations to one of their basic patterns. I found a really simple pattern without any fancy details and rooted out some floral cotton from my stash (purchased last summer from Fabric Corner) which I knew I wouldn't miss too much if everything went awry.

I opted for a size 10 waist into a 14 hip, knowing that I'd be able to alter later, and also extended the back waist height by an inch having used my flexi ruler to check just how big my bum is (so glad I know in cm now... 😉 ). I also added a couple of inches to the length as I wasn't ready to show quite that much leg!

The construction of these shorts was much, much simpler than the previous pair. The only fit alteration I made was to pull in the centre back seam by about half an inch for a better fit at the waist. In seam front pockets and no back pockets meant that the rest of the garment stitched up quickly (working against the clock here!) I then proceeded to break 3, yes 3 needles whilst trying to put the zipper in- "more haste, less speed", I can hear my mother saying- and abandoned the sewing for the evening. I set an early alarm to finish the shorts, which as expected with fresh eyes, were finished, pressed and in the suitcase inside about 20 minutes. 

So there we go. His and hers handmade shorts on holiday. My tip for you all? Start planning your holiday wardrobe now...