Sunday, January 31, 2010

BWOF 7-2009-113


Fortunately, in spite of my reservations, these shorts didn't end up looking too much like something Steve Irwin would wear whilst pushing an airline drinks trolley. Bit of a relief, really, as the zookeeper said to the air hostess.


The pattern is BWOF 7-2009-113. I cut a 36, and in retrospect could have probably got away with cutting a 34 and adding a bit at the hips. In an attempt to avoid a repeat of the Great Wedgie Disaster of 2009, I redrew the crotch line deeper and added length at the top and bottom end of the crotch curve. I sloped the CB seam at quite an acute angle, shaving off about an inch of pattern to accommodate my sway back. In fabric, with the help of Maryanna-from-across-the-road, I also sewed the back darts considerably deeper. It's most excellent indeed having an expert seamstress friend living so handy - pin fitting those darts myself was a fiddly business, what with having no eyes in the back of my head n' all, so it was great to have help.



All in all, I'm really pleased with the outcome. For the first time ever, really, I have pants (well, shorts) that aren't pulled in like a paper bag at the waist with a belt. I'm really enjoying learning more about fitting - the only problem being that the more I tweak my patterns, the more picky I am about RTW clothes. I've always worn pants with phone-book sized gaps at the back and tops with bust fullness 3 cm or so lower than my requirements, and not thought all that much of it, but now I guess I'm getting fussier.
In a different style, I think I need to take some fullness out across the back, somewhere - these back crotch of these shorts has stretched a bit in fabric, and while it's completely fine (and really comfy) for casual shorts, if these were funkier jeans type pants I think I'd want a bit less ease. In the photo of the back it looks like there's still some wedgie going on, but there really isn't - this was just the best photo of a bad bunch.
There's also a bit of excess fullness in the front, just below the topstitching for the fly - I'm still not entirely sure what this is from, but I'm tossing up between needing to shorten the front crotch or take in the front inseam a bit. Any ideas welcome :-)

This project was also my first foray into using proper topstitching thread and needle - and my machine wasn't at all happy about the experience. There was something whacky going on with the tension and no amount of fiddling could get the machine to purr happily along. I love topstitching, but I think I'm just going to stick with regular thread. Not only was it a teeth-clenchingly stressful experience waiting for the machine to get irrepperably snarled, but changing needles and thread every time I needed to top stitch took up precious "getting it finished" time.

And the stingeometer: cotton drill, $4 (Nick's); Zipper from stash, but probably 25 cents at Geoff's at some point; interfacing from stash; button from Karen Walker sale, just a few cents. Can't complain too much about 4 buck shorts, I reckon.

Anyway, I'll definitely make another pair, at some point - I've just got a few more projects to tick off the list first. None of which, I hope, are inspired by croc-wrestling Australians.


  1. They look great Jen! My machine has no problems with the top stitching thread and needle so I wonder what the problem is with yours..

    I admit defeat - my shorts cost 6.65 so you actually made yours a whole 2 bucks cheaper - well done you!

    As my sister says, you must be in touch not just with you inner, but your allover, tightwad.

  2. I love that colour. I've been shopping for shorts recently and it is hard to find anything other than beige and black...another benefit to sewing your own.

  3. I'm glad to have found your blog, and will enjoy seeing what you sew. I am very jealous of your beautiful weather.

  4. Very nice shorts. And isn't it great to NOT have that gap at the back anymore!