When I titled this post ‘The Red Shorts, all I could think of was Kate Bush. That’s not to say that these shorts are affiliated with Kate Bush, sadly.
I’ll start by saying I’m not a shorts wearer. I’ve only owned a pair of sweatshirt-style shorts for running in, bar childhood hand-me-downs. I’ve wanted a pair of good shorts for summer (yeah, I know it’s the end of August already), but I dislike those longer style ‘city shorts’ and I’m not about to wear hot pants out in the street. There’s just no need. I have an irrational aversion to shorts worn with tights – the two things oppose, not attract. Funnily enough I’m fine with short skirts and tights though… Recently, it has been pretty hot for London, so I felt that the timing of the release Grainline Studio’s Maritime shorts pattern was a coincidence not to be missed.
I started off with a not so wearable muslin. It was planned as wearable, but my own ineptitude came to the fore and helped me sew up a pair of shorts that were too big and somewhat ruched. It was all unloved stash (brown corduroy!) so not a big waste. They would have been okay for a round-the-house garment though. I had to grade the pattern two sizes up from the waist size, which was very confusing considering the pocket facings, and this is where I think I failed. The small pocket pieces were too wide, and because I had imagined them all to be pieces that sat inside the shorts (the pocket bags if you will), I figured they wouldn’t affect how the shorts fit. I figured wrong.
The second, proper pair are made from red denim with some Michael Miller quilting cotton for facings. For these, I made sure that ALL the pieces were amended and graded, and they fit as they should. Although I did manage to make a new type of error by not marking them as meticulously as I usually do. I sewed the wrong front waistband pieces to each side of the back and only realised after I had attached the waistband facing. After the disaster of the first pair, I was reluctant to unpick or cut out any new pieces, and forged on. Using the scantiest of seam allowances on the denim side, I sewed up the waistband and facings together. I even tried ‘stitching in the ditch’, which looks and sounds super easy and quick. Not for me, I seem to struggle with the most basic and straightest of sewing. I had to unpick that and slipstitch by hand.
It’s not a complete disaster, I managed to have enough space to sew on the hook and eye, which I’m doing tonight. They fit, they’re wearable. There’s a horrible bit at the fly facing, where it doesn’t fit into the waistband (see above). There’s also a nasty pushed out point, which bugs me. Luckily I’ve got enough of this denim to eventually cut another piece and fix them. For now, they’ll do, but I’m annoyed. When I make such a basic mistake, I always think I could have done better. Ah well, onward and upward, I hope. Here’s a nice picture of my back pocket topstitching, I’m pleased with that at least.