This time I’m following the instructions…  

It’s my second attempt at the Stretch-Chino pattern from the book ‘Men’s Clothing For All Seasons’. If you haven’t already, you can read about my first attempt HERE. If you have, welcome back.

I warn you now, this is going to be a long post. It’s a whole pair of shorts, step by step, in order, (almost) by the book. With a few asides here and there too, no doubt. So If you’re with me, let’s go…

I measured an extra 3-4cm on the waist of the last pair, so decided to make another pair of leftover-shorts, this time one size down. And I had just enough linen left over from this outfit to cut out size M… Just enough…

Last time I went off piste and stopped following the instructions. This time I promised to slow down, translate & read the full instructions. Following the construction order too. I have to admit, it was altogether a much calmer sew. 

As incredible a gizmo as Google Translate is, it is not, however, foolproof. A few random words would spring up and some entire sentences were indecipherable to me, both in Japanese and in English form. But I got the gist of the important bits and pencilled them in. 

Okay, I’m going to try to cover as much as I can without it looking like the garbled ravings of a mad man. Take a deep breath/ big gulp of wine, here we go…

 Making Trousers (condensed… ish…)

  • First I overlocked everything.
  • Next I applied iron on interfacing to all the necessary pieces;
  1. Left Fly Facing
  2. Pocket Welt & Facing 
  3. Slash Pocket Opening Edge
  4. Waistband
  • Then the back darts, carefully making sure they finish in the centre of the welt placement. 

Then it’s straight into the back welt pockets. I simplified this a bit and in the process, I think I complicated them back up again. I’ll let you be the judge of that (that is, if you don’t scroll past it… if you’ve even got this far…?!) Anyway, I’m really happy with them…

  • WELTS

(I only cut out one welt piece for each pocket, interfaced and moved the welt placement to centre.)

  1. Pin welt piece right side together with back leg. 
  2. Position pocket lining piece (1 of 4) on inside. 
  3. Stitch welt box. (Start mid-line)
  4. Carefully cut open. 
  5. Turn the welt through to the inside, open it up and give a good press. 
  6. Form the welt by folding up, then…
  7. Folding down the bottom welt piece. 
  8. Stitch in the ditch from the front to secure the welt. (Then stitch the triangles- not pictured as I (yet again) mucked the order up a bit, this is the right order…! I think)
  9. (After stitching the triangles..!) Stitch the bottom of the welt to the pocket lining & make the buttonhole. 
  10. Check it fits
  11. Sew the outer pocket lining, first to the welt facing piece, then all round the edge. 

Next it’s the…

    • FRONT POCKETS;
    1. Sew larger facing piece to pocketing & baste round the edges. Pin pocketing to wrong side of trousers.
    2. Pin smaller facing piece to right side. 
    3. Stitch & understitch. 
    4. Stitch down facing (using my lovely new fine pins, a Christmas gift to me… from me…)
    5. Sew & finish the pockets.
    6. Baste.
    7. Stitch the outside seams.
    8. Press to the back.

    INTERMISSION

    (Discussion: construction order…)

    Normally I’d be getting straight into the fly by now. There are five main parts to making trousers or shorts. In order of difficulty (in my opinion)…

    1. Welts 
    2. Fly 
    3. Waistband & closure
    4. Slash pockets
    5. Seams & hems

    My usual method goes; 4, 2, 1, 5, 3. Which somehow seems to emphasise the trickier stuff. This method suggests; 1, 4, 5, 2, 3. Which seemed to be a much more balanced order of construction. Focussing first on the fiddliest bit, slacking off, coasting in the middle before stepping it up at the end. It also had me doing most of the fly with one leg inside the other, which seemed a much easier way to handle the pieces. What do you think?

    PART TWO

    • HEMS & SEAMS;

    So the outseam is done. 

    1. Press up the hems. 
    2. Unfold the hems and sew up the inseams. Press them to the back. 
    3. It’s a brave or foolish sewer who blindhems their shorts before even trying them on. More blind-faith than blind hem, but that’s what the instructions say. 
    4. Ta-dah, two separate legs. 

    • FLY:

    Even in my limited sewing years, I’ve come across a few different methods of fly construction. To be honest, they’re all a bit fiddly. This one maybe a bit less so…

    1. Sew on the Left Fly Facing from the Zip Stop Mark. Pin up the ‘tail’.
    2. Put one leg inside the other, right sides facing, and sew the seat seam from centre back to the Zip Stop Mark. (I basted this seam first and tried them on here… encouraged, I continued…)
    3. Press the Left Fly Facing back and understitch. 
    4. Make the Fly Shield and attach the zip to the long side. Sew at the edge of the tape. 
    5. Fold the right side Fly Allowance 1cm & press. Line up the teeth of zip with Fly Shield and edgestitch close to teeth. 
    6. Close & pin fly fold. 
    7. Behind, pin Fly Shield out of the way. Pin & sew zip tape to Left Fly Facing. Twice. 
    8. Mark and topstitch the curve.

    A couple of bar-tacks and that’s the fly done. See, no so tricky after all. 

      And now, all of a sudden they really look like shorts. Time for the last piece of the jigsaw…

      • WAISTBAND & CLOSURE:

      As I approached the end, I felt a calm sense of satisfaction wash over me. The straight lines and right angles of button loops and waistband calmed me for what is always, inevitably, a terrific struggle getting the front buttonhole in. That’s still to come. 

      1. Make the beltloops. Fray-check both ends. Baste into position. 
      2. Press waistband in half then press up 1.3cm on inside. Pin outside to front of trousers and sew on the waistband (careful of the zip).
      3. Press the seams up. Turn the corners and stitch in line. 
      4. Pin & sew in the ditch from the right side catching the folded hem underneath. 

      • I stitch my beltloops down onto the trousers next. 
      • Then I press them up, fold the ends over and edgestitch them to the top of the waistband. 
      • Mark & sew the button hole, fray check & open. 
      • Mark & sew the button. 

      DONE!

      Except my buttonhole didn’t go as smoothly as that… I have an issue with bulk when putting in my centre front waistband buttonhole. I tried to avoid this by trimming back the Zip as far as I could, trimming and grading the seams etc, but I still got into trouble. I ended up doing it by eye, with the zig zag stitch & a lot of fraycheck. This is definitely becoming an issue now & needs to be rectified! (No close-ups!)

      There we have it, as close as you’re going to get to my full-translation of Pattern M from Men’s Clothing For All Seasons. Before you go and check you haven’t left the bath running or the gas on, here’s a few pictures to celebrate the finish…






      I’m really happy with the fit. I think I was right to go down a size. They are a slim fit on the thigh, so I expect the full length version will be slim legged too. I’ve found my go-to shorts pattern. 

      With two new pairs of shorts, summer can’t come quick enough for me. 

      Happy sewing!

      Notes to self:

      • Translate as much as possible before starting. 
      • Follow the order of construction. 
      • Secure the triangle before folding down the top flap. 
      • Sew the pocket facing down before the buttonhole. 
      • Do the interfacing first then overlock everthing. 
      • Investigate & fix the dodgy buttonhole. 
      • This whole blog post is one big note to self!

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