MrA occasionally buys me clothes. It's very kind of him, and I wouldn't want to appear ungrateful, but he knows I prefer to not wear shop bought clothes. It can be infuriating though when he buys me something I really like wearing…
Like these rugby shorts. To the casual observer they may not seem particularly special, but the shape and fit is great. I wore them a lot recently while abroad helping a family member move house. There was a lot of lifting and unpacking, painting garden furniture, washing cars, decorating & clearing gardens* and it was humid! These shorts, albeit shorter than I'd normally wear, were up to the job!
* and a brief trip to Joann!
I really wish I'd made them!
… so I did!
One tiny complaint in the originals is that the pockets open a little bit low and things can fall out of them (i.e. Phone!) when sitting down. This was all the excuse I needed… I could improve them!
Now, as pattern-traces go, this isn't a particularly tricky one! I spread out a length of Swedish Tracing Paper, flattened out the back half of the shorts, then marked the points; centre back/ crotch/ side/ waist. I folded everything neatly and sketched in the centre back curve…. mark the pocket, join the dots and it's almost done!
When I drew the front I also marked the pockets and I traced another piece for the pocket facing, along the side and halfway along the top and hem. This gets stitched down in the centre of each front piece.
These have a really interesting construction that I've not come across before (which doesn't necessarily vouch for their rarity!) It looked to me like the 'back and pocket-facing' side-seam was sewn first, then the 'front side seam' was finished separately and sewn on top of the (already assembled) 'back and pocket-facing' seam. It all looked very neat and crisp.
So, I added 3cm to the side seams on the front pieces for a double fold hem. 3.5cm to the top for a 2.5cm waistband & 1cm seam. And 1.5cm seams everywhere else.
This is how I put them together…
- Sew the back pockets to the back pieces.
- Double fold the side seams on the front pieces. Stitch close to the fold, not the edge.
- Sew the pocket facings to the side seams of the back pieces. Finish the seams and press them to the back.
- Open out the back pieces and pocket facing, right sides up.
- Lay the front piece on top, hemmed-side-seam matching up with the stitched side seam underneath. Pin everywhere!
- Sew the fronts to the pocket facings backstitching either side of the pocket opening.
- Bar tack top & bottom of pocket opening.
- Make sure it's all lined up & smooth then sew straight down the front of each front piece, catching the pocket facing underneath.
- Finish the back seam, inside seam, hem & waistband.
I put some eyelets into the waistband for a drawstring and I kind of wish I hadn't. In hindsight I would have liked to have topstitched the waistband a few times over so that it would sit flatter, but I'm still really happy with my results.
I had some cheap black polyester (for potential work-trouser experiments) and barely used half a metre on these little shorts. They are a bit short, but I was in a very sunny place when I was wearing them! … and they're no shorter than rugby shorts! … and they're still far from hot-pant length…! … and… bah! I'm just making excuses, they're a bit short, but I don't care!! In fact, they're a perfect swim short length, so… maybe…?
Now I've got this shape in pattern form, I'm thinking of all sorts of possibilities and variations…. I hate to say it, but I think I'm going to have to go fabric shopping again!
Notes to self:
- Find the right jersey & try some joggers.
- Remember that crazy pocket attachment… that might not be as much fun on jersey material…
- Get swim short fabric & mesh for pants!
- TERRY-TOWEL LOUNGE SHORTS!