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…double duty…

One of my favourite things about sewing, is being able to get around the biggest problem I have with commercial clothing – fit. Tops aren’t too bad, for the most part, but bottoms can be a pain. There can be up to two sizes difference between my waist and hip measurements, and not in a cute, curvy way. If it fits my waist, it’s baggy in the seat. If it fits my hips, there’s some epic mummy tummy muffin top going on. Sewing my own clothes means I can adjust the patterns to shift between sizes, and get a nice, flattering fit.

On my spring sewing list is a pair of denim shorts. As a full time homeschooling mum, my day to day “dress code” is comfy & casual, and denim shorts are a staple of my summer capsules. My current pair are three or four seasons old, and weren’t exactly top of the range (read: I got them from BigW), so are showing their age and best suited for home use, rather than “looking nice for town” use. I do have some Harper shorts I sewed up in a dark denim last summer, but the style is more a “dressy” type, plus I’m not entirely sold on how the style looks on me. Even on the days I do like them (yes, my opinion of them changes that much!), I still feel there’s a place in my collection for a pair of traditional jeans-style denim shorts. After a bit of a Pinterest scroll, I settled on the Linden shorts. They look cute, with the added benefit of the pattern being super versatile – two styles of shorts in four lengths, plus two styles of skirt In three lengths. The PDF is something crazy like 120 pages long to pick and choose the sections from.

Because these shorts are intended to be a major part of my summer wardrobe, I decided to do something I almost never do – I would make a toile. But because I’m lazy and also a tightwad, I wanted to make the toile wearable so all that effort and fabric would be useable. Last summer, I tried to make a wrap-style dress from a cute printed chambray I had picked up from Spotlight. The Pinterest tutorial had looked cute…I failed to factor in that I am not built to carry off a wrap dress! No matter how much I fiddled with it, I could not get it to sit nicely, especially in the bodice. I threw it in the back of the cupboard in disgust, and there it stayed until I needed fabric to make this toile. It was the perfect solution – the fabric would get a new lease on life, and it would make cute shorts that I could test the pattern with and then wear.

I had the pieces cut out ready to sew up while the children were away last week. It was reasonably late in the day. I had already been sewing for a good chunk of the day. I started interfacing, and cut linings, and trimmed pocket lines, and stitched up coin pockets and went to apply facings and… uh oh. You know that scene in Pretty Woman, where she walks into the salon and gloats at the mean sales assistant? “Big mistake, HUGE”? That was me. I’d managed, in my eternal brilliance, to trim the shorts + lining along the sloping chino-style pocket line, not the curved jeans-style pocket line. Not my finest moment. I sulked for a bit, then pulled out my left over fabric, cut new facings and rolled with the sloped pockets.

It should make for…interesting…shorts. Chino style front. Patch-pocket-and-yoke jeans style back. Maybe it’s a good thing I decided to make a toile because I think I would have cried if I made that mistake on my good pair. I packed them away after cursing myself, but with high 20s predicted for this weekend, they are on my hit list to get finished. I’m bummed about the pocket stuff up, because I could picture them jeans-style and they were going to be so cute. Fingers crossed it will all work out. I just need to get over my hissy fit and get stuck in and actually get them finished.

  • Lisa C in Dallas, TX

    I think you’re the only one who will notice the business in the front (chino look) and party in the back (jeans). They might just end up being your favorite pair! I am not a clothes sewer but I do follow Girls in the Garden. She makes jeans, tops, coats, everything! She also includes how she adjusts to fit her tall and straight frame. You might find some good patterns from her site.

    October 7, 2021 at 12:06 am Reply

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