Well, it’s been a while since I posted anything here. I handed in on the 28th April, and we’ve had the photoshoots and finished our lookbooks, so now there’s graduation in September!
I’ve realised I’ve told you practically nothing about the concept. The geekier among you (hello! :D) may have suspected correctly that it is inspired by The Hobbit and LOTR. More The Hobbit because I’m still reading LOTR.
Originally I was going to advance the concept from my previous FMP at Bishop Burton College: Cut21, and include more natural inspiration. That developed visually towards woodlands and fantasy, which naturally falls towards The Hobbit and LOTR.
In the beginning, the initial designs were fairly literal and somewhat costumey and I had to make them more ‘fashiony’ (we use a lot of non-standard English in our class).
I experimented with so many techniques that could have made such beautiful garments. If I’d had time I could have made a hundred different things and I’ve have loved every one of them!
Following a piece of advice I received from a friend and mentor (ask “What can I do well, in the time I have?”) I kept my number of garments to a minimum. We had do to 6 outfits, so I made 12 garments. I wanted to include some jeans and jeans-type garments to tailor my portfolio towards Levi’s (where I work as stylist and tailor), so I made a few different cuts.
Another of my learning goals was to learn how to work with stretch fabrics. So I bought an overlocker (used) and learned to use it, and the other industrial equipment at college. Domestic overlockers do not compare to industrials, but they do the job and I can take mine with me when I move.
Another was to use the Assyst-Bullmer system, but technical issues prevented it when I needed it. I have been told I can go back and have a go with it though. (The tutors at York College are awesome.)
I wanted to work with leather too, so I made a dress out of it. 🙂
We’ve been having a heatwave here in Britain, and I needed some more shorts. I had what I thought was a pretty good pattern, but measuring the waistline I wonder how on Earth I ever managed to zip my un-stretched shorts up! I must have made some colossal mistakes when measuring or something because I’ve had to increase the waist measurement considerably (and, no, I haven’t got that much bigger — as if I could gain weight!).
The inspiration for these shorts is a blend of Audrey Hepburn’s shorts in Sabrina, and some shorts I have already designed and made. They are quite short, but not hot pants, and I’ve flared the legs a bit since toiling so they will hopefully be a bit more elegant.
The initial fit (after adjusting the waist measurement on Illustrator) was pretty good. The waistband pokes out a bit at the front, but I think that’s due to the fairly straight waistline on the front pieces. I’ve corrected that since. The waistline fits actually on my waistline all the way around. They’re comfortable.
I did have a 1cm discrepancy on the inseam — the back needed lengthening there, but now it matches the front. I think that may account for the funny fit on the toile.
I’ve since flared the back leg pieces so they don’t cup the cheeks so. I was working off a photo of Audrey Hepburn:
There seemed to be some variable camel toe on the front. It wasn’t major and I wasn’t sure what to do about it, so I’ve left it for now. We’ll see if it disappears when I use proper fabric. 🙂
Now, partly in an effort not to use the iron (I don’t want to use too much electricity) and partly because I don’t know where my interfacing is, I have not fused the waistband on these shorts. Instead I am using my favourite notion: cotton tape. I stitched to the waistband on one seam-line before I did anything else, and I will stitch it along the fold-line next. On this line of stitching, I will ease it in by 0.5cm to give the fit of a contoured waistband, without the bother of actually drafting and cutting one (save fabric). This is kind of an experiment and we’ll see by the end of this post how it goes.
I am using an invisible zip because they are the easiest to sew, and you only need a 1cm seam allowance, so they’re the easiest and most economical to cut as well.
I have lined the back pockets too. I liked in inside, so I’ve left one the WS out, which you’ll see at the end. 🙂
(Bother! I just remembered that I forgot to use cotton tape on the hip pockets; they seem to be okay…)
Both of the fabrics for these shorts came from a previous college project (which was heavily inspired by Colette Sewing Patterns). One is a stretch jade denim, and the pocket linings are Liberty, both from eBay.
I was going to use the WS of this denim, but I kind of like the RS too. We’ll see if I make another pair from it, or if I use to for something else. 🙂
I’m a teensy bit out of practice with stretch fabrics, so the back pockets were minutely distorted, but I think I soon got the hang of it again. 🙂
The finished shorts
Annoyingly, my sewing machine pedal stopped working, so I had to sew using the start/stop button, which makes it harder. Anyway, I finished the shorts last night. I hand-stitched the waistband down inside, after bagging it out at the ends.
I hemmed the shorts by hand, and then found that I had to TS the edge down by machine anyway. I should have increased the hem allowance because, for some reason, I only used a 1cm hem allowance. I need about an inch. I could have used a bias facing, but I don’t know how much binding I have left…
Click on the images below for more details. 🙂
Front of shorts. I will change the pattern to have the pockets start farther from the centre front
The back. I LOVE how neat this invisible zip turned out! 😀
That thing that looks like a caterpillar is the hand-made bar for the hook and bar at the top of the zip
Hand chain-stitching along the front pockets
The gusset. This not only makes it more comfortable on a bicycle, but also improves the look of the shorts from the back!
The cuffed hem. I pressed it but…
…it needed a little help to stay neatly up, so I hand-tacked it at the front and back of each leg
Back pocket. I was going to have them match, but I like this Liberty print so much I have it on show! And I used a serpentine stitch along the tops of the back pockets, just because it looks pretty 🙂
The inside of the hem. Overstitched, herringbone stitched hem, then topstitched about 3mm from the cut edge. I will increase the hem allowance on the pattern.
Side, with view of contrast pocket
The other side 🙂
Side note, I love this sweater from The Sweater Company (who do not know I just said that)
Somehow it just makes the outfit better 🙂
(Just trying out the gallery thing on WordPress — every one of those cuts my head off! lol)
All in all, I LOVE these shorts! They’re so comfy! They fit just right too.
I am having physiotherapy on my knee so I needed shorts. I know a lot of religious women won’t wear them out of modesty, but when you have to do a lot of leg exercises, shorts are more modest than skirts. 🙂
So I made these from my brother’s too-short trousers. They were a sort of moleskin fabric, and are is apparently Italian-made (when they were trousers). I adjusted my Audrey Short pattern (which I haven’t told you about yet) to have princess seams and those petal shapes at the front.
When I put them on yesterday, with socks after my bath, my legs looked quite stocky in them. (I think I look much better in tights.) Rather than think of my legs as stocky though, I would rather think of them as pixie-ish, like Tinkerbell. It’s much better to put a nice spin on things, isn’t it? I think that’s the start of a good body-image for anyone and you might as well like yourself because you’re the only self you’ll get. 🙂
The hardest thing was sewing the curves neatly, which I didn’t quite manage to do. In retrospect, I ought to have done a faced hem, but I was upcycling and it was a miracle that the waist-facing was exactly the right length (by accident). I also ought to have used cotton tape to stay the waistline because it’s ever-s0-slightly stretched now.
I didn’t need to add a gusset to these shorts. I pressed the seam open (well, finger-pressed) and they’re perfectly comfortable as they are. Calico seems to be unreliable for fitting purposes because it’s so unlike any fabric you’d actually wear.
P.S. Yes, these are inspired by the Pattern Runway shorts, and there’s the link to make up for my not buying the pattern (how can I when I can draft one?).