The “Embarrassed to Admit They’re My Favorite” Shorts

Hi! Hope I’m not too late.

Name & Location: Z. — Portland, Oregon

Blog: Gladys and Viv. It hasn’t been updated in a while, because I’ve been cleaning house all week and done nothing else, but I’ll be back to posting again soon.

How long have you been sewing: Aside from a locker organizer in seventh grade home ec, the first thing I made entirely on my own was in spring 2007. I always think it’s been just the last year and a half or so, but I guess that’s almost five years.

Why did you want to commit to the Sew Weekly Challenge: I’ll be brief (though I could go on and on here). Aside from reading the Sew Weekly all last year and thinking it was awesome: 1) I need deadlines, and 2) I’m really shy, both in real life and online, and I’m hoping the added accountability of officially being part of a group will be the boost I need to share creations more and leave comments and maybe even be more outgoing in general…

What do you love most about sewing garments: This is a bit weird, but I really like the hum my machine makes. When everything is going right, I find sewing very calming. I also like being able to have the exact garments I want, and to have them fit me properly. Eventually. Usually.

What do you hate most about sewing garments: Adjusting patterns to fit my shape and size. I’m too tall for anything to fit me properly—even if I’m lucky enough to find a pattern which has all the width-wise measurements correct, I still have to lengthen it. I’m still very bad at this, so nine times out of ten, I spend several hours resizing the pattern, only to later find that the garment I’ve made still doesn’t fit.

What do you want to accomplish this year with regard to the challenge: I’d like to be more productive, especially in regard to making more things that I’ll actually wear. I’m also hoping to get better at resizing patterns.

Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012: I want to quit what I refer to as my “jeans-uniform job,” which means getting taken on full-time at my other job. But that’s dependent on my boss getting more clients and not anything I can do, so an actual goal… I haven’t really thought a whole lot about goals this year, oddly. I guess maybe I want to finish archiving all the old negatives and photos from my parents’ house. Or learn a new language.

What are your favorite sewing/fashion blogs: Of course there are lots that I read, but those that came to mind first were of course this one, as well as We Sew Retro, Debi’s My Happy Sewing Place, Vixen Vintage, and uh Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

Okay. These shorts. I don’t really wear shorts, but last spring, they were all I wanted to make. These wound up being the only shorts I made last year, but they rank among my favorite 2011 garments, too.

I used the shorts pattern from New Look 6716, combined with the knot shorts tutorial by Meg (posted during Grosgrain’s free pattern month), and added in-seam pockets as well, so they’re very much Frankensteined. The tutorial was designed for children’s shorts, but I saw no reason I couldn’t increase the pattern to fit my size, so I did. It worked well enough. Yes, the shorts are somewhat smaller than I’m quite comfortable with (that’s due to NL 6716, not the knot tutorial), but I liked them enough that sometimes I just ignored that, and wore them anyway.

Fabric: cambric–$4.00 from SCRAP
Pattern: new look 6716–$1.25 from Knittn’ Kitten, plus knot shorts tutorial–free
Year: 1980s? (nl 6716); 2011 (tutorial)
Notions: zipper from stash
Time to complete: no idea, sorry
First worn: summer 2011
Wear again: yes, occasionally
Total cost: $5.25

Author

Z.

Z. has, much to her surprise, been sewing since 2007. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and uh 1955-fantasy-land. In addition to sewing, she likes words, music, and old things. Her life is a story.

7 Comments

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  1. Good luck this year! After a year of Sewing Weekly, the deadlines are what really get things done! xoxo

  2. Hello Z, I like my machine’s noise too! Those are fabulous shorts x

  3. Utterly adorable shorts, love them!

  4. I blog to help with shyness, too. It helps. A lot.

    Your shorts are cute, and useful. Well done with frankenpatterning. :)

  5. You are right about the hum of the machine (mine goes whoop whoop whoop so I call it the Stooge).
    I too how to really improve the fit of my garments this year and I very much like your shorts.

  6. Ah, the shyness. And the fitting. I can relate. Great shorts!

  7. Thanks for the kind words, everybody! And I’m glad to see that blogging has helped with shyness–hopefully the same is true for me.