The “Out of Chaos” Shorts
Pattern: Simplicity 9834 (roughly)
Fabric: 5 XL men’s T’s, used $4 and thread $2
Time to Complete: about 9hrs
Total Cost: $6
Wear at All?: yes-when it gets warmer
Where do I start? I went to the fabric store full of ideas and 3 or 4 patterns in my bag. An hour or so later I left empty handed. I decided to go to the thrift store to see if there was something there I could refashion. Nothing. Do I drive 45 minutes away to the textile outlet? I started thinking about the sleeves on the one of the Burberry trench coats for Spring 2012 and thought it might be fun to do something similar as an experiment. It’s hard to see the detail well in this picture but if you look closely you can see that they knit leather to create the detail in the sleeves. Pretty cool huh?
I couldn’t settle for just making a quick top out of fabric I hated and calling it a day. If I was going to make something I may never wear again then at the very least it should be something interesting that challenges me creatively.
I bought 5 XL men’s t-shirts and one very unattractive green dress (just in case my experiment failed) and headed home. I decided to make some shorts. I know SGC, Topshop, and Alexander Wang have all come out with their own versions over the years but none of them made them from used t-shirts! I cut 4 of the t-shirts into thin continuous strips, sewed the ends together, and rolled it all up into a giant ball. The 5th t-shirt became my pattern and lining. I used this pattern because the front and back are one piece so I would only have to knit 2 pieces instead of 4. Once I got the fit right with the lining I took the seams out and used one side to help me get the shape right as I knit. I wrote everything down as I went so when it was time to work on the other leg I just reversed everything so I wouldn’t end up with two of the same side and sewed them together when I was done.
I had several ideas for pockets and adding zippers but they made the shorts look too busy so I kept them simple. I folded the lining over the waist to create a band and braided some of the remaining t-shirt yarn to make a drawstring. Before I sewed the band down I made 2 buttonhole openings for the drawstring. After I stitched the leg openings they got all stretched out so I took another strip of t-shirt yarn and used a crochet hook to weave into the bottom then pulled them in and secured the ends.The bits of color you see are from the t-shirts. I chose shirts that had writing on them just to see how it would look. I think it might be cool to make a fitted dress like this I just don’t know if I’ll ever have time.
The title for the shorts is a taken form a song called “Beautiful Things” that really helped me get through the week. I thought it was appropriate because the strips of T left little green pills everywhere. Even up my nose a couple of times as I was knitting! Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!