Remember Sewing Dares? There’s another round going on now, and this time I threw myself in for one. I asked specifically for a dare related to shorts so Gillian dared me to make either Kwik Sew 3854 or BHL Holly shorts. I did not think this through well, since completing the dare means posting pics of myself in shorts. I always appreciate it when other people post their makes, good or bad, conventionally flattering or not, so I guess I can do my part and show these off too. I started with the Holly shorts since they looked more straightforward, and surprisingly it took me all this time to get them done. Tomorrow is the deadline, so now I’m showing them off. I will warn you, I’m still back to tripod and 7 year-old helping with pictures, so these are not exactly the most aspirational of images.
Why on earth did it take me so long to finish such as simple pattern? If you follow me on Instagram, where I post most of my detail and WIP shots, you would have seen the perfectly inserted invisible zipper on them weeks ago. The answer is that I ran into trouble with the hem. I had them all finished up, with the hem sewn up to what looked like a flirty but modest level. I tried them on and moved around a bit, which is when I noticed that bending over caused them to become, quite literally, overly cheeky. I took out the hem and threw them on my WIP pile, there to sit and think about what they’d done. When I got through sulking, I put in a much narrower hem. They aren’t quite as cute now as with the original hem, but at least I have a full range of movement without the high risk of unintentional over-sharing.
The fabric is a polyester moleskin. I suppose the fiber content doesn’t make it quite perfect for summer, but it’s easy to wash and won’t wrinkle.
Overall, as projects go, this one leaves me feeling a little cold. I like the idea of shorts in my wardrobe, but maybe there’s a reason I don’t really have any to wear other than my Tania Culottes from last year. As I think about it, these are still about a million times better than going out and trying to buy ready-to-wear shorts. Just the thought of going on such a shopping excursion makes my stomach feel queasy. Pattern-wise, I think I’ll really like Holly trousers, maybe in a nice dark wool suiting for fall/winter. The fit on these is pretty good, so I’m thinking I’ll be able to use these pattern pieces to compare other patterns to before cutting out to get a better fit. I doubt I’ll make myself another pair of shorts exactly like this though. They’re just not quite what I’m looking for.
The top is new too. It’s the new Scallop Shell from Cake Patterns. I had the shorts done and realized that most of the summery tops in my wardrobe either don’t match or are getting worn out and should probably be replaced soon. The shell pattern utilizes the Cake grid method to customize the sizing, which means this one is somewhat of a test-subject. I’m going to wash it before I decide if I want to make any fit adjustments for the next one. It’s made of a cotton/jersey (Laguna cotton) fabric, so it has good recovery, but even so, handling it during construction might have messed with the fit. As far as I can tell right now I might need to give the waist a little more ease and take up the shoulder a little bit for future versions. There are definitely some wrinkles in the pictures. Construction-wise, I like this pattern. The mitered corners to shape the neckline look quite lovely and require only a little more effort than a regular round neckline. I was going to go all fancy with the back, but kind of ended up liking the look of it plain. If I had planned to keep the neckline unadorned in back, I probably would have used the higher neckline in the first place. Though it isn’t a perfect top, it’s a very practical one. I’m planning to make quite a few more of these shells especially since I bought the pattern collection and I want to try them all.
So, will I wear this outfit? Yes, but probably only when circumstances are dictating that a dress or skirt would be completely impractical.
Stash-busting stats: 12 projects this year. 30 yards of fabric.