July 31, 2012

Thurlow II

I finished my second pair of Thurlow shorts yesterday, after dragging my feet for a week since I cut them out last Monday. I wasn't really sure how to proceed, size-wise, after making the first pair and tweaking them so much along the way. I kept careful notes of what I changed and where, but I just had a feeling that it wouldn't matter, and things would still be different the second time around. So even though I love my pink shorts, I was afraid to start again because I was sure that I would fail this time around. Is there any logic here? I'm not sure what the deal is- I'm just telling it like it is.

Polka dots! And roses!

So anyway, despite my apparent complete and total lack of sewing confidence, I finally managed to get these babies finished up, and I'm pretty happy with them. I cut this pair out of some polka dot cotton twill from an old collection of Lisette fabrics. I picked it up from the clearance section during a 50% off Red Tag sale for some ridiculous price like $2/yard.

Apologies for the squinty face. I was outside trying to get some light. July in Seattle is remarkably grey this year!

When I was trying to decide on a lining, I pulled out this yellow rose print (Tanya Whelan's Darla Rose in butter, in case you're curious) and it was love at first sight. Unfortunately, I only had a small, strangely shaped little chunk of it left over from another project, so it was a stretch to get all the pieces cut. They're mostly on-grain, but I only had enough to line one back welt pocket.

So one back welt pocket is all that these shorts got. But it turned out perfectly this time!

After the problems I had with tiny holes in the corners due to the loose weave on the pink pair, I decided to apply a rectangle piece of fusible tricot interfacing (Pellon Easy Knit) to the pocket area first (it extends about 1/2" in all directions past the welt opening) and it made a huge difference. Actually- that's not entirely true. I completely forgot that I had planned to interface at first. I sewed my welts on, cut the slit, and then realized that I had actually applied the welts to the wrong side of my fabric and had to completely redo the pocket. As I was ripping the stitches, I remembered that I had planned to interface the area, so my mistake actually allowed me to go back and do that. I would not have taken it all apart for interfacing otherwise, but I'm glad I remembered before I got it all reassembled. Now I know that it definitely does help these loose weaves behave better.

I totally used PicMonkey's wrinkle-fix on my crow's feet. Don't I look youthful?

Also, I was totally right about the fit being different this time around. This twill doesn't have as much stretch as the pink twill does, so I made this pair slightly larger than the pink ones. I started by transferring my changes from last time to my paper pattern, folding back the sides to match the amount I trimmed off the pink pair. Except when it came time to take 1 5/8" off the width at the inseam of the back pieces, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It just sounded like so much, and I was really paranoid that they would end up skin tight.

So I took off just an inch instead, and then proceeded to put them all fully together (again)- not bothering to baste as I went to check the fit (again). And when I got them all finished (again) I realized that I totally should have taken off a little bit more. Perhaps not the whole additional 5/8", but at least a little bit. I don't know what I was thinking (or evidently NOT thinking) but oh well. They're done now, and they're not perfect, but they're totally fine.

There's a bit of weird bagginess under my butt, and I guess there are some "smile wrinkles" in the front, but nothing major. At least I don't think so, given that most of my ready-to-wear shorts really don't fit fit much better. I guess I might have a high tolerance for imperfect fitting pants, but doesn't everyone? I think it would have been better to take out slightly less in the hip to account for the less-stretchy twill. Perhaps that would have eliminated the wrinkling? Dunno.

I am sure that the difference in fit can be entirely chalked up to the difference in the amount of stretch in the two fabrics. I'm still pretty happy with how these came out, and think they'll be a cute addition to my summer wardrobe. Might try and squeeze in one more pair before we leave on vacation. Or maybe, if I'm feeling really adventurous- I might try to make a pair of Thurlow Capris. We'll see.