Tag Archives: shorts

hand-made floral shorts

Short Shorts, of the Floral Variety

You may or may not know that England is currently Quite Warm. So warm that I am running out of things to wear. Normally my melded autumn/winter/spring wardrobe can make it through summer with the addition of a pair of flip-flops and a single sundress for the one day it doesn’t rain. But now, after three or four days over 20C, the whole ‘being able to feel my toes all day long’ thing is going to my head and I’m finding myself thinking about developing A Summer Wardrobe.

Hardly surprising with this a short trot from the door.

sky and sea

Last week I gained the sudden urge to make a pair of shorts. I considered buying some, but the thought of trawling through every shop in town to find an appropriate pair (in the sort of temperatures that are making me want the shorts) left me cold. Or hot. Well, grumpy. So, I thought, I should make some, because toiling over a hot sewing machine is so much more sensible.

I did initially resolve to finish my current sewing WIP, the sparkletaupe wrap dress, but no sooner had I dragged the sewing machine out from its dusty corner than I realised I was going to run out of thread. I literally only managed to sew two more seams, but it did take it from ‘oddly-shaped scarf’ to ‘actually sort of dress-shaped’ so I shouldn’t complain too much.

wrap dress - a sewing wip
wrap dress – now actually wrapping

So on Friday evening, on a bit of a whim, I searched out a pattern. Burda 105, Retro Shorts. I downloaded the pdf and sweet-talked the printer into behaving, then arranged the pattern during a highly entertaining thunderstorm.

laying out a pattern
laying out a pattern in a thunderstorm. smart?

This is the first full-size pattern I’ve made from a downloaded pattern; I’ve always been very much a big-four-tissue-paper-pattern-with-diagrams girl. I did make a cute little handbag from a downloaded pattern, but I was nervous of going full-size.

I considered doing what the pattern suggested and tracing it out onto tracing paper. But I was feeling hot and lazy so I just cut out the printed pieces, traced around them in tailor’s chalk, then drew in the seam allowances the same way. Probably not the most precise measure, but I am nothing if not slapdash when it comes to sewing.

pattern pieces for floral shorts
pattern pieces for floral shorts

The fabric is left over from a floral dress I made a while back. I never posted about it because it wasn’t very good, haha. The fabric is cotton (probably) in an interestingly garish batik-style design, a Fancy Silk Store special. I had about 80cm left of it, which was just scraping the minimum pattern requirements. I confess that I did do some flipping of pattern pieces just to make sure I could get all the pieces cut.

wip - floral shorts, Burda 105
floral shorts. only the cuffs left to do.

It was a good weekend project, though I did come very close to burning out on the last stretch. I was tired, I wanted a drink, and the pattern instructions were so very condensed and confusing that I nearly gave up. But the Internet persuaded me to continue (Instagram ‘loves’ are a great motivator).

hand-made floral shorts
floral shorts, finiiiiished.

They are tiny. They are very low-slung, so there’s no buttcheek or pocket bottoms on display (I really, really despise that look), and I am also saved the horror of high-waisted shorts which is all that was available last time I bought shorts (in 1998?). But they are still very short. However: I live at the seaside, and if there is any place that I should be able to wear very short shorts, it is at the god-damned seaside. Right?

I would take a picture of them on to show the fit, but I’ve recently had a run-in with a creeper on Flickr so I’m not going to. Perhaps you’ll see them in passing if I do ever dare to wear them outside the house. 😀

Burda 105 Retro Shorts
Fabric: cotton floral batik print