Fabric: chino-like leaf camouflage fabric in sale,
bought too much, might make a hat some time $13.50 (£8.65), plus sheets
for muslins from stash.
Patterns: sort of self-drafted from 3 old pairs of shorts/trousers I’ve held on to for this purpose.
Notions: zip scavenged from above pair of old shorts.
Time to complete: about 20 hours (making of muslins, reading of shorts/trouser tutorials in books and websites).
First worn: for gardening 16th July 2012.
Wear again? Yep, and I’ll be making more using this basic design.
Total Cost: $13.50 (£8.65)
The challenge: “The Great Outdoors: something inspired by nature”.
(I apologise in advance of the quality of this week’s pics. I decided to take them myself with the remote rather than wake up Goth Child, as it’s her last week of school hols (translation: summer intercession/break) and I do the garden and pool at 7ish in the morning before the temps get over 100F.
The shorts are called the “Incredible Invincible Invisibility” shorts because I convinced my youngest that I was making camouflage gardening shorts so that when I stood in front of bushes my hips would disappear…she bought that this would happen for about 6 seconds before tutting at me. I also thought that the fact that I finally made a pair of legged things, they should be rewarded with an overblown ridiculous name).
I was going to wait until next week’s “Reality Check (something missing from your wardrobe)” challenge to embark on the great voyage into making shorts/trousers adventure, but when I saw this camouflage fabric in the Jo-ann’s sale area I couldn’t resist it and it felt ‘naturey’…..and to be honest I’ve been putting off making trousers for long enough now, it was time to bite the bullet.
Btw, I might have lived in the USA for nearly 3 years now, I might even slip the words “store”, “cart” and “gas” into conversation without a second thought, but I don’t there will ever come a day when I hear the word “pants” and won’t be able to stifle a giggle. I can’t do it, I can’t call trousers “pants”. That would be like me asking an American not to laugh at my favourite pudding “Spotted Dick”. I won’t tell you now about the time my husband had to get me out of a Dick’s Sporting Goods sharpish when I saw a sign for “Open Bottom Pants”……ohhh America.
Aaaaanyway. This was the week when I tackled making something with legs to fit my figure: my ample hips, my sway back, my delicious but overly-proportioned bum and my low round belly. I cannot deny, I have been putting this challenge off. However, I also knew the day would dawn when I would have to face it, and to be honest, I want to know how to make trousers to fit me….I might wear dresses most of the time, but I really fancy one day having some killer suits ala Annie Lennox or David Bowie (I want his Life on Mars light blue one most). Well, killer suits for a short round person :) And no, this isn’t a clue to what I’m making for the upcoming Music challenge….
So knowing the day would come, I’ve been hanging onto trousers that I’ve worn the bottoms out of (real open bottom pants) for a couple of years now. Rather than throwing them out, I put them in my sewing cupboard to one day unpick and make myself a sort of pattern from.
I’d also decided that if I did ever make my own trousers, I’d make them TOTALLY the way I WANTED. I know that because of the roundness of my middle, having a zip front and centre isn’t the best position for me (instant camel toe unless the crotch is hanging near to my knees). So I made 2 muslins to get the shape of the crotch right so there was no camel toe, no smiling or frowning lines (I found various websites fab for understanding trouser-fitting, see list below), no gaping of fabric. I know Lee (and I think Nettie?) has/have recommended StephanieC’s Consulting Dressmaker Pants (haha) Block service but I thought I’d quite like to have a go myself because I wanted to see what problems I’d encounter. The method in my madness was that it would be better to have a go so that I’d understand the basic mechanics of making leggy things and the problems I needed to remedy.
So these shorts are my first attempt. I’m now confident I have a basic pattern for the crotch and hips with a side zip, that hopefully I can use to adapt proper patterns to fit me (an additional problem I have is lots of the really great patterns for trousers people recommend stop way before my size (and I’m sure I’m not in a minority here of fat people (which is just a describing word like short or blonde, and I’m claiming it back from those who nicked it to be an insult) who’d love to make their own clothes because clothes for us fat people are sooooooo darn boring in shops, and often sooooo badly fitting).
Tell me, oh wise women (and men) of sewing, am I disillusioned and mistaken in thinking that now I’ve worked out a pattern that fits my belly, bum, hips and crotch ie. the top bit of the legs….that I can just use this as my base to make shorter shorts, cullottes, wide legged trousers etc? Am I being too naive? Any constructive advice will be gratefully received.
(Warning: invisibility shorts only work if you stand in front of bushes or trees, and if viewer can also see the Emperor’s New Clothes or is a small, very gullible child).
I found I’m continuing to find massively helpful: