So once again it’s been a bit quiet on the old blog. There has been a fair amount of sewing going on (as you’d know if I’d kept up with the monthly round up posts) but I’ve been struggling with migraines again which has made coping with a screen rather painful to say the least.
But today I’m fine so, to celebrate, here’s a blog post about one of my proudest makes to date!
I didn’t fall in love with this pattern on its release, possibly because I’d just made a pair of dungarees using a McCalls pattern and had a right fight with it. However, several online makes won me over and I purchased the pdf of the Closet Case Patterns Jenny overalls. However, it was the Stitch Room Sewcial that gave me the confidence to dive in and give them a go.
Why is that? Well, because I baste fit a pair of Ginger jeans there and for the first time felt like I might just have cracked this trouser fitting malarkey. Buoyed up by the wave of confidence this brought, I decided to use a length of black denim from the fabric swap table to try out a pair of shorts using the pattern (thanks to whoever donated that length of denim, it was JUST the right size!)
Because it was only a toile, I skipped the front pockets, which made this quite a quick make. I did do the back pockets (you need somewhere for your phone right?) and, of the two waistband options, I picked the single button version. I graded between a 12 on the waist and a 14 on the hip (part of the reason I need to make shorts is that, thanks to my migraine meds, I’m heavier than I was last summer and my shorts are rather snug. And no one needs that on holiday, am I right?) And, in the same way as for the Gingers, I added 2cm to the back rise by cutting horizontally across the pattern mid way up the centre back piece and hinging it up by 2cm. This gives you some extra space for your bum without impacting the hip measurement.
Because it was a REALLY small piece of denim, I had to cut the waistband facing out of some other scrap fabric: I used a little of the acrobats fabric I made a dress for Cirque du Soleil out of to give a bit of contrast.
And, wonder of wonders, they fit! And my god they’re comfortable!
I can’t tell you what a revelation it was to wear shorts that actually fit me properly. I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever had that in my entire adult life. Despite being slightly heavier than I would prefer for hot weather, they have been ridiculously comfy this last week in the rather tropical temperatures we’ve been having.
So then I thought, what about that tropical print linen I got last week, hoping for a suitable shorts pattern? I’d seen Sarah’s fantastic linen cropped dungaree versions so knew the pattern would work for dungarees.
Then I thought a bit more. I had 1.5m. I’d cut the shorts out of well under 1m. Hmmm. Am I too old for a pair of short dungarees?
After consulting Instagram and being told resoundingly to DO IT, I went for it. This time, I cut the shorts and the dungaree bib and straps. I cut both waistbands from the linen, but cut the pocket linings and the bib facing out of a plain white cotton lawn from the stash; this being a cotton linen blend, I thought it might end up a little see through so wanted to keep things simple.
Once again, everything went remarkably smoothly. The pattern instructions, as ever, are really clear and the pattern is well drafted and well marked out. I got part way through, realised I didn’t have any dungaree buckles that were wide enough for these straps, wobbled for a minute but then raided the button box. In the end, I swapped out the buckles for large, plain off white buttons with a matching button at the waist. In contrast to the shorts, I used a normal dress zip rather than a metal toothed jeans zip as I was worried that might be a bit heavy for the fabric.
I absolutely LOVE the resulting shortalls. I’m calling the overall look middle aged toddler, but they make me smile so much so stuff whether anyone else thinks I’m too old / too fat / too pale for them. I like them, my kids love them, even Mr RW was impressed so everyone else can take their negative opinions somewhere else, thank you.
Also, Heather Lou featured them on her Instagram Stories today, which made my year!
So there you have it: I finally feel like I’m winning with my ongoing quest to make trousers that fit me properly and all it’s taken is a couple of standard – for – me adjustments. It seems like there should be more to it, given all the problems I’ve had with trousers, but I’m just grateful to be getting there in the end.
I can see this pattern being one, like the Sallie jumpsuit and maxi dress, that I end up with many multiple versions of. I’ve already cut out another pair of shorts in a chambray, I have fabric for more, I have at least one if not two cropped linen versions in mind and, for the cooler weather, I have some of the most luscious looking purple coated denim from Sew Me Sunshine that I can’t wait to wear.
Don’t you love it when a pattern turns out that well? Especially when it was a little break away from your “normal” style?
Do you have any patterns that have been like that for you?