Saturday, 17 June 2017

Simple Sew Shannon Shorts

I seem to have a habit for making the wrong thing to suit the season. Just as Autumn was coming in last year I made my first pair of Simple Sew Shannon shorts (free with issue 31 of Love sewing magazine) which I loved but it soon got too chilly. My first make after Christmas was the Butterick 5895 tie waist shirt which I also loved but that tie waist and those tiny sleeves made me cold just thinking about it.
I'd put both to the back of my wardrobe until this week. The sun has been out and I remembered that these guys were worth a wear.

It's bank holiday weekend and I'm aching to make something to make the most of my time but I'm uninspired by the local fabric shops and my next Simple Sew blog pattern hasn't arrived in the post yet. What to do?!!! I turned to my stash in hope of answers where I remembered I had another couple of meters of this lovely paisley fabric from the Sew Up North Leeds meet up last November. With the sun beaming down this week and my tie waist shirt being my go-to for the past three days, I was inspired to make it into a matching set with another pair of Shannon Shorts!

My last pair were made of stretchy denim so I altered the pattern to shrink the waistband and take some excess out of the bum. This time my fabric had very little stretch, so I cut from the original pattern and decided I would make any necessary adjustments as I went along.

I love the construction of this pattern. The front of the shorts is split into three parts thanks to the design of the pockets. The waistband features shaping where it joins the top of the pocket to create a great fit.

The only change I made to the fit was to also taper the waistband at the side seams, taking in a couple of cm (1 off of front and 1 off of back) at the top of the band then tapering back out where it joins the shorts. I tacked in the zip to test fit before understitching the waistband with it in mind that I would probably have to make some adjustments. That said, I did not have to alter the centre back of the shorts at all like I did my last pair!

I used a medium weight interfacing on both the outer and inner waistband to add some extra sturdiness to it. I thought I was going to regret the decision as it became harder than expected to stitch the shorts to something so structured. Took a bit of patience but got there!! It was well worth it, the waistband is super sturdy (though not cardboardy!) and keeps its structure.

To hold the waistband down you 'stitch in the ditch' around the joining seam so the inside is held in place. I found it handy to start at the centre front and work outwards so that if the band twists at all you can even it out more evenly as you go.

Once I was happy with the fit, I put another line of stitching just inside of the crotch seam to add some reinforcement to the seat. Don't want to be splitting my bum seams!!

Hardest part was knowing what to do with those turn ups. Before turning up the shorts are laughably long! I was in two minds whether to just hack off the bottom and put a nice neat double turned hem on, or whether to turn up. Turn ups looked cool so they won.
Firstly I turned under a 1cm hem then stitched, then turned under again, this time by about 10cm. Here I put some little tacks in round the top of the turn under just to hold them in place. The final step it to turn back out about half of this width to the front of the shorts, making sure the width is the same right the way round (mine was about 1.5cm), then put some more holding stitches in. From top of waistband to bottom of the turn up is 33cm. Perfect shorts length!

Love teaming this up with my Butterick shirt! The pattern is pretty similar to the Butterick 5895 jeans that are part of the same pattern, so really are a match made in heaven.

Here's to some more lovely weather!!

Location: Sutton Maddock, Shropshire
Currently listening to: The Crystal World, Moon Duo

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