Summer Shorts

I feel so ashamed to be writing this as I have neglected this blog to the point of extinction. I must confess that I had been considering abandoning it altogether.

Life has been choatic, busy beyond belief and crazy. Something has had to give. Work, study and the kids had prority.  The need to sew and create came close on their heels but would have been the next thing to go. Housework was haphazard and rushed. The obvious thing to drop seemed to be the photographing and blogging. So dropped it was.

I still tried to keep up with my favourite sites and watching other people’s creations on flickr and Crafty Mamas but felt curiously more detached from it all without posting my own creations. Somehow I felt less involved without sharing myself.

Rest assured I continued to sew. Not as much, and often not as elaborate but I still sewed. I sometimes even photographed. Not very well I must say, looking at the photos just recently. But at least I still tried, thinking life may settle to the point where I could start posting here again.

Now the Christmas dust has settled, school has started back, the university papers are over and there is a semblance of routine in our lives again. Maybe I can sneek a little time here and there to process photos and post. This is still going to be one busy year. Lucas has just started High School and now travels the 35km into town and back each day. I still have over 250 hours of practical work to do for my diploma and Mick’s new business is busier than ever.

Enough. Here’s some of the shorts I made for Elsa’s summer wardrobe:

Ice cream shorts from Oliver and S. I’ve never been that sure about this pattern. But have loved the finished article. Such a clever pattern with a lovely finish. Elsa’s only regret is they don’t have pockets.

These are a soft light denim linied with a soft cotton shirting. I had real trouble getting the facing to sit right and made a bit of a hash of one side:

I was so upset with myself that I made another pair straight away to practice the technique:

These are a lovely silky feeling linen from the Fabric Store in Wellington I bought as an off cut. Just heavenly. The colour is a gorgeous purplish brown. Much happier with these facings! I think in future I might try inserting piping to keep that turnover even. Ever tried it?

Here’s the back showing the scrap of Nano Iro double guaze I used to line the waistband. Wow, this stuff is seriously addictive. I have as yet resisted buying any more but I can’t tell you how much willpower that has taken!

Here’s the two pairs together. ‘Fraid I haven’t got any modelled shots at all.

These have been well worn this summer. Such a worthwhile sew.

Pattern: Class picnic Shorts, Oliver and S




Ottobre pants

Ottobre pants from magazine 3/2012. #36 “Street Gear”.

I love all the details on these pants – especially the knee piece. There’s also a welt pocket, lots of topstitching and a more grown up looking flat front waistband.

Lucas chose some of the sneakers fabric I used to make his school bag an age ago. It came from Crafty Mamas, of course. The denim was an Op Shop find.














I love those knee pintucks and they weren’t as hard to do as I was expecting. Now, can you see that seam that hits around mid thigh? Well that’s not supposed to be there. Unfortunately, although the 152 size fits him well width wise it seemed to come out too long so that the stylin’ knee bit didn’t hit at the knee. It was more like mid calf. It bothered Lucas and I could see where he was coming from so we did a bit of a hack. I simply pinched out a few centimetres each side and made an extra seam. I’m hoping it doesn’t look too weird.

The back I’m a bit disappointed in too. I much prefer a yoke for a little more shaping.














Here’s them on Lucas:


Pattern: Ottobre 3/2012 #36 Street Gear.
Fabric: Denim and ‘sneakers’ from Crafty Mamas.


Clever Charlotte Finch Shorts

I’ve been doing a bit of blog reading recently. I’ve branched out a little and don’t just stalk the German only Farbenmix related sites. I’ve been quite enjoying being able to read the words on some English language sites as well as look at the pictures!

I’ve noticed there’s a lot of shorts being made up in the Northern hemisphere and it got me thinking about shorts for winter. I had this small piece of pink velvet picked up at the Op Shop. I also have the Clever Charlotte Finch pattern which I have been desperate to try. Well, why wait for summer?! She can wear them with tights, I convinced myself!

I had to be so careful with the cutting out. I ended up having to piece the back waistband it was that tight. I kid you not. This is how much was left.


Just enough to use as a small ironing cloth. There wasn’t enough for the cute front tab, but I kinda like them plain.

Look at those cute pleats, I love them! Don’t look too closely at the cuffs, I don’t love them. The cuffs were redone three times before I was happy. This was a real learning curve in sewing velvet for me. I’ve never done it with this kind of velvet before. The Hilco velvet for the Arwen dress was a dream compared to this.

One tip for you is that edgestitching velvet along the nap – like down the front pleats- is not too tricky. Across the grain will have you swearing like a navvy. I originally followed the tute here but had to give up with topstitching the cuff at the front, take both front and back cuff off and do them again following the pattern directions. Except that I’d already trimmed the seam allowance so had to hand sew the lining cuff on. Grrr.

I had read that the pattern was on the big side so went with a size 5 width and size 6 length. They are just right.

Elsa loves these buttons.I sewed them on with embroidery thread for an extra bit of special.

They are fully lined following this tute. Looked a lot neater on the inside the first and second time I attached the cuffs….

What do you reckon? Shorts could be the new winter trend?

Pattern: Clever Charlotte Finch Shorts
Fabrics: Op shop and local.