Friday, May 29, 2015

Clemence Shorts for Women

At the beginning of the month I took advantage of the Bundle Up Sale's women's bundle.  It's a great way to get patterns at a fantastic price and this time there were enough patterns in the bundle that I loved that I thought it really worth it.  I've only ever bought one other bundle - the boy's one last year - and haven't made any of those patterns yet so I made a little agreement with myself that if I was going to spend the money on the bundle then I HAD to sew at least one item from each pattern, because really, if the patterns are going to just sit on my computer and never be sewn up, then it's not much of a savings after all is it?

I've really wanted to start making pants for myself, but I'm always put off by the dreaded fitting nightmare they can become.  I haven't sewn bottoms for myself in YEARS for that very reason.  Looking at the patterns I'd chosen for my bundle, I thought that the Clemence Shorts for Women by Filles a Maman might be the best place to dive on in.  

I have a couple of lengths of stretch denim in my stash from the sale bin at Fabricland, so figured it was as good a time as any to start my wearable muslin.  I hummed and hawed about sizing, but figured the way the pattern is designed there was lots of room for fit corrections as I went.  So I picked a size based on an average between my waist measurement size and my hip measurement size.  I traced the pattern, adding about two inches in length to the short version.  I didn't want bermuda length - they seemed really long, but I definitely didn't want to go as short as the short version's length.  

The first part of the construction went swimmingly well.  But then for some reason I could not wrap my mind around the lapped zipper.  Every time I tried the shorts on for fit, the lapped portion would stretch open leaving the zipper exposed.  The shorts were pretty loose fitting already, so I didn't want to go any bigger, but yet didn't want the zipper showing.  I must have ripped that damn thing out ten times if I did it once.  Then I finally, in a fit of temper decided to heck with it. I'd just iron the thing to death and hope it lay flat, and if it didn't oh well.  Too bad, so sad.  What a waste of effort and energy.  As soon as I got to one of the final steps in the pattern construction - top stitching the lapped part - all my flipping out zipper woes were gone.  All those times ripping it out were absolutely unnecessary.  Some days you just can't see the trees for the forest.

Worn here with my Onyx top
I really love the look of the Clemence Shorts.  I did the one scallop detail on the front and I think it adds a nice finish to the look of the shorts.  Although would be a much nicer finish if I actually could make up my mind and choose some buttons to put on them!  I'm super happy with the length I made them, they're pretty much perfect for what I want.  I also really like that they come up higher in the back, so no risk of having "plumber butt" when I bend down.  (Big, huge bonus points for that!!!)

Scallops and top stitching!
What I am disappointed with is the sizing of my particular pair - I'm sure the overall sizing of the actual pattern is great.  OH MY WORD.  These are wear for half a day and fall down kind of shorts.  They are ok, right out of the drier, although on the relaxed side of things.  However, the stretch on the denim is a bit ridiculous.  As much as I loathe the teenaged boy "pants slung too low" look on teenaged boys  I absolutely detest it beyond reason on myself for reasons I'm sure are fairly self evident.  I should have known better and definitely sized down. I have far too many pairs of ready to wear bottoms that have this exact problem, which is the whole reason I wanted to start making my own in the first place.  Live and learn. 

I am in the process of debating whether or not running some elastic in the back of the waistband will suffice to allow me to wear the shorts without being at risk of losing them or if I should just toss them into the goodwill bag for someone else to enjoy and make myself a smaller size.  I absolutely want these to be in my summer wardrobe, and now that I've sewn them once I'm sure I can whip up a couple pairs in no time.  I just need to remember to be aware of the percentage of stretch, the recovery of my fabric and my actual size.

I also made myself a new Patricia tunic this week but I'm not going to bother even showing that one to you here.  It is on Kollabora if you want to take a peek at all.  I HATE it.  I absolutely La La LOVE my other Patricia I made and I fully expected this one to be just as awesome.  Unfortunately the gauzy, puckery, floral fabric I chose was a full on sewing nightmare.  It pulled, snagged and frayed (along the seams) as I sewed.  I'm not convinced the top will hold up to wearing, let alone being washed without disintegrating. And to top it all off I must have cut it off grain because the princess seam is slightly twisting on one side and then I hemmed it too short.  So, so disappointing.  

So all in all not a stellar week in the sewing room for me.  I feel a bit discouraged by the whole business to be honest and think I'll take a bit of a time out from my machine and focus instead on finishing up my Plum Blossom Tee for the Very Shannon Tops, Tanks and Tees knit along that is wrapping up next week.  I'm so close to being finished it'd be nice to make it by the deadline!

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