Some of my focused sewing mojo was inspired by a nice, long trip to New England that I planned for the end of June. It started out with work but ended with a week of fun. And what's more fun than a pair of scalloped hem shorts? (I think I saw a pair of green, scalloped hem shorts somewhere while online browsing -- don't remember where, or when, so there's no inspiration photo. Plus, when scallops seem to be everywhere, like this adorable scalloped waist skirt at Sewn Brooklyn and this precious scalloped crop top at Madalynne, how can you deny them?)
I found this bright kelly green cotton / lycra twill in a remnant bin, thinking it would be reliable for a bag. After purchasing McCall's 5391, I thought I would push my luck and see if I could squeeze a pair of shorts out of the half yard remnant. After all, it was 58" wide, right?
My approach to the whole project was experimental, so I cut corners for time whenever possible. Not usual for me, but June was not a usual month, either. I spent much more time fretting over the width of the scallops than I did interfacing or finishing. Translation: I skipped interfacing the scallops and most finishing techniques.
I've sewn one other zip fly, from a Simplicity shorts pattern, and it was a different experience entirely. The Simplicity shorts instructions were great, and I remember them addressing options for finishing the pieces of the fly. The McCall's instructions were puzzling, the illustrations were confusing, and I honestly think the pattern's topstitch line was off by a good quarter inch. But, I was not in detail mode, so I winged it (and the fly topstitching is charmingly janky, which is not noticeable for anyone choosing not to stare at my crotch, which I assume is everybody).
Not including the confusing zip fly and the self-imposed scallops, these shorts were really simple. I skimmed the reviews on PatternReview.com well after I'd sewn my shorts, and was surprised at how many people have made shorts from this pattern. At least one other reviewer had the same experience I did, of noticing that the waistband piece was a few inches shorter than it needed to be. Heads-up if you are considering this pattern. I didn't have enough fabric to cut another waistband, so I lengthened the waistband. Odd placement for a seam, along the front of the waistband (pictured in the collage above, middle photo), but again, this will not be noticeable to the casual observer as my shirt will always cover the waistband.
My full pattern review of McCall's 5391 is here.
These shorts were the final piece in my "summer 2012 resort collection." Some updates on the other pieces, after wearing them for real:
- The Hazel Hack denim dress was a touch too big at the over bust. One of my good friends is just a touch larger than me in that measurement, and when I showed her the picture of the dress, she gushed. I knew she had to have it. She styled it 3 ways within 30 minutes of receiving it, and emailed me photos to show its versatility, and all this confirmed she was the rightful owner of the dress. My Hazel Hack never saw New England. :)
- The Lisette linen top was a winner. Boxy, and easy over a swimsuit. Still coarse, but I know it will soften over time. The hunchback? Not an issue after folding it and stuffing it into my suitcase under the weight of other clothes.
- The swimsuit was perfect. It is so wonderful to swim and not constantly readjust an ill-fitting suit. I picked up two more cuts of swimsuit fabric while on vacation (more on that in a future post) and am considering another version of this KwikSew swimsuit. Also got a vintage swimsuit pattern from Ebay. With summer settling into Texas, there's still plenty of time to get the most from swimsuits before 2012 is over.