July 25, 2013

Development and degradation

I've had to put the red bra on hold for now. I still plan on getting it right but something else had to be done first.

E. is leaving this Saturday for a three week work trip. To Shanghai. He doesn't like hot weather and temperatures over there are higher than those here, even during the current heat wave. So, even keeping in mind that 'proper' dressing is probably kind of required when attending classes, he wanted to be sure to have enough hot weather clothes.
Because we've been experiencing a heat wave here in the Netherlands this past week (and some nice summer weather before that) he's been wearing his me-made bermuda shorts and thin trousers quite a lot. And just this week he completely tore the back of one of the pairs of shorts. Not at the seam but from the corner of the (welt) pocket down half the leg. And the center front seam on the oldest pair got undone right to the zipper and to the cross seam. I thought I might be able to repair it but when I studied the fabric, I noticed it had gotten very thin at the crotch.
So now, he was down to only two pairs. By the way, let this be a lesson to anyone who considers making the occasional item for a loved one: If you really get it right, the recipient may get hooked on the look and fit of the clothes you make which will kind of oblige you to keep them coming...

 This is the oldest remaining pair of shorts I've made for E (the first one was exactly the same but when I finished those, they were too small. Which I fixed later by adding 2 cm wide strips of black along the side seams). They're not normally this wrinkled, I've just plucked them from the line and haven't ironed them yet.
It was my first attempt at making him trousers. I drafted a sloper, tweaked it and then made this from it.
I had found the camouflage print at the market and went all out on the details. Front pockets, cargo pockets at the sides and welt pockets with flaps at the back. And flat felled or hong kong finished seams throughout (to be honest, I made this just before I bought my serger/overlocker).

I found all those pockets to be too labour intensive and he didn't really need the ones on the side. In wearing, the welt pockets got damaged quite easily. Oh, and E really missed belt loops. The black shorts he tore this week were like these, just without side pockets (and with serged seams inside, rather than the more labour intensive ones). The pair after those had patch pockets at the back instead of welts. After that, there were no new shorts for a while, but I did make four pairs of long trousers using the same basic pattern (the first two were made last year, the latest one last week). These all had front pockets, patch pockets at the back and belt loops.

This is the latest pair of shorts. I made two of these on my day off, yesterday. The first in thin black linen and then, after dinner, this one in heavier linen with narrow pinstripes. This is the simplest design I could think of: same pockets as be recent trousers but no fly. Instead, I made the fit a bit more loose. Which is nice in hot weather and works well in a thin and loosely woven fabric like light linen. Instead of the normal shaped waistband, I made a straight one in pointe knit which I stretched to fit. In it, I made two buttonholes for the drawstring. 
These are ridiculously quick to make. On this last pair, I spent no more then two and a half hours, including cutting and fusing and looking for the drawstring which I had accidentally put in the drawer with the interfacing (just in case you are wondering: Of course a design like this doesn't take a lot of interfacing. I just used some fairly light fusible stuff on the facings of the back pockets, the slanted edges of the front pockets and to stabilise the place on the waistband where I wanted to put the buttonholes. Oh, and my sewing machine does a special buttonhole for stretch fabrics which works rather well). Just what I needed with a busy schedule for the rest of the week and a very clear deadline.

I would definitely not make all his trousers like this from now on, but for the height of summer, this works so well I might even consider making myself a pair like his...

1 comment:

  1. If he is going to Shanghai, make sure he brings you back some fabric! I live in the Philippines and went to Shanghai for the first time last year. I could have brought back suitcases full of fabric at very good prices. They have huge buildings full of fabric stores selling silks, cottons, linen and woolen fabrics. He can also have his own clothes there very cheaply! I am now saving up for my next trip