Sunday, June 16, 2013

Shorts-on-the-Line: Boy's Long Shorts

This week I actually managed to complete a pair of shorts. I was starting to get concerned that I was not going to get to finish anything, at least nothing good enough to share. I am so happy that they are shorts for my son. I make so many things for Hannah that I feel like I am leaving my baby boy out of the fun.


A few weeks back I purchased the Growing up Sew Liberated book and fell in love with the basic pocket pants. I was itching to make them and knew that with some minor alterations they would make fantastic shorts for Samuel. 



I had picked up the gray plaid fabric from a clearance bin a while back with the intention to make shorts for Sammy. It fit perfectly with what I had in mind for this pattern. The bands on the legs & pockets is part of the original pattern however I was looking for something that was a little more eye catching so I added the orange piping. I haven't perfected my piping technique but think it turned out pretty great. I also used orange thread on the side seams for a little more pop.


I ran in to a little problem with the waistband. What you see is not the original pattern. The original pattern has a casement for the elastic added to the top of the pants that uses the coordinating fabric. However, when I had Samuel try on the pants the crotch was down to his knees. I compared the shorts to another pair of well fitting shorts of Samuel's and found that the pattern's waist was just too long. Almost 2 1/2 inches too long.  So I took the shorts waistband and inseam apart and fiddled with them a bit and found the best solution without having to start over was to remove the added casement and fold over the top of the pants about 1 1/4 inches to make a new casement. This of course  complicated the pockets but I think it turned out all right.



And best of all they now fit right. He can walk a complete stride when he wants to run or walk.








I really love how these shorts turned out. So much so I even asked my husband if he wants me to make him a pair. I, of course, would have to draft him a pattern from scratch; the pattern only goes up to a 5T after all.


I am taking advantage of this opportunity to do my first official pattern review. Bear with me, I am still fine tuning my reviewing format. 


The Review

***This review is only for the basic pocket pants not for the entire book.***

Pattern Name: Basic Pocket Pants
Author: Growing Up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee
Format: Book
Cost: Retail $24.95 - I purchased mine from Amazon.com for $17.29
Level: Intermediate
Sizes: 2T - 5T
Pattern Type & Details: The patterns are located in an envelope in the back of the book. It is a large sheet of white standard weight paper. Pattern pieces are easy to locate and the details are clear. There is little to no overlapping of the pattern pieces. I trace all of my patterns using freezer paper and it was very easy to do with this pattern.
Instructions/Tutorial: The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. There were diagrams included for some but not all steps. I found times where I wished that there were more of them and that they were pictures not a drawing. For an intermediate sewer this isn't a big issue however for a beginner they might find this difficult. 
Things I loved: Meg's itch-free finish is awesome. Sewing down the seam allowance is fantastic. So much better than just trimming them. Plus it gives you an opportunity to add some details (you can see mine above). I love all the little special details she instructs you to do. I frequently forget to finish my seams prior to constructing but she reminds you. 
Finished Product/Results: This is where I was a little disappointed. I did make some minor alterations to this pattern but nothing that would have compromised the integrity of the pattern or its instructions. I shortened the hem of the pants to make them shorts and added piping to the pocket and leg bands. My son is wearing a 4T so I used the 4T pattern. The finished waist was way too long and the crotch came down to his knees. The length in general had them almost pants again even though I had removed 8 inches to make them shorts. They fit him beautifully everywhere else though (around the waist & thigh). My first thought was that I had messed up somewhere so I went back and reread all the directions and compared my traced patterns to the original and couldn't find where I went wrong. After taking apart the waistband and the inseam I determined the problem is with the waist length for the original pattern. My solution to the problem this time around is above.
Lesson: Before I start my next clothing project from this book I am going to double check all of my kids measurements before starting. Make adjustments to the pattern to fit my kids; maybe a the 2T waist length with 4T everywhere else?
Overall: I love these pants/shorts and have a very good impression of the general quality behind these patterns despite the fact that I ran in to the waist length issue. I believe that could have been avoided if I had done some additional measuring both to my kid and with existing well fitted clothing. You'd think that if you have a pattern in your child's size that it should just work, but as grownups we know that clothes just don't fit that way; no two people are the same. This goes for kids too. I am really looking forward to the other patterns in this book. 

Thanks for stopping by the nest!
Darla