Lessons Learned from MeMadeMay2018
Back in May, I did the #memademay2018 challenge on Instagram. The goal is to wear something handmade every day. At least that was my goal. And it went pretty well. I learned a lot of lessons about myself that month, just by being more thoughtful about my wardrobe.
One thing I noticed is that a really good sized portion of my wardrobe is old old old. In the grand scheme of things, probably 10 years is not terribly old for a shirt, but for me, it feels like it. I have had a lot of my clothes since high school, some since middle school. And I figured it was time I own another pair of shorts that can be worn outside of the house. So I wanted to make myself a pair of shorts. This didn’t happen until August. But at least it happened! I’ve dubbed them the lederhosen shorts, because the color and extras I added is a bit reminiscent of the German leather pants.
I pulled out this McCall’s pattern I bought at Goodwill several months ago. It came in a bag with 5 other patterns for $1.99.
I love the buttons holding up the cuffs on the shorts and the buttoned belt loops. Also, the waistband rests just below the natural waist, according to the pattern (and it’s true!), which has come back in style since the pattern was first released. Also, it has pockets. So I was sold.
To be honest, these shorts sated my lust to make some Lander pants from TrueBias or Persephone pants from Anna Allen. So if you can’t get lucky like me and find the pattern for 40 cents, make some Landers or Persephones in my honor.
The pattern I used is McCall’s M5633 view B in shorts length. I had to make it in a size 10, because McCall’s doesn’t believe in vanity sizing (le sigh). I pulled out a pair of cutoff jeans I like the length of and compared them to the length of the pattern. (These are the only other shorts I own not indecently hideous. They are from a pair of jeans I had in high school.) They were significantly shorter, so I cut the pattern to the length of my own shorts, starting the comparison at the crotch seam and giving a good extra inch just to be safe that I didn’t end up with too little fabric once seams were all finished.
The only other change I made while making the shorts was that I made the seams felled flat instead of just pressing them open after stitching. I love felled flat seams and my favorite tutorial for them came with the Negroni shirt from Collette Patterns. So far, this is the only Indie Pattern I own, and it’s a good one. More on that in a future post.
The fabric I used came to me for free from a friend who was destashing as she admitted to herself she wasn’t going to be sewing again any time soon. She gave me 4 full garbage bags of fabric which I organized and have been trying to use with reckless abandon in her honor. The fabric I chose from this haul is a slightly stretchy brown woven fabric. This is all I know about it, apart from the fact that I adore it.
This was my first time making zipped pants with a fly. And I’m so surprised I made it without any major screw-ups! That’s really not like me. But it sure was nice. For the zipper, I used a jeans zipper I found in the craft aisle at Goodwill last year. It came in a bag with 8 or 9 other zippers that cost $1.99. (May the sewing gods bless other crafters sending their stuff to Goodwill. And may they also bless Goodwill grab bags.)
Once I finished up the shorts, I wanted to add some buttons with some zazz. I have some gold buttons but I’m saving those for a project for a friend. So I opted for some buttons I’ve had for years and knew I wouldn’t use any time soon. To jazz them up, I painted them with mod podge and sprinkled them with glitter. I used a thick pin to keep the holes in the button open while the glue dried. After it dried, I mod podged over the glitter to keep it from spreading like herpes all over my outfit. (Did you know that glitter is the herpes of the craft supplies? Well now you do!)
Also, to add a bit of panache, I uses the fancy stitch options on my sewing machine and added in a couple of flowers on the button straps at the waist and hems. I did it in yellow to match the gold of the buttons.
I promised myself if I started a blog on my makes, I would be sure to show the mistakes I made. The shorts are in pretty good shape with not a lot of mistakes. The double stitch line on the fly is a little crooked her or there. The worst of it is that I tried to stitch the word PEACE onto a bit of fabric and sew it into the top band. It came out pretty ugly, but I’m remaining peaceful about it (mostly because it’s on the inside and no one can see it but me).
How They Wear
I first wore these with thigh high suede boots to a Jethro Tull concert and they were the perfect length and fit. Since then, they’ve been to the beach and on horseback (with leggings underneath). They have held up great and to my surprise, the buttons aren’t leaving glitter on everything. I haven’t put them through the wash yet, but since they’ve been on a horse now, they’re going to have to go in. Here’s hoping they come out in the same great shape they go in.
Do They Follow my Rules?
Ethical: No human rights violations happened while these were made. The fabric was cast off from another crafter. The glitter is not the most eco-friendly, but it was already purchased about 15 years ago by my mother when I was young. I’m going to give the shorts a passing grade on ethics. CHECK!
Affordable: Notions and fabric all came from my stash. Fabric was free, notions cost me under a dollar total. CHECK!
Comfortable: Mmhmm! They are just long enough so I don’t feel they are too revealing, and if I need to be more modest for some reason, I can roll them down. Plus they have pockets big enough to fit my phone in so they get extra points for usefulness! CHECK!
Beautiful: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Er…the bewearer? Um. Me. I think they’re beautiful. I love the flower details on the button bands. I’m so proud of the buttons. And I’ve had several people ask where I bought them. There is no bigger compliment to my sewing for me than for people to think my clothes were professionally made. CHECK!