Oh goodness, I've spent a lot of time in the fabric store this summer, and it shows! Buttons here, patterns there, zippers here, "just gotta swing by real fast and buy some interfacing" there. And you know what happens if you go to the fabric store? You buy fabric, even if you hadn't planned to. There's a 60% coupon you just can't justify not using. Or you find something fabulous in the remnant bin. These shorts are the result of a 60's off coupon, and the tank top? The remnant bin.
This particular 60% off coupon came in the middle of July, when I was making items to share on the Winter Wear Designs "Pool Side" blog tour. I saw this pale blue 100% linen at Joann's and instantly thought "Endless Summer Shorts" The linen was more than I prefer to spend on fabric, but the 60% coupon brought it down to a reasonable price, and I figured surely I could squeeze a pair of shorts out of half a yard. So, that's what I used my coupon on, one half yard of linen, destined to become a pair of shorts. Hopefully in time for the blog tour. Or at least in time for vacation.
Well, yeah, the shorts didn't get made in time for either of those things. However, I really did want these linen shorts to become a reality, and I really didn't want the fabric to languish in my stash. Thus, within a week of returning home from vacation, I pushed them to the top of my sewing queue and got them made!
I found it is possible to get a pair of size medium shorts out of half a yard of 54" wide linen, just barely! My waistband is pieced together, and I had to hem my shorts with bias tape, as I didn't have enough fabric to cut the standard hem allowance, but it worked!
For this pair of shorts I decided to make patch pockets (using the pocket facing pattern piece as my pattern), rather than the standard inset pockets. I lined the pockets with a scrap of white and black checked calico from my scrap bag.
To match the black and white pocket lining, black bias tape hem, and black serging inside the shorts (I was too lazy to re-thread my serger with white thread at the time), I bound the interior waistband with black bias tape as well.
None of the black details show on the outside of the shorts, but I love the extra pop they give to the inside!
I considered adding welt pockets to the back of the shorts, but when it came down to in, I really didn't have enough fabric scraps left to make the welts, so that didn't happen. You know you're cutting it close on fabric, if you don't even have large enough scraps over left to make pocket welts! Oh well, I'm a fan of these shorts, even without back pockets!
The front pockets hold everything I need, and the shorts are cute and comfortable, just as shorts are supposed to be. They pair perfectly with my collection of tank tops for hot summer days.
Speaking of tank tops, have I ever mentioned how much I love the 10k Racerback pattern from Pickle Toes Patterns? I tested this pattern back at the beginning of summer, and it's been one of the biggest contributors to my summer wardrobe. I made three during testing, and another a couple weeks later for the 4th of July. These tank tops have been worn constantly all summer long. But. . . They didn't fit me quite right. The armholes all slightly gaped.
Now I knew why the armholes gaped. I was just afraid to address it. They gaped because I needed a full bust adjustment. The difference between my high bust and full bust measurement is greater than 2" - which is the high and full bust difference most patterns are drafted for. Because of this, when I make the size indicated by my full bust measurement, the top fits fine across by bust, but is too big above my bust. There's too much fabric there, so the armhole gapes.
With this pattern in particular, I tried to fix that problem by stretching the armhole bands extra tight to pull in the fabric. That kind of worked, but not as well as a full bust adjustment (FBA) would have. I should have done a FBA during testing, as the pattern designer recommended, but that kind of pattern adjustment sounded scary to me. So I avoided it, just as I'd been avoiding it on other garments for 2 years.
Then I found this sparkly, glittery, shiny, pretty, black cotton/spandex jersey remnant at Joann's and it just begged to become another 10k tank. After putting it off for nearly two months, last week I decided to oblige it, and do the dreaded FBA while I was at it. Long story short, I did the adjustment (following the Pickle Toes Patterns Tutorial for this pattern), and while it took a bit of time, it really wasn't that hard. And look! Perfectly fitted, non-gaping, armholes!
Now, if I just take the time to do this same adjustment to other patterns, I'll be set with a well fitting, non gaping, closet! Which, would be fabulous. . .
However, I think the next item I do a full bust adjustment on will have to be for cooler weather. Yesterday, just in time for the first day of Autumn, the temperature finally dropped! I can't complain about that at all, but I am glad summer lasted well into September this year so I had a chance to enjoy wearing both of these garments!
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