This week I have been sewing the first mock up of the Strathcona Henley and also took a small break to try out Cloth Habit's wonderful free pattern for Rosy Ladyshorts. One of the comments on the pattern page was as follows:
"I just found your blog recently when someone linked to it in a comment on Sewaholic’s blog post about sewing panties. I just wanted to let you know that I made up not one, but TWO Rosy Ladyshorts tonight! All while my husband made dinner! It’s a great pattern!" Emily
If Emily could squeeze in time to sew two pairs of new underwear before dinner, then surely I could afford myself a little "me sewing time" for an evening! Especially when the sewing project was so frilly and satisfyingly girly compared to all the menswear I have been doing lately. It was so nice to give myself a chance to putter away (with a Downton Abbey episode in the back ground) with a selection of lace at my sewing machine table. I finished two in an evening (and a few extra minutes the next morning) and that time frame also included a large amount of time trying to get my serger operating smoothly!
I love how the Ladyshorts turned out! They are very comfortable and pretty. The thorough and friendly instructions made the sewing process almost mindless. Talk about a tiny sewing project that results in a lot of satisfaction! For the first pair I used an old t-shirt of Matt's that had a hole in it and some very soft white stretch lace. These are the comfiest pair of the two and resulted in underwear that are more like shorts (as the name would suggest) than briefs.
When I cut out the second pair I got a little creative and experimented by removing some of the coverage along the side and back leg opening. I used a mystery stretch fabric that feels like sportswear but has a raised floral print more suited to evening wear. I bought it quite some time ago in hopes of making a dress but my love of natural fibers has since taken over and so this plasticky feeling fabric isn't especially inspiring to me any more. Fortunately, Cloth Habit's pattern includes a crotch lining piece that Amy suggests you cut out of a cotton knit; as a result, the fact that the rest of the underwear are very synthetic isn't too important. I used a pretty cream lace to finish off the legs and waist opening.
If you've ever had the urge to get onto the DIY lingerie bandwagon that seems to have engulfed the sewing blog world over the last year or so, this is a perfect pattern to start with! I can see myself making loads of these in the future and I am excited to find some prettier lingerie fabrics to use. Now, back to menswear sewing: Before cutting into our fabric for the Jedediah Shorts Sew-Along
it might be useful to familiarize yourself with a few of the (MANY) amazing online resources regarding different issues with fitting and sewing pants. I've compiled a few that I especially like in the following two categories: Preparing to Sew your Pants:
Sewing Your Pants:
Measuring Men - the Jedediah Pants are athletically graded, meaning that they fit quite slim. Carefully take your measurements and don't cut your fabric simply based on the ready to wear size you usually buy. Matt generally fits a size 29 or 30 in RTW and perfectly fits a size 30 in our pattern.
Colette's Guide to Fitting Pants - this is a fitting guide for sewing women's pants, but, since there doesn't seem to be any information online for fitting men's pants, it is the best available option! Fitting men's pants, especially a casual pair such as the Jedediah Pants, is not quite as tricky as fitting women's pants because we don't have to deal with curving hips or (much of) a bottom! It is still advisable to make a muslin of the Jedediah Pants to see if there are any obvious issues.
Lisa G. of Notes from a Mad Housewife has recently posted some great tutorials on sewing pants:
Perfect Waistbands (using a two piece waistband...the Jedediah Pants have a one piece waistband but this tutorial is still helpful for getting a crisp corner where the waistband and zipper meet!)
Sewing a Pant Fly like a Pro (she isn't exaggerating - her flys look amazing!)
Here is a great You-Tube video to help you really understand how all the strange looking pieces of fabric come together to form a fly: VIDEO: How to Sew a Fly by Michael Coates - The Sewing Guru
- Note: Disregard his seam allowance amounts and other sewing specifics if sewing the Jedediah Pants (he is working with quite a different pattern with a different order of construction)...otherwise this is an EXCELLENT video where you can see the entire fly construction process done very carefully and professionally.
- 10:00 - Begin the video at this point to match as closely to the Jedediah Instructions as possible (this is where he begins to sew the zipper shield and assemble the fly)
- 13:30 - When he presses the seam allowance over to attache the zipper shield, we would press the curved fly facing piece over that is included on both pant legs in the Jedediah Pants Pattern.