Last week I told you about the Sew Weekly and showed off my first offering: the Little Black Dress-Clip Dress. The Sew Weekly theme for this week was ‘buttons’. I thought about doing something fancy with bound buttonholes, but I end up doing that sort of thing all the time, so there was no reason, and I don’t particularly need anything fancy and tailored and fussy in my wardrobe right now.
What I do need is simple summery things, and stuff I can do swing dancing in when it’s hot. Solution: make a pair of vintage-inspired button front shorts.
I’m calling these the ‘Summer Berries’ shorts. I’d originally meant for them to be quite nautical with white buttons, but when I went through my fabric stash I didn’t have anything that really worked, and the only thing that stood out to me as exciting at the fabric store were some raspberry pink buttons.
So now I have bright blueberry blue shorts with raspberry pink buttons. And I’m eating a blackberry real-fruit ice cream as I model them. Sweet.
I wore them on Friday for a fabric and vintage shopping mini-roadtrip to Palmerston North with Claire of the Vanity Case and Elizabeth of PorcelainToy, who I have gotten to know since doing the costume for their music video, and who is just the sweetest thing ever.
I was very nervous about baring my knees for the whole day, so took a dress in case I chickened out halfway through. Luckily I didn’t, and even got compliments from two strangers!
Despite that, I don’t love how I look in the shorts. I feel like they emphasize my stomach and lack of waist. That’s the sour part.
The photos were taken on a stop for real fruit ice cream (the BEST stuff ever – definitely something you must do on a NZ road trip) at the end of our trip.
So me and the shorts are doing pretty well for having been sitting in a car and rummaging through grubby op-shops for most of the day.
I’m wearing the shorts with a 1980s thrifted Japanese blouse – the same one I wore with the Pachyderm skirt. I re-cut the neckline because I felt the blouse was turning me into a waistless block, and while the new neckline helps, looking at the picture above has convinced me to re-gift it to a thrift shop. Sigh. I guess one of my next projects should be a new white shirt for me!
Just the facts, Ma’am:
Fabric: .6 metres of blueberry blue cotton twill, inherited from Nana.
Pattern: Self drafted, based on the shorts from New York Patterns 1040.
Pattern alterations: I switched out the side buttons for a sailor-inspired button front, moved the pleats slightly away from the front (this turned out to be a bad idea), and sized up the pattern to fit me.
Year: ca. 1938
Notions: Raspberry pink buttons from The Fabric Warehouse, blue bias tape from the stash.
Hours: 2.5 hours to draft the pattern, fit, make alterations, and sew up the shorts
Techniques used: Pattern drafting, buttonholes, false flat-felled seams (aka stitched-down french seams).
Will you make this again? Yes, but not for me. I don’t think I need more than one pair of high-waisted button-front shorts in my wardrobe. Other people have liked them so much though that I already have a client who wants a pair.
Any changes? For future editions I’ll reinforce the front more and angle the buttons and pleats for a more flattering line.
Total cost: $6.00 for the buttons.
And the inside?: Sewed down french seams, bias bound placket, invisible hem stitch = practically perfect in every way.
Except for the part where I don’t love how I look in them. That’s not perfect.
Sigh. Can I have some more ice-cream now?