What I wear

The ‘Nostalgia’ shorts

Time to clear something off the UFO pile.

I started these shorts on my trip home to Hawaii in August.  They were the product of desperation and necessity — I’d forgotten to pack enough shorts, it was really hot, and I was running out of clothes.  The fabric is something I bought for $1 a metre almost 20 years ago and left in Hawaii because I really don’t love the colour, and Simplicity 1230 was the only shorts pattern still in my stash under my parent’s house.

Before I got any further than cutting the shorts out, I stopped by the only op-shop on the island and picked up a couple of pairs of shorts for $1 each, so I didn’t need to finish these, and didn’t want to, because I’d rather have been sewing for Mum.  So the cut-out shorts and pattern came home with me and languished in my UFO pile.  This was partly because I’ve been super busy, but also because mint green and shorts (especially pleated shorts) are something I wore constantly as a child (hence the fabric), but stopped wearing as an adult.

I’ve gotten back into shorts slightly this year, with my ‘Summer Berries’ shorts  and the  ‘Mad, Bad and Dangerously Green’ shorts  but I still have mixed feelings about shorts except in tropical climates, and mint green is still a no-no.

But hey, I had the shorts cut out, it’s warming up in Wellington, I had a Sew-Weekly challenge to complete, and maybe it’s time to re-think mint.

The shorts were a breeze to sew up, and the fabric was delicious to work with — a very heavy rayon with a slight slub.  I was thanking my lucky stars I’d made such a smart purchase as a child!  Unfortunately the rayon had faded slightly on the creases in the intervening years, so I didn’t bother to finish them as nicely as I usually would.

I wearing them with a vintage aloha shirt (another very smart purchase I made before I was 15) and some canvas beach shoes and bright red lipstick.  The shirt really lifts the pastel shorts – definitely a pairing I’ll repeat.  I’m not brave enough to really bare my midriff like the playshorts in the pattern image yet!

For the photoshoot Mr D and I headed down to the waterfront by Wellington airport — it’s got some great sculptures that I wanted to capture  (though of course all those photos turned out rubbish), and the water and docks echoed my first childhood inspiration image (which is actually at Disneyland).  We even managed to see some ducks, but Mr D couldn’t get them in the photo, though I look cute cooing at them.  I like ducks.

Just the facts, Ma’am:

Fabric:  1.5 metres of heavy rayon with a slight slub ($1.50 — 18 years ago!)

Pattern:  Simplicity 1230

Year:  mid 1940s

Notions:  One zip (20 cents) and thread

And the insides?  Just zig-zagging

Hours to complete:  2 in Wellington, .5 in Hawaii

First worn?:  Sunday 9 Dec for the photoshoot

Wear again?:  If it gets warm enough — but they will definitely be in my suitcase next trip home!

Make again?:  Yes.  I really like this pattern

Total cost:  $1.70


  1. Lynne says

    You look great in these excellent, smart, sensible shorts! And the mint does suit you – sometimes mothers get it right!

  2. I like them! They didn’t look minty at all on my computer so I’ll have to take your word for it!

  3. I think the shorts are great they go well with the tie up shirt. Very ‘Rita Hayworth’.

  4. Dear Leimomi,

    The shorts were worth the wait. They’re classic and should serve you well. They go great with brights…I’d no idea that would work!

    Golly, seeing the warm-weather pictures sure is a treat; it’s sunny but chilly here and the sun is so faded, here at the end of the year.

    Very best,


  5. Claire Payne says

    Still getting over my surprise at seeing glorious sunshine and a blue sky in Wellington! Love the shorts. If you run out of sunny weather for which to wear them, we have plenty in Christchurch if you ever fancy a visit 🙂

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