This little sewing adventure started with just a regular trip to our local Giant Tiger (a Canadian small chain store filled with groceries, clothes, and home decor). I was looking through the aisles when I came across these super cute pillowcases. Those pillowcases would have looked good on a bed, but I had other ideas for them! And the price tag for these pillowcases was just right- one dollar! Yes…very hard not to fall for a price like that! Bad blogger points to me though for not taking a picture of these pillowcases to give you an idea of what these shorts started off as.
Those pillowcases screamed to me to make some shorts for my two oldest. Since our weather in Southern Ontario is just starting to warm up and feel more like summer, shorts were still something that I hadn’t shopped for quite yet. And, on Sunday, when the temperature went up to just warm enough for shorts, our boys could wear their new mom-made outfits.
I used Ottobre patterns for both of these shorts. These pattern books are great! I love how many patterns are in these books- they’re jammed packed with patterns that can be tweaked and modified to make them your own. I have learned a lot of techniques with these patterns! Although, I must say that they aren’t necessarily for the beginner because the instructions in these books are written without any photos to guide you. But, I find there are so many great tutorials on the web to guide you if problems do arise. In the end, I would definitely recommend these pattern books to an adventurous beginner or intermediate sewer.
The first pair that I made were for my middle son. He’s growing up so fast! It feel like I blink and he’s grown another inch! I like to dress my sons nicely without losing that comfortable factor and these shorts seem to fit the bill! Love it when that happens! Since K is still wearing diapers, it’s nice to have a little bit of extra wriggle room to account for that. I used the Onni jeans pattern from the Winter 2012 Ottobre pattern book. Since the pattern was originally for full length jeans, I modified the pattern simply by shortening the pattern and hemming at the knee.
I used Gutermann topstitching thread with regular, all purpose thread in the bobbin. There are some great tips for sewing with this thicker thread on the web. I didn’t backstitch since it just led to a big jumbled thread mess, but rather I left long thread tails and after the seam was sewn, I brought the topstitching thread to the back and knotted it with the bobbin thread. I probably could have gotten away with just leaving it, but I wanted these shorts to be able to withstand numerous washings. This pattern called for an elastic waist with a mock fly- all great for a beginner sewist.
The next pair was for my oldest. This pattern was the Lontoon Poika also found in the Winter 2012 edition of Ottobre.
Just like the previous pair, I modified the full length pants pattern to knee length shorts and for the rest, I followed the pattern. Since the fabric wasn’t as thick as the first pair, I went with regular weight, all-purpose navy thread for the topstitching. The waistband and pocket facings were cut from a navy and white shirt from my husband. I love the added stripes even though most people won’t see them… I love knowing they’re there! I love stripes and they add a nice little surprise to the waist and pockets!
This pair of shorts was a learning experience for me. The waistband and fly were first to me. So, needless to say, the seam ripper and I were well acquainted by the time these shorts were completely! But, I slowly worked away at them to get the finished result and I love them! The button was one from my button jar.
To make the outfit complete, I made matching ties from the little bit of fabric that I had leftover. I made the bowtie from this great tutorial found here and the skinny tie was from a tutorial found here.