Monday, April 23, 2012

This is not the best shorts pattern directions in the world-This is just a tribute.

Apologies to Jack Black (there may be a few swear words)!

I have made the oliver+s Sketchbook shorts so many times.
In fact,so many times,I can make these bad-boys in less time then it will take me to blog the construction!

My method is for a sturdy short with lots of topstitching.
If a tailored version in wool or linen is the look you are requiring,stick with the oliver+s instructions. I cut more then a few corners.
By the way,even though I have made this pattern so many times,I forgot to check the errata. So I drafted the short back without the seam allowance.
To compensate,I shortened the front legs a little and left out the pleats.
They turned out ok,but I wouldn't advise it in a bigger size.

Another charming little disclosure. You may notice how fluffy the edges of the cut pieces are? Or indeed you may have already noticed that on the Sketchbook shirt tutorial I did previously?

We have many pets in out home. One of them is a neurotic spayed Siamese named CoCo,every now and again he pee's in a basket of clothes. Thus the only wash baskets we have,have lids. My neatly organised sewing baskets,however,did not.
You can guess the rest.....and yes he is still alive-just!

On with the show.....
Pin and sew the centre back seam matching the notches.
I overlock this seam.
Put these aside for now.
Right sides together-pin the pocket facing to the short fronts and sew.
Trim and clip the curve.
There is no need to neaten this seam as it will not be visible.
Flip the pocket facing to the wrong side and finger press the seam. Roll the seam well under your fingers to make sure it is flat and even. The press with an iron.
Top-stitch the pocket edge.
Try and not be as wonky as me!(he he)
Flip the pocket facing away from the shorts front.
Pin the pocket piece to the pocket facing,right side together and sew.
I overlock this seam.
Press the shorts fronts well and then let them cool for a minute.
Pin the shorts pocket to the shorts front and stitch in place.
This makes laundering the shorts so much easier! A quick shake from the machine and they are smooth.
I like to do an extra row of top-stitching from the top.
Sew the front crotch seams together.
Consider drawing the sewing line,make sure you mark the dot from the pattern and that you pivot on that spot!
Trim the seam and clip to the dot.
Don't clip through the stitching!
Neaten this seam.
I overlock this seam and I find it opens up to a semi-straightish seam if you carefully sew it.

Press the faux zipper facing and the seam allowance to the required side.
Mark and stitch the facing in place.
I tend to use a ruler and then free hand sketch the curve. Make sure that you are stitching through all the layers underneath. I feel them with my fingers and then pin in place.
To make them a little more professional looking,check out the stitching on your jeans!
I like to copy the stitching lines.
I noticed mine were stitched down this edge.
So I did too!
I thought I would add some bar tacking.
Using a wide small length zigzag.
Compare the front and back crotch seams.
They need to be pressed in opposite directions to reduce bulk.
Once you have that sorted,top -stitch the seam.
Match the centre seam and pin the front to the back.
The crotch seams should be facing in opposite directions.
Sew together.
I overlock this seam.
It should look like this.
A nice even distribution of seams
Top-stitch the inner leg seam.
I like two rows.
Very very sturdy where it counts!
At this point I like to neaten the hems and make sure everything is nice and even(and the fraying was driving me bonkers)!
Consider pre-folding and pressing the hem at this point.
Pin the side seams matching the notches.
Matching the notches here is very important. It is far better to have a little extra at the top and bottom which can be trimmed. If the notches are not matched the legs can be slightly twisted.
Sew and neaten the side seams.
Press the seams towards the back and re-fold and pin the hems.
Stitch the hems.
It can be tricky to top-stitch the side leg seam but I do like to stitch at least to the bottom of the pocket as that is the area that gets a lot of stress.
If you stitch on the inside it is surprising how far you actually can stitch!
At this point I would usually fold the pleats.
If you don't fancy the pleats don't fold them and make the waistband a little longer to compensate.
It is possible to fold them out of the pattern before cutting and this is fine for skinny children but it can make them a bit skimpy for (ahem)bigger boys.

Attaching the waistband.
Fold the waist band in half and press. Then stitch a tiny pin-tuck along the fold.
This pin-tuck should match the centre front EXACTLY.
Mark on the waistband the area you wish to have smooth(not gathered).
Interface this section.
I like to interface the OUTSIDE of the waistband.
Pin and sew the waistband.back.
Press the seam open.
Pre-fold the front edge of the waistband,this is the side that was interfaced.
Pin the RIGHT side of the waistband(not the edge that was pre-folded)to the WRONG side of the shorts waist.
Make sure the pin-tuck is exactly at the centre front seam!
Press the seam allowance towards the waistband.
Fold the waistband over and pin in place,covering the previous stitch line.
Make sure the pin-tuck matches the centre front seam.
Stitch the waistband in place leaving an opening to thread the elastic through.
It can be helpful to stitch on the inside.
Press really well and the top-stitch around the top of the waistband.

Measure up the elastic for the waist.
Before threading the elastic,pin one end to the shorts to stop the chance of pulling it through by accident.
If you round off the threading end of the elastic it will go through the casing easier.
Secure the ends.
I like to stitch a square.
Pull the elastic into the casing and stitch the waistband shut.
Pin the waistband catching the elastic and one end of they section that is to be smooth(flat fronted).
Continue to ease the waistband until it and the elastic inside is flat.
Press the section well.
When you are satisfied,pin and sew the elastic in place.
Try them on a resident model.
Cute little bottom.
Sew on a button.
And we are done!
oliver+S Sketchbook shirt and shorts.
A must for a little boy but easily a staple for the girls in your life.
Very quick to make!
A lot of bang for your sewing buck!
The original outfit size 12 with added length.
Well worn and handed down to the Twins for a farm outfit.

Happy Sketching!
x N