I don’t know about you, but I am guilty of selfish sewing… 90% of what I make is for me (5%= gifts. 5%= rags!).

Recently we went to a party. I overheard this conversation (not for the first time…)

MrA (proudly): Yes, he’s taught himself to sew from YouTube!

PartyGuest: That’s amazing, does he make you clothes?

MrA (Pauses, looks down, shuffles feet): Erm… Sometimes…?

Now, I won’t defend myself. Time spent sewing my own clothes is better than time wasted trolling the shops looking for something to wear. However, it is time for some less-selfish-sewing.

Recently, on a very pleasant stroll through Shepherd’s Bush Market, MrA chose some fabric for summer shorts.

If you haven’t been to ‘Dave’s’ I highly recommend it. They do some decent, cheap fabrics that I like to use on new patterns (so there hasn’t been a massive outlay if the first one doesn’t come out well!)

Often I’m looking for sewing magazines in the local newsagents. There aren’t many stocked in my area. Mostly crafting mags. But I noticed the April 2016 issue of Burda Style boasted three styles of men’s trousers/shorts, so I paid my £4.99 and ordered some more tracing paper.
I decided to go with the Bermudas. I’d not used patterns from Burda mags before, so this was a learning experience. I did my homework the night before by reading through the (sparse) instructions.

In the morning I got up, measured MrA before he went to work and read the instructions again from the start…

“Blue pattern line. Sheet D. Pieces 1-6″… Hmm…

Now, one sight of that pattern sheet (the central nervous system?!) could have put me right off and had me running back to my ThreadTheory pattern. But I have vowed to try out more different patterns, so… It’s the blue line for me…

I took a deep breath, grabbed my Swedish Tracing Paper, a sharp 2B and tried to look at it as an elaborate Where’s Wally?

In the right frame of mind, it wasn’t too bad. I took it slow, taking breaks to avoid blindness/ hypnosis. It took me about an hour to trace & cut out.

When I came to cutting out the fabric it suddenly dawned on me how stupid I’d been choosing cheap-practice-fabric… I hadn’t thought about the fact it was checked at all! Pattern-matching, here I come :/

Another bad decision was to swap the welt pockets for patch pockets with flaps. This could have been quicker if I was using plain fabric, but this pocket-matching was going to be a big first for me.

I cut the pieces out one at a time and traced the lines onto the paper piece to help line it all up. It took forever and gave me a headache. Especially when, mid-sew, I saw what a mess I’d made of the back right pocket. Somehow I’d matched the vertical lines on the patch pocket, but totally ignored the horizontal lines…?! Still, there it is and I’m not changing it now!

The instructions were easy enough to follow, I suppose I knew what I was doing from making other shorts of similar design. When I got to a bit I hadn’t done before it was another story. The interior pocket on the waistband never happened. Due to all my bad decisions it was getting pretty late and I just couldn’t get my head round how to put it together. And I REALLY didn’t want to do any unpicking! I tried finding a tutorial on it but no luck. I don’t know if it has an official name, but I couldn’t find anything.  I’ll sit down sometime and work it out. Honest.

MrA is thrilled with them. They fit perfectly. Much more comfortably, he says, than any of his shop-bought shorts.

Well, you can’t say fairer than that can you?! Cousin A once told me of some tribe in the hills somewhere who made the worlds most exquisite rugs. Handwoven. Over generations. Admired the world over. Every rug contained one deliberate mistake. They did this so as not to affront their God, believing only he can create true perfection.

I wish I’d squiffed that pocket deliberately. Sadly not the case.

The next pair will be a plain cotton drill.

Happy sewing!

Notes to self:

  • Don’t be afraid of multiple pattern sheets. Take it slowly in good light.
  • Use plain fabrics on first makes of a pattern.
  • Pay attention when matching pockets.
  • Work out how to do inseam waistband pocket (or whatever it’s called!)
  • Do more non-selfish-sewing. It feels good!