Hello Sewists! I’m almost there, I’ve pretty much finished the denim shorts I planned to make for London Pride.

I always work on Saturdays, so I miss out on the best part of the day, the parade. The weather looks set to be amazing this year and I’m sure the march will be a tremendous celebration.

Three years ago, MrA & I got married on London Pride day, it was a scorcher then too. I love the way london feels on this night, everyone seems friendlier, relaxed and having fun. London is a pretty inclusive place anyway, but on this day, somehow it seems more so. I don’t work far from soho so it’s easy enough to join the crowds after work… the evenings are still beautifully light, so it won’t seem like it’s so late.

Anyhow, these shorts didn’t make themselves! I’ve done…

… and now here we are with the main seams and waistband.

The inseam is the traditional one to flat fell. The strongest seam goes on the inside to stand up to the rigours of horse riding… or so I’m told. Personally, I don’t get much horse riding done these days. But if hiring london bikes counts…?

First sew the inside leg seam, from hem to hem passing through the crotch at the middle – with your fabric right sides out.

Press – trim – press – pin – stitch! Just the same as I did for the yokes in This Post. And it should end up looking something like this…

(… not too close now, hey!)

The outside seams are a simple case of sewing them up and overlocking the edges. Double-turn and topstitch the hems, then it’s on to the waistband…

Make the beltloops: I usually ‘fold the long edges to the centre, then fold in half’ to make the beltloops. This time, for a change, I cut and finished one side on the overlocker then folded in three before stitching down.

Pin and baste the loops in position on the waist of the shorts… I put the side ones a couple of centimetres back from the side seam. The back ones either side of the centre back seam and I eyeball the front ones.

I’ve used a contrast cotton for the inside waistband, so I prepare it by sewing the two together on the long edge. I press the seams toward the inside and ‘under-stitch’ them to the inside waistband close to the edge, to help keep it in place. Then I overlock the inside edge, trimming off about 1cm.

I have to apologise here as I didn’t get any photos of the waistband going in… I think I’ve got enough archive shots to cover it though…

Pin the outer waistband to the top of the shorts and sew around. Watch out if you’re going over a zipper… hand crank slowly and mind out for flying needles!

When I come to sewing the short ends of the waistband, I fold the corner of the inside seam allowance up at about 90° – this makes sure that my rainbow overlocking thread doesn’t peek through at the centre front. This is the same thing on my linen shorts…

Turn the waistband the right way round and the finished edge on the inside should just cover the stitching line. Before sewing it in place, I sew the beltloops down onto the front of the jeans, about 1cm from the waistband. This is it on my green jeans…

THEN I topstitch all the way around the waistband.

To secure the tops of the beltloops I first treat them to a lick of fraycheck. Once that’s dried I fold the loops up, turn the end under by about 5mm and stitch them in place, in line with the topstitching. This can be tricky going through so many layers so I use a bit of folded over scrap fabric – positioned right next to the beltloop, keeping the sewing foot level. Here I am doing just that on my black jeans…

Then, so close to the end of the make I decided to try something new. Knowing that my machine doesn’t much like doing waistband buttonholes, I chose to sew my first ever hand sewn buttonhole! There are plenty of amazing tutorials and examples available online – so I urge you to do your own research on that… and probably practice a few times first, too. Mine is like the poor trash relation to the hand sewn buttonhole – born on the bastard side of town! It certainly won’t be winning any beauty contests, but it functions perfectly and seems sturdy enough to hold up (avert your eyes if you’re squeamish!)

Needless to say, a heck of a lot of fraycheck went on it! (And you can see where the topstitching is uneven lengths as together, my machine & I struggled with the thread & all the layers of fabric – I probably should have put the walking foot on…?)

I hammered in a jeans button and they’re done! Well, without rivets, but done!

Here’s a little montage of the rivets going on my blue jeans instead!

So I’ll have to add rivets later. No problem.

Here they are, fresh from the machine; The insides…

And the outsides…

And, of course, my Pride themed photo shoot…!

Happy Pride Everyone!

Notes to self:

  • I’m not convinced by my topstitching thread (Gutterman) I’ve been recommended some others which I am looking forward to researching and trying out.
  • Try flattening the seams with a hammer (if the neighbours don’t mind too much…)
  • Remember to take construction pics of the fiddly bits too – don’t get so stuck in that you forget!
  • These shorts are going to be worn to death this summer! (… & the next… & the next…!)