Saturday, 18 June 2011

Shorts, glorious shorts

You may have remarked the fairly sudden appearance of shorts into my me-made wardrobe. After a couple of days of the me-made challenge I decided that I was badly in need of some me-made garments that cover the bottom half of my body if the challenge was going to go any further than wearing a me-made top every day for the month of June (with ready to wear bottom garments too of course!).

I have a couple of paris of me made trousers (shown here and here - see day 9) but decided something additional was needed. I could make a couple more pairs of trousers but it is starting to be hot here and I wanted something that would be cooler.

In addition, although I need some clothes to clad myself in for the summer it is not my plan to stay this shape forever and therefore I am loathe to make too many items of clothes that are purely maternity.

 Granted the two pairs of trousers that I linked to above were made before the bump but I doubt that the blue pair will see too many more outings before they have to be put away until a more normal waistline reappears and there is a limit to how many pairs of drawstring waisted trousers a woman needs (I suspect I will give in to making at least one more pair before the end of the summer but that will be for another post!).

My first instinct, therefore, was to rustle up a couple of skirts but I have to admit that I am struggling with skirts at the moment. When I scour the websites for inspiration there are lots that I like and even many that I would love to make but the one defining feature of nearly all of them is a nice neatly defined waistline and that is something that for the next 3 and a half months or so (thinking extremely positively) I am highly unlikely to have. 

You can see from the images below (all taken from my 'style board' at pinterest) that I am currently attracted to a kind of '50's style gathered dirndl skirt - exactly the kind of thing that will not work for maternity skirts.





I therefore widened the inspiration net to see if I could find something that would more suitably and easily flatter a bump (or at least work underneath it or over it). You will see that the images below are more streamlined which I thought would be more flattering with a growing tummy.

Image from (via Pinterest)

Image from Burdastyle

Image from (via Pinterest)
I then set to and made a couple of attempts to emulate the kind of skirt I like but with room for the bump but, to be honest,  I am not really that happy with either attempt.

This blue and white spot skirt is an attempt at a bump friendly high waisted pencil skirt. I self drafted the pattern and made the waistband narrower at the front to fit under the bump (thus sort of defeating the high waisted bit no?).

It sort of works with heels but for some reason I am not overly comfortable in it   - it's not physically uncomfortable - I just don't feel that great in it (maybe it is the length - too school-mamish?).

Secondly, I decided to try a more gathered, flouncy option thinking that maybe I could make a '50's gathered vibe work.

It's not that I don't like this skirt - I do - it's just that I'm not sure about a blossoming bump and gathers - personally on me I think that the bump requires a more streamlined approach down below to avoid the sort of barrell look.

Step up plan B. The shorts. Partly inspired by some great shorts I have seen whilst scouring the net (again, all images from pinterest)





and partly by the fact that this blue pair I had actually started last summer. I had it all cut out but then the summer came and went without me getting round to sewing them up and they were duly put away in a cupboard whilst I worked on more autumnal and winter projects.

As they were already started I decided to sew them up and see what I thought. They are based on the Ruby pattern from burdastyle. As they had been cut out last summer I was concerned that they would be, at best, on the tight side so as the shorts are made out of a blue cotton fabric (with almost no give) I decided to make the front waistband out of blue jersey to hopefully enable me to get into them.

The other modifications I made were to sew one side up as a normal seam and just put the button fastening on one side. I included the little pocket on the front but didn't add the patch pockets to the back.

And here they are. 

the front pocket and jersey waistband

the side buttons

the turn up

After deciding that the blue shorts were a success I decided to make a couple more pairs.

The black and white spot pair. I splashed out on the fabric for this pair and used a more expebsive cotton that also has some stretch. This makes these shorts super comfy to wear and meant that I could use the same fabric for the waistband. This time I omitted all the pockets and, rather than including the turn up I hemmed them normally using an invisible hem stitch. Again I only put buttons on one side.

the side buttons

the invisible hem

Finally, I decided I would go for one more pair. This grey linen pair is made from the left over fabric from these trousers and again is really comfy to wear. I went back to the turn up detail for this pair and also added a side seam pocket as I felt that a proper pocket was the only thing missing form the other pairs - there is something comforting about having somewhere to put your hand from time to time. Instead of a fixed waistband this time I added a casing and a tie so that they can expand with me over the summer!

the turn up

the pocket

the buttons and ribbon that ties in the casing
As I am concerned that the above photo doesn't show you enough detail of my shoes today - I leave you with a picture of my red plastic butterfly shoes - teamed beautifully, I'm sure you will agree, with my sky blue nail varnish!!

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