Sunday, July 6, 2008

Another winner from Kwik Sew - 3614

At the beginning of the summer, I did the annual try-on and decided that I hated most of my shorts. The only shorts I did not hate were the ones that no longer fit, and those shorts I just found depressing. When I saw Dawn's review of the Kwik Sew shorts pattern in three lengths, I was there!

I've made two pair so far, and I'm still working on the fit. The first pair, the camouflage ones, were made from a remnant I got who-knows-where. These were cut out in my standard KS medium. Because I was test driving the pattern, I made no other changes to the fit. Featurewise, I added back pockets (what are shorts without back pockets?) and changed the waistband to a standard buttonhole rather than the overlap-with-hook. I knew I'd never wear that, so there was no point there for me.

As muslins go, these are pretty wearable. The shorts are a little fuller in the butt than I would like, and I'm not 100% thrilled with the side pockets, but that's an issue with me and side pockets I think more than anything. Because of the fabric, these were intended as garden shorts anyway, and I consider them nicer than my usual garden grubbies. The medium is a bit big, so I cut out the next pair in between small and medium, which is just about right.

What I love about this pattern: the zipper application and the menswear styling on the waistband/back seam. These shorts also have the best flat front zipper instructions I've ever seen. I've gotten pretty good at fly front zippers, but these instructions were even easier. I got two immaculate zippers here and I couldn't even find the zipper foot for my new machine so I did it with the regular foot and it worked fine. There are two waistbands, attached from front to back on each side. After you sew the waistband on, and attach the inside waistband to the outside, you check the fit and you sew up the back seam from the top of the inside waistband all the way around to the crotch seam. You get a nice smooth line that way and it really makes it easy to get a good fit in the rear.

For my second pair, I used leftover dark denim. I actually don't have any denim shorts right now, not even cut-offs, and I decided that a pair of denim shorts was a necessity. I omitted the front pockets on this pair, but again added back pockets, a little bigger, and this time using some of the machine's embroidery stitches to liven them up. I used orange thread for all the topstitching. I got carried away on this pair. Since the camo shorts were a little wide in the hips/legs, I kept the pieces the same size this time but took away some extra fabric by doing a classic flat-fell jeans seam down the outside of the legs. First time ever and it worked really well. I took some photos of the process and will post them later - I know it's not all that hard of a thing to do but I had a complete mental block with it and pictures help me more than words sometimes.

I've got a lot of decent bottom-weight remnants lying around, so I can see this pattern using up the leftover black stretch twill, some leftover brown denim from a pair of UFO shorts for Mario, and some other random bits and pieces that I will find when I excavate the sewing room next weekend.


Debbie Cook said...

Those are both very good for pretty much straight out of the envelope. I also love KS's fly application ... similar to Betzina's but a little better. And I'm definitely sold on the CB seam in the waistband. I always need to adjust there in different amounts, depending on fabric.

Dawn said...

I'm glad you like them, I have made a few more pairs too. I really like the way you sew right up the back like that. I had never done that before so I was unsure at first. I love that camo version.

2BSewing: said...

Nice shorts. I also like your camo version. Great idea to sew a buttonhole versus using hooks and bars. I'll have to try that. I've been working with KS 2840 and getting a reasonable fit. This is similar to your pattern, but longer versions. I too am unsure of the "side pockets". For me they don't seem to lie flat while I'm wearing the shorts. I just bought KS 3614 and will work on that next. Thanks for posting this...Susan