Monday, December 10, 2012

Check-mate

... because I've made something in a check, and I'm accompanied by my best-est mate  :)  The former, a rarity; the latter, far less so!
So, the searing-est of searing hot scorchers are but just around the corner, and like a war-wife stocking her air-raid shelter before the blitz, I am laying in supplies... I have made a new pair of shorts using Burda 7723, altered by lengthening and flaring the legs slightly, and adding a zip placket.
This is the eighth thing I've made using this pattern... yeah, so I've come to the conclusion that this pattern is one totally cruddy pattern which does not work for me at all... hehe, joking!  Just seeing if you were paying attention.  Obviously, this has been one of my favourite and most used patterns.
The green gingham was given to me by my friend C from her late mother's stash.  I can tell it is a really old old fabric, a cotton gingham of a solidly satisfying quality you just don't see very often anymore.  Seriously, I don't want to come across all "oh-all-modern-stuff-is-crap-compared-to-the-good-old-days" since I think that is not true at all: but; a Case in Isolation...  like the proverbial man; good gingham is hard to find now.  This is a very good gingham; crisp, strong, thick and tightly woven.  The white has slightly yellowed to a pale-ly creamy ivory through age, but as this suits my colouring I consider it a plus.
Now.
There is actually something  rather special about my new shorts....  :)
this is the very first garment fully made on my baby sewing machine; my tiny elna Opal, that lives in our beach house!  YES!  
I have used it for hemming curtains, but I really wanted to make a proper and complete "something" entirely using this weeny little machine while we were at the beach house, so took down everything I thought I might need.  Of course, I get started and quickly realise I did NOT have everything that I needed!  I remembered after the fact that I usually finish off a few internal raw edges in this pattern on my overlocker, which of course I did not have with me.  However, I did have a piece of white voile with me, which I had taken down just in case, like for pocket lining or something.  I did not use it for pocket lining, but it was sliced into bias strips and I finished off all the raw edges inside my new shorts with HongKong seaming.  This is a kinda high-end finish I would not normally bother with in a casual pair of shorts, so my overlocker's absence really forced me to lift my game here!
Also, I also belatedly realised that my baby machine does not have a zip foot, meaning I had to insert the zip using its one and only foot, a regular wide one.  So the front fly top-stitching around the zip turned out a wee bit wonky... but that's OK.  Seeing those sweetly crooked stitches on my machine's very first garment is like looking at my child's very first piece of kindergarten art.  
Likewise, the baby machine does not do buttonholes, that I can work out anyway: so instead I handstitched a keyhole buttonhole using embroidery thread in a tight blanket stitch.  Another example of a maybe higher quality finish than I would otherwise have employed!  Maybe I should make more things while I am away from my "real" sewing machines  :D
Just for fun, and "why not?" I added strips of bias-cut gingham in the pocket opening edges.  I was planning to put some welt pockets in the back with bias-cut welts too; but the unheard of happened, and disaster struck... I ran out of thread!  
(heard in Perth, all the way from Dunsborough)  "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"
Oh well.  It's not like one ever uses rear pockets... they're just for show and I guess there's already plenty of visual interest happening with the check and all.  But once something is in my head and I haven't been able to see it through; it's Unfinished Business and niggles at me.  Hate that.  Maybe I'll bring these shorts down again the next time and put those welt pockets in... maybe.  We'll see.  :)

Details:
Shorts; Burda 7723, green cotton gingham; my review of this pattern here
Top; the ponytail top from Pattern Magic 3 by Tomoko Nakamichi, green jersey, details here
Shoes; bensimon, from seed
Hat; Country Road

43 comments:

  1. Your pics are never idiot with a camera. Great write up and brilliant colours in your outfit.

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  2. These shorts are great! Green is a great colour on you. I think I have the same 'old' gingham, bought at a 2nd hand shop - same colour too. It is a beautiful weight compared to ginghams nowadays. Perfect for shorts... if only I had legs that suited shorts! Oh the bias trim on the pockets look fantastic.

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  3. Another great post. I have noticed that your photos are very good, didn't know that you were aiming for that, so there you go. Thanks for blogging, I do so enjoy your posts and your work.

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  4. I love the green. It certainly is a departure for you but one that really suits you. Your photos are always enviably good and I must admit to learning more about my camera through my blogging than anywhere else but accept that there is always room to improve and improve I shall!

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  5. If you are ever stuck again the general store has a little rack of birch haberdashery stuff and a small selection of gutermann thread, although I noticed they were out of white last time. I started sewing again with that little Elna and I have to confess I recently gave it away as I had been very frustrated with it but of course I had been trying to do more than the little thing could cope with. It went to a happy new owner though.

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    1. Lucy; thanks for that info; that will be a lifesaver some day, I am sure!

      btw, I just took out that paragraph about my photography, since I thought I was rambling and getting off topic... topic being my new shorts! Something for a future post :)

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    2. And what I also meant to say was that I was so impressed with the beautiful shorts that you managed to make with that little machine! Well done.

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  6. Nice shorts! Love that shade of green.

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  7. Your photos have a very cool cinematic quality to them! Maybe it's the golden fields and the gingham, but it makes me think of a The Wizard of Oz-themed fashion photo shoot. Hope you stay cool during the heat!

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  8. These. Are. Glorious. Every lady needs some gingham in her life and this has such a fantastic retro feel. Well played with the teeny machine!

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  9. I love this gingham fabric, I definitely have a soft spot for this fabric going back to school uniform summer dresses! Your little sewing machine is so cute and super amazing by the looks of how lovely your shorts turned out with the hong kong seams and all! Great hand worked buttonhole also!

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  10. I WANT A PAIR! What a great fabric + pattern combo!

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  11. Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore....
    Just kidding...I know Dorothy in Wizard of Oz never wore and outfit like this...but something about it gives me that country girl impression. Its an adorable outfit.

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  12. A very cute pair of shorts and the inside is impeccable! That handworked buttonhole is lovely. Stay cool. :)

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  13. Cute shorts, with impressive details, especially using your baby machine! I'm sure you will get a lot of wear out of these.

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  14. I thought I heard a rumble in Port Elizabeth, South Africa over the weekend! Ha ha...I know the feeling of being left in the lurch after my sewing machine's feed dog broke on a Saturday night at the height I my enthusiastic sewing endeavour.
    Lovely shorts! And once again you have shown your versatility in overcoming "obstacles".

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  15. Your shorts are cute, outside and inside!!! Your baby works very well. Carolyn, like always, I love your pictures and your garment, thanks for sharing!

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  16. Carolyn these shorts are so gorgeous (but I am a sucker for check) made even more gorgeous by the fact that you used you little machine. I'm in the market for a shorts pattern and given your numerous successes with this pattern I think this could be the one.

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  17. I love that first photo of you and Sienna; although it reminds me of Kansas! :) I'm impressed you did that all on the Elna and I like the hand-touches that you were forced to do ;)

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  18. Very cute! Very mid-century preppy!
    I don't think you needed the pockets in the back either. They add interest, but with a big gingham check you already had that cover;-) The bias strips on the edges of the front pockets are to die for. The perfect little touch.
    I am dead jealous that you have a beach house. We had a beach house when I was a little kid. Such fun!

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  19. Gorgeous Carolyn, I'm loving the bias on the pocket, all the little details really finish things off perfectly I might force myself to not use my overlocker and finish a garment off the same it just looks so. much. better.

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  20. I can't imagine you ever being able to tolerate store-bought clothes again. Never mind the old fabrics, the finish of garments in department stores are pathetic even to my eye - and I've never been near Hong Kong city or seams in my life!

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  21. Really cute outfit and I love the extra touches you have done - very classy.

    Further to your comment - I'm pretty sure you have e been to Melbourne more times than me ! That was my first trip there in 2 1/2 years! - I'm so widely travelled - not!!!! I forgot all about going to Tesuttis - next time.

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  22. That is just such a cute and summery outfit! It is hard for me to look at these pictures when the farm road is a solid sheet of ice!

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  23. I agree those old ginghams are fantastic, so soft and the weave is really nice. cute shorts and love the color. You are getting tan :)

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  24. Lovely shorts. I love the Hong Kong finish and the handmade buttonholes. It can be fun to take things slowly and get a different result.

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  25. The scenery looks like Texas in the scorching summer. Not too different I suppose. We are supposed to get our first freeze tonight. :) Maybe I'll wear my coat finally.

    I love all the details on your shorts. I STILL want to do handworked buttonholes sometime, just haven't yet. Your shorts are so lovely inside and out. So well constructed! I really like the bias trim on the edge of the pocket.

    My opinion on rear pockets (for myself at least) is that the welt breaks up the large expanse of derriere that otherwise would just be ... welll ... a large expanse. I think you don't have that problem in the least .:)

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  27. I'll pop in just under the hilarious spam post. I always enjoy your blog. You're emergency alternate solution to no over locker is my "gee I wish I could do that and maybe one day if I'm really lucky I'll manage it" scenario. Amazed as usual at your skill and attention to detail. Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Great details. I love working with little squares or stripes, you can play a lot with that kind of fabric. I never add the welt pockets at the back, but I do add the flaps of pretend pockets to enhance that area.
    You make simple shorts so interesting...That´s why I love your blog so much

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  29. The post is handsomely written. I have bookmarked you for keeping abreast with your new posts.
    estetik

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  30. how great to produce these on your baby machine but I feel your pain re not having everything with you - I cut out a bra to make at the flat and when I got there realised I didn't cut out part of the pattern - sooooooooo annoying.

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  31. You manage to make the most basic clothing item look couture! Beautiful work... honestly, I see you do things like this - make a simple pair of shorts so nicely - and I'm inspired. You are definitely one of my top blogs to read!

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  32. ohhhh those are fantastic!! i know how you feel about the rear pockets and unfinished business, but they look stellar as is.

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  33. Hong Kong finish its excstly what I done on my latest project because I didn't have my over locker. Shorts are really cute

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  34. Great pair of shorts! I love your seam finishing - it looks so pretty! And well done on the buttonhole! I personally love doing buttonholes by hand, but don't very often, being in a hurry or too lazy!

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  35. They look wonderful. The fact that you didn't have your overlocker made you use techniques appropriate to the age of the fabulous gingham. And you look wonderful in them. Sienna looks great too - I hope she isn't going to suffer in the heat with that wonderful fur coat!

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  36. These are adorable. Must look into Hong Kong finish!

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  37. Nice shorts. Did you learn to sew using gingham? I did!

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  38. I was completely captivated reading this post. I enjoyed hearing about your escapades with the mini machine and I am most impressed with the outcome. Thank you also for explaining that faint 'Nooooo' we heard the other day. I had thought it was Santa responding to my question about whether my boys had been good this year!!

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