i think i need sewing lessons

I mean, really. You should see the hack job on a project I did over the weekend. These are new "shorts" for Daniel. Except they aren't shorts; they come down to his ankles.

For some reason, he really wanted me to make him a pair of gray knit shorts. The other day he pulled out a pair of warm gray pull-on pants, and I said he couldn't wear them because it was going to be too hot, so he said "Can you make me a pair of shorts like this?" and I said "Sure, honey," and then later when I was at the craft store for something else I found a remanent of 3/4 yard of gray knit fabric for all of 3 bucks and figured it was worth a try. (Like I couldn't go to ShopKo and find him gray knit shorts for 6 bucks...I've just got to do things the hard way, I guess.)

I'd been inspired by my mom's recount of the fashion show for the 4-H Sewing group she has been volunteer teaching. (My mom volunteers as a knitting instructor in the fall, and a sewing instructor in the spring. Multi-talented!) Anyway, she described some of the projects some of the advanced students had made and how stunning they were, and I thought to myself "Okay, I should do more of this." Not that a pair of elastic-waist shorts in any way compares to an exquisite wool coat with bound buttonholes and full lining, but I have to start somewhere.

How do I begin to list the problems I had making these? First of all, it's knit fabric, which is hard to work with because it's stretchy (which is what makes it so comfortable to wear). Second of all, I was working in kind of a hurry (always, always a mistake when you're sewing) and I discovered only after I'd serged the side seams that I'd made two left legs, a consequence of working with a fabric with no distinguishable right and wrong sides. Third, the crotch was about 3 inches too long...I managed to remedy these last two problems by just cutting down the top of the pieces by quite a lot. Not with any precision, mind you. I just kind of guessed at what I was doing and hacked away until it looked like the crotch had a chance of fitting him instead of me.* Fourth, I couldn't get a hem to look right, again because of the stretchy fabric. So I just left the serged edge at the bottom of the legs with no hem. I could do it by hand, I guess, but they're already so thrown together, what's the point?

The funny thing is, Daniel really likes these shorts. Or bloomers, if you prefer. He's worn them twice this week already. I actually think they're kind of cute, but that's probably just because it's my boy wearing them. They sure look comfy.

I know I learned a little bit about sewing with knits long ago, and I'm trying to decide if it's worth re-learning. Part of me wants to just so that I know I can, not because it would be practical or save me time or money. Also, I came home from that trip to the craft store with a pattern for PJs that would be so cute on Anya in the right fabric...

*Dude, what is UP with pattern sizing? If you go by the measurements and sizing listed on the pattern envelope you almost always end up with something that is way too big. It's so wildly inaccurate; why can't they fix that?


Ah, but those long shorts that come down to the ankles are all the rage with the skate punks. Maybe Dan'l is a budding skate punk? :-) I think they are cute, too.
Suze said…
I thought they looked suspiciously stylish! Thanks Jenn-Jenn :)

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