Shorts. Quit Stalling.

Mister and I moved to New York City on the pretense of being here for a year. So, of course, I limited my yarn and fabric load to about 90 percent of what I owned and left the rest in storage. I've been toting around yards of fabric for years, waiting for the perfect pattern to show up. And to get up the gumption to start cutting and sewing and not worrying about making mistakes. 

So, these shorts:

image from

So super cute, right? elsie marley has loads of inspiring projects and patterns and I've long admired, and been intimidated, by projects her flickr pool (hers and her followers). She hosts kids' clothes week challenge in which people turn out some gorgeous, interesting, funny, amazing things. 

Really, a little pair of shorts, then, how hard could they be?

Both not that difficult and I did want to toss them in the bin.


A puddle of fabric. At this point, I was thinking of scrapping the whole thing but Mister said I should persevere. I was pretty close, but had done a few things wrong. You know, like sew the inseam together the wrong way. Like completely not gotten how to stuff these fabrics together to make one more crotch seam. 


But, I referred again and again to Dana's simple and articulate directions for pants (her patterns really are like sewing for dummies clear, right up my alley) at Made and muddled through.


To these cuties. I have had the dark blue fabric forever. It's made of nothing natural and it frayed like mad. The inside polka dot fabric came from Purl Patchwork when it was still its own fabric store and not one Purl SoHo experience of love. I bought several fat quarter bundles with plans to make my baby (Bama in the belly) a quilt. That may happen one of these days.

In the meantime, here is the girl in her new shorts.


They are good for standing and running.


(That is not a freckle. It is a remnant of something from dinner. Or perhaps snack. We're tidy eaters.)

My thoughts on Meg from Elsie Marley's pattern: It's a fun pattern and if I had a wee bit more experience and a wee better brain for imagining some the instructions I would have pulled it off more quickly and without thinking about tossing it.As I read through comments and peeked at other blogs, it seemed most were more experienced with their machines. And, I have this weird anal part of my brain that if it gets hung up on a direction or concept, it can take a bit to sort through it. It's the kind of project my friend BA would look at and immediately "get" because she has that kind of sewing brain and she doesn't get hung up on unnecessary details like I do.

Below are Meg's instructions (blockquoted/italicized) with my interpretation or fix. In blockquotes/italics, all text is Meg's. I only use them here to show where I was stuck.

— Seam allowance: She never says, I went with 1/2"

— Common sewing sense: Iron your seams!

7.  Sew two facing pieces together, on the short straight side, right sides facing. Then serge or hem the long straight edge on top. Do this  for the other set of facing pieces as well.

8. Sew the inseam together on both legs of the shorts.

9. Open up one leg of the shorts and put the facing on top– as above–right sides facing.

10. Sew all around except where you hemmed (or serged). Clip the corners, turn out, and press.

You sew the shorts together and then the facings together and serge (or zigzag) the top of the facing. Then you attach them to each other and do some of that again. I know, not that difficult but sometimes sewing terms are like Martian to me.

12. Turn one leg inside out and the other right side out (This, I understood)

13. Put the right side out leg inside the inside out leg–now the right sides are together. Sew all around the crotch (that word again, ugh).

This is what didn't work for me, no matter how I fiddled with the shorts, I could not get my pieces to line up in a way that allowed the seam to a) make sense b) line-up c) work. In the end, I fudged the crotch. As long as no one looks at the shorts very carefully, my secret is visually safe.

I figure as a first run at something new (to me), Bama's shorts are alright. She likes them. I've started pairing up fabric to make another pair or two. 

I appreciate Meg's pattern and that it was free. Thank you!

Shorts. Quit Stalling.

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