Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kwik Sew 3614 Shorts

I never got around to blogging about these shorts, a second pair of Kwik Sew 3614. You can see the first pair here. To make the second pair, I tweaked the fit just a bit. They are perhaps just a wee bit tight in the waistband, but they aren't uncomfortable, so I think they're just fine. I give them a Wearability Index of 8!

The fabric is a cotton/poly blend seersucker from which I underlined with a white cotton. I underlined for 2 reasons: 1) the fabric felt a little too lightweight for shorts, and 2) seersucker has a bit of stretch, and I thought it would give the shorts more stability as the day goes on. I didn't underline the waistband, but used the cotton (a single layer) as my interfacing. Oh, yeah, the pattern is Kwik Sew 3614 (duh).

Ok, now that I've gotten the boring technical part out of the way, let's get to the fun part. I hated the pockets on the first pair (which I do wear a lot, have 'em on right now), and the back was just boring. It's a wide expanse that could use some embellishment, right?

For the front pockets, I traced around a patch pocket that I really liked on a skirt that was headed to Laura, made a pattern, and voila!
Can you see it? I love the way it blends, but is still useful. For construction, I cut out 2 of the blue, and 2 of the white cotton, put them right side together, and sewed the curved edges. Turned them RSO, edge and top stitched the opening pocket edge and then lined up the side edges and top edges and edge and top stitched the bottom curved line. Easy!

Now for the back I wanted to try making welt pockets, and I decided on single welt. I've made bound buttonholes and so the step of practicing I totally felt was unnecessary. I also checked out some tutorials online, and consulted my Vogue Sewing Book and Singer Sewing Book, basically looking for the best pictures.

Then I decided to go for it! I had enough seersucker to cut out another back piece if I totally screwed up. So, how did it go? The welt part is easy. It was the pocket bag that was confusing me, and the first welt pocket is actually stitched shut. I'm not planning to actually use these back pockets, so I left it. And I'm still not sure how it happened, but it was a valuable learning experience. Here's how they turned out:

Can you tell which one is sewn shut? No? Neither can I. And I'm really happy with them. For placement, I consulted several pairs of capris and trousers that I currently own.

And here's how they look on me:
Kind of hard to tell, but I really like the detail. And for the record, the one tutorial that I didn't use because I remember she had one after I finished, was the one I should have started with. Sherry of Pattern~Scissors~Cloth writes excellent tutorials. She calls them jets instead of welts. Go figure. I'll head there first next time.

So, what about you? Do you throw caution to the wind with a new sewing technique, or do you practice first?


  1. Love your seersucker shorts! Don't you just love this pattern? I've made several pair and I too put the welt pockets on the was my first try at welts and I used Ann from Gorgeous Fabrics tutorial on making my welts.
    I'm thinking of using the pattern as a denim skirt, just not sewing the crotch seam!

  2. I usually practice first, but haven't had much time for even that lately. You made some great pockets.

  3. I think the welt pockets (and the front pockets) really make those pants. Good job!

  4. You are giving me the encouragement to try to sew shorts! Love the seersucker. Your shorts look great!

  5. Your back welts look very professional. You must be so pleased to have new shorts in this heat.



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