Wednesday, August 19, 2015

finished: fourth of july shorts

I didn't actually wear these on the Fourth of July. I did, however, cut them out that day. Also, high waisted shorts instantly feel vintage and a little forties-style patriotic to me--I decided on the styling for these photos while cutting out the fabric!

I may have then suddenly realized that the forties/vintage/patriotic poses that worked so well in my mind didn't really feel like they worked in photos. At least, not this time, with my camera self-timer ticking precariously away atop a kitchen chair.

The deets
Pattern: Simplicity 5499, copyright 1982
Fabric: 7/8 yd denim, maybe 1/2 yd of random lining fabric my little sister let me use
Size: 12 (26-1/2" waist, which explains a lot about that waist)
New techniques: "round derrière" alteration, waist alteration, fly zipper, making trousers in general?

Inspiration {sources: 1 (the pattern), 2 (Nina Leen), 3}
I found these beautiful shorts on Modcloth towards the end of the semester, and fell in love--the sweet, subtly vintage styling possibilities were just too much. Unfortunately, I'm a broke student, and I don't have $40 plus shipping to spend on one pair of shorts, especially because I can't wear them this fall for student teaching--broke chispitas gotta prioritize. Obvious answer? Make them for less--yes, sewing can still save you money! But I'd never made trousers before, and I'd never really tried to do serious alterations. And with a round, full bum and a distinct pear shape, alterations are not an option for me when it comes to trousers. Here, I did a "round derrière" alteration (maybe a little too much of one) and took in the waist (not enough--I probably really need to do a sway back adjustment).

The guts--also look at the Fourth of July pockets!
The pattern itself was great just because it walked me through every possible trouser alteration. I totally could have looked up trouser alterations in one of the multitude of sewing books somewhere around the house, but I really appreciated having the alterations right there in the pattern, specially tailored towards pants with a back yoke, like jeans, as opposed to darts. While I still ran into some problems (probably stemming from lack of belief that I would need to take that much out), the instructions themselves were excellent. (Fun fact: My mom made these pants waaaay back in the day, when the pattern was much, much newer. She even had the little card she made of her measurements and planned alterations inside the pattern envelope. It was so much fun to see! And also made me understand where my pear shape comes from.)

Do these fit perfectly? No. You can see the little roll of fabric above that is either too much of a FRA (Full Rear Adjustment--I'm not saying round derrière again) or proof of my sway back. Next time-- and there will be a next time--I'm going to do a sway back alteration and make that waist fit tighter. But with a belt, they fit pretty well, especially around my bum. And my mom told me that they were really slimming and flattering on me (take that, all you advice for pear shapes that say I should never wear high-waisted trousers!).

I love these shorts so much, even with the little extra fabric round my waist. I feel so unobtrusively vintage-y in the best possible way. And for the first time since maybe sixth or seventh grade, I feel good about how I look in a pair of trouser-y shorts, particularly from the rear. While doing the FRA, I kept thinking about how sad wearing pants has made me feel, ever since I started developing hips and a round bum. The spandex-y jeans just make me feel like I'm too big, too curvy to really wear jeans. But these make me feel okay about myself. They make me feel like I can be beautiful in a pair of shorts, instead of feeling like I should go back to hiding.

Classic Lisa blog photo--had to have one!
In other news, if all goes as planned, I'm teaching a math lesson for observation (eek!) as this post goes up. Student teaching has so far been an amazing process, and I can't wait to keep learning so much from my cooperating teacher and students. Happy Wednesday!

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