Loretta Shorts – Part 3

Nell, a Caucasian person, stands side-on to the camera with one leg extended. They are wearing brown corduroy shorts and a light brown patterned Adrienne Blouse.

Hello friends!

In a perhaps not-so surprising turn of events, I decided that I should to circle back to the Loretta Shorts pattern whilst hip-deep in several other makes and one sewing course. This did mean that my next post would be late, because I already had a lot on the go. But I decided it was worth it! It didn’t seem fair to have done such a long series of reviews on the pattern without having done the shorts version as it was intended. Whilst reorganising my fabric stash, I was further encouraged by the discovery that I had not one – but two pieces of suitable fabric for this very purpose.

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The Loretta Shorts – Charm Patterns – Part 2

Hello friends! For this post we are continuing on with part two of my adventures in making the Loretta Shorts, by Charm Patterns. In the last post I covered the general design elements of the pattern, and some trickier elements of their construction such as the pockets. In this post I’m going to be focusing on the fit of the pattern, what issues I faced and how I tweaked it to be more comfortable, how I removed the waistband, and how I transformed the shorts into both culottes and pants. Let’s get right to it!

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The Loretta Shorts – Charm Patterns – Part 1

Hello friends!

The last couple of months have been quite challenging when it comes to sewing. I tested a number of different patterns, attempting to either learn new skills through them, or to add specific pieces to my wardrobe for regular rotation. However, I had an unprecedented number of failures with each that left me feeling quite frustrated. I made a minimum of three attempts per pattern, and it seemed that for each fit issue I fixed, another two would spring up. I suddenly had a lot of sympathy for Heracles and his battle with the Hydra! However, out of this wild mess rose two garments which I am rather proud of, and since I am attempting to make my blog posts a little more detailed in terms of construction advice, I have decided to split this post into two parts while I share in my own Sewing Labour.

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Rompers, Dresses and Shorts – Oh My! With McCalls 7626

Hello friends. Since I took a big sewing break some months back, it occurred to me that I was happier whenever I got quite thorough use out of each pattern rather than making a single item and moving on. Part of that constant desire to move on was that I would get bored, doing the same thing repeatedly, but it was also certainly driven by a desire to consume the same way I saw others doing, churning out garments like there was no tomorrow. So as a result, I have put into practice a new method for securing second-hand patterns, where I don’t make a purchase unless that particular pattern haunts me and won’t leave my thoughts. I’d also like to use patterns that have different options on how I can construct them, and what I can do with them. This pattern for McCalls 7626 was the first to tick all those boxes, and although it was a little outside what I’m comfortable paying for a pattern cost-wise, I did end up getting quite a lot of value out of it.

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Overalls and Culottes with Simplicity 3866

Hello!

Although I’m excited about all the things I sew, this pattern of the month is something of a special piece. Not because of the base pattern itself – although Simplicity 3866 circa 1961 is wonderful, but rather because of the fabric I had planned to use. This fun and comfortable summer piece came about because I had stumbled over a single curtain at the Op Shops which came from IKEA, and which happened to match two cushions I have in the house! The thought of matching the furniture had me in stitches, and I knew that if I was careful with the unpicking I could get quite a lot of fabric out of this.

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Making 1950’s Playsuits with McCalls 3616!

Hello friends! It’s true that I am excited about each pattern of the month and can’t wait to share what I’ve learned while making them, but this particular pattern holds special meaning for me. I have a love of all things overall, romper, jumpsuit and playsuit – which I think comes as no surprise, and it’s been on my sewing bucket list for quite a long time now that I wanted to make some vintage playsuits which would be tailored to me. No cramped crotch, no awkward tightness about the thighs, and I would make them in fabric which doesn’t bother the skin! But patterns of even roughly my size range were either thin on the ground, or would cost so much it honestly wasn’t within my budget to buy them. This was where the miraculous find of McCall’s 3616, a circa 1956 bathing suit pattern, in PDF format by The Vintage Sewing Pattern Company came to my rescue! I purchased it on their Etsy website, after first checking there was some kind of scale marker to help me keep printing accurate.

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Jumpsuits and Pattern Hacking – Simplicity 6926 + The Tania Culottes and Vogue 7583

Hello friends! I am so excited about this month’s blog post as it signals a change in the way that I am approaching sewing and sharing my makes on Ye Olde Internete. I recently made the decision to move to a monthly posting format on both Instagram and my blog, as I realised that this would suit me so much better and give me more space to thoroughly test each pattern. So each month I will be focusing on one particular pattern and testing a few different variations of it, depending on what I’m inspired to make with the fabric I have in my stash. However, this change was largely inspired by the fitting adventures I embarked on with the bodice of Simplicity 6926 – a vintage dress pattern circa 1975, which I picked up second-hand. It was a thoroughly enjoyable challenge and I learned so much from the process that it inspired this series, as well as my first ever video tutorial which you will find below!

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Jeans and Overalls with Simplicity 8447

Having completed two versions of this glorious, glorious pattern; I can now understand both the love for Simplicity 8447 and the love for sewing with denim. I had been fortunate enough to find a rather kind person who was willing to part with several meters of this glorious, dark denim – along with several other pieces from their stash, which I thought would be perfect for attempting to embark on a new adventure. It also meant that I could in fact get my hands on an otherwise prohibitively expensive fabric! I had no denim overalls, a piece I very much wanted to add to my winter and autumn wardrobe, and I was keen to learn how to sew with denim so that I could produce my own jeans. I had seen and heard very positive reviews of this pattern and so hunted out a secondhand copy for myself to try.

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Sewing Trousers with New Look 6718

One thing I love about sewing, among the plethora of things I love, is that it is a constant process of learning new skills and refining old ones. New materials pose all kinds of challenges, from learning to handle slippery fabrics, to testing thread tension, stitches – and learning to go back and forth between machines. Although New Look 6718 is hardly my first trousers pattern, it feels as though this was the beginning of quite a lot of adventures in learning and developing new techniques and revealing weaknesses in my current sewing practices. For one thing I worked on a range of tasks between the first of this make, and the second, and I feel I came so far between them that they were an excellent snapshot of my skills at each point in time.

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Butterick 9779, and Pattern Hacking

If someone had tried to tell me this time last year that I would not only be making shorts that fit perfectly, and from a vintage pattern; but that I would also be pattern hacking to make pants and overalls! Well, I don’t think I would have believed them. But despite that I have now completed some of my most successful makes to date, and it all begins with my purchase of the circa 1960s pattern, Butterick 9779. It was a somewhat risky purchase for me, being a little bit pricer and coming from an overseas seller – my last experience of which had been truly terrible. However, I worried over nothing! The seller was lovely, the pattern arrived in a brilliant condition – albeit with a slightly wonky waistband from people accidentally trimming bits off. Over the course of one virtual craft evening with a friend I very gently ironed out the pattern pieces for the medium size and got to tracing and copying the markings into more modern versions.  

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