Thursday, July 27, 2017

Allegro Linen Shorts

I mentioned the Summer of Basics sewalong in a few previous posts, and so far you've seen two of my three items (black Union St. tee and self-drafted cardigan). Today I'm sharing the third creation, which completes my outfit and total look! (Yes, I was wearing them in last week's post!)


These are the Allegro Shorts from Love Notions. Yeah yeah I know, I previously swore off Love Notions as just not quite fitting me properly, but to be fair, that was only tops. This is the first time I've made bottoms from this designer. There are other patterns out now that are similar, but I was looking for this type of pattern around the time it released, so, sale! I also know from experience that LN pdfs are quick to assemble. The pattern includes two length options for the shorts as well as two skirt options, so plenty of bang for your buck.


I've got a ton of inspiration photos saved on Pinterest. I wanted those sort of lived-in, stylish, but not sloppy shorts. I relentlessly studied the tester photos and took a gamble on size. I should be a size small according to the chart, but I wanted them to be more fitted and cute, so I went down to an XS. I also removed 1" from the inseam, based on measuring some of my favorite RTW shorts. I made a quick muslin and saw that these changes were exactly what I needed.


I also drafted my own back pockets based on a RTW pair. I vastly prefer rounded pockets and I think it makes my butt look better than square ones. Looking at this photo, I think I could stand to bring the pockets closer to center. I assembled the cuff a bit differently than the directions (basically the opposite) so that my seams were enclosed. My final change was to sew the crotch seam as a flat-felled seam, for extra durability.


Now for the fabric...I wavered between a pure linen and a linen blend. Linen blends are so much cheaper. I don't think I've ever worked with 100% linen before so I wasn't positive how it would turn out. I was also looking for a fairly specific grey, not too light and not too dark. I ended up with this grey/silver 100% linen from The Fabric Store. I love it. Hard. I'm so glad I went with all linen, as the fabric feels sturdy but also soft. It wrinkles, sure, but that's part of the charm. You can see above that the wrinkles do distort the fit and pull in weird places, but I've gotten used to it.

I loved how quick these were to sew. I got almost all the way done and realized I needed the proper width elastic, plus drawstring, plus cord stops (optional). I made a trip to Jo-Ann's, hoping to knock out all three of those things at once, but no luck. I left with just the elastic. I ordered drawstring and gold cord stops from two different suppliers on Etsy. They were overseas, and it took a while for the items to arrive. They were stuck in Chicago customs for more than a week. A lack of drawstring did not stop me from wearing my by-then-completed shorts, however! I'm thrilled to say my drawstring color matches perfectly.


Unfortunately, the cord stops did not work out how I'd hoped. I ordered a 4mm drawstring and 4mm stops...I think perhaps I should have gotten stops that were bigger? I tried inserting the drawstring and hot-gluing it to the stops, but they eventually fell off. You can see them peeking out in the photo above from my cardigan photo shoot. Who knows if they would have lasted through the washing machine anyway. It's back to the drawing board on stops, since I desperately want some gold SOMETHING at the end to elevate these shorts just that much more.

I have been wearing the heck out of these shorts this summer! The elastic waistband is comfortable, the rise is low the way I like it (remember, I went down a size, so in "my" size the rise would be a touch higher), and the fabric is cool and soft. The pockets are perfect. I'm sort of sad that I don't need any more shorts because I'd love to make more!

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