11 Mar 2016

How to make wraparound shorts

My friend, Alexandra Jane, was wearing shorts that she made herself and she showed me how to make them! 
They're not normal shorts because to put them on you don't step into leg holes...
No zips or buttons, they literally wrap around you and tie up at the front.
In one piece...
I'm a beginner to sewing; I've made elastic-waist skirts from skills I learnt in Year 7-8 "soft materials" class and an envelope cushion cover. But all of those are literally sewing 2 pieces of rectangles together. These shorts are more of a logic challenge.

The hard part is figuring out your measurements. I had to cut out a lot off my original pieces because I over-estimated. And figuring out in your head which part to sew first was tricky logic.
So I've put together a 'guide' in case you want to try it yourself!
Note: the shorts I made are not perfect at all, there are a lot of mistakes and dodgy sewing. So the guide below is what I should've done or would do next time. Also my sewing jargon isn't that great...

First, you'll need one metre of fabric that is at least 70 cm wide.
The left panel above is the back of the shorts and right is front. You'll need two pieces of each.

A: This is the back part that goes around your waist/ hips to the front. I measured from the middle of my back to halfway between my belly button and hip and used 12 inches for this measurement. Depends how close together you want the opening to be at the front.

B: This is the underside of the shorts, I guesstimated and ended up cutting off a lot of fabric. In the end, it turned out to be 3.5 to 4 inches. This is the same measurement for both front and back panels.

C: This is the length of the shorts. A good guide is to grab a pair of shorts you already own and use that measurement. Mine was 15 inches for mid length worn at the hips. Use the shorts again to measure D. You can work out E from this.

F: This is the front part that wraps around to the back. Again, depends how close together you want the opening at the back. I used 14 inches for this. So G came to about 18 inches.

Please note the above measurements do not include seam allowances. Use a 2 inch seam allowance.

I sewed the edges of my fabric so they don't fray.
I sewed the two back panels together along the 'L'. Repeat with the two front panels.
Fold and hem up the bottom and top. I sewed the ribbons on the back panels at the same time as hemming.
To attach the front and back panels, sew along side 'D'.
For the back panels I used ribbons to tie up at the front, but for the back I used a short piece of elastic.
My friend had hers buttoned up at the back. But I haven't learnt the button function on my sewing machine yet, so I decided to use a bit of elastic.
And then that's it. 
It should look like the above when you've stitched it all together. It's pretty easy because the pieces are symmetrical. And you're only really sewing along the 'L' and down.
I sewed the ribbons lower and not at the top of the fabric. This is so it will tie up over the fabric at the front and not over my bare stomach.
The back wraps around to the front, and if the A and F measurements aren't long enough, then it will split up the side when you sit down and be too revealing.
This is how it looks when I sit down.
I love how nautical this looks with the red ribbon! I got the fabric from Centrepoint fabrics in Newmarket (next to Zarbo) for $10 a metre, I believe.
I think it looks cute with brown leather heels...

Here is my own illustrated guide...
I haven't figured out how to go toilet with these. It'll be like when you're wearing a playsuit and you have to take it off...
White eyelet crop top: Dotti
Watch: Fjord
Brown leather heels: Hannahs

Next sewing blogpost will be on the elastic-waist skirts that I mentioned earlier. If you're a beginner to sewing, the skirt will be perfect because it is super easy!



4 Mar 2016

Chapter 8 | In Hindsight

A rough compilation of stories, inspired by true events
previous chapter Chapter 7 | Valentine's Day

In hindsight maybe she was a bit naive.
Maybe she thought that all blonde blue-eyed babes would treat her like princesses, sweep her off her feet, carry her into their yachts, glass slippers and all.
Maybe she had subconsciously turned a blind eye when he said he'll "be back soon" but walked out carrying an overnight bag.
The gold locket she received; 22 carats of lies engraved.

And now she sits in the same cafe 365 days later.
On a leap day where women can propose to men and if they refused the man was obliged to give her 12 pairs of gloves to hide her naked ring finger.

Apparently babies born on this day are especially gifted.
And oh she wished for that same magic act right now.
For him to bump into her, full of regret, reasons and most of all, an apology.

But in hindsight she wished she'd been more attentive, more forgiving, and more available.
Then maybe she would've gotten less of his tantrums, less of his absence.

Uncontrollable wild fires start off with a careless flick of a match.
And it would burn through the night and take down the walls they had so sensitively built.
Walls they thought were built on rocks but turned out to be scoria.
Draining out the crass fights into a pool.
In hindsight maybe she should've tried harder.

But he wasn't there today.
Not at the same corner table she last sat across from him, clutching a short black
which he never drank.

But everyone who worked there recognised her as the girl who was left drowning in her own tears long after he left.

But this time she picked herself up. A little more wiser, a little more collected, a little less hopeful.

Chapter 7 | Valentine's Day

A compilation of stories, inspired by true events
previous chapter Chapter 6 | The Usual

"It's the dreaded day," Carl said as he starts his shift looking around the pink-decorated room.
"For you maybe, but not for Ryan here," Chef Jon half mocks from inside the kitchen. "He said yes to meeting my cousin."
I blushed and busied myself with the ten cent coins.
"The blonde one?" Carl asked, amused.
"Let's not," I said in an attempt to end the conversation.
Carl put his hand on my shoulder. "Ryan... If you take her here the bill's on us."
"I am NOT, never ever having a date around you two."
"Aw come on Ryan, you already know she'll love the food," Chef Jon laughed.

Around the pink balloons, heart shaped cookies and tealight candles, a couple sits on table 30 holding hands across the table, eyes only for each other.
Then the man excuses himself and made a beeline for the bathroom. But instead he turns into the kitchen. A few minutes later he returns to the table and holds her gaze again, a little distracted.

In the kitchen, Chef Jon is muttering to himself.
"What's up?" I ask Carl who rolls his eyes.
"Table 30 asked to put a ring in the pannacotta."
"A bloody ring!" Chef Jon raises his voice to imply the impossible task.
"People still put engagement rings in food?" I imagine all the things that can go wrong.
She chokes, the ring rusts, the plates are mixed up...
"I said I can do chocolate tart since I've done it before but he said pannacotta is her favorite dessert. So pannacotta it is!" And off he goes to perform surgery on a vanilla mound.

I deliver their desserts a little while later, "Carrot cake and pannacotta."
"But we didn't order dessert," she says.
"I ordered," He smiles at her. "I know pannacotta's your favorite."
She gushes, "Aw honey thank you. But the doctors told me to lay off the lactose so I'll pass tonight. Thank you though."
I bite my lip, the plate halfway on the table, feeling secondhand awkwardness.
"Oh um..." Feeling chagrin, he goes red looking for an excuse.
"I do love carrot cake though," She grabs his plate and starts to eat it.
I awkwardly set the pannacotta in front of him instead and he looks at it, at loss at what to do.

next chapter Chapter 8 | In Hindsight

Chapter 6 | The Usual

A compilation of stories, inspired by true events
previous chapter Chapter 5 | Inside Jokes

In university I used to always sit in the same lecture seat, use the same computer in the same lab.

There's something about consistency and familiarity that attracts us all. So it's no surprise that people have their usual coffee orders and sit at the same table regularly.

Mr mocha-and-two-sugars-and-almond-biscotti walked in on Tuesday morning, newspaper in hand. But this time he says, "One americano please." And shocks Carl and I.

Later we find out his wife is leaving him.
Bitter coffee for bitter days.

next chapter Chapter 7 | Valentine's Day