OMG!!! I am Wearing Shorts …. Intoducing the Harper Shorts by Megan Nielsen

I haven’t worn shorts since way before I was married, actually probably not since high school, and that was for sport or swimming. Well, that is a teensy lie, do culottes count?

Harper shorts front 1

                                                              Harper shorts front 2

This was probably a really inappropriate seasonal pattern test* that I did during winter, but I signed up because the two pairs of Tania culottes by Megan Nielsen, which I love, are the only pairs of shorts I have worn since my younger years. Is it cheating a tiny bit though since they look like a skirt?

I love Megan’s patterns and have accumulated a fair few that I am yet to sew up. The Harper shorts and skort are lined, so they feel a bit dressier than the run of the mill sports shorts and I guess for that fact could be worn during winter with tights. I love pockets in anything so these are an extra great feature and the skort option is fantastic as it’s a 2 looks in one pattern. It was a bit difficult to get my head around sewing shorts during autumn now but I’m considering it good planning since the warmer weather is very,very slowly starting to creep into the southern hemisphere.

Harper shorts back 2

Harper shorts side

My tester version was made using some long time stash olive broadcloth (100% cotton) and black pongee lining (100% polyester). I found the fit spot on and love the invisible back zip closure. These aren’t my normal choice of attire but think they are extremely appropriate for taking kids to the park or beach. I was hoping to get the skorts sewn up before this blog post, which mind you is already months overdue, but life has kept me busy. The skorts are a longer cut and probably most suited to my current lifestyle. Stay tuned for those some time in the probably not so near future!!

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

The Accidental Perfect Pair: Tania Culottes and McCalls 6960 Top

I would imagine a lot of people that sew make some sort of plan or sewing list be it physical or mental, I personally do both. But on occasion, probably more often than not, those plans go out the window, well mine do anyway for whatever reason.

We were invited to a kids pool party and I’m a bit impartial to wearing bathers and splashing about in front of others. Anyway, said party was at a public pool, in the toddlers pool actually, this was great for me because it was barely knee deep and I could just wear normal clothes whilst chasing the kids. Of course looking at my clothes there aren’t really any pool appropriate clothes. I don’t own shorts, I rarely wear short skirts or dresses so what is a girl to do? I initially thought of a scarf type wrap around dress, but then, lightbulb!!! Why not make some shorts that look like a skirt, aka Tania culottes by Megan Nielsen since I already had the pattern. I have been following her blog/business for quite some time but never made up a pattern before. The reviews for these were quite positive, so off I went.

Tania's and Mccalls 6960 front 2

                         Tanias and McCalls 6960 side   Tanias and McCalls 6960 Back

I broke my fabric fast again and bought some rayon fabric that was on sale mind you. I wanted something that was cool but also wouldn’t show water stains if I got splashed. It’s a printed rayon batik SPR9307 in wine (100% rayon) and drapes really well. This pattern is a fabric hog and I didn’t even attempt pattern matching.

Tanias Fabric

The size was spot on for this skirt and I chose to sew the midi length, and the construction was quite quick and easy, aided by the clear instructions and diagrams. I neatened all my seams with a serger and did this on the left side pattern pieces prior to the zip insertion and also fused some interfacing at the seam to add strength. The pattern also called for a 22cm zip but I had a 20cm white invisible zip in the stash so used that instead. Unfortunately it does show a bit on the side. I also tacked down the zipper ends to the seam allowance. I think this pattern would be great with pockets although one would need to be inserted in the zip seam on the left.

Tanias and McCalls 6960 side 2

I leTanias and Mccalls 6960 full front 2t the culottes hang for 6 nights before hemming to allow them to drop/stretch. The hemming part is a long process however. I straightened the hemline by lining up the culottes with the original pattern pieces. Surprisingly they didn’t seem to stretch as much as I expected although I did have to shave off about 2cm on the most stretched out part of the culottes. I then did a narrow machine hem.

The aforementioned event had been and gone and in trying to get rid of the UFO pile, I pulled out my McCalls 6960 project where all the pattern pieces were already cut and interfaced and just needed to be sewn together. The fabric is a pure cotton lawn in curry (100% cotton). I followed the instructions and found all the pieces lined up and fit together neatly. Some hand stitching is required to enclose and finish seams at the neckline.

McCalls 6960 Top hanger

I found thMcCalls 6960 top sidee neckline was a bit low and the back neckline gaped so at the shoulder seams I took a 3cm seam allowance instead. As you can see it has quite a significant hi-lo hem and I believe I actually ended up cutting the length for the small size as this view is described as a tunic. The instructions also recommend a 1.5cm narrow hem but I did a machine rolled hem and therefore didn’t need to ease in any extra fabric.

The tops for this McCall’s pattern can also be made up in moderate stretch knits, maybe next time. I’m happy I have been able to mark off another SWAP 2015 item.