A Year-long Quest for Shorts

Yes, once again demonstrating a flair for dramatics with that title. But I also made 4 pairs of shorts in about a month after putting it off for a full year.

You see, my mom was frustrated with the lack of non-denim shorts in stores about a year ago. Seems a strange thing to be looking for in February now that I am sitting here in March in less than 50 degree weather, but perhaps I put off making that first pair of shorts as well and she was actually looking for shorts in the summer. Now that I think of it, that’s probably what it actually was.

Anyway, I set about to draft a pattern and quickly got bored of that idea. So I found a commercial pattern I could tinker with instead. (McCall’s M6930 if you are also looking for one. I used option A but shortened the inseam a bit.) I was able to combine two sizes to get them to fit the way she wanted, not to mention they have actual, functional pockets instead of the fake pockets women’s shorts usually have.

I made the first version as a test out of the fabric she had the most of, but for those I used some snaps I had in my stash instead of those slider buttons pants usually have. That turned out to be a mistake, because they continually pop open, but by waiting a year until things opened up a bit more I was able to get the actual hardware I needed for the “real” shorts.

I am thinking of once again taking the easy road and modifying the pattern for myself to make some short leggings for under dresses this summer. Or it might just be easier to draft my own pattern for those. We’ll see. I still have a dress in pieces hanging out in my sewing bin that I should probably finish first.


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On Designing

Is that too pretentious of a title? Meh. Anyway, I have finished many things recently, but I am not ready to write everything up about them just yet. So instead, I thought I’d share a bit about how I go about designing patterns.

Most of the time, it starts with a swatch and a bit of math on paper. I have to write it out, and often a few different times, so I can see what is going to happen. With these socks in particular, I had to draw out the increases several times, and I am having to do that for each size because I cannot wrap my brain around it to just jump into it.

Other times, I can just measure a swatch and work from there. But that just means I have to do the piece over and over. Like with this blanket. I thought I was going to like the larger squares, but it was too much.

The second time I started this blanket, I still went too large with the squares. But I did find out that you can get a full scarf out of a single ball of Lion Brand Heartland Tweed yarn, in case that information is of use to anyone.

Third times the charm for this particular blanket. Once I finally make the piece I was aiming to make, taking notes on it all the way, I write the pattern up fully, wait at least a week, and then make one following the pattern exactly to make sure I’ve gotten all the steps down. That final version is usually the one I use for the pictures I include in my patterns, though I sometimes also include the one from which I wrote the pattern if it didn’t change much.

There’s a bit of a sneak peek into my design process. Hopefully it’s helpful for anyone looking to design their own knitting or crochet patterns.


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