I visited the beach today for the first time this summer. I was prepared for my visit with a couple of new pieces of clothing I’ve sewn recently. The first piece is the shorts I’m wearing. They’re made of ripstop nylon that I’ve had stashed away for a few years and hadn’t used yet because pink isn’t my favorite color, and I also wasn’t sure what to make with ripstop. I originally thought of making kites, but I wanted to stick to making useful garments. I made a pair of swim trunks for my son with some neon orange ripstop a few years ago, but the rest has just been waiting for something to be done with it. The fabric for both the garments I made was obtained for free (see this post if you want to know more) and I’m now in the process of making stylish garments out of the remaining fabric that doesn’t appeal to me, regardless of how I feel about it.
For the shorts I used Vogue 8584, which I’ve made a pair of pants out of already. I altered the pattern based on my analysis of what needed improvement in the fit. I altered the back for a full seat adjustment, as the first pair I made pulls down in the back. Pants alteration is something I’ve been studying for the past couple of years, because I wear pants alot and want to make more decent fitting pairs for myself. The book I started out with is Singer’s Sewing Pants That Fit, which is a good book, but is almost somewhat outdated in my opinion because it teaches alteration on a pair of “classic” women’s pants, i.e. pants that are high waisted and always have darts or pleats at the waistline, and drape in a certain way. I’ve found a website that shows basic pants alterations, and it turns out that their alteration for full or flat seat was different from the one in the Singer book. In fact, they considered the Singer alteration for full/flat seat to be the alteration for swayback.
I applied my new found knowledge to altering the pattern and I think the fit is a bit better, although I think I need to make a larger adjustment for the next pair. I also modded the pattern to include side seam pockets, which are a utilitarian must for me in outdoors settings. In doing this I eliminated the pockets that the design originally had. Considering how slippery ripstop nylon is, I think they came out good! By the way, these shorts can also double as swim trunks. Who says women can’t wear swim trunks? I think its a great idea. They also serve as cover ups for swim suit bottoms, and can be used for swimming if you’re tired of walking around half naked and want to be more modest for awhile, yet still enjoy all that the beach has to offer.
On to the shrug. This shrug was made from a free pattern I downloaded and printed at Your Style Rocks. I made it out of some beachy knit jersey and rib knit that I wanted to use up. I thought that this shrug would make a great cover up for my arms and head while on the beach, and indeed it did. I didn’t have to bring a separate hat to shield my head from the hot sun. It was also surprisingly cool to wear. It kept my arms and shoulders from getting burned, and I looked fashionable!
Photography by Photo0pal