I’ve never sewn anything for a man before. Well actually, I did throw together some soft knit loungy pants for my husband a while back, but that didn’t really count. Mostly because I wasn’t stressed about it. This project stressed me out. So it counts.
About two weeks before Father’s Day I decided to surprise Tony with a piece of clothing made by me. Which is a crazy huge risk. He’s very picky about his clothes, so he tends to chose a “uniform”, buy multiples of those pieces, and wear them to death. But I had watched a couple of bloggers make Kwik Sew’s 3504 jeans pattern for their tall, thin men, with awesome results. Sunni actually made jeans for her man, and Morgan made some awesome linen shorts. The pattern really seemed to suit my hubby’s build, and I knew he was in need of some new shorts.
So for Father’s Day he opened a bag with a completed muslin inside! He had no idea what was happening. After I explained, he was cautiously enthusiastic, but once I showed him the two fabrics I had bought him he was absolutely stoked. I had worked secretly when Tony was away from the house to get the muslin done, and was excited to dive right in with the good fabric. I let him choose his button and his zipper color and then got started. This first pair is a fairly heavyweight pale khaki cotton twill that is water resistant, giving it a slight “parachute” feel when you touch it. Tony is really into interesting, sturdy fabrics so he’s in love with it. He doesn’t really dig thin, lightweight shorts, so this twill is right up his alley.
The pattern was pretty awesome for the most part. There were a few steps where (in my opinion) they should have had me serge some edges, but I was able to get my pinking shears in there after the fact and sort of make it ok. But I would have preferred the neater finish of my serger. And the zipper insertion definitely could have been better explained. I got stuck there for quite a while, but in the end my zipper turned out fantastic. Man oh man, am I PROUD of that stinkin’ zipper fly. I’ve never made anything like that before. When Tony exclaimed, “It looks so REAL!” I could have married him all over again. Oh, and I learned how to make bar tacks! I have no idea what they’re for, but again, they make the shorts look “real”, so that’s cool.
The major problem was this: the pattern calls for TONS of double rows of top stitching. I knew that I would never be happy with my attempt to sew two straight lines exactly the same distance apart with no wobbles or wavers, so I decided to do battle with a double needle. The rub? My machine violently hates double needles. It flat out refuses to even look at a double needle if I’m sewing knits, but I thought I might be able to coax it into submission because of this sturdy fabric.
Buuuuttt, I only have ballpoint double needles. For knits. Not for this kind of fabric. So the machine would do it, but if I dared to sew at a pace ANY faster than the aaabbbssssoooluuuute slooowwwweesssst the darn thing goes, it would start skipping stitches. I sewed for HOURS, going at the slowest pace you can imagine. It started doing crazy things to my mind. Seriously. I was starting to hear things. And it often skipped stitches anyway, causing me to have to start over. So that was pretty awesome.
I’m afraid I have no modeling photos for you, since apparently my husband prefers to remain mysterious and elusive, so you’re stuck with me photographing the shorts on my sewing table. And shorts in a fairly structured fabric that are meant to be worn on a curved body don’t like to lay flat on a table, so just mentally erase all the weird hills and valleys in these shots. K, thanks.
The back view. Obviously these look way cuter with a tushie in there. I give you permission to use your imagination. Oh and the TRIPLE top stitching there? That was
to fix a big mistake a stroke of artistic inspiration.
So, there they are! Frankly I’m pretty stunned that I actually made something like this. I’m looking forward to making the next pair! They’ll be a nice moss greenish khaki twill, and Tony chose an awesome rust colored zipper for them. Totally fun. With any luck these may become part of the “uniform!”