Summer staples (again)

It seems that I’m starting 2016 in the same way I started 2015– with a new pair of shorts and a tee shirt. I was thinking of making another pair of Grainline Maritime shorts, but in the spirit of trying something new I went with the Panthea Shorts from Ralph Pink. I’ve only just discovered Ralph Pink (apparently they’ve just had a major site overhaul), and I really like a lot of their patterns. I have the Sula Blazer pattern printed out too, hopefully I’ll get to that this summer too! But back to the shorts…
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 The fabric I picked for these is really interesting, but possibly wasn’t the best choice for some fairly structured shorts. Its a cotton/linen/ramie blend twill from the Fabric Store, and it has quite a tweedy appearance. Its really soft and quite drapy, and presses well but also creases something awful. I suppose thats only to be expected, with all natural fibres (the Dreamstress has a good post on Ramie, which is the only reason I know what it is! Its made from nettle stems, in the same way that linen is made from flax). Its a nice fabric, but I wonder if the pockets and pleats would look better in a finer, crisply ironed linen. 

 

 

The shorts have some really interesting features, I like the pockets and pleats combo. The way that they’re constructed makes for a really tidy finish, which is nice. I do prefer a waistband to a facing, though the facing does mean that they’re very comfortable around my waist. I’ve got a fold of extra fabric at the bottom of the fly, which I think means that the crotch length is too long in the front. Its not as major as it looks in these photos in real life, but its something I would try to fix if I made the pattern again. 

  

I do think they fit well around the back, with none of the pulling towards the inseam I get with my Maritime Shorts. I should compare the shapes of the back pieces, and see where the extra room is in the Panthea Shorts.

I did have a fair bit of trouble with the fly/buttons/facings combination on these shorts, and I’m not entirely sure that my confusion was down to my being incompetent. I assumed that the zipper would be sewn part of the way up the fly facing, and then the buttons would be sewn to the top, but the instructions have you sew the zipper all the way to the top of the shorts, like you would if you were going to add a waistband. So not only does this leave no room for the buttons and buttonholes, but when you sew the facing on it covers the top of one half of the zip and leaves the other half exposed. I read the instructions through a couple of times and thought this was very odd, but for some reason I decided to follow them as written anyway. That means that my finished fly has ended up looking like this…

   

What do you think? Is it supposed to be like this, or do you think they’ve popped their basic fly zip instruction set in and forgotten to modify them for this pattern? I had to cut the extra length of zip off under the facing so that I could stick the press studs in, but it was going to be a bit much unpicking to fix the other side and I was a bit grumpy by that point so I’ve just left it…

  

My tee shirt is a new-ish make as well, an Emmeline Teeshirt from Little Tailoress. I got this pattern for a friend, so I thought I should make myself one first so that I knew how it would all work! I’ve been hoarding this awesome striped cotton knit for a simple teeshirt, and I think it works pretty well with the cut on sleeves of the Emmeline. Its been in pretty high rotation so far this summer, and the cotton is starting to sag a bit, which I suppose is to be expected when there isn’t any elastine or anything to help with recovery!

I don’t think I’d say either of these are as much of a success as my Maritime shorts/Scout tee combo from last summer, but both are very wearable. I’ve been wearing the shorts a lot since I finished them last week, and they’ve been lovely on the hot days we’ve had!