Be with you shortly: Chataigne


I got side-tracked. I sewed some t shirts, my jersey repertoire grew. I went back to England for Easter, did a work-related course, came back, knitted, sewed some more of this’n’that, knitted, visited some lovely people in Alsace, went back to Blighty again, walked all the way across the north of it, from Irish Sea to North Sea, came back, knitted, turned one-step-closer-to-thirty, and when I looked up it was already half past July, and I hadn’t touched my poor old blog since twenty-five past March!

I thought about starting with all those t shirts I sewed on the quest to find my perfect t shirt pattern, and bring myself slowly up to date, but the motivation didn’t arrive, so I decided to start with my (almost) most recent sew, and work backwards from that, as and when.

So here they are: Chataigne. I acquired this in a pattern swap with my Strasbourgian friend and ex-housemate when I went to see her and her boys (big and small.) Bottom halves (apart from one skirt) have been missing from my self-sewn wardrobe so far (although I’ve been eyeing up trouser patterns with a mixture of nervousness and Clarkson-esque “how hard can it be?”) so these shorts, which I’d already seen and admired on her blog, were a perfect candidate, since there’s no fly involved.

I used some lovely orange linen-rayon blend from the ends bin, and I love the colour, although it’s a bit hard to photograph especially in the swathes of Swiss sunshine that we’ve been having. Honestly, it’s been so hot (for my delicate English sensibilities) that I’ve hardly been out of them. The waistband / yoke is so comfy and I think not having the zip-fly with all its associated paraphernalia makes them feel much more light and summery.

I actually made a muslin first, out of a cotton ex-bedsheet. I didn’t line the waistband, finish the hems or seams, or do the fake-back-pocket flaps, but it was enough to tell me which size to cut on the real thing. I also used a normal zip which I intend to take out. I’d like to find another way of fastening them, because they’re quite comfy, good enough for slobbing around at home, or sleeping in. But because they’re unlined, the zip is a bit scratchy, and I don’t want to waste a good zip on a toile anyway ;)

P1200885(ugh, my camera seems to have some specks on the sensor. I’ll have to take it apart and give it a clean again)

On the real thing, I French-seamed everything I possibly could, including the pockets

P1200801and I lined the waistband, pockets and fake-back-pockets flaps with some of the leftovers of my sister’s travel wrap.

P1200886The lining was attached by stitching in the ditch around the outer waistband, and I wasn’t quite careful enough – there are a few places where it runs off the edge of the lining (including centre back on the picture, although it’s difficult to see.) Something went a wee bit wrong with my lining, possibly I wasn’t accurate enough when cutting out the pieces, but I’ve had to fold a little bit in at the side (that you can’t see, mwahaha) because the pieces didn’t lie flat inside the waistband. It’s not too tragic, actually most of the time I forget about it, but I’ll keep an eye on it next time.

P1200857 P1200785P1200789The invisible zip isn’t completely invisible (or matching – I repurposed it from an old top) but it’s not too obvious, and it does up smoothly, which I think is important. When I put it in at first, the waist band didn’t match up very well, so I had to unpick and resew one side of it. P1200795

Most of these were taken before I’d finished stitching up the cuffs. It’s always a danger with me, that if something is wearable, I’ll just start to wear it without getting on with the hand-finishing details.P1200798Chataigne et chat. He came to see what all the fuss was about and ended up trying to clean up the pudding bowl that The Boy had carefully hidden from him, behind his back. Cheeky thing.


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