Inspired by The Refashioners returning this year, I decided to actually work on an idea that had been in my mind for a while – to replace some items in my wardrobe I never wore with some I actually might.
2 Summers ago, when I was living with my sister she have me some leftover linen she had from making some dresses. My favourite go-to casual trouser pattern is the Ardens by Helen’s Closet but there wasn’t quite enough of any of the fabrics to make a whole pair, so I made colour-blocked pairs, using 2 of the colours on each pair of trousers. I liked the idea but they were hard to pair with things and I honestly felt a bit silly wearing them. I still had some of the fabrics left so I decided to use the Arden Shorts hack on the Helen’s Closet blog and make them into shorts in a single colour.
Here are the 3 pairs of original trousers:
As you’ll see below, there wasn’t enough of the cream linen left to make another leg so there are 5 pairs, not six.
I went for a 3.5in inseam which is what Helen suggests – and I checked it against my Dawn shorts and they are 3.5in too. They feel a little long standing but reeeaaaly short sitting down so I didn’t want to go shorter. I found I had to stitch the front pockets into the hems or they hung out the bottom of the shorts – which is a look, but not the look I was going for (I feel like it’s more for super short denim shorts?)
I had to cut out the pieces that were missing in each colour – either another full leg, with one of each pocket, or for the double blue pairs, 2 fronts (with 3 pockets) or 2 backs (with pockets). Because the hem is wider that the original trouser leg in the hack, I also traced off a hem piece for the existing pieces, which I sewed on the bottom of the relevant leg piece, having cut them shorter (but with added seam allowance). I also had to cut some of the front pocket pieces in 2 halves because I didn’t have pieces of fabric big enough left to cut them out in one go – and it was more important to cut the leg pieces in one go.
Anyway, without further ago, here are my 5 new pairs of shorts – just need Summer to finally arrive in the UK so I can finally wear them!
The above pair of trousers became the below 2 pairs of shorts. This is actually the pair of trousers I wore the most – but that’s not saying much. It was probably 3-4 times max!
I actually had quite a lot of the denim blue linen in my stash as it’s the same fabric I used for the Ilford Jacket I made for my brother in law. I was hoping I would have enough to make a matching shirt to have a Summer co-ord set but alas there really aren’t any pieces big enough to cut out a shirt. Sigh.
I think I maybe wore this pair of trousers once. I still like the colour combination but they just didn’t work with anything in my wardrobe.
I particularly like the mint colour. I’m realising, however, as a result of Me Made May that grey is not a colour I generally love in my wardrobe. Though maybe on the bottom half it’s okay – just not near my face as I feel like it washes me out.
I don’t think I wore this pair at all after taking these original photos! As I mentioned above there wasn’t enough of the cream linen left to make another leg. I have kept the scraps – maybe I’ll think of something to do with them one day?
This is a slightly lighter dusky pink linen than the fabric I used for my wedding suit but I still like it. I love bright obnoxious pink, but also this more muted shade.
It was a massive pain unpicking all the stitching and overlocking but I hope I will get more wear out of these shorts than the trousers – I maybe don’t need over 5 pairs of shorts in my wardrobe, given I live in the UK but I’m hoping at some point in the future to go travelling to warmer climes so then they will come into their own.
Do you every re-asses makes and decide to harvest the fabric rather than giving away the garments? I do both definitely – but I was glad I’d kept the remaining scraps in my stash or all of the fabric would have been wasted!