Black & White Bella

My Black & White Bella is done! This is based on burdastyle’s Bella sewing pattern which is originally meant for pants. The only changes I made was to shorten the length and skipped the interfacing.  I used black cotton twill for the shorts and selected black and white buttons to go with it.  This black & white Bella is now my favorite pair of shorts for many reasons.

1) The high waist with princess seams is very flattering to the waistline

2) The wide legs makes this pair of shorts super-duper comfy

3) It is a superb sewing pattern which is well thought out. Imagine back pockets that are so strategically positioned under the seamline. Go beyond the 1.5cm seam allowance and they could be gone…haha. You can imagine how the princess seams, side seams, pocket seams etc matched perfectly.

4) I learnt how to create my first pouch pocket and it was fun! I love the pleats on top of the pocket. They are rather flattering too as they accentuate the hip area from the side.

5) Compared to the Ruby pattern, the instructions for Bella must be commended for its clarity. If anyone is making shorts for the first time, I’ll recommend Bella for sure!

6) Black and white not only makes the outfit look more classic, it can go with many different tops. 

7) I am happy I do not have to alter the waistline fit. Size 38 is perfect for me. Yay! For a person who has been having problems finding shorts with a waistline that fits, it’s a double YAY!!!

UPDATE: Oops, thought I should also show a clearer photo of the back as I really like the details. I could not take a clear one wearing it though so I will live with this. Color of the actual pair shorts is very similar to the photos above. The one below had exposure and definition blasted up so the details can be seen in the shot 🙂

Ruffles Ruby

A couple of days after finishing the red denim ruby, I came across a magazine called Designare at the petrol kiosk. It’s one of those magazines which is basically a compilation of runway and gala photos. I was browsing through when a picture caught my eye. The model was wearing a pair of white ruffles shorts (and it’s shorts week for me!). Pretty cute, I thought and it became the inspiration for my Ruffles Ruby. Here’s a photo of the shorts that inspired me.

After seeing the photo, I told myself  that the ruby sewing pattern would be rather appropriate for this design and wanted to give it another shot. I imagined that Ruffles Ruby will go perfectly with a summer tunic top or a simple white blouse. So, here’s my version.

This time my basting and fitting paid off and the waist fitted well. Yay!

I learnt my lessons from the Red Denim Ruby and did not use interfacing this time. I used a light weight cotton fabric of the same colour and tone of white to create the ruffles so they would not be bulky. To keep the back simple, I skipped the pocket.

I sewed this pair of shorts based on my memory of making the last pair and decided not to refer to the confusing instructions. It actually worked better for me:)

Red Denim Ruby

These two weeks, I am supposed to sew more shorts or pants in preparation for Self-Stitched-September. I have never sewed shorts nor pants for myself so the learning curve is rather steep. The only pants I’ve sewed are those with elastic waistbands for my son. My first shorts project is burdastyle’s Ruby which I made using a red denim fabric which amazingly feels like regular quilting cotton. I might skip interfacing if I were using denim or a medium weight fabric as it can become bulky.

Red gingham ribbons I found at Daiso (Japanese $2 shop) were used to decorate the front waist band and around the cuff area.

I started this project yesterday and only finished this evening. I  adhered to the pattern but dropped the front pocket and belt. I used a size 38 which is good for my hip though my waist is supposed to be thicker and yet the waistband came out a little loose. Too much ease in the waist? I’m not sure. I will have to do a few more rounds of fitting next time. Yes, I intend to give this another go, most likely sooner than I think. I’m sorry the photo is kinda blur. You will see a white line above the back pocket. Again, I couldn’t resist the edge fringe of the selvage and this time only a short fringe is revealed above the pocket with the fringe ends hidden under the waistband. It is actually one of my favourite parts of this pair of shorts. I will try to take a close up photo of the pocket soon.

UPDATE: New photo of the pockets here 🙂

What would I do differently next time?  Though the instructions were confusing, I do like the pattern.  Ali’s suggestions on her blog helped me to understand the instructions better. Thank you Ali! The items I needed to remind myself are in italic below. Just to make round two a little easier.

A Summary of Key Steps for Ruby:

1) Sew darts

2) Sew pockets

3) Sew side of front facings to side of front pieces

4) Sew side seams of back pieces to their respective front pieces until the indication line on the pattern just below the facing

5) Complete front facing and attach underlaps in a similar fashion

6) Sew inside of pants

7) Check out fit

8 ) Sew front waistband and back waistband using a blasting stitch and do a fitting, adjust bands and sew when satisfied. Otherwise, the seam ripper might become this project’s most used ‘equipment’.

9) Sew cuff. Fit and adjust length.

10) Do button holes and sew buttons

Will I wear this? Actually, I will. I have the bad experience of buying quite a number of shorts and pants online only to find the waist ill-fitting. I might need sometime to find my perfect shorts pattern and stop buying them!