Friday, June 10, 2011

Cuffed and Welted

It's desperately trying to be summer here. We had one record hot day this week (100 F/37.8 C) but it's been unusually chilly otherwise. But I know I will make use of my new shorts eventually.

I hope the denim will soften up a bit in the wash. Even though I prewashed and dried the fabric twice, it's still a little stiff. I usually stitch with lighter weight denim because, well, there's no denying lighter weight denim is on friendlier terms with my sewing machine than is heavier weight denim.

I'm really liking how the shorts turned out. The (customized) fit is so much better than the RTW shorts I still have in my closet. In other words, they're not too tight in the waist and baggy everywhere else.
It's my tendency to zoom through projects to get more things done, so I hesitated over doing the welt pockets. However, this year I'm trying to slow down (just a little bit, mind you) and do more of those time consuming details that are so satisfying when you do them well.

I've done a handful of welt pockets, but never a single welt. I spent 3 seconds glancing at Burda's instructions - even time to confirm that I'd be wasting my time trying to figure them out. Step 2 was to check my sewing books. Not too helpful. Step 3: the internet, of course.

What I'm looking for in a tutorial is:
1: Clear pictures, where the fabrics are NOT all the same color, and the right and wrong sides are clearly labeled.
2: Clear pictures where you can actually see what is happening. Or better yet, a clearly marked stitching line since, if I can see where the stitching goes, I am generally able to get the machine to put it there.
3. Concise, logical instructions (as opposed to the wordy, conversational style, which is great for conversation, but not for step-by-step instructions)

Google found me a number of pretty decent tutorials, but none that gave me that lightbulb moment of clarity. Then, scanning down a little further in the google results, I was reminded that my SIL did an ENTIRE series on pockets, complete with tutorials.

And believe it or not, this tutorial meets all my finicky criteria.

In the photo above, you can see that I attached denim to the pocket bag fabric so the welt would be denim, but the pocket itself would be a thinner cotton.

One thing I'd do differently next time I stitched these up would be to exchange the straight one-piece waistband here for a 4-piece curved one.

This time around, I added 1" to the length (above all the cuff folds).

Denim of unknown origin
Pattern: Burda 7-2009-113.


  1. Great looking shorts. And what a perfect fit. And welt pockets?! I hope you get to wear them somewhere awesome, like to the opera (kidding!).

  2. Love your shorts! they look wonderful.

  3. They fit wonderfully! Great job! Cute style. Nice pockets!

  4. Fabulous shorts! All those tutorials that you SIL did are great...makes me want to put pockets on everything.:)

  5. Great shorts. Thanks for the tutorial link.

  6. They look really great! I wish I had seen this post earlier today...I'm making a bag with an interior welt pocket (in the lining) and I omitted it because I got too scared!

  7. Looking good - and you're SO RIGHT about tutorials!

  8. Wow these are a great fitting pair of shorts. So funny you were working on welt pockets too! But yours has the added detail of buttons below. Impressive! I hope you have lots of sunny weather to show these off in!

  9. These look gorgeous, and fit beautifully! I'm sure you will get heaps of wear out of them, and they will soften up with washing...

  10. Wow, the fit of your shorts is perfect and they look great.

  11. Awesome job! They look so stylish on you! :) :)

  12. These shorts look perfect on you. Such a flattering fit. I'd get plenty of wear out of shorts like these.

  13. Perfect shorts, the fit is spot on and the welt pockets are very stylish. These have been added to my summer list, but first I need more winter clothes.

  14. Very flattering! The workmanship is impeccable, love those welts!


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