May I present the work of a couple of evenings in front of the sewing machine, and the first stage of my efforts to improve my sewing skills. This trio of shorts was made using the Oliver + S 'Sketchbook' pattern (a 'two scissors' rated pattern, skill building fans!)
I decided to make all three pairs simultaneously. This was partly because for some reason I find doing it this way is quicker than making one pair after another, and partly because I thought it would give me the chance to really nail each technique by doing it three (or in the case of stages that needed doing for each leg, six) times over.
I can't praise the instructions on the pattern enough. They seemed really lengthy at first glance, but working through one step at a time, it was really easy to get it right. I grew to love the way the shorts looked a bit ropey and hopeless until you put the waistband on and stopstitched it then suddenly- wow!- they look really good!
As well as being easy to follow, I really like the details that Leisl Gibson includes, like the pockets and mock fly. I also followed the suggestion to topstitch, using contrast thread. It was a bit of a fiddle, especially on the in and out seams, but the effect is really professional looking, a bit like when you sew up and block properly on knits. It's interesting that the original pattern these are quite smart shorts, and I actually bought it so I can make some school shorts, but in these fabrics they look sort of surfer-casual.
All in all, I'm really pleased with the results. The best bit is- P, my greatest critic, actually likes to wear them!!