Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Pattern Therapy - Dyslexia Busting Flirty Thrifty Floral Short Shorts

I can't be the only one who avoids shop bought patterns can I? Back in my pant post I mentioned how rusty my pattern cutting skills were. Well, I also really need to brush up on pattern reading skills! I've been dressmaking for a while now but have fallen into this irritating habit of avoiding shop bought patterns because they scare the heck out of me - and I don't think it's just because if I'm making for myself I can be a really really lazy seamstress. 

My dyslexia has always been a total pain in the backside when doing anything remotely academic. If I have to read it first, it's 100% going to take me 10 times as long as it should. I need to either see or do, to learn anything. With a deficit in working memory, short term memory loss and a 'below average' comprehension score, I find it really hard to follow the simplest of instructions, especially when I have to read them, so this pattern reading lark was a little test to see if I can train my coconut in to thinking it's cleverer than it actually is. Let's call it pattern therapy. Yeah I like that. T.H.E.R.A.P.Y.

"Read. Now read again. And again. Well done. Ooh what did that bit say? OK now read again. OK good, now sew. NO NO WAIT. WAIT WAIT. Read again. Double check that bit. hmm.. Tea break."

If I'm one day going to be the super pro dressmaking lady I hope to be I need to dream big and start small - easing myself into this new pattern reading territory with a nice and simple starter project. I had a rummage through a whole bunch of old patterns that belonged to my grandmother and picked out a 1969 McCall's (9784) misses dress and shorts pattern with a little "Time saving QUICKIE" logo that I liked the look of! I opted for the shorts as a nice easy make to start with. And a nice easy make they were!
I was super happy to find I didn't need to buy a single thing for this project which I LOVE. I used supplies I already had and the fantastic floral stripe fabric which used to be a curtain came from my stash, originally bought from a car boot sale for about 50p. I have literally so much of this fabric it's about time I actually started using it. 
I also want to point out that after not bothering to check my measurements against the envelope or even try them on whilst making to see if it was going to be worth the effort, I'm happy to announce that they are the perfect fit - which means this was a very smooth make indeed.
I found this particular pattern really easy to follow, with minimal 'extra effort' steps apart from the occasional traipsing off to press fabric and seams which I should be doing anyway. The only thing that bothered me was the zip and that was my own fault. Let's not talk about the zip, I got there in the end and that's all that matters. It definitely took me longer than it should have, but I made it through the entire pattern (many times) and my shorts look like shorts! The only alteration I made was to the length, turning them up twice as much as the pattern states and outwards to make the turn-ups a feature as opposed to inwards to make a tidy hem. I really really love these, the pattern could easily be altered too - I'd definitely like to try making them with a slightly heavier fabric next time and a wider waistband.

I loved doing this, so I now challenge myself to work my way through the entire pattern box.
 Here's to Pattern Therapy ♥


  1. I'm new to your blog, and enjoying it! I LOVE the concept of "pattern therapy." I used easy-sew patterns to teach myself the basics, and took off from there - but I've fallen off sewing (work, kids, marriage and then not-marriage...) Your work is beautiful and inspiring - thank you for sharing it!

  2. Hi Cecile, thank you for your lovely comment :) Sewing is such a wonderful skill to have and can be so therapeutic too, sorry to hear you've fallen off sewing, I hope you get back into the swing of things soon ♥


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