Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Sewing for Spain, Khaki Shorts

Hola!  Just back from Spain and thought I'd do a quick update on my holiday sewing.  I wanted a couple of quick and easy holiday items and wow, what a joy it has been, after such a dismal start to the holiday season here in the UK, to sew up some real summer clothes!  

My trip to La Cala de Mijas in Spain provided all the opportunity I needed to catch up on wearing my much missed summer clobber.  With temperatures up to 36 degrees on some days, having light cotton clothing was essential.  La Cala is a really pretty little seaside town in Malaga on the Costa del Sol and provided the perfect get away for some sun, swimming and sangria based activities.  There is an open square down near the seafront, surrounded by cafes and bars, including a wonderful artisan ice cream place.  A perfect spot to hang out in the heat of day and watch the world go by.

So in anticipation of needing light clothes that pack small (Ryanair flight and we had one suitcase between 4 of us!) I made several more Burdastyle tops similar to this, including a jungle print version (yes another palm print variation!) in a very fine voile.  I didn't take any pics in Spain of the top, but here it is being tested out the week before on one particularly scorching afternoon at a picnic.  I've already blogged the variations on this and can whizz them off the machine fairly quickly now.

First out of the holiday suitcase though were my newly made shorts, completed the day before we left and which I have to say got worn probably 5 days out of the whole week.  I made them out of very lightweight cotton poplin in a khaki or olive green shade, then customised them a little with black grosgrain ribbon at the pockets and orange embroidered details.  Not many decent photographs of me wearing them in Spain due to only taking family holiday snapshots instead of posing properly.  But here they are working hard on the beach.

I really, really love them and, considering they were made from scraps and an existing well used trouser pattern, they were the best value item in my suitcase by far!  Just the right combination of comfort, practicality and a little bit of sass.  And they go with everything.  Capsule wardrobe gold, right there.

The pattern I used is actually a modified version of the cropped trousers I made back in March here and again in May here.  They are from Simplicity 1430, which includes trousers, jacket, top and the shorts.  The grosgrain ribbon added to the edge of the pockets add a little military precision to them, finished at the bottom seam with a flash of orange stitching.  Excuse the colour being off here in this photo below, but you can see where I've stitched across where the pocket opening meets the side seam.  It does a practical job of holding the grosgrain in place and stopping the seam straining when I shove my hands in my pockets.  

Once I'd sewn that little bit of orange, I began to consider another embellishment somewhere, and settled on personalising my shorts, quite literally putting my name on them.  I love the monogram trend and the way you can have your high street purchases emblazoned with your name nowadays - bomber jackets are popular for this.  I'm putting my new fad down to holiday spirit.

I wore them with black and the jungle print top mostly during the holiday, so just kept changing the coordinating top around. Here I've taken some better photos of these after getting home this weekend, and decided to wear them with baby pink for a change.  

Khaki or olive green is really versatile when it comes to pairing up with different colours, brights or pastels work equally well. The straight cut leg and the ribbon on the sides makes them a bit smarter than they would otherwise be in this colour I think.  Instead of being a loose safari style, they are a bit sharper so could be smart-sh (with a blouse and jacket maybe), as well as casual. Also the poplin (cotton with a little poly mix) doesn't crease, which is a huge bonus for holidays.  They really do hold their shape, both packed into the suitcase and after being worn all day in the heat.  

The wide waistband and double button are also a good feature.  Practical, comfortable and flattering, especially after a large tapas meal and several cervezas.  And ice cream!

And so we're home again and it's time to think of making a few last summer things so that there's time to wear them before the end of the silly season.  A whole week away from the studio has given me lots of time for considering my next project and as I'm lucky enough to be going away again soon (in the UK this time) one more summer dress may be on the cards.  I'm determined to hang on to that holiday feeling!


  1. Fab shorts and looks a great spot for a holiday!

  2. Thank you! Yes it's a lovely town, I'm looking forward to going back. Sarah X