Friday, June 29, 2012

What I Meant To Say

In my last post, before I veered off on a tangent, I started talking about the problem of shorts. Short pants, that is, not men’s underwear.
1897 riding bloomers source
1922 golf knickers source
First, let me say that the last time I wore shorts outside of my home was in 2000. As I’ve gotten older, shorts have become less comfortable, what with the extra fabric of waistbands, pockets, and crotch seams all sitting in the bulkiest and/or sweatiest parts of the body, but they did have the advantage of convenience in some outdoor activities. Still, I discovered in my early forties that I was more comfortable in skirts, both physically and in how I looked.
1940s shorts source
1970s hot pants source
The only time I do wear shorts is for gardening, because skirts just get dragged through the dirt too much. For the dirtiest tasks I’ve been nursing along a 20-year-old pair of cotton knit shorts, but they finally deteriorated too much even for gardening. After searching through the closets and drawers, I found a stash of shorts in good shape, but they were all too small. I’m not sure why. I bet some of you are thinking about pie right now, but let’s try to stay focused on my problem, please.
I have a few choices of how to replace the old shorts.
Option 1: Spend actual money to buy new shorts, which would only ever be used to get really dirty in the garden
Option 2: See if the bottomless closet contains some unloved trousers that can be cut off
Option 3: Make gardening shorts
Obviously the answer is Option 3! I can make some incredibly awesome shorts, maybe even with big pockets for garden stuff! This could be a lot of fun.
I could put multiple pockets on both legs with this pattern.

The Burda cargo pant looks very similar to the McCall. source
Before I get too excited, I should make a point to keep comfort as my main consideration, since I want to wear them outside when it’s over 100 degrees. The need for pockets is less than the need for comfort, after all.
Also, there are other ways to introduce pockets!
Tool belt? source

Do you like to wear shorts, or have you found a more comfortable alternative? (Or maybe it’s way too cold where you live to even consider it!)


  1. Not often shorts weather here!
    Both my teenage daughters favour the current fashion of very short shorts worn with opaque tights - it's a rather too young look for me!

    1. Yes I saw your daughter wearing that very thing in your museum pics - she can certainly wear them.
      We had slightly longer shorts with tights go through the fashion cycle as a business look, in fact I think they were "business shorts", or maybe a shorts suit. It was a few years ago, not something I was interested in wearing of course, but great for the young ladies.

  2. Yes Snippa is right way too cold here and there has been too much pie and very little exercise here in this quarter too.My daughter has a friend who is willowy and tall and looks beautiful in the shorts and tights combo.Apparently they are her "confidence shorts" and she wears them when she needs a boost...I wish I had a pair!!!
    For me gardening attire is anything that is old or is a sewing/knitting disaster and which will keep me warm and dry.Personally I would go for the Simplicity 2017 pattern..if I had the legs/or confidence.

    1. I believe the last time shorts gave me confidence was in college, circa 1979. I say wear them and have fun while she can!
      I might make a pair or two similar to Simplicity 2017, but you can bet they won't get worn outside of my property line!

  3. I live in Colorado so shorts are definitely do-able in this climate. But I so prefer a casual dress - or skirt. I usually wear stretch capris (like yoga pants I guess) to garden - and a foam pad for my knees. Shorts, for all the reasons (funny) you listed above, are not the comfortable things they used to be. And the dimpling in the skin around my knees is not the way my knees used to look either. I just found some great knee length, stretchy lightweight denim shorts at Kohls - Soma brand - for $15 - and they came in lots of colors, as well as the basic blue jean denim, so I bought 3 - yellow, coral and black. Perfect length. Really comfortable. Price was right. I'm glad to have found you this morning - going to subscribe so I can find my way back.

    1. Excellent point - capris do strike a good balance between coverage and workability. I'm sad to say that I only have one pair of them left in the "can zip up" category.
      Thanks for visiting!

  4. I share your struggle with shorts, I think for all the same reasons. (You articulated them very well! I had an "ah-ha moment" while reading this). Skirts are just SO much more flattering on me, but you're right -- they can't do everything. I love your idea of making shorts! I was going to suggest cutting off a pair of sweat pants, but I forgot who I was dealing with. You can do a million times better than that. I look forward to seeing the results.

  5. I know, why would I do anything the easy way?!?! Anyway, sewing them keeps me inside in the air conditioning for much longer instead of outside in the garden where I will be broiled or boiled or both.