The slowest project ever? Velvet shorts

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments about my Burda coat. I couldn’t have got the fit right without the help of the sewing blogsphere; you’re all wonderful!

I haven’t sewn anything new I can show since finishing the coat. I’ve been tracing patterns and making a muslin for a dress for my sister. But I do have a little project I made earlier this year and never blogged about. I think this garment has had the longest gestation of anything in my entire wardrobe.

When we were undergraduates, a scarily long time ago, one of my friends had a pair of black velvet short shorts which she wore with black tights. She always looked amazing in them: sophisticated and sexy. So when I made my first pair of shorts this spring and shortly afterwards got my hands on a remnant of black velvet I knew what I was going to make.

Burda 111 06/2011

The trouble with black velvet is that it drinks up the light even more than most black fabrics so there’s not a lot to see in the pictures. The shorts haven’t got much in the way of external detail anyway. They close with a zip in the side seam and they have inseam pockets. The original Burda pattern (111-06-2011) had patch pockets on the back but I wanted a very smooth line so I left them off.

Burda 111 06/2011

I lined them in cotton poplin and bound the edges of the waist facing in black cotton bias. I love this finish on waistbands. It’s easy to do with a binder foot and it looks so neat and tidy.

Inside waistband of black velvet shorts

I’m not saying how many years it is between the original pair of shorts and my copy. I’m claiming this is a completely timeless style!


18 thoughts on “The slowest project ever? Velvet shorts

  1. Ages ago, maybe in the early 90’s, I too had black velvet shorts and I would also wear them with black tights, like your friend! I kept them around for years even after I stopped wearing them, but then one day when I was cleaning my closet I was ruthless and got rid of them. This is making me feel terribly nostalgic. Your shorts look fantastic, by the way!

  2. GAH! I love these! Velvet shorts are on my winter sewing list for next year. These look magnificent on and are so worth the wait. Well played, madame!

  3. So you are saying that black velvet is the black hole of fabric? Interesting! Anyway, those look pretty fabulous!

  4. You look stunning in these shorts Catherine. Who cares if they took a long time if you still want to wear them now. And I do love the bias finish – clearly I need to practice to get such a professional finish

  5. Awesome shorts! haha – love shams’ comment on being the blank hole of fabric. Hilarious! And I had no IDEA you could get a foot to sew on the binding like that. It looks so professionally finished! I love binding but have always struggled with the sewing it on bit – I’m so totally getting one of those feet!

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