Sunday, May 4, 2014

Green Pepper Sunset Bay Cargo Shorts: Man Shorts!




Behold!  I sewed something for someone else! These shorts were a birthday gift for my husband (I got them done only one week too late.)  I used a pattern from a company I've never sewn with before, Green Pepper.  They have a line of outwear/activewear-- the designs are generally more functional then fashionable... but I must say I do like this particular design.  I made these from the Sunset Bay Cargo Shorts & Zip Leg Pants pattern.  I ordered both the pattern and fabric from Rockywoods in Colorado, a really great source for technical fabrics (they have UnderArmour fabric here for my running clothes I sew!) and activewear patterns for outdoor enthusiasts.  My fabric is a navy Supplex, a water repellent nylon with a UPF 30 rating (it's sun protective... nifty!)  It's commonly used for men's swimming trunks, it's that slippery, very tightly woven material.


 **I've recommended Supplex in the past for running garb... that stuff for my running tops/tights/bras are a KNIT with spandex/lycra... this Supplex for these shorts is a WOVEN with no spandex/lycra.  Supplex is simply the company's name brand, they have various fabrics.  So make sure you know which kind you are buying for your garments.

First off, the pattern was really great to work with!!  They have excellent detailed directions AND illustrations.  It's printed on a heavier weight paper-- not tissue.  I went ahead and cut out all of the paper pattern pieces that were one-size (the pockets, the flaps, belt loops, etc.) but traced out the size specific main leg piece.  This way I can easily re-use the pattern for various sizes i the future for other man shorts.  I cut right in the middle of Medium and Large so it could fit a size 35 men's waist.


The materials list forgets a few bits of info.  It doesn't list that you need a snap (I used a button from my stash) and it also doesn't say you only need three 7" zippers for the shorts... I assumed I needed all the listed zippers for all those crazy pockets.  Nope, no need for the 9" zippers for the shorts.  Plus it doesn't list the lanyard you need for the inside of one of the pockets.  I did't put a lanyard in these, I know my husband wouldn't ever use it.


There are some nice details in the design.  They are very RTW looking... I'm pretty sure that's what most men want in handmade clothes from their wives.  There is a gusset in between the legs to help prevent wear and tear over time.  We've got a boatload of top-stitching everywhere.  The front pockets have gussets, giving them more depth.



The  back pockets are double layered, one with a secret zipper.  I reinforced all of the velcro on the pockets with an "X" of stitching across the whole rectangle.   I did use black thread... I just didn't have navy on hand when I started at the machine and said to heck with it.  The slight color contrast actually looks pretty good.


I had a bit of a hiccup with the directions when I got to the fly.  I haven't sewn a zip fly in sometime.  It was clearly spelled out but I felt a little confused with the illustration... to be honest I spent all my sewing time with these late at night when my brain is a bit foggier.  So I made sure to wear a pair of jeans one night to copy what I saw on my own garment.  Easy enough.

And I did get said gentleman to fashion the shorts for us here on the internet.  They are a really good fit! I made ZERO alterations.  Geeez, men have so many less fitting issues!!!! If I made shorts straight from a pattern with zero alterations, they'd be a hot mess on me.


So many pockets!  When we go camping he can shove all sorts of GORP in them for the hikes. (GORP= Go Old Raisins and Peanuts.)  He said he liked the belt loops, he's a wearer of belts all the time.  They look a little bunched up in back in the rear photo... but they are not at all in real life, they lay nicely on him.  I took exactly four photos of him in the shorts, so I limited myself to just this posterior shot.


I did promise to make him a nice winter coat this year.  I am thinking he'd like Thread Theory's Goldstream Peacoat.  I wonder if I can find a nice beige/lighter color/brownish wool over the summer at a good price.  We have orange and white cats and his old winter coat is a navy blue wool which attracts light color cat hair like crazy.  Anyone know of some nice lighter colored wool at a good price for his man coat, let me know!

14 comments:

  1. They are awesome! They look very RTW!

    I've seen those green pepper patterns at JA. I'll have to see if they have my husbands size. He's a big guy. So far I've had no luck finding decent looking patterns for him.

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    1. Thanks! The sizing is small-3xl up to 50" waist, which is nice that they have a decent range of sizes. I posted a conversation on patternreview.com to get cargo shorts pattern suggestions and got this pattern idea. I knew that Joann has Green Pepper so I ran there first. They don't have most of the patterns there so I ordered it from Rockywoods.com... I was able to get a decent fabric at a good price (about $7/yd) These take about 2 yards.

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    2. I saw this pattern at JA yesterday. They totally have it, just depends if it's stock it seems.

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  2. Very professional job; that's a lot of topstitching! Thanks for the links to those technical fabrics. Now if only I had room in my stash...

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    1. Thanks!! Yeah, I top stitched like I never have before. But all that reinforcing stitching is good for wear and tear. Men aren't very gentle with their clothes!

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  3. Kathy! These shorts look great, so RTW! These look EXACTLY like the colombia shorts that my dad fishes in. I used a green pepper pattern for a fleece for one of my guy friends and it turned out pretty well (and would have looked way better if I used a higher quality fleece, but of course he wanted orange and green so joann's fleece had to do). I thought their drafting was really similar to what I had seen in RTW, which was nice. They have great patterns for men, but i am not so sure about their women's styles! Also, thanks for the clarification on supplex. I learned about that issue the hard way (ending up with woven when i wanted knit).

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    1. Thanks, Megan!! I looked at places like LL Bean and what not where men buy man shorts and casual man wear... I wanted to make a pair like those companies. I think Rockywoods.com where I got my fabric has some fancy fleece if you are ever appointed to make more fleecy things. I saw you're blogging some again... I'm excited to see all your goodies you've been making.

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    2. And I remember you saying that you got a non-stretch supplex a while back... that was the exact reason why I mentioned there are more then one Supplex option!

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  4. Outstanding Kathy! Definitely feeling inspired here by your awesome shorts sewing :D

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    1. Thanks Ginny!! I love reading blogs for just that reason. I probably read way too many :)

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  5. That is such an awesome birthday gift!!! : )

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  6. Very nice shorts. Thanks for elaborating on "Supplex". I gathered there was a woven and a knit version but have never seen such a good explanation.

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  7. What awesome shorts. Such an inspiration; my husband would love something like this.

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  8. Gosh you're good to make these for your husband. They do look awesome.
    Please don't tell my husband about this pattern. He'd want a pair too:))

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