Saturday, October 10, 2015

Shorts Comparisons: Thurlowrts Vs McCall's M5391

Half a lifetime or more ago I used to get rather irritated at my Mum for saying things like "Just the other day..." to timestamp something that had happened about a year and a half before. When you're about 12, 18 months makes up a considerable proportion of your life experience. At least an eighth! When you're pushing 40, 18 months makes up a considerably smaller proportion. And I find myself now saying things like "But that was just the other day" in the process of realising that that was MONTHS ago.

Which is all just a long-winded way of saying that I can't believe we're halfway through October! I mean, I've actually been sewing. I've actually finished quite a lot since all I've been doing is working, rather than working, studying and renovating. Photographing it has been a bit tricky without a camera, but with a little clothes peg action a few snaps have been had of a pair of Thurlow shorts, which I shall here-on dub as Thurlowrts, and a pair of McCall's M5391 (View C, from memory).


The Thurlowrts were cut from an almost big-enough remnant of Cotton Duck with yellow zig-zagged stripes that came from a bin at Spotlight. I did need to shorten them ever so slightly, but with a little careful arrangement the zig-zagged stripes could be matched. A remnant of cotton voile from my own bin (which I admittedly probably got from Spotlight in the first place).

Rather embarrassingly, the M5391's were started several years ago. So many that I don't really remember anymore. At least 4, I reckon.


I had a much larger piece to work on with these. It was some left-overs from a rather large piece that I picked up on sale somewhere, and the plan was to perfect the fit. Then I met Thurlows (and got caught up in a degree and home renovations and generally staying upright) and forgot about them.   I had originally planned to make the version with the little tabs up the side - View B. I even cut out the tabs to button it up with. But then I couldn't be bothered.

McCall's M5391, pegged left-ways.
Given there was such a large piece to cut them from, the pattern matching ended up being spot on. Unfortunately, the matching didn't work quite as neatly at the back of the Thurlowrts waistband, or with the pocket tabs, but never no mind. Life is too short* to get stressed about such things.

* No pun intended...but it's good to see that the Dad-joke gene has started to take hold.

A rather wrinkled view of stripe matching.

And possibly slightly off along the side-seams, but given how small the piece I was working from, I think we can dip it in the river and call it good enough.

Thurlowrts, pegged right-ways.

And thus, a fascination with snaps is born.

I actually finished these a while back, and put them aside to do the button holes later. Because I don't like doing button holes. I always manage to stuff them up somehow, and undo all the work that went before. But then I used jeans tops-stitching thread for the Thurlowrts and it went so smoothly, and I figured I might be on a roll. I was converted to loving buttonholes.

But be still with the excitement. Because THEN my machine got stuck stitching the buttonhole with the M5391's, again, and again, and AGAIN! I lost my cool after the forth un-picking and took myself off to Spotlight in a huff to by bang-in snaps. Well, they went in so easily that then I was sold!! And I'll write about this for the next post, but I put a whole bunch of them in my overalls too. So quick! So simple! I <3 them!! And no, I am no longer in love with button holes. It was a short and shallow romance.

Anyway, now I shall take myself off for a wee holiday in the middle of nowhere. There will be no sewing (that I know of), but there will be all sorts of other fun stuff, like fixing fences and driving tractors.

Peace out! XO


  1. Both pairs of shorts look great but I think I'm love with the yellow zig zags. That fabric is perfect for a pair of Summery shorts! They look like they should be worn by someone in an ad for icecream or anything that involves people piling out of a vehicle mid-roadtrip to buy a couple of Big Ms. Or I could be over-thinking this a little...

    I still think I'm winning when it comes to finishing off sewing projects - I can't even remember when I made my dolls but I was definitely living at home at the time. It's never too late to finish something off. :D

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

  2. Thanks Katie. The blue ones are a bit too...tight across the midsection, shall we say. I was about 20kgs lighter when I cut them out a few years back. But it's never too late to finish off projects and someone through some op shop somewhere will appreciate them, I'm sure.

    The yellow zigzags however are fabulously comfortable. Love Thurlows!! I actually gave them to a friend while I was on holidays, but based on this review I desperately need to go and get some more fabric to make another pair. Oh, and loose the extra 20 kgs ;-)