Monday, May 31, 2010

Slinky Skirt

I ordered this fabric to make myself this skirt, but one of my seniors saw it on my desk and made an offer I couldn't refuse!  So, this is her skirt, and I'll be making myself another (and another in a different print).  I love skirts (if you read my blog, you already know that!), and this simple design lends itself to fun summer prints. Here's the back and side views...
I know the details are hard to see with the print, so here is the picture from the Burda site.  No technical drawing, but it's white, and you can see the waistband and pockets better...
It was super simple to make, I didn't make any changes to the pattern, and I know I will make it again!  This definitely isn't a skirt I'll be wearing to work, (just a tad too short and the print may distract from the lesson!) but I will wear it out with DH, and will snap some pics when mine is finished!
Oh, and if you're thinking, "WTF? Who would wear neon animal print???" The answer is... Salma Hayek.  On the cover of this month's InStyle.

And, Rachel Bilson (dress by Diane von Furstenberg)...

*Ann: This makes me 2 for 2 with fabric that "I wish I bought a whole lot more!" You've now got me checking the "New and Fabulous!" page on Gorgeous Fabrics quite frequently! Thanks...


Thanks for the "Get Well" wishes, I recovered enough to take a motorcycle ride with DH yesterday and some friends yesterday.  It was a beautiful day and a great ride.

Today, I will start on my first swimsuit ever! I'm very nervous, but feel good about the patterns and the instructions. I'm using the top of this Kwik Sew and the bottoms from my Jalie for Little Miss Princess.  The spandex came from, the lining I got at Joann's, and the elastic & closures I got at SewSassy.
Wish me luck...  (sorry, Blogger would NOT import the picture in the right way!!!)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

No Sewing, Just Sickness :(

I caught the stomach flu from my dear, sweet little children.  The picture above is from a much happier time, but clearly illustrates how I caught it... they're always TOUCHING ME!!! (Know how you can tell it's on old picture? See the muffin tops? Gone now...)

DH is on duty today, so I'm flying solo, too.  At least it didn't hit until this afternoon!
They are being sooooooo good, I really can't complain.  They even made me cards, as I lied in bed.
Little Man's had spiders (Spiderman) and his name.  He had the flu Sunday/Monday.
Little Miss Princess's was more complex with a front that read, "I'm sorry your sick, Mom."
Then the inside said, "I forgive you for being sick."  (She had the flu the previous Thursday/Friday).

This got me reminiscing, and I remembered a birthday card I made on my mom's 48th (I was 8 at the time), that showed a tombstone with her name on it.  While my tact was off, my intention was something along the lines of "You'll always be the best mom, forever and ever."  (Which is actually true!)  Still, what a great mom to behave as though it was the absolute most beautiful (not unsettling in the least) birthday card, ever.

Anyhow, I'll update when I'm feeling better, since I do have a new skirt to show you.  I finished the "Slinky Thing" mini-skirt for my student, and it was awesomely simple. I'm making another in my size (just a tad bit bigger than her...) and am excited to wear it out for a night on the town.

Catch ya soon, and I truly hope you don't catch this bug! (On the upside, tomorrow is weigh-in...)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Channeling Emma Pillsbury

Simplicity 2698

I've made this skirt up before, about a year ago and love it so much I wanted another.  When I saw this fabric at Joann's earlier this spring, I knew it would be perfect.  Just a yard and half of 60" wide stretch cotton sateen was all I needed, but had to cut the waistband facings out of solid ivory cotton (no biggie).  I really wish I had bought more, I think I could sell them pretty quickly at work!

This "Project Runway" pattern includes 4 different waistbands and variations of the pleated skirt (length, number of pleats, etc.)  Both times I made the same version (the red/white one on the pattern envelope), and both times the skirt was quickly assembled and invited many compliments.

Sorry I'm not modeling, it was a long day at work.  Between the senior good-byes and the 85 degree heat, I'm one very withered flower!  The top of the waistband sits an inch below the waist and I hemmed it to hit just at my knee.  I *love*love*love* the pockets, and everyone seemed to notice them and like them, too.  Here's the view from the front/right side, but the pocket edge is so blended in (because of the print) you can't see it!  Oh, and the back looks exactly the same as the front.
I'm going to pick up another copy of this pattern this weekend during the 5 for $5 Simplicity sale at Joann's for Memorial Day.  I have plenty of colleagues that would love one, and it's perfect for larger scale floral prints.  Here's the first one I made last year. (Just a tad different: the pleats sit on top of the waistband bottom edge.)

So, while I can totally see Emma working this skirt with a white top and brown cardi, I kept it simple and wore it with a white tank sweater and these brown pumps from Target.  I love these shoes... hell, everyone loves these shoes!  And speaking of Emma and Glee, I'm now 2 episodes behind, so I'm headed to get caught up this weekend at Hulu while I trace off some goodies from the June issue of Burda.

Like this top...
or this girly dress...

and maybe this dress...

I'll check back this weekend, folks! It's almost Friday!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Super Simple Knit Dress

Summer Comfort! Lightweight jersey in a beautiful border print.
Gorgeous Fabrics, Sold Out, Sorry! :(

The pattern called for a woven, but it was exactly what I needed to spotlight this awesome border print and gradation of blue from light to dark.  So, I cut it a size smaller (pretty close to perfect), eliminated the zipper and added ties (now perfect fit)!
The shoulder gather keep it from being too boring, and the facings (oops, forgot to interface them) are only slightly painful.  I edgestitched the SA to the facing, but they still wanted to peek out, so I had to topstitch, too.
I placed the pattern pieced crosswise so the border fell at the hem, and made sure that the center front landed on the middle of the print repeat.  Matched up the print at the sides, too.
Slightly sideways, thanks to the 6 yr old photographer, but you can see the ties I added and how the border ends at the hem.  I used Steam a Seam there, which I love when hemming knits.

This was super easy, I cut it out Saturday morning (before my lesson with M), and stitched up that night after the kids went to bed.  I used nearly of the 2 yards that I bought, and plan on making it again.  I'll remove the ties and have a wonderfully comfortable nightshirt.  I wore it out to run a couple errands today, and just never took it off, it's that comfortable!  Thankfully the flu disappeared as quickly as it arrived, so the Little Man was doing much better today than I expected.  I dropped off DH's lunch, hit the drive-thru at the bank, and got a carwash.  Then it was back home to Couchville for naptime.

The "funny of the day" happened when Little Miss Princess came off the school bus, ran up to me and said, "Mom, [Kid 1] and [Kid 2] said you look very pretty today.  Oh, Mr. Busdriver said, Your Mom sure is dressed up!"  Note to self: Wait for DH to play photographer next time!

Check out this Rowenta Giveaway!

Bitter Betty is giving away a Rowenta, check it out here.

I need a new iron so badly.  My "back up" iron (purchased at a garage sale by my mom about 10 years ago) takes forever to warm up, and likes to leave black marks behind.  That's currently my "travel iron".

My "real iron" is dying a slow death.  We got it at Costco, and it's starting to not turn off all by itself.  Not, like, after being on for 15 minutes.  More like, after 2 minutes.  It's so frustrating to head to the ironing board, only to find a cold iron.  I've probably done the damage myself, being a seamstress and all, so if I don't win it, I'll probably be buying a new one.  I know that some of you have those fancy gravity feed ones, which looks amazing...  but are probably pretty expensive.

I have 2 new garments to show you this week, but you'll have to wait.  My photographer is sick with a cold/ear infection and my son has the stomach flu.  I called off of work today to take care of them, so it's not really a "day off".  Tomorrow is my last day with my seniors, then Wednesday is "Senior Walk".  It's the best tradition at my high school, when on their last day, they don their caps and gowns, and parade through the halls as all the students, teachers, and families stand in applause and offer hugs and good-byes.  It makes me tear up just typing it, it's such an emotional way to see them leave the building.  Or, it might be my 4 hours of sleep last night.  Anyhow, I'll be posting the new outfits in the next few days.

Have a great day, all!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sewing Lessons with M, Episode 1: A Dress

McCalls 5615
For a first garment, she picked a tricky one and a tricky fabric, but it turned out wonderfully.  I wish you could've all seen the smile on her face when it was done... pure joy.

We started at 10:30 am and finished at 5:30 pm, with her doing nearly all the sewing.  She cut the entire pattern and I helped layout the pattern, she did all the cutting and I did most of the gathering and the hem, but she did most of the work.  The fabric is one from my stash that I got on clearance a couple years ago.  It was a little bit see-through, so we used some white poly/silky to back it, and some black poly/silky for the sash.  All from my stash, all from Joann's (purchased at different times).  She can keep shopping in "Aunt Kristine's Basement", it will help clear out some of the "what was I thinking" fabrics! This particular print I decided to gift to her since it seemed more age appropriate for her...

We made one change to the pattern, and created ties for the back.  We cut them 7 1/2" x 30", folded them in half lengthwise, and turned them right side out, and pressed them.  Stitched them in the side seams when we put the front and back together.  Otherwise, the sash would've only been on the front, and we both agreed that the black needed to go all the way around.  Oops, we made one other change because of the sheerness of the fabric and cut an extra skirt front and skirt back.  For the front, I attached it to the bottom of the waistband facing and the two layers became one along the sides and at the hem.  For the back, we put the two layers right sides together and stitched the top edge.  When we pressed and flipped it, we created a channel for the top elastic band, and another channel for the mid-back, and eliminated the need for bias tape.
(The black band is really sewn on straight, I swear!)

The sizing was good, she fit a 12 according to the envelope and there was only slight gaping in the back elastic, but the shoulder straps took care of that issue.  No zippers, no closures, just 2 strips of elastic in the back.  The gathering was a bit much for a beginner, so I showed her how to do it, and she did some, but I did most to speed things up.

It's a great dress for lots of different occasions, and she can easily shorten it into a shirt when it gets too short.  By the time we were wrapping it up, the sides were fraying terribly, so I ran it through my serger for those two seams.  She was amazed at what the serger does, and I can't blame her, it's pretty darn cool!

By the afternoon, she was very comfortable on the machine alone, so I was just helping her with the directions and the tougher details.  Her sewing confidence really grew today, and I wish I could be a fly on the wall at the party when she gets to hear the famous reaction, "You MADE that????"  I don't know about you, but that phrase is music to my ears!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wow. So, That's What it Looks Like...

I did it. (Shake, shake, shake) I did it. (Shake, shake, shake)
I fixed the reverse on my machine.  I'm a genius.
Ok, so I'm not a genius, but I was brave and did surgery on my old Kenmore, and it's reversing again!
I saved myself at least $80, and it took less than an hour.
Like I said... gene-eee-us!  If you missed my earlier post, here's the blog post with all the YouTube machine maintenance links.

So, per Bunny's request, here's the guts of my Kenmore...
From the side:

From the top:
From the bottom:

The bottom is where I had to do the work.  I figured out that the reverse button releases a spring (through a series of long arms and more springs), but the rod was stuck with gunk.  So I cleaned it up, oiled it, and kept manually moving it back and forth.  It was like Dorothy oiling the Tin Man, I swear.
Then I put it back together, and it's good as new.  Woooo hoooo!!!!
And if you're wondering, it's super easy to access all those places.  2 screws on the top, 3 on the side (2 were underneath), and 2 for the bottom.  I'll spare you the lint rat pictures, cause they were bigger than dust bunnies!

Okay, I'm spending the day with my niece tomorrow, so I'll be back again soon to update you on our "confirmation party dress" sewing session.  Her teacher contacted the local paper, and they did a small story about the fashion design class she's doing this summer.  So much fun!

YouTube has Everything a Seamstress Needs!

I've hauled out my "vintage" Kenmore that my parents bought me when I first started sewing.  I use the term "vintage" loosely, as it was purchased around 1986.  It's a Kenmore 385.1584180 (rolls off the tongue, huh?), and it still works wonderfully, except for one thing.  The reverse button doesn't work anymore.
(The machine pictured above isn't mine, but it's very close.  I have 24 stitches on mine, but it looks the same.)

I consulted the wonderful "We Fix It" Yahoo Group, which I'm a member of (since purchasing my vintage 1926 White Rotary), and got 2 helpful replies of what could be wrong, how to fix it, and where to get additional feet/parts.  This is the same group that saved me well over $100 in fixing my Viking a few months ago!  Upon closer inspection, I couldn't figure out how to get to the inside "guts" of my Kenmore, though.

YouTube has video clips of just about everything, so I searched "Sewing Machine Repair" and found this most fantastically wonderful series of videos that you should all bookmark for future reference.  It's a 5 part series of how to do routine maintenance on your own sewing machine, and they are well produced with clean camera work, good lighting, clear audio and well explained.  I know that a "tune-up" at my local machine repair shop costs $70, and when you multiply that by the 3 regular machines that I have... that's a lot of money that could be spent on fabric!  What? Beg your pardon?  Did you say "save that money"??? Ha, ha... you're a funny one!

So, here is the link, I hope that you find it as helpful as I did.  All 5 parts cover the same "tune up", they're just divided up into 8 minute segments.  You can also go to YouTube and search "sewing machine maintenance".

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to see if I can figure out how to fix my "reverse button"...

p.s.  If you're wondering why I'm even messing with this machine, it's none of your business.  ha, ha... Just kiddin'!  The seniors in my building are leaving on Wednesday, which means that my AP Stats classes will be empty.  Not mostly empty... totally empty.  That leaves me teaching Algebra II 1st, 4th, and 5th hours so, I am bringing in my old Kenmore to work on small projects to pass the time until June 18 when I'm really, really done.  Don't be a hater...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Weightloss Wednesday - Keep Moving Forward...

Hey, all!  Not a lot to report this week, I'm down 1.5 lbs, so back at my "halfway to goal" weight.  Woo hoo!  Being a woman and trying to lose weight gets a little frustrating with the up and down at particular times of the month, with water weight and what-not.  At this stage in the game (nearly 2 months already!), I've gotten used to the fluctuation and it's become less frustrating since I've come to expect it.

Surprisingly, I've also come to enjoy exercising.  I've never been an athlete, and never been a runner.  But, I find that the huge sense of accomplishment after I'm done definitely beats the slight discomfort of the exercise itself.  I've also found that it's like a punching bag, and let's be literally workout my stress, anxiety, or bad-day blues.

I like the results I'm seeing, I like the way I feel, I like the compliments I'm receiving, I like the feeling of accomplishment from successfully working toward my goal.  Am I curious, like the quote says?  I suppose so, in the sense that I'm curious to see if I have what it takes, if I'm as strong as I think I am.  DH will tell you it's more like I'm stubborn, and won't back down (and I would agree).  At this point, I've come so far... farther then ever before, and too far to quit now.  So, I keep moving forward, because it's way better than rolling backwards and standing still is just boring.  If you didn't know, this quote from Walt Disney was explored in the animated movie "Meet the Robinsons", which is a really lovely film for all ages.  I found this quote online, and couldn't say it better myself:

"Meet the Robinsons has a lovely touch to it. The entire Robinson family, in addition to having never lost the inner child and knowing how to enjoy and make the most out of what life offers, knows that failure isn't failure. Failure is the only way a person can learn and grow. In the film that philosophy is mentioned time and again. I think it's a dandy way of thinking."

So, whether it's a fitness program, a sewing project, or another of life's obstacles, I hope that you all "Keep Moving Forward"!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vogue Top & Sewing Lessons

I finished this last weekend, but finally wore it to work today.  I got lots of compliments from my students and colleagues, and it was mostly comfortable.  I found myself adjusting the bottom whenever I stood, but that might've just been my own self-conciousness.  Here's my earlier blog post about Vogue 1085 and the construction.
If I make another it would be a gift, as it's stretchy and fit isn't difficult with a wrap tie top.  I wore it over a black cami and my black RPL skirt that I've had forever. 

Tonight I'm headed over to give my niece her second sewing lesson.  She's going to spend 3 weeks this summer at a "Fashion and Function" class learning how to design and make her creations.  A new Singer was her early birthday gift from her parents, so I headed to Joann's and filled up a cute sewing box with all the essentials, and grabbed a couple patterns and some really cute cotton prints.  I had so much fun shopping for her, and gave her the gift on Saturday.  We immediately sat down and ran through machine operation and how to read a pattern and take measurements.  We are making a pair of pj pants out of the new fabric, so I have to go over there tonite and help her start to stitch the pants together.  She's so excited to learn, and I am so excited to teach her!
Ok, home again... and she has the sewing bug!  We only need to finish the waistband and hem, but you should've seen her face when I said I had to leave and we'd finish on Wednesday.  Totally bummed, she wanted to sleep in them tonight!  I also brought over a box of some fabrics that I decided she could use more than I could and she's already got her next garment planned... She's coming over again Saturday to make a dress for a party she's attending Sunday.  So much fun!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My "To Sew" List is Growing!

Yesterday at work, at colleague asked if I've ever made swimwear.  Being rather buxom on top, she hates the frustration of trying to find a very specific suit that meets her needs.  I told her that I never have tried it, although I'd heard from many other sewists how easy it is to do.  I own Jalie 2447, but never got the courage up to trace it off and try it out.  I did a little research, and after finding a swimwear pattern with her requirement of an underwire, decided to give it a shot.
My plan is to cut the one piece as a tankini (using the measurements and bottom from Jalie 2447).

I've located underwires (thanks, Summerset!) and she wants a simple solid, black suit, so I can get the fabric easily (and fairly cheaply).  I need to discuss price with her, but since she's paid for a custom suit before from a special boutique, I'm sure she's prepared to cover my time.

There was a swimwear sew along at PR in 2008, and there is another going on now.  I have a couple cuts of fabric from the co-op that I got really cheap, so I can practice on mine first.  I'd love to make one for Little Miss Princess, but suits for her are so cheap in the store...

Then, I got another sewing job at work!
I had some fabric on my desk that I was trying to decide what to make with it, so I asked my senior girls in 6th hour.  "Top or skirt???"  It's from Gorgeous Fabrics, and I love a good woven with a little stretch...
One of the girls went crazy over the fabric and begged me to make her a skirt.  "How much would you pay for it?", I asked.  After a brief pause, she replied, "$30.  Can it have pockets? I'll pay $40 for pockets."  Hmmm... let me think about this.  A simple mini skirt with pockets using a yard of fabric, and I get $40?  Sure, why not?  It'll pay for the skirt I'm going to turn around and make for myself!!!

As I sat with my Burda binder, looking for the right pattern to use, I found myself saying, "Gosh I love that.  I was going to make that.  Ooh, and that, too.  That would be perfect for that other fabric I have..."
I started a list so I can quickly refer back, but there's nothing really quick about it.  There's 4 UPO's at the top and 9 items on the "Wish List", not including the swimwear.  I'd better get sewing!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Weightloss Wednesday: Confession Time

Thanks so much for all the compliments last week.  All of you cheering me on is really helping keep me on track, and I can't thank you enough for all your support!  There's another dress in the closet that I'm shooting for (wore it to my bridal shower in 1999), but it's still snug, so stay tuned...

I have to be truthful, DH says that I'm honest to a fault.  I really wanted to pretend like today was Tuesday and tomorrow was Thursday, but I just couldn't do it.  One of the reasons I decided to blog about my attempt at weightloss was to keep my honest with all of you, so I have to fess up today.  I was a bad, bad girl...
Last week I barely exercised at all.
Friday I ate coffee cake for breakfast.
The scale said I gained a pound and a half.

What happened? I was sick with a terrible cough/runny nose/cold.  Exercising was virtually impossible, and I sought comfort in some old favorites (like chocolate).  Mother Nature didn't help the effort, either.  Life happens, and the only thing I can do is get up, dust myself off, and start over.

Sunday I did 3 miles on the treadmill, and Monday I did 2 more.  Tuesday I rested, and today I did strength training and 1.5 miles.  I'm sore, but that's okay, because I've acquired that "I feel better when I exercise" thing. My setback put me back on the other side of the "halfway point", but I'm working on jumping over that line (again).  I can run for 10 minutes at a time now, which is something I could never do before.  Small victories add up, right?

We tried this Turkey Burger recipe this week, and it was AWESOME.  If you've never tried one, you will be pleasantly surprised! Great flavor, normal ingredients, and fast to cook!  We cooked them on the BBQ and the Foreman Grill, and both ways were delicious!  Our edited recipe eliminated the Kosher salt, used a regular white onion, and Frank's Red Hot.  So yummy!!!

So, hang in there and keep up the good work!  Thanks for keeping me honest!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

... and She Lived Happily Ever After!

This is the last post on the prom dress, I promise!
Here are the pics that her mom sent to me, along with many thanks and much appreciation.

It was a huge success, and not only did I learn about making and fitting corsets, but my formalwear confidence increased.

And, lastly... Happy Mother's Day to all of you.  Hope you have a wonderful "Duty Free" day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Accident: The Story of a Near Wadder

Vogue 1085 (view B)
Fabric: "Flowers in Showers Jersey" from Gorgeous Fabrics
(Ann's having a Mother's Day sale, run over there and buy some, it's beautiful fabric with gorgeous colors!)

I love Sandra Betzina, and had high hopes for this knit top pattern.  I'm also a sucker for a cowl neck top, so I've been wanting to make this top for some time.  We're headed to a belated Cinco de Mayo party, and I figured this would be cute with my jeans and be super fast to make.  Well, I was right on 1 count...

It was super easy to make, with only 4 pattern pieces and requiring a yard and a half of knit fabric.  I've had this knit since my trip to NYC, and figured it would work with blue jeans.  The main pattern piece is the absolute weirdest configuration I've ever seen.  It's 1 piece cut on a fold, so the only seams are the side seams from armpit to hem.  I re-read the instructions 18 times making sure I was attaching the ties correctly, as they dangle down from the hem edge, not attach in the direction of the sides.  There is also no hole for the wrap tie to go through, you're supposed to just pull it out from under the other wrap side, which pulls the hem up, and does NOT look attractive.  (I'm sure that the photographer and Vogue did some wild fanagling  to get the pattern envelope picture to look so great!)

Just when I thought I'd wasted a few hours and some great fabric, I made an executive decision to open 1 side seam an inch to run the wrap tie through.  Huge difference!  I also tried it on upside down (with the side seam now sitting on my shoulders), and that was almost an improvement.  Like I said, this is the wackiest pattern I've ever worked with.  The Vogue pattern drafters must've been on crack and Betzina must've been on vacation!

Between the wrap ties and the bulk of the jeans waistband, it still wasn't quite perfect, so I tried it on with a black cami and my black RPL skirt from the Limited. Voila! It now looked lovely and feminine, and I would be able to get some use out of it.

Here it is worn backwards (with the "V" in back, and the cowl in front).  It's okay worn this way, but it's more striking with the wrap in front.
I still need to hem it (I halted all work when I saw what a mess it was turning into), and my only other word of warning to you is about the armholes.  Measure and trim if you wear anything bigger than a size Medium.  They are a little small, and it actually looks better hanging off the shoulder (like a cap sleeve) because of all the draping.  I don't think I'll be making this up again, it's pretty... uh... (ahem)... "unique".  Sleeveless cardi-wrap, anyone???

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Weightloss Wednesday: Half-way There!!!

12.5 pounds lost... 12.5 to go by the 4th of July!

This dress is a size 10, and I wore it 10 years ago to my nephew's wedding.  Haven't worn it since, because it didn't fit (and I was pregnant twice somewhere in those 10 years).  I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere with all my hard work, which really helps fuel the fire to keep moving forward.

Another wonderful "non-scale victory" today was had when a co-worker commented on my shrinking silhouette.  My only negative for this week is fighting a terrible cold that has kept me coughing and congested.  I haven't worked out in days, so I really hope that by Friday I'll be ready to run again.

Hope any of you playing along at home are enjoying success as well!  Keep up the good work!
*No, I didn't make the dress, and the shoes are amazing, aren't they? Compliments of Victoria's Secret.  Are they a bit over the top? A little.  Do they make me feel amazing and attractive? Hell yes!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happiness is... your dream Prom dress!

She loves it!  She's excited to wear her "dream dress" to Prom on Thursday, and it fits her perfectly.
It's exactly what she wanted, and her friend chimed in, "You are so beautiful... I don't like my dress anymore.  I want one like yours!"

I'm just happy to see her smiling and excited for Prom, as every girl should be!
*Sorry for the picture quality, I had to use my camera phone!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pocket Problem! HELP!?

I'm working on my first pair of summer shorts, using an old pattern from the stash, McCalls 5393 (oop 2007).  When I opened the envelope I found that it had already been cut to size 14, although I don't remember when!  My favorite RTW shorts feature the same type of slant pockets and low-rise (no) waistband.  I grabbed some stretch twill from the fabric stash (1 yard), and whipped a pair up to check the sizing.

The good news is... they mostly fit.  They need a 1/2" pinched in at the center back top, and I might add a little to the top to prevent panty-peekage, as the finished top edge sits about 1/2" below my navel.  (The really good news is that last season's shorts are too big!)

The bad news is... the pockets pull open, which I hate.  I could stitch them shut, but that defeats the purpose of having pockets, which I frequently use in my favorite shorts.  When I pin them closed, I love the fit, so I don't think I should go up a size.

So, what's the trick?  I know there must be one out there somewhere.  How do you keep pocket openings flat?  Sorry I have no pics to show you, the photographer is otherwise engaged!  Thanks in advance!

ETA: Thank you for the quick reply, ladies!  I'm going to stitch around the pocket bag on this version, and try extending it into the fly on the next version.  I didn't expect any feedback until tomorrow, so this was a pleasant surprise!  You guys are the best!!!