Guess what? I finally finished the HRC project! (If you want to read about the whole process, here is the inspiration, the ruboff, tailoring the front, the collar, and the jacket post) I followed the directions in this book to make a pants sloper, and drafted the shorts off of that. I made a muslin of sorts, out of scrap fabric from another project. Luckily, the fabric was pretty sturdy, because I ended up ripping my seams out a few times and adjusting. All the extra work was definitely worth it; I have a pattern for shorts that fit, that I can reuse all summer long!
I'm especially proud of the zipper. Since I wasn't using a pattern, I was basically zipping and unzipping my fly as I sewed, to make sure that what I was making looked like what I was wearing. Awkward as it was, it worked. Relatively. The top flap is on the opposite side as it is in the rest of my pants, so I feel like I'm trying to button these shorts left handed. You can't tell that there's anything abnormal by looking at it, though, so it doesn't matter.
I added boring side-slit pockets. I say boring because I wanted to try welt pockets; however, I figured that improvising the whole pattern and dealing with the zipper was enough of a challenge for this time around. I can play with different pocket styles on the next version. The one bad thing about these pockets is that I made them out of the same lining from the jacket, and I didn't finish the seams. They are fraying all over the place. I always say that I'm going to make an effort to make the insides of my projects as nice as the outsides, and then I forget about it until it's too late. Next time.
I added the gold rick-rack on after the fact, in an effort to have more fun details in my projects, since I also said that I would do that. It meant that I had to rip out the hem of my jacket. I think it was worth the extra work. Now my armpits sparkle. Unfortunately, metallic rick-rack happens to be itchy. I should have sewn a flap over the hem in the insides of my shorts so that it doesn't rub on my legs. If I do that, then my hems will be even more bulky. My roommate offered a temporary solution until I figure out what to do: I put masking tape inside the hem, over the rick-rack. No more scratching!
Originally this project was meant to emulate Hillary Clinton, with her penchant for colored pant-suits. Instead, it sprouted a debate in my family, over whether I look like a leprechaun our a girl scout. I was a girl scout for 9 years, and I have nothing against leprechauns, so I guess I can be either.
Even though there were some problems with this project, (the itchy hem of my shorts, the too small collar and too wide shoulders of the jacket) I learned a lot from this project. I am happy with it, and expect to get a lot of use from it!