Oranje Broeken*.

*This is a bit of a play on our last name – van den Broek – which means “from the marsh” but broek also means pants in Dutch, and of course the Dutch national colour is orange so I couldn’t resist.

Happy New Year all. Alex and I spent a month in Peru over December / January and had an amazing time. It had been a difficult end to the year with earthquakes and some difficult situations in certain parts of my life so it was great to get away and disconnect.

Sadly while we were away Alex’s dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer which was a real shock and something we are dealing with, including the increased relationship stress that occurs within the family as a result. Alex’s family dynamic is best described as ‘challenging’ and sadly people don’t behave better when subjected to this kind of stress.

So, I’ve been back at the sewing machine for the first time this weekend.

Excuse the wrinkles. This man does not believe in folding clothes for storage!

These shorts are 100% from stash:

  • Fabric – gifted from my sister from a second hand haul she got last year
  • Zip – also from sister, from her zip stash
  • Cotton – on hand from a load of second hand thread I was given years ago
  • Elastic – harvested from the very first ever pair of shorts that I made Alex in the summer of ’08/’09
  • Pattern – New Look 6321 in stash, possibly also from sister

Alex always wants a zippered pocket so I’ve added that to the three other pairs of these shorts I have made previously. Alex is also VERY hard on his clothes so I’ve added bar tacks to the top of the pockets, reinforced the seams with strips of fabric, and added tabs below the pockets. The tab I added to his tennis shorts last year seem to have paid off.

Other than reminding myself of the order to add the zip to the pocket opening, I can pretty much make these in my sleep. Regardless of the lack of effort required from me, Alex appreciates the endeavour and it’s nice to start the year with some sewing for him. I’d like to do more of that this year.

Alex is concerned that these are rather “loud” and wonders if he can “pull them off’. All this from a thirty-something man who wears a plum-coloured, velvet blazer as evening wear on a regular basis! He wears an even brighter orange t-shirt regularly, but the same coloured shorts feel different for some reason. One of his concerns was they would look like togs (swimwear). I suggested that only people who wear orange togs would think that. Spoiler alert: Alex has orange togs.


I think he looks swell. Possibly I may be biased, both re. the man and the shorts I made.

P.S SWAP is still very much on my horizon but I am 100% confident that I will NOT finish by the deadline, so I’m not busting my hump to race through. Hopefully I will start on some of the bias cut camisole tops in the coming weeks.


19 thoughts on “Oranje Broeken*.

  1. Love! And love the post. Alex looks so charming and pleasant, with that wide-open smile. I am sorry to hear that it is his dad who is ill. Having lost my dad nearly thirty years ago now, in trying family circumstances, I understand the complexities of a similar situation. All the best to you.

    Apart from being fabulously orange and very appropriate, I like the details. Thank you for sharing the pockets. And of course, as I mentioned before, don’t feel one whit of pressure re. SWAP. Any sewing is as much of a win as completing the whole shebang by the deadline.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Charming and pleasant are excellent descriptors of my man. He’s 1 in a million!
      Trying times for sure, thanks for the understanding. We have each other which is the best thing in the world, and we will protect each other.
      And thanks for the reassurance re SWAP. I’m not sweating it, it’s already been such a useful exercise. Every garment will add something to my wardrobe and I’m ok having an easy timeline.


  2. These are super cool! The details are really nice and they look like wonderful summer shorts. I love the bit about swimwear–too funny! Alex isn’t alone in having trouble acclimating to bright trousers or shorts: my husband had a hard time with his red jeans (which he requested and picked denim for!) as well. He couldn’t figure out what to wear with them! (And this is a guy who had a bright orange mohawk hairstyle for a while!) He got more comfortable with the color eventually, and I’m sure Alex will too–it may just take some time and experimenting with combos of shirts and shoes. πŸ™‚

    I am so sorry that you were both hit with such a sucker-punch on return from your holiday. 😦 I know from experience that even a more mild diagnosis can exacerbate difficult relationships with family, so you both have my sympathies there as well. But as you said, you have each other, and I hope that will be your greatest refuge and strength during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks mads. It’s been tough but we are so lucky to have each other. And thanks for the lols re the red jeans. Read them out to Alex. The funniest thing is the very first pair of shorts were denim blue in colour and he wasn’t sure what to wear with that colour, and I was like “dude, I chose the fabric because it was the exact.same.colour as your jeans” πŸ˜‚oh men!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the orange, it’s so ‘on trend’, which I’m sure will be a big selling point to Alex! The zippered pockets are so cool and I love the details you added on this make. So sorry his dad is ill! Hang in there…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peru! Orange shorts! Cool man! I am sorry about the cancer – its a terrible thing to have to deal with. I only hope that your FIL finds some peace and meaning at this terrible time. Sewing nice bright items beautifully can bring a little solace.

    Liked by 1 person

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