Blank Slate Oceanside Shorts

April was a busy month for me. I was slow to recover completely from the pneumonia. I am still a little low in energy in comparison to before, but the pneumonia is definitely gone. My chronic cough is now being managed fully by medication. I’m so relieved that it is finally responding to the many meds I am on. I am also not having a lot of sinus issues likely as a result of the antibiotics.

I saw a doctor last week who may have significantly changed how I approach my life. It’s a shame that she was a specialist and is not part of my primary care, because the advice and guidance she gave me was excellent. The biggest take away is that she advised me to focus on keeping a steady weight instead of losing weight like other doctors. She commended my nutrition, but said to supplement that with a long list of vitamins. I’m supposed to stop doing heavy housework and focus on using my hands for the things I can’t give up, like sewing and cardmaking. Guys, I basically got a prescription to get out of housework. Haha!

No braces for me yet. I’m probably going to get finger splints, though, on my own. Other than that, KT taping is working wonders. I actually went to bed last night without a throbbing hip so it seems to be healing my hip bursitis. The overall joint dislocation and cartilage damage is still sadly happening, but the bursitis was extra pain on top of that and terrible to deal with. It was especially difficult for sleeping.

Spring also tends to be a better time for me as there are more warm days. Unfortunately, there has been a steady stream of rainy and cold overcast days which is leading to migraines, but there is sun on the horizon!

I managed to get some of my sewjo back last week with pattern testing. The deadline with pattern testing tends to get me back into the sewing mood. Blank Slate is a great company to test with if your sewjo is low. Their process tends to include tighter deadlines and lots of fitting and fit guidance for the larger sizes. I think it’s pretty effective for getting a good fit, learning fit tips, and testing that the pattern can do the pattern alterations you need. It’s always a positive process and really puts me back in the mood for sewing.

The Oceanside pants/shorts are an older pattern recently sized up to 3XL. I made the 3XL and did 4 muslins to get a good fit in the shorts. There are a couple of changes I would make going forward: add a couple of inches to the hem of the shorts, make them in capris length, and embellish like crazy: I’m talking scalloped hem, laced hem, bias tape finishes…. etc. In other words, I am happy with the fit I have for them now. There are minor issues there, but they are minor. They are great for a relaxed fit short with an elastic band waist.

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

I made my shorts in a turquoise linen that I got from the thrift store back in the fall and used lime green buttons for the pockets. I need all the linen now to make a bunch more.

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

Real talk now. I haven’t worn shorts in public since I was really really young. When I was a teen and bullied horribly, I stopped wearing anything that remotely showed my shape for a really long time. When I was 25, that started changing when my friend Lisa took me clothes shopping and challenged me to buy fun clothes. I also self-harmed and my legs were covered in cuts from age 16 to 21. I now have the scars internally and externally, but have emotionally healed so much and haven’t self-harmed or had a suicide attempt since I was 21. I’m so proud of myself for how far I have come since then. Now I mostly wear skirts and dresses in the summer with little bike shorts underneath to prevent chub rub and for the ever fun wind incident. But shorts…. Not sure why they are still a barrier for me. I feel like I must have worn them and gotten some mention from the bullies on how they felt about my legs at 13 and stopped wearing shorts as a result. My legs became a target for me and I stopped showing them. I even stopped swimming for the most part. I loved swimming but I stopped feeling comfortable in a swimsuit. After healing my mind, I’ve done a lot to find joy in my body. I have a genetic disease that has effected me my whole life and I can’t change those genetics. I can only care for it and love it and try to stop it from deteriorating further.

Shorts are something I’ve been making over the past year in various forms, but I haven’t made a pair that I felt comfortable leaving the house in. I have a few more cut out and one UFO needing a quick fix. But these really helped me remember my goals to overcome these irrational clothing fears. I also need to get back to that UFO two piece swimsuit that I was making back in the summer so I can join the YMCA and get back in the water.

It was great to have the opportunity to test the shorts and be reminded of the things I want to make to support loving my body.

Look at that butt:

Blank Slate Oceanside shorts

That’s a good butt.


31 thoughts on “Blank Slate Oceanside Shorts

  1. Great Butt Andie 🙂 So glad you’re on the mend even if it is slow. Way to go a prescription not to do housework 🙂 What a shame this is a specialist and not one of the team, but still A1 advice and real understanding. Rooting for you here in England, love the shorts would not have thought of wearing them myself but having seen you in yours, a rethink is in the pipeline. Thank you for being so brave and honest re self harming and you absolutely should be proud of how far you’ve come. I turned 60 in Feb and sadly have not yet stopped the self harm though fortunately it’s not super obvious people assume I had “chicken pox” and don’t seem to see newer scars. BUT, well done Andie, an amazing, inspirational woman!

    1. Thanks so much! 🙂 Self-harm is a tough thing to stop doing. There are times when my brain does think of it as an automatic fallback. I have done a lot of CBT to stop that thinking, but it still requires active thinking especially when stress is present. Definitely the most difficult thing in my life that I have overcome.

  2. These pretty great shorts, I love the pocket details too. I’m with you on the shorts thing, something about it makes me feel naked even though I wear skirts all the time! I don’t know what gives, but I know you should definitely rock these out in public if you want to. They are fun and look good. I also find that my definition of what I’m comfortable in changes around mid July when the temps are in the 90s, so maybe its just that you haven’t had the weather for it! haha. I’m so glad you were able to make some progress with a new doctor. Finding a doctor that is understanding (and doesn’t just tell you all of your problems are because you are fat) is SUCH A RELIEF. Makes me cry every time. Sending you lots of love!!

    1. Thanks, Megan! 😀 The pocket details do rock. I see all sorts of fun variations for possibilities there.

      We’ve definitely had the right weather for me to wear shorts, but I always go for the skirts and dresses. I also think I look better in skirts and dresses, but dammit sometimes I just want to wear shorts. 😉

      The other thing is that this doctor told me I am probably better off fat since my muscles have had to be strong to carry the weight anyway. She said that the other EDS patients she has seen are far smaller than me and barely able to do anything. I can walk and perform most tasks; difficulty level varies, but I am doing pretty well overall. Because muscle tone is key in EDS to prevent injury to the joints, I think that makes sense. It definitely was a relief to hear that. But on the other hand, not sick enough to see her more regularly. lol. Catch 22.

      1. Andie, your comment triggered something and I thought I’d share it with you. I don’t have your condition(s) but I do have several health issues and since losing over 3 stone (not from choice it’s happening) I have been in far more pain and find that my mobility is more compromised than when I was more overweight. Lucy

      2. I hope that stabilizes for you soon, Lucy. Losing weight like that when you aren’t doing anything has got to be taking a toll on your body. I hope that stops soon. ❤ ❤ Many hugs.

  3. These shorts look great on you. You look very happy in the photos too. I don’t​see any reason for you not to wear shorts you’ve got fantastic shapely legs!
    Blessings, Baa

    1. Thank you so much! I am coming around to giving more love to my legs. It’s about time. 🙂

  4. I’m so sorry it’s pouring rain and not warm enough for shorts, because these are awesome. Shorts are tough for lots of women, but it was liberating to add them back into my wardrobe a few years ago. They are so practical for casual wear in the sticky humid summers. Even if you are a skirt & dresses lover like yourself! Glad you’ve had a positive interaction in the health department, too. That makes such a difference – happy spring to you!

    1. Thanks, Chloe! Happy spring to you, too. Maybe the rain will stop soon for us to get some sun. 🙂

  5. Dear Andie, do yourself a favour and get into the swimming pool. It will give your poor battered body a chance to luxuriate in weightlessness. I know it is difficult for you to exercise but this is a form of movement without the stress of gravity. And once you’re in the water you won’t be self conscious about what you look like in a swimsuit. Don’t waste your life waiting for the ideal moment, do it now. Bugger, what other people think. Love and best wishes, Judy

    1. The only barrier now is finishing my swimsuit. 🙂 It’s at the top of my UFO pile now. Woohooo.

  6. I agree, great butt 🙂
    This is going to sound silly, but you look so happy! I have followed your blog for a while and I don’t think I’ve seen you look so silly/happy for a while. I hope you feel better soon, keep up the good work.
    Mental health can be super tricky. Stay happy!

    1. Thanks, Liz. It’s been a while since I have done a proper photoshoot for my blog and there’s been a lot of health talk. In spite of the health talk, I’m doing great mentally and am really happy. It’s tough because you don’t get to see how silly and ridiculous I am in real life. Since my blog is personal and a way of talking out complicated things like chronic illness, it tends to read differently. I do improv comedy so I have to be silly. 😉

  7. Oh wow…I never comment on anything OR wear shorts, but I love these so much I am considering trying shorts. 🙂

  8. I’m glad that there’s glimpses of old Andie coming back! That’s a great looking back fit, and the turquoise is such a sunny happy color. I’m glad the pattern worked out for you–perhaps I should persevere with it–the pockets are the cutest part!

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! 😀 The turquoise made me think of your colour palette. 😀

      Definitely persevere. Funny how even a relaxed fit can be fussy to fit for shorts or pants. But once you get it, these are so comfy!

      1. I love the idea of them. I have a Sandra Betzina pattern that’s similar. Loose pants are tricky on me because they don’t tend to stay on my hips and I’m a bit Princess and the Pea about elastic. Thus far Hudson Pants’ waistband is the most comfortable. Maybe if I had used fabric that I liked better, I would’ve soldiered on.

  9. Those shorts look good! Glad that you are feeling better. If any of your symptoms are inflammation related ask your Dr. about taking Turmeric! I have chronic bouts with sciatic nerve pain and tumeric has had an amazing effect on pain control without my having to take kidney damaging pain meds!

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