Monday, April 22, 2013

McCall's M6515 Misses' Pants

I joined the Challenge to Sew Your Own Wardrobe For a Year! Check out their blog and take the plunge! It is very motivating. I need more work clothes, and I refuse to buy them! So here goes...

I usually avoid JoAnn's for quilting cottons, but I found some nice apparel fabric there on sale. I purchased some purple stretch linen/cotton, red bottomweight stretch sateen, and brown pinstriped stretch cotton. Each had just a percent or two of lycra or spandex. My hope was that if I sewed the pants too tight, the little bit of stretch would help. It is so hot here in the south, I avoid polyester altogether. When I asked if they carried any rayon challis, they looked at me like an alien. Very strange. I must learn where to get good fabric! Where do you get yours? Online?

To help me get my bearings, I signed up for Sandra Betzina's Pant Fitting Techniques and Pant Construction Techniques Craftsy classes. When there was a sale on classes, I grabbed 'em! They are a great resource, and I have enjoyed comparing Sandra's techniques to Kenneth King's class. Of course, pants are not jeans, but I've seen a little bit of overlap in discussion, and I loved all the classes. I go back in and replay sections for reminders.

Now, Sandra had some good advice about avoiding stretch fabric that stretches out and doesn't return to its regular shape. I don't want to have baggy butt and knees after sitting in stretch pants, so I took that to heart and decided I would sew the sides in more if needed, as she recommends.

I had a pattern, McCall's M6515 Misses' Pants, and it seemed doable.

I made a muslin pair of shorts without a zipper, just to check the fit. It seemed to fit well, but I still worried about the difference in using stretch fabric. I'm a size 12 but I'm so short, I need to shorten most pants by 1 inch in the crotch and a little more in the leg.

First, I made the purple linen pants. I thought I'd go crazy and flat fell the outseams. That went well until I hit the part where the side invisible zipper goes. Oh, well. Just a little wrangling in there, and it's not too bad. I love to use my Blindstitch #5 foot for that. (I don't have a #10 Edgestitch foot. Can anyone tell me the difference?)

Then, I hemmed, using a blind stitch. The linen does a great job at hiding the stitches, unlike my later fabric choices.

I thought I'd be like Angela Wolf and use a fun cotton print for the waistband facing. In my haste, I totally spaced out pre-washing it. Doh! It shrunk in the wash, but miraculously they still fit. Maybe the loosey-goosey  hand sewing to attach the facing to the inside helped some. That was no fun.

I liked this pattern enough, I made them in the red and brown pinstripe fabrics, too.

For these two, though, I  attached the waistband facing by topstitching the front. I pinned from the inside and stitched on the outside to close it up.

Maybe next time, I'll be brave enough to show you the zippers.