McCall's M5391 - Classic Twill Shorts - Day Two

Between making upgrades to our house and shopping for a new car, my "spare time" has been rather consumed. It's great for the household but not so great for the pile of sewing projects I just can't seem to stop adding to.

My shorts have finally made it back onto the counter!  I've begun today by laying out the pieces I cut last week to trace the marks onto the fabric. I find that using wax-free tracing paper, a wheel, and a see-through dressmaker's ruler provides the most accurate transfer for me. The ruler provides a guide when tracing lines, as well as a weight for when pins would be in your way. I copy everything exactly as it is on the pattern, except for the circles, which I replace with 'x's for simplicity. Since I've determined this Prym paper will always wash out, I'll use the white paper for this project for greatest visibility.
Next, I cut out the interfacing for my waistband, trimming it just inside the pattern lines. I find cutting off the entire seam allowance does not provide enough stability when sewing. I iron the facing to the fabric using a simple, damp paper towel.

Now, I get to pull my machine out and begin sewing! For this project, I have purchased a Jeans/Denim needle and heavy thread.  Immediately upon starting, I encountered two preventable problems: the fabric would not feed and then the thread became jammed. For my last project, I had applied buttons which required me to lower my feed dogs. Apparently, I forgot to raise them upon completion. When the fabric wouldn't feed, the thread worked itself off one of the tension hooks which caused it to tangle and jam. This is why I'm still a beginner! Once I fixed those issues, things began running smoothly. (Imagine that!)

Step 7 seemed to present the first error: the instructions state "trim seam allowances above large circle as shown." However, in the picture, the seam do not appear to be trimmed. Not a major flaw though. I always take about 3/8" off to reduce bulk.
Next mistake. When I pivoted at the large circle, I did so perpendicular to the first part of the seam rather than the edge. Luckily, this was an easy fix. Since the next step called for a topstitch along the same seamline, the integrity should not be greatly reduced. The topstitch made me a touch nervous as I'd never done one. Since it will be visible in the final product, it must be straight and even. The distance between my needle and the left side of my foot is 1/4" so, I used the foot edge as a guide to keep my stitches straight. This resulted in a decent looking topstitch.

The next part of the instructions were very clear and "side front" went on with no problem. Of course, it was steps 17-23 that had me concerned. I've never sewn a crotch area this way but I was relieved by the number of diagrams provided. So far, I have 17-19 done but my fiance pulled up as I started on the zipper so I will [hopefully] continue there tomorrow.
Time to make dinner! x


  1. Neat...I can't wait to see how they turn out! I wish I could sew--it's something I'm really bad at for some reason (organizationally challenged!). It must be so nice to be able to make things yourself and have what you want with better quality and fit, rather than having to settle for what the malls have (or pay big $$ to buy it elsewhere).

  2. I'm sure, with the right pattern, you could get the hang of it! I am curious to see how these work out too. There are a lot of firsts for me on this one. Maybe if I can get them together successfully (feed dog mishaps and all!) it will encourage you to pick out a project!

    Thanks for the follow!


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