Another Pair of Shorts! McCall’s 6848

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Thanks to my attempt at batch sewing, I have a nice little backlog of projects to share with you.  Of course everything took a backseat to the Refashioners contest and some fun pattern testing I did for Megan Nielsen, but now I’m back to my regularly scheduled projects and I want to share these summer makes with you before summer is too far gone from the northern hemisphere and we all start to wonder if it really happened at all.

Shorts by Pattern and Branch

I’ve made the shorts from McCall’s 6848 before and it’s fast becoming my most used pattern (knit versions of the tanks here: #1 and #2; woven shirt here).  One of the next frontiers in sewing for me is fitting.  It’s something I don’t really know how to do.  Some of the “how” is starting to trickle into my brain, but it’s the doing that needs to be done before I can really understand it.

Here’s what my pattern looks like:

Shorts by Pattern and Branch

Shorts by Pattern and Branch

What I’ve found with the few patterns I’ve tried for bottoms is that the front half often has too much fabric for me and the back half not enough.  These shorts, with all their ease and comfort, seemed like a safe pattern to try out some fitting ideas on.  If my attempts aren’t spot on, the relaxed nature of the pattern should be forgiving so that I can wear them anyway.

My Mom is so awesome in feeding my sewing habit (Thanks, Mom!) and donated all of her apparel-related volumes of the Singer Sewing Reference Library to me.  I cannot recommend these books enough.  I looked through them and got some ideas about what to try to remedy my fitting problem.  Here’s what I came up with:

Shorts by Pattern and Branch

I measured the extra fabric on my first pair of shorts and used that number to get an idea of how much fabric I wanted to take out of the front.  As you can see above, I took out a wedge, and then redrew my grain line.  This makes it sound like I know what I am doing–I don’t.  I’m trying out some ideas I found and hoping for the best.

Shorts by Pattern and Branch

On the back pattern piece, I tried to figure out how much I needed to add, then slashed to the edge and opened up a wedge, taping extra paper behind the wedge.  Then I redrew the grainline and hoped I did it right.  I’m really not sure how to tell if I’m doing that step correctly, so I just try to keep it similar to how it was in the beginning.

After doing this, I cut out my pieces* and made the shorts like I normally would.  Then I tried them on, and I have to say that they were much better!

Shorts by Pattern and Branch

Shorts by Pattern and Branch

Shorts by Pattern and Branch

They still felt great after a full day of wear.  The only thing I noticed that might be improved upon is that they may need a small amount of fabric added to the back crotch point.  They felt very slightly off in the front when I first put them on, so this is what I hope to try when I make these next.  I wrote myself a note to try that next time, and put the pattern away.  I think summer sewing is winding up for this year.

I had to add some little bar tacks to the side seams because the shorts from this pattern and the handles on my kitchen drawers seem to have an unhealthy attraction to one another that always results in rips.  Even this pair hasn’t escaped it’s fate, but you can try…

Shorts by Pattern and Branch

Looks like I left a few marker dots on there, too!  Oops!

What I will say about this pattern is that these are the shorts I reach for time and time again.  If I’d had more summer sewing time, I probably would have made a few pairs in more neutral fabrics because they are just so comfortable.  I suppose that might have something to do with this actually being a pajama pattern…but you know I love secret pajamas as much as the next person.

*In case you are wondering, the fabric is an Amy Butler quilting cotton from her Soul Blossoms line called Passion Lily.  Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for the gift of this fabric which I have been hoarding holding onto for a long time! 

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