Friday, 3 May 2019

McCalls 7377 Pirate Shorts Sewing Pattern Review

I choose this pattern hoping it will be a quick and easy stash buster to make use of my woven fabric stash - so I can make space to buy some swoon worthy stretch prints of course!

Surprisingly this pattern doesn't actually specify the type of fabric required which I found very strange.  Looking at the fit and the button closure I'm assuming it will be fine with woven cotton type fabrics.  Maybe they're not specifying as it doesn't matter, which is ideal for a beginner pattern but it misses a crucial step in the sewing process which I really don't think would be helpful for someone just starting to learn to sew.  

Tools and Materials:

I actually started making the dress as Little Miss has requested a pirate dress.  Because I was making this in one of the smallest sizes I had a little bit more space on the fabric to work with. By cutting the pockets from a contrasting fabric and moving some of the smaller pattern pieces around I was able to squeeze half a pair of shorts out of the left over fabric.  

The other half of the shorts and the dress pockets were both cut from an old pair of shirt sleeves - just the sleeves, the front and back having been used for a previous project.  I'm seriously impressed with my thriftiness and scrap busting talents on this one.

I can never be bother tracing the pattern pieces.  I think I did it once when using one of those free patterns with twenty different patterns were printed on one sheet - I'll never try that again!!  It's put me off pattern tracing for life.

But kids grow so the bigger sizes need to be preserved for future use and frankly I tend to grow too, lol so the same goes for my adult patterns.

I do this using a combination of a tracing wheel and carbon paper to trace the curves onto the fabric.

Or my rotary cutter and ruler for the straight lines.  I fold the pattern piece back to the appropriate size.  I have to be very careful not to trim the pattern too - I have quite a few held together with sticky tape!

I keep getting the front and back mixed up on pants so I've taken to adding a pin to the back piece.  

I also keep forgetting to sew my label in place so I pin that to the back piece too.

Little Miss now has a couple of upside down print dresses so I double, tripe checked that this pattern doesn't have a direction to worry about.

I've heard that some kids are irritated by clothing labels on their skin.  In my life avoiding cranky kids is key so I've taken to moving my labels a few inches down the back centre seam.  Little Miss can still easily identify the back but the label should only be touching her underwear not her skin.

I was really surprised that the instructions weren't more detailed for the side seams.  With the crotch seam sewn the p[ants resemble a pair of harem pants.  It would be easy for a beginner to assume that the side seams should be sewn as they lay.  It was only my experience that told me this wasn't right.  Even then it took me a minute to figure out how to bring the pant sides right sides together correctly.

I didn't bother with the pattern after that so I have no idea how it proceeded.  

I over-locked the waist and pant hems.

My sewing journal earned it's keep.  Getting my currently sleeping toddler's waist measurement was simply a matter of looking it up from the last skirt I made her.  

I pressed the waist and hems and stitched them in place with a twin needle.

I really should take more care to get my hems even so I can make the twin line of stitching lie just on the edge, this is ridiculously far from it and leaves an irritating flap of excess fabric.  

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