McCall’s 6972: Men’s Shorts with Oodles of Ease

My boyfriend requested a pair of comfortable shorts for lounging around on the weekends.What’s more comfortable than an elastic waist (says the woman who wears 90% elastic-waisted clothes)? I went looking for a suitable shorts pattern for him and only found one elastic-waisted non-swimsuit men’s shorts pattern: McCall’s 6972.

I bought 2 yards of dark blue 100% cotton twill from Hancock Fabrics for the shorts. (He picked out the fabric, actually. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t making him something he would find uncomfortable or ugly.) The fabric is quite soft and has a medium weight. Twill was not one of the recommended fabrics, but he doesn’t like seersucker, broadcloth, linen, or chambray (the recommended fabrics).

I was undecided about what size to cut, but I decided to go with the larger size, since I know he doesn’t like close-fitting clothes. That was a mistake! There’s about 10 inches of ease in the pattern. I didn’t realize how that would swamp him until I basted the sides together and had him step into the shorts. He then laid a pair of his regular, non-elastic shorts on top of the in-progress shorts. The size difference was dramatic. I should have chosen the smallest size, actually.

So, I sewed the side seams at 1″, rather than 5/8″. I couldn’t bring myself to unpick the inseam, so I told him this version will just hang low. I think, for a future version, I might trace off a pair of his regular shorts and add a little extra width for an elastic waist. That might make for a better fit.

The directions are pretty clear to me, although I’ve been sewing for a couple of years now. The pattern is billed as a “learn to sew” pattern, and it includes tips in the directions.

A pattern-maker really needs to come up with a modern cut for elastic-waisted shorts for men. Simplicity has several elastic shorts and pants for women; do a little something for the guys who also don’t want to have a waistband cutting them in half!

I will post pictures when I wrangle the model. 🙂

McCalls 6654: My Favorite Straight Skirt Pattern

I love McCalls 6654. I’ve made it several times: in mustard, grey, black, brown, and now floral fabrics. Here is the floral version.

McCalls 6654 elastic waisted straight knit skirt
My old tried and true!

The elastic waist offers comfort, while the cut of the skirt is conservative, which I like. The instructions are also clear for this pattern, which is fast to sew up, even for a slowpoke like me! Usually, I use the lightning-bolt stretch stitch to sew this kind of skirt, but this time, I used the serger to sew the side seams and to finish the edge of the hem before I turned it up. I used the lightning bolt stitch to sew the waistband and to secure the hem. It has a lot of stretch.

I feel stylish in this skirt…probably because this type of floral was in when I was a preteen. 😀 It looks like something I would have worn in the form of a slip dress (with a cropped t-shirt underneath, of course…even though I asked my mother to let me wear it with bare shoulders).

I definitely recommend this pattern to others!

Working on Stuff; Swing Dancing Outfits?

Hello, readers! I’ve been working on three things for the past few weeks: shorts for my boyfriend, a skirt for me (that only needs the elastic now), and the V1247 skirt. I have days where I don’t do any sewing, or where I do one small thing, which is why it’s all coming along so slowly. However, I have–as of this week–decided to dedicate 30 minutes to sewing every weekday, so I think I will be making more progress. Also, I think I will be happier, having spent 30 minutes daily doing something I enjoy. 🙂

Speaking of activities I enjoy, I have gotten back into swing dancing, now that I can physically do it again. I don’t have many going-out outfits anymore. I did several closet purges after gaining a lot of weight.

What are some good patterns for dresses I can wear for a little lindy hopping? I prefer to wear sleeveless dresses that allow me to move. If you have any vintage or modern pattern suggestions, I would love to hear them!