Sunday, 15 April 2018

McCalls M7634, Tracksuit Bottoms

Part two of my McCalls M7634 pattern sporty set!

I was so in love with my hoodie, there was no way I wasn't gonna make the matching bottoms. I had some left over fabric, grosgrain ribbon, ribbing and drawstring lace. My only addition to my stash for this project was some wide elastic to add to the waistband. Although the pattern doesn't mention it, I thought it would be a good call to save any embarrassment whilst doing my starjumps.

The bottoms include two side pockets and a bum pocket. The shorts pattern include two bum pockets, so you can mix and match that bit up if you fancy. I added a 2cm strip of medium weight interfacing to the seams joining the opening of the pocket to the trousers so that the pocket didn't gape. I thought it might be a bit risky not using a stretch interfacing, but seeing as that area shouldn't stretch anyway I thought I could get away with it. The pockets are then pressed, understitched, then topstitched for a nice clean finish.

The bum pocket is just a square of fabric with the edges folded in. Again I used a little strip of interfacing to add some sharpness to the top fold.The pocket is then edge stitched onto the bum between the placement dots.

Next is the side seams. I stitched up with the recommended 1.5cm seam allowance then pinned the inner leg seam. The trousers fit my legs but I knew that if I was ever going to wear them for sports I would have to crop them to just below knee length and add a rib cuff. I took 41cm from the bottom of each leg. This also meant narrowing the legs to avoid a genie trouser situation!! I stitched a new seam about an inch inward from the outside leg seam (so 2 inches in total), which I then graded back out to meet the original seam just below the pocket.

It is essential to get this seam perfect at this stage, as the next step is sewing on your ribbon stripes before the inner leg seam is closed up. This goes over the outside seam, so to change it later on you'd have to remove your stripes which I guess would be a real pain.

After attaching my Badidas stripes, but before committing my inner leg seam, I pinned in the crotch seam and tried on. It's reaaaally hard to tell how/where they are gonna sit before the waistband is on there, but it was clear that there was a bit too much 'bag' going on at the front and also a little gape at the centre back. To start with I changed the pins so that I took an extra triangle out at the centre front and centre back seam. This was better but the front still had too much fabric, so I changed the curve, taking more in across my lower hip line, effectively making less fabric wrinkles around my girlbits.

It's hard to tell how your bums looking at this point, even with some creative mirror placement, but I felt there was a bit too much fabric there too. This time I think it was coming from the inner leg seam and I would have to remove some of this too. So again I re pinned about and inch inward from the bottom. The new seamline ended up a bit crazy, with about an inch taken in all the way up then quite a sharp curve to the crotch point back to 1.5cm seam allowance.

Basically there was no mathematic formula, I played about with pins for ages until my ass looked good then took a deep breath and committed to stitch. Once happy I overlocked the leg seams, then stitched, reinforced and overlocked the crotch seam. I did that much changin I didn't trust altering the paper pattern to try and match for next time. The bagginess in the legs would have been fine if I'd been making the full length version so I didn't really want to make any major changes.

As I mentioned before, the pattern uses only a piece of ribbing as a waistband. Might be alright for sitting around on your bum all day but if yer going running or anything the last thing you want on your mind is your trousers falling down. I decided to add elastic for safety as well as a drawstring, both for extra reinforcement and an excuse to get the eyelets out again! I had to wing it all a bit as none of this was in the pattern. I was convinced it would go a bit wrong at some point so was totally amazed when it worked out.
So, to make my waistband:

1- Cut ribbing to required length (I tried on the unfinished trousers then wrapped the strip around to try and gauge.)
2- Open out and stitch centreback seam in waistband with right sides together.
3- Find centre front of waistband by folding. Measure out 2cm either side from centre and mark for eyelets. Remember to not include seam allowance when measuring upwards.
4- Cut another square of ribbing to line up with the centre front. I wanted to add some extra strength around the eyelet holes but did not want to use fabric that would not stretch.
5- Insert eyelets through front of waistband and stability square.
6- Gauge length of elastic required (remember to include seam allowance) and cut. Stitch ends together then line up with the centre back seam of ribbing which would sit against the body. Stitch down through the centre back seam and elastic join. It is important to do this on the body side not the outside of the waistband as the drawstring has to run freely around the outside of the elastic inside the ribbing. OK?
7- Pin waistband closed at notches and thread through drawstring. Try and keep it flat otherwise you'll hate yourself later.
8- Match mid points on waistband to CB/CF and midpoints on the trousers, right sides together and matching raw edges. Deep breath and then overlock together, stretching out the waistband as you go. DONE!

As you can imagine, I was very pleased when this was attached and I was allowed to breathe again. I was even more pleased when I tried on and they sat exactly where I wanted them!!

Final stage was to add ribbing to the bottom of the legs. I guessed the length of ribbing and seemed to get it okay. It's the same process of stretching out as you sew. I could maybe have done with a little less fabric in the back leg (still a little genie!) but I'm HAPPY with them. In fact in this moment as I type this I am feeling HAPPY in general, and it's real nice. Everyone loves a week off work yeh!


Check back on my previous post to see how I made my McCalls M7634 hoodie. All together they look a bit like this:


Location: Ellis Street Car Park, Shalesmoor Sheffield
Currently Listening to: Disorder, Joy Division

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