crafts · finished objects · Sewing

McCall’s 6404: the pants of meh

Pattern: McCall’s 6404

Fabric: Black ponte knit (rayon/poly/lycra blend)


This is the final unblogged project from my fall sewing.  Let me start by saying that I don’t make pants.  Although it might be annoying to shop until I find RTW pants that fit, it’s not as annoying as making a pair that doesn’t fit me correctly!  I have been wearing pants more this winter, in particular a pair of Michael Kors black skinny ponte pants.  I thought it seemed simple enough, so I decided to try making a pair of knit pants.  I chose McCalls 6404 because I thought the seaming on the legs was interesting.

And it is interesting.  Unfortunately, it also contributes to the problems I have with this pattern.  First off, the envelope describes these as leggings.  These are not leggings!  They are pants, and they aren’t particularly fitted pants.  I had read some reviews stating as much, so I cut each leg 2″ smaller in width to start.  This didn’t help with the problem.  The problem is that these pants are not shaped like human legs.  Are your legs shaped like triangles (skinny at the ankle, gradually widening as they go up with no knees?)  Then this is your pattern.  Seriously, they are shaped like stirrup pants (bad memories there!)

Beyond the issue of the shape of the legs (which might be fine on normal pants, but not on something pretending to be leggings) there is the seaming.  The seaming is interesting, but the problem is that it affects the grain of the fabric, causing the pants to hang (for lack of a better word) wonky.  Again, not a problem if they were actually leggings, but they are not.   Because we are all friends here, I will give you a look at the rear view:

Between this and the closeup I think you can see the issue – the fabric will want to hang in different directions, and is interrupted by those seams.  I don’t think the shape would be so bad without them.  I’m not upset that they aren’t flattering from behind, because I wasn’t planning on ever wearing them with shorter tops (leggings are not pants!) but these are a bit much.  Also, observe how much extra fabric there is behind the knees.  My legs are not bent in the photo, that’s just how much extra is back there!

Other issues: They were long.  I don’t have long legs, so I was fine with that (hemmed them 2.5″ shorter.)  The elastic casing is exactly the same size as the elastic.  I recommend adding just a little bit to it, because threading that elastic was such a pain that I ended up bribing my husband to do it!    In the end, realizing that I was not ever wearing these with the waist exposed, I zigzagged over the back waistband seam to both close the seam (slip stitching does not hold on knits, so I don’t like that instruction) and to keep the elastic in place.

I think these are going to be loungewear only for me.  I’m wearing them today, because I wanted photos and it’s a snow day, but other than that?  Only at 2 am on a friday, when I’m hanging out with my husband playing video games.  Seriously.  I am not encouraged by the pants making.  I cut another pattern at the same time as these, and now I’m a little afraid to make it up!   I know that I could dedicate myself to making muslins and perfecting a pants pattern, but I don’t think I have it in me – I just don’t enjoy sewing basics at all.  I think I will leave the pants to rtw and concentrate on making the rest of my wardrobe fabulous!