plaid shorts [mccalls 6391]

i bought mccalls 6391 years ago because i thought the shorts were cute and had lots of potential. a couple weeks ago i set out to make these shorts for my nine year old, anastasia. there are precious few not super helpful reviews of this pattern, so i went into it armed only with my instinct. the pattern is designed to sit at the waist. i can’t speak for you, but i’m pretty sure i don’t know a single kid who wants to wear at waist anything. off the bat i lopped 1″ off the top, and also removed 1″ from the length.

photo 3

i drafted all the not included pieces (fly facing, fly shield, pocket facings, etc) and went to work. i had less than a yard of shirting fabric (from this make) but managed to fit it all in and match my plaids pretty well. since this was a shirting fabric, i underlined it in muslin to make sure the shorts didn’t end up see-through.

photo 2

the pattern has a box pleat at the waist, which i thought looked strange, so i split the pleat into two regular pleats. i could have eliminated the pleats altogether, but aren’t pleats trendy at the moment? i don’t pretend to know, i just thought it was cute. i ended up cutting the waistband one size larger (since i lowered where the waistband was going to sit) and trimmed it down to fit. also, i added back patch pockets and belt loops. i had made a sash from leftover chambray scraps which she can use as a belt since the shorts are pretty roomy and would likely fall off otherwise.

photo 1

i made her a size 7 and they’re plenty big. i really like how these shorts came out and i already have another pair cut out in a lightweight denim, which hopefully i’ll get to next week. i have received a few questions about how i construct the zip fly, so i plan to detail my process in an upcoming post, as well as how to draft those mystery pieces that most patterns don’t bother to include. i have a few other things to post first, but i’ll get to it!

—lisa g.

16 thoughts on “plaid shorts [mccalls 6391]

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! the plaid matching on pockets is deceptively easy… i mark where the pocket is supposed to go then mark on my pocket pattern piece a dominant vertical and horizontal line, then cut my pocket accordingly. couldn’t be easier!

  1. dokucug says:

    Those are adorable! And yet again, I’m bowing down to your plaid-matching AND fabric using-up skillz!

    Can’t wait to see that tutorial! And congrats on your win over at Sunni’s!! I was so happy it was you who won it!

  2. Susan says:

    Chambray bow belt! I love all the little touches you did on these shorts, but that one is my fave. You have no idea the binge chambray buying I’m having to stifle because of you…

    • lisa g says:

      the chambray belt was a lucky coincidence! i made it as a sash for the first communion lace dress from a while back (and shortened the hemline by several inches) and it just happened to go with these shorts too. love it when that happens!

  3. poppykettle says:

    Gorgeous! They look so well proportioned in the first photo – I can’t imagine them longer and higher! Love the fabric of course – such a great colour-combo. Underlining in muslin was a great idea, too. I just don’t understand why patterns don’t include basics like the fly shield and what not. I know we like fast results, but I would like to think the majority of peeps who sew want to take the time to make it look its best. Ah well!

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! i didn’t get a good pic with her wearing them, but they would have looked a bit off without those changes. i really can’t understand either why patterns leave off those bits. having the facing/shield doesn’t make the fly any more difficult to construct! plus it looks way better in the end. baffling!

  4. Theresa says:

    I can’t wait to see the tutorial! I just saw these shorts on the pattern and was thinking it needed the same changes you made but would have no idea how to go about it! Have the cutest fabric waiting to see them 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      i just added a “tips and tutorials” page (link up top) and my fly tutorial is there. i haven’t had a chance to show how to draft all those extra bits yet (fly facing and shield), but i do plan to eventually!

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