On my last attempt I managed not only to sew both legs together but to somehow sew the shorts upside down?! Anyway, maybe I'll share them another day but for today I thought I'd share some of the problems I've had with the pattern I chose. Mccalls Easy M6249 - easy they say? Pah! Clearly not easy enough for me as I had some real problems with the instructions.
I cut out the correct size of the pattern - helped immensely by Toile and Trouble's kind offer of doing me a full set of measurements. I am sure this list of my measurements is going to come in so useful with future sewing work as I hadn't realised how different pattern sizes would be to shop sizes to each other. I also had problems with the cutting out as to my mind if you're cutting on the fold well then you'll have one piece, right? So I ended up with one front piece, weirdly joined at the top, and two back pieces. I quickly realised, from seeing Karen's version with only 2 pieces that I should have either 2 or 4 and after checking with Toile and Trouble again (I'm so lucky to have sewing friends I can consult for advice - I was too embarrassed to post a question about this on the sew-along!).
So, with four pieces I moved on. Right from the first stage I found the instructions difficult to follow. 'Stitch front and back together at inner leg' - well it doesn't say anywhere to stitch one front piece to one back piece and other front piece to other back piece. So, when I first attempted this pattern with shorts I duly stitched both 11's to both 12's. As you'd imagine this was a FAIL! Of course if I'd just taken the time to read my Reader's Digest Guide to sewing I'd have worked out how to do this but I had placed full and implicit trust in my pattern. Bad move!
Again, I consulted Toile & Trouble, who helped me out, and also suggested I might benefit from reading my Reader's Digest sewing book a bit more often - point duly taken! I made notes with fabric pen on each front and back piece and then .. ignored the pattern again. The pattern (as seen below) says to sew up the inner leg seam, then the crotch, then the outer leg seam. I didn't do that, I followed the sew-along, and Reader's Digest, and sewed the inner leg seam, then outer leg seams first and then the crotch.
Tonight I made the waistband and inserted the elastic and am all ready for hemming - bring it on!