M7547 Sew-Along: Waistband Facing Option for Pants

McCall's M7547 Sew-Along

This week on the M7547 Sew-Along we’re at the point where we’re ready to add a waistband (if you’re sewing the pants version as I am), or the waistband and bib, if you’re making the overalls version as Amanda is. I’m actually going the no-waistband route. I tried on my pants after step 24 (the zipper), and I decided I like them without the waistband. [Note: Amanda will be posting this week about attaching the waistband and bib, so head over to her blog for those instructions.]

That meant I needed to create a waistband facing. Fortunately this is a really easy drafting task and even beginning sewers can do this. All you need is some tracing paper. Watch my how-to video (scroll down for it) or just follow these steps:

  • Turn your pants inside out and lay them flat on a table, front side facing up.
  • Cut a large rectangle from your tracing paper and place it on top of your pants at the waist. You’re going to trace off a facing that’s about two inches wide, more or less depending on how wide you like your facings to be.
  • Trace around your pants, starting at the waist edges. On the side without a zipper, trace and include the seam allowance. On the zipper side, add and trace off a seam allowance of about two inches. This gives you some room to turn under the waistband seam allowance by the zipper, and it also gives you some extra fabric to play with in case you need it.
  • Neaten up your new pattern pieces using a dressmaker’s ruler with a slight curve. Make sure your facing is an even two inches wide (if that’s the width you’re going with) all the way around. As a guide, I used a waistband facing pattern piece from a pattern I had in my stash. Check your stash because you probably have a pattern with a waistband facing as well.
  • Scroll down to watch my video where I do a much better job of explaining this part.

That’s how to create your facing pieces. Mark “front” and “back” on each piece, and note the zipper side too. Then, when you cut out your waistband facing from your fashion fabric, be sure and flip the pattern pieces, since when you traced off your pants you were tracing the wrong side of your pants. But if you mess up on this step, as I did, don’t worry because the two facing pieces are practically interchangeable and who cares if you sew the back facing to the front of your pants (like I did).

Other steps in adding a waistband facing:

  • Apply interfacing to both pieces.
  • Sew the side seam
  • Finish the lower edge of the facing. You can serge it, turn it under 1/4″ and stitch in place, or bias-bind it. I chose to bias-bind my facing.IMG_3413
  • Pin facing in place, matching side seams. Sew 5/8″ seam around the waist.
  • Before you trim your seam allowances, stop and try on your pants. I found that after I added my facing, the waist became a little baggy on me. I solved this by removing the back facing and then taking in the center-back seam near the waist. I reattached the back facing, moving the excess part of the facing to the zipper side, where I could easily trim it off (still leaving at least 5/8″ to fold to the inside of my pants).
  • After you’re sure you like the fit, trim the seam and understitch. At the zipper opening, turn the facing ends to the inside. Press and hand-stitch in place.
McCall's M7547 Sew-Along
This is a diagram from another pattern that shows the process of adding a waistband facing. In Fig. A you can see how the facing is stitched on at the waist, with the ends extending past the zipper opening. The inset shows understitching after the facing is attached. In Fig. B, the facing ends at the zipper opening are turned under and then stitched in place.
McCall's M7547 Sew-Along
My pants facing.

Next week on the sew-along: Amanda discusses finishing touches. We are almost done! Don’t forget you can still join us on our M7547 Sew-Along Facebook group! We’re a small but friendly and helpful bunch.

M7547 Sew-Along: Seams and Zipper

McCall's M7547 Sew-Along

This week on the M7547 Sew-Along Amanda gets really detailed about the seams and zipper (steps 14-24). Hop over to her blog to read her full post.

McCall's M7547 Sew-Along
Amanda has lots of detail photos in her post this week.

I’m nearly finished with my pants! Here’s a preview:

McCall's M7547 Sew-Along

Next week on the sew-along, Amanda and I will both be posting on our respective blogs about the waistband. I’ll share how I added a facing to the waist of my pants, and Amanda will talk about her overalls (which are looking really cute, btw). Stay tuned!

M7547 Sew-Along: Darts and Pockets (steps 1-13)

McCall's M7547 Sew-Along

Welcome to Week 4 of the McCall’s M7547 sew-along. If you’re keeping pace with us you should have made a muslin and cut out your fashion fabric by now. If you aren’t sewing along in real-time, no worries! We’ll leave these posts up indefinitely.

Since so many of you have told us you want more video tutorials, here’s a straightforward video I made that explains how to do all the steps this week, from the darts in the beginning through adding the pockets in step 13. (Excuse the low production values!)

Sewing darts on the back pockets. Making darts on midweight woven fabrics is pretty easy to do. First, mark on the wrong side of your fabric where your dart begins and ends. In wovens that don’t fray I like to make little snips outside the seamline to mark where the dart legs start. These make it easier to line up the dart legs.

Stitch your dart as you normally do. When I get about .5″ away from the dart point, I reduce my stitch length to about 1, stitching right off the fabric. Tie a knot in the threads to secure your stitches. The small stitches near the dart point create a secure dart that holds up to stress.

McCall's M7547 Sew-Along
Back dart in M7547 pants pattern. My fabric is a stretch cotton twill I found in the garment district.

Stitching the pockets. First, pockets are a personal design choice. You can add them or omit them; either way these pants/overalls will still look good. I’m not crazy about back pockets on me, so I only made the cargo-style pockets for the front.

For these cargo pockets you’re going to make a narrow hem at the curved upper edge, where your hand slips in the pocket. Turn under 5/8″ here and press. Then fold under the seam allowance and press so you have a narrow hem. Stitch.

Next, turn under the seam allowance on remaining pocket edges, except for the little part at the top that will be enclosed by the waistband. To guarantee that I’m pressing under exactly 5/8″, I stitch just a hair to the right of the 5/8″ seamline, creating a stitching line that becomes my pressing line. I used to turn and press under using a seam gauge to measure, but that’s time-consuming and harder to maintain a consistent 5/8″ accuracy.

McCall's M7547 Sew-Along
Miter the corners to get a sharp point here. Fold in the corner at the point where the seamlines intersect; press. Then turn in seamlines and press again.

McCall's M7547 Sew-Along

Pin your pockets in place matching the symbols at the upper edge near the waist. In the video I show you how to do this and how to make sure both the left side and the right side of your pants are mirror images.

Edgestitch the pockets in place, then topstitch about 1/4″or less away from the edgestitching. Baste the upper edge of the pocket in place.
McCall's M7547 Sew-Along

IMG_3356

Note: In step 10 we tell you to trim away the right front mock fly extension. Do this if you plan to sew a mock fly. Since I’m omitting the mock fly in my version, after I took the above photo I trimmed the extension on both front pieces.

Next week on the sew-along: My co-host Amanda will walk you through steps 14-24. Don’t forget to join our Facebook Group for the sew-along! And readers, when I tell you that these M7547 pants are one of my most favorite things I’ve sewn recently, it is NO LIE. Love these pants and am already obsessing about making another pair.