Central American Inspired Clothing/ McCalls 6391

Central American Inspired Clothing/ McCalls 6391

I love to shop at Bad Granny’s Bazaar, in the arts district of Oklahoma City. It’s not a thrift store, not a craft show, and not a boutique…but somehow all three.

(My favorite booth there has lots of vintage fabrics & trims salvaged from estate sales. You’d die if I showed you some of the stash I’m hoarding. Like, if my house was burning I’d run to save my fabric…)

Forever ago, I picked up this crazy printed denim. It has very little stretch. I thought it was fabulously retro, and knew I had to have it. I waited very patiently for these prints to come back in style.

Now that Aztec symbology and Central American prints are trending, I knew I had to use this fabric right now,or sit on it for another 20 years.

I decided to use it to make these pleated shorts using McCalls 6391. (Bottom right, purple.)

They have a pleated front, buttoned flap pockets, a set in zip fly, and cuffed hems. Don’t scoff at pleated front pants. I saw them all over the runway. Like em’ or not, here they come.

The pattern is marked “easy”. I had a little trouble with the zip fly. When I see “easy” I think “beginner”. What it should’ve said was, “easy for someone smarter than you.”

Also, the instructions were very vague throughout the entire process. Easy means spell it out for me. It wasn’t super hard, but it required thinking. Which I don’t like to do without proper warning.

The pattern runs way long, even on the shorter version. I had to cut off about 5 inches before hemming.

There is some weirdness here- I think this could be eliminated by going down a size in the crotch area. I read another review of this pattern that said they had fit issues here too. (It made me feel better, Im not the only one.)

I had this great 90s fabric, so I used this pattern that has a pleated front and flat back-also very 90s. In hindsight, I would have used this fabric to make a flat front pair of shorts with belt loops and back pockets. See how the cool pockets just get lost?

I think I killed this project by doing too much. This fabric is amazing, bold, and busy. It’s too busy to be paired with a complicated design. A clean, streamlined, modern design will serve better.

This buttonhole is sexy. I just forgot to trim it.

I might try this pattern again. I wasn’t really thrilled with it, but I saw a photo of these shorts made with piping around the pockets. The front tucks were changed to darts, creating a flat front. I owe this pattern one more shot before I pass them to someone else.

This photo came from AmericanSewingGuild.blogspot.com. I don’t see any recent posts, but I’m dying for them to get back to blogging. I saw some great projects!

Thank goodness I still have enough fabric left to make another pair! Maybe a version 2.0. Before summer?!

In case you were wondering, I cut this off a table linen & sewed it to the front of a Wal-Mart tank top.

About The Author

Amy Mayen

Hello. I'm Amy and I'm addicted to sewing. I borderline-hoard fabric, buttons, & patterns. Sometimes I wish I could pile my fabric up on the floor and just roll in it!


  1. Leslie @ ASG in the SLC

    Hi Amy!

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment at ASG in the SLC! So glad that my shorts are inspiring you to try again, you’ve made my day! :o)
    FWIW, I would never consider your shorts horrible, you are way too hard on yourself. That fabric is awesome, but I agree it’d have a better impact on a simpler design – and your applique shirt is a perfect match!
    I’m your newest follower. :o) I’ve been perusing your blog and pinning away – keep up the good work. I hope to get back to blogging soon, I got a job – I guess sometimes life just gets in the way? Many thanks for the plug tho!
    Leslie @ ASG in the SLC recently posted…Flat Felled Seam with Trim {Tutorial}My Profile

  2. Ashley @ Make it Create

    Wow, the shorts came out amazing! Such sewing talent! I am hoping to one day replace my sewing machine that no longer works. Then I hope to learn more about sewing. =) Hope you’re having a great week!!
    Ashley @ Make it Create recently posted…Free Easter PrintableMy Profile

  3. Rachel

    I like the pocket detail and buttons. Bummer it was such a pain. I agree if you say easy you mean it is S P E L L E D out and suitable for a beginner!
    Rachel recently posted…Tutorial: Adding Shoulder Buttons or SnapsMy Profile

  4. Margaret F Johnson

    LOL at your comment on house burning would have to save fabric….about like the day I got the doll pattern on the mail and had it all on the floor cutting out and the weather alarm radio went off with a tornado warning and had 7 minutes to get to shelter….I had trouble deciding what I wanted to grab…the pattern or which of the machines…..LOL

  5. Margaret F Johnson

    Nice. I like the buttons you used to…match up nicely. Good job.


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