McCall’s M5965: Grinch pants


the pattern:
McCall’s M5965 TODDLERS’ AND CHILDREN’S GOWN, TOPS, AND PANTS, copyright 2009 The McCall Pattern Co.
Just your average pajama pattern. I bought this on clearance a couple years ago because kids in raglan t-shirts are such a Cute Classic. Still haven’t made the shirt, but was glad to find this pattern in my collection because the pants pattern is extremely simple: just two pieces, pull-on elastic waist, no outseam. Perfect a loud print that I don’t want to bother matching.

the fabric:
Face: Printed cotton. My husband bought it a couple years ago, just because he liked it. 
Flatlining: Brushed flannel in red. Super soft. Used to be a grown-up nightshirt. Came as a gift, along with a book. Not even kidding here: the book was How The Grinch Stole Christmas. How’s that for appropriate repurposing.
The nightshirt was never worn, but it was HUGE, so I kept it for the fabric. As flatlining it adds a nice weight and warmth to the otherwise wimpy cotton.


pattern observations:
The pattern calls for stretch fabric, which my fabric is not, so I just went up a size, and they turned out HUGE on my kid. Comically huge. I like the proportions a lot, actually. The deep cuff show off the flannel nicely, and kind of reminds me of how firemen uniforms are proportioned, with those stripes around the hem like a giant cuff.
The pattern has you fold the waist down into a channel for 3/4″ elastic, but I did two channels of 1/2″ elastic instead, because that’s what I had in house, and because I like the way two rows look.
I added a little tab of ribbon in the center back, because there isn’t much difference in rise between the front and the back, and I didn’t want to go around wondering if his pants were on backwards all the time. Not that it matters. Except to ME. So now I can always tell front from back. 

Ok, this made me laugh: the pattern instructions, when describing the waist elastic, say “cut elastic a confortable waist measurement, plus 1 inch.”
Um, what? No! How about You Tell Me exactly how long to cut the elastic! You are the pattern. Give me a chart! Tell me exactly how long the elastic should be per size! Don’t make me figure it out!
I ended up just measuring the waistband of another pair of my son’s pants and cutting the elastic the same, but, like, way to make assumptions, McCall’s. I mean: not everyone who sews for kids has a kid. What are people supposed to do when there aren’t any kid’s pants around to measure?
Also, what is this “plus 1 inch” business? I pretty much always cut elastic to the exact measurement of the waist, then overlap 1″, so the elastic is stretched onto the body, not just sitting on it. That’s what I did here, helps keep the pants from sliding down.


There’s an action shot. I put out the pipecleaners to lure him into the photo. Sort of worked.
He loves these pants. We watched the cartoon recently, and he was super into it. Three is a fun age, he’s old enough to understand the story and talk about it. Now I just need to teach him the songs so he can sing along with Boris Karloff. That will be so awesome. 

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. Cute, uncomplicated. Sized up to age 6, so I’ve still got some time to make the shirt.


9 thoughts on “McCall’s M5965: Grinch pants

  1. Very cute! Although the word grinch has been ruined for me since that episode of How I Met Your Mother used it as euphemism for a nasty word… Also is that a doughnut or a pinch cushion?


  2. You are so funny – luring your kid with pipecleaners! I have some in the kids drawer I have at my house which even the one year old now goes and opens when he gets here. Anyway I love your point about elastic and the comedy shaping of the pants. Kids patterns are so silly really as age has so little to do with it. Some are fat and short, some tall and skinny – makes all the difference, but the pattern says “5 to 6 years”. Anyway I like that green guy on the PJs. Very festive, even if ironically so.


    1. Kids sizing is funny. I appreciate the size-by-age thing, since he’s usually not around for me to measure while I’m sewing for him. And as long as the clothes end up too big rather than too small, everything is ok.
      Thank goodness they don’t size adult clothing by age.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They’re great! Your own way of measuring the elastic is exactly how I was told how to do it in industry and it’s still how I do it. Never heard of adding? to elastic…they’d never stay up!!!


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