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I am aware that mistakes are found at times on patterns, so contacting McCalls might be an option. If it is an error, they might be able to provide corrections for your student.
You might also look online at ‘free’ patterns for similar style pants to see how those are constructed.
I definitely sympathize with your student’s (and your) plight. I am making two little girls’ dresses from a Vogue pattern (redesigned a bit from the original), and the pattern had positional dots on the princess bodice which are not mentioned at all on the four pages, and I literally had to read them all because I grew up making princess style bodice dresses for myself and those did not have positional alignment dots.
I am making a sleeveless version…part of my redesign…but I figured out, by looking at all the pieces, even those I wasn’t using…that the dots are for additional matching positions for the sleeves to the bodice. But, you’d think positional dots would be mentioned since alignment would be a key instruction when alignment marks are put on a pattern.
It isn’t ’all’ patterns that aren’t clear…the pattern I use to make Hawaiian shirts for hubby has pretty decent instructions, even if I do choose to do a few things differently than called for by the pattern instructions.
Typos courtesy of autocorrect.