Friday, March 16, 2012

Pants Patterns Part 3

Are you sick of pants yet? I so appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions on the last couple of posts. I’m glad I set aside a whole month to work on this, otherwise I would have lost interest in the whole thing and started something else by now.

Good news, though, I think I’m getting very close to my goal of pants that fit.

First, the tapered pants. Last time we saw the black pair that had a saggy butt and were too large overall. It occurred to me that although the pique has no lycra, it may have a small amount of mechanical stretch simply due to the bumpy texture. That could have contributed to some of the bagginess. Anyway, based on the black pair, I made the following changes to the pattern:
• Cut one size smaller from the hips down
• Dropped the waist 1 inch
• Moved the zipper to center back

Here's the second pair, in a heavy twill with no stretch. These are a teensy bit too small.

Nice fit in front

Looks pretty good from the side, except that side seam is all over the place. It needs at least an inch moved from front to back.

Too much stress on zipper makes it gap open.

I can't believe how helpful it is to look at these photos!

I have the third pair cut and waiting to be stitched. It’s a stretch twill this time, with a fraction of an inch added to the side seams. I’m hoping for a Goldilocks ending: this pair will be juuuuuust right.

In the meantime, I’ve also been working on the wide-leg trousers.

Vogue 8718 line drawing

They don't look super-wide, but the bottom width is almost 30". That's pretty big.

The first muslin, out of actual muslin, had my improvised belly bubble, and they fit well enough to move on to heavier fabric. I also tried on several of my RTW trousers and noted that the excess fabric on the back of the legs could be adjusted by pinching the inseam, pulling the back forward. I decided to try it with the pattern, and made this change to it for my first wearable muslin.

This change removes almost an inch from the crotch seam and narrows the back of the pants just below the butt.

I drafted a completely new waistband.

I think someone at Vogue was having a bad day when they designed the pants for 8718. Or, maybe the band is meant to go up on the actual waist, not the low waist. In any case, the curved band works much better for me.

They’re not quite finished and I had to pin the back for photos, but I think they are nearly perfect.

This is a medium-weight "linen-look" poly-rayon suiting. (Now I'm very glad I collected so many miscellaneous pieces of fabric on my thrifting trips.)

Front looks good except for bumpy darts.

Side fits nicely.

(Uh-oh, another gapping zipper?) The back now has vertical folds but no horizontal folds of excess fabric. It would be funny if I actually adjusted it too far and had to add some back!

I am pleased with my progress so far: the month is half over and I have two patterns very nearly refined into potential TNTs. I just need to keep my momentum going so I can have a few more styles to choose from.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and a Happy St. Patrick's Day!



  1. Great looking pants (trousers to us over here!) your persistence is paying off.

  2. You are making great progress! Very impressive. And I do hope that you get your Goldilocks ending. :-)

  3. Here is to hoping for a Goldlock's ending! I am so impressed with your work. You make me wish I had paid attention to my Mother (talented seamstress) when she tried to teach me! Keep up the good work!