May 22, 2011

Testing, testing...

Warning: The following post contains pictures of me attempting to fit pants. Or pants-like things.

I've gotten the test version of the pants basted together, and spent some time this afternoon tweaking the fit. Here's how the process has gone so far:

Step 1: Added all of the markings that didn't happen in the original Frankenpattern. Which turned out to be way more of a trial and error than it should have, at least for the first piece, because I hadn't finished my first cup of tea for the day at the time and forgot that my seam allowances are currently 1" and not 5/8".

Step 2: Discovered my first pattern tweak-- apparently I mis-traced one of the waistband pieces (out of the magazine, and so much has been said about Burda's new pattern sheet layouts that I don't think I need to go into more explanation there) and one ended up longer on a side than the other.

But that was an easy enough fix. I trimmed them to the same width on that edge and marked the difference for later. (Slightly harder to fix will be my discovery right after that I'd only cut 1 facing piece for each waistband instead of 2. I guess I'll have to dig in the remnant bin again and see what else I have, since I'm pretty sure I don't have enough left of the piece I used to cut those and the pocket pieces. If I have enough at all.)

Then came the fun part: basting the whole thing together (sans pockets and facings and zipper fly bits) to see what the situation would be.

Actually, it was pretty close on the original pattern. (The top row is the "before" pics for the pattern sewed together on all given seam allowances, and the bottom row is the "after" pics after I tried a few of the tweaks I learned from the jeans class. Fronts and backs are diagonal to each other, because I messed up on the Picasa collage layout before saving and couldn't edit it.)

The main problem initially was, of course, the crotch. Lots of pulling and sagging and whatnot. I also had to take in a little bit on each side and at the top of the back to fix some gapping issues.  It's still not perfect, but I think it's about as good as it'll get, at least with this fabric. It's a kind of stiff twill, so it just doesn't have much in the way of drape to hang well in the back. As for the front, there's still some creases, but I'm becoming convinced that pretty much any pair of fitted-at-the-top women's pants is going to do that, since it seems like, in my cursory glance over the internet just now, even skinny models with no hips have those wrinkles when they wear pants. (At least, in the initial Google image search, and on Anthropologie. On a side note, these pants aren't there anymore. So this has to work!)

I've got my pattern pieces basically prepped for alterations now, except for trimming-- the orange line is the new seam allowance, and the purple is the new cutting line. This piece (the back) was the most dramatic change. Most of the rest of it just involved taking in the tops of seams about 1/8" or so. I'll need to add just a little bit to the center front, too, since I had to flatten out the curve there and it seems like it took away from the seam allowance somehow.

Next step: I need to take these shorts apart again, since they're only basted together (though I think I'll trim the seam allowances down a bit first.) Then it'll be sewing them together for real, mainly to give myself a bit of practice on the two techniques that concern me in here: the welt pockets and the fly-front zipper!


  1. I'm sure pants can be fitted to eliminate the crotch wrinkles. I've just looked up Palmer and Pletsch Pants for Real People. They suggest increasing the length from waist to crotch on the side seam or letting out the inner seam but this would.could make the leg too wide. Bonne chance!

  2. I'd be reluctant to add to the length of the side seam, both because I've got that area fitting well and because the back is in pretty good shape right now and I don't want to mess with it. But I could try letting the inner seam out a little bit. I do remember from the jeans class that sometimes the adjustments are rather small. And honestly, in the final version I'm going to be adding width to the leg anyway, due to the pleat. So a smidgen more won't hurt.

  3. It seems operaton awesome pants is going well!
    Fitting pants isn't easy, and you have an excellent start.


Comments will appear after moderation. Just trying to keep the spambots at bay.

Thanks for taking the time to comment--your feedback is most certainly appreciated!