The name of this blog suggests what is evident, that I sew everything. That is, I WANT to sew everything. But when time is limited I sew what I believe has a chance of being successful with little time and input. When I have a little more sewing time I try to take on time intensive projects. So, pants…..
Pant sewing has not been a priority for a long time since my so-called “mature” figure became harder to fit. It was even harder given my penchant to suspend reality and identify with pattern envelope photographs of young, thin people. So pant making got ignored.
Now I’m cornered. Since I haven’t purchased RTW since January 2010 and don’t intend to, the pants I bought before that auspicious date have lasted until now. But clothes don’t last forever (read about the suddenly depleted pant closet here), and this day had to come. I ‘m making pants.
I’ve sewn pants before and know how to fit them. That is, fit them on the person who was me a very long time ago. Today, comparing my own measurements to the pattern, and cutting out according to that, resulted in a very bad looking pair which had no correlation to how it was pictured. The legs were too loose and not even close to the beautifully close fit as shown on the envelope. However, let’s soldier on…..
This Vogue/DKNY pattern was chosen because of the slim fit and because it is a DKNY. Yep, I’m a design snob. It has lovely pocket details near the front waistband and a great detail on the back. Too bad, since I’m a tunic gal and will never show my waistband in public, ever. Still, this is my chosen pattern.
The recommended fabric has stretch, so I pulled out this printed cotton sateen from le stash. I think it goes along with the printed pant trend.
I must reiterate that there’s an abundance of information by people who are truly experts at pant making & fitting. Magazines, online classes, event classes provide a wealth of expertise to the sewer. It’s not the sewing; it’s the fitting which takes time and knowledge, except if you’re one of those fortunate seamstresses who fit into the pattern straight out of the envelope. Oh, how I hate you.
I started with the rise (I would use the word “crotch” but am terrified of the search engines). I measured the front and back rise on one of the old RTW pants that fit me well. I compared them to the pattern and cut out the appropriate size at the rise. At the side seams, the pattern was cut out much larger since it would be easier to take in at the sides. So, here’s a hint until I find a better one: fit the crotch (there I said it) first. Baste it’s seam, then pin the side seams and try on.
The pretty waistband details are so wasted on me. It has three pieces which makes a good fit easier. Two pieces on the back waistband with a shaped center back seam, which itself has a tab (not seen in this picture); and one piece in front.
Hint: It was really easy to sew the shaped center back evenly by making and using cardboard templates! A write up coming soon!
Another Hint: Sewing the waistband/pant seam can also be modified thus: attach the waistband pieces to the pants pieces before sewing the side seams. Since there is a side zipper, a basting (not permanent sewing) of the zipper is essential while fitting the sides. This gives you more leeway and opportunity to create a good fit.
I like how this pair turned out and I think a good degree of success was achieved. The only fitting issue remaining is an under-fanny slack. But that’s just me. Yes, I did consult pant-fitting “literature” and will have to address said slack in the next pant sewing session.
Note to self: move zipper to the back for the next version of this pant.
Another note to self: I have read all pant fitting literature. The only remaining thing to do now is order Sandra Betzina’s online pants class from Craftsy.
Readers, thanks for visiting and hope you enjoyed reading this. Let me have some input. No, I did not upload a full picture of myself — you do NOT want to see me having a bad hair day and no make-up. Though, I love my navy suede Liz Claiborne pumps which are hidden in the grass.