grey trousers revisited

I made these trousers shortly before I started blogging and never posted about having made them as the intention of the blog was to encourage me to make new stuff, rather than talk about old stuff – not that I’ve stuck with that religiously or anything.

This was the first pair of pants that I made using the fitting shell that I got help with. I was excited to use a pattern that was properly fitted to me, so when it didn’t turn out very well, I was disappointed.

As I mentioned elsewhere, the fabric (a light to medium weight linen-cotton blend) is rather lighter and has a different hand than the fabric of the fitting shell (medium weight poly-cotton twill). I made up the trousers according to the pattern and found them big, but I figured that the problem was that I was using the “wrong fabric” and I hoped that a belt would more or less fix things. Umm, no. Of course, I could only find this out after having put on a waistband and belt loops. Sigh.

A bit shapeless, and excess width is apparent at waist. Belt loops and waistband have been removed.

Excess width is apparent at waist. Otherwise, not horrendous.

Excess width still apparent at waist. Wrinkling at back crotch and upper thigh points to insufficient length at back crotch point, I think.

I had thought that, because the fabric was linen-cotton and fairly lightweight and thus summery, I should make the trousers on the wider side. However, I’m now starting to think that unless the fabric drapes like mad, wide trousers and I shouldn’t mix. In preparation for this revision, I compared the recommended minimum wearing ease for waist, hip, thigh (1″, 2-3″, 2-3″) to the actual ease of the trousers (3″, 5″, 3″). By any account the waist ease is excessive, which I somehow hadn’t noticed before. The reason for this, I suspect, is that trousers that fit my bottom and thighs are always way loose in the waist. In other words, I likely didn’t spot the problem right away because all my pants do this!

Took off the belt loops and waistband, then sewed a new outseam a whopping ½” from the old, which took off 2″ from the waist and hip but only 1″ from the thigh. Way better, but still a touch loose at the waist. Took it in a smidge more at the waist tapering to nothing by the hip.

Where to put the waistband? In other words, should I put the waistband on so that the trousers sit on the body the way they do now, or should I hike them up a smidge?

1. As is, they look pretty good from the back, although there is evidence that they have become a little short through the back crotch extension/back inseam. The front, however, makes a little fold across the crotch, which seems to indicate excessive crotch length.

2. If I pull the trousers up a touch, they look good in the front, as this gets rid of the fold. But this exacerbates the short back-crotch-extension issue.

Down a little – nice(ish) in the back. Up a little – nice in the front. The crotch curve on the trousers is at the same height in front and back, so this suggests to me that I need to change the angle so it’s higher in front and lower in the back. (And throw in a slightly longer back crotch extension while I’m at it.)

However, I got a bit of help from a skilled seamstress-friend of mine. We made up a new muslin/toile from the altered fitting shell pattern. This muslin had the same crotch weirdness although she said it looked fine in the back. She opened up the inseam at the top, made the seam allowance on the front crotch a smidge (like 7mm) wider, sewing along the original stitching line along the back crotch. This got rid of that irritating little front fold. I’ll file that tidbit away for future reference.

Made a waistband (inside and outside, one piece each) using my draped belt pattern and tried interfacing one side with denim from salvaged jeans. This… didn’t work. I had to rip it all out because the denim was too thick, and thus the seam allowance inside the waistband was lumpy. Also, the turn of cloth didn’t work properly and nothing really fit nicely.

I had to eyeball the placement of the waistband in relation to the top edge of the pants as I knew the top edge was all wrong for me. This required a lot more work than I want to put in on a regular basis. Getting the flat pattern right has now come up in my list of priorities because I do not want to have to do it this way again.

Trundled along at a snail’s pace attempting to get everything as right as I could make it. Immediately after finishing the waistband, I discovered two irritating things: (1) the waistband at CF wasn’t matching up evenly on each side (despite the pains I took), and there’s a little more zipper exposed on one side than the other; and (2) because I didn’t do a zipper shield, the width of the back part is narrow, which leaves very little room to attach a closure. Seriously, I noticed these things within 2 min of finishing, and to correct them requires a lot more effort than I’m willing to put into them now.

Oops, you can't see the waistband under the T-shirt. Fit is closer and better.

More wrinkling evident from side - I assume because I took out width.

Wrinkling from back not much worse. Left crotch point as is.

Conclusion: wearable, if not the most appropriate fabric for early winter when I finished them; looks better on me than any store-bought pants; flaws are rather minor and as irritating as they are, I think I can live with them though I do hope not to repeat these particular errors. However, I do not love these pants and I probably won’t wear them much. Meh. But a learning experience, right?


About Zena

I sew sometimes.
This entry was posted in process, wearable and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to grey trousers revisited

  1. Tanit-Isis says:

    Ah, learning. I’m not surprised you need a longer crotch-length at the back than at the front—I do, and, um, I’m rather less curvaceous. They certainly look decent, although I feel your frustration on the pants fitting.

    I recently picked up a 1981 Palmer & Pletch pants/fitting pattern from the thrift store… I’m tempted to give it a try (even though it’s completely not my style) just out of curiosity…

  2. Pingback: green stripey trousers | Blood, Sweatshop & Tears

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