I am so excited about the pants, and I have so much to say it’s hard to know where to start.
Let’s start with the pants:
And a few more views.
The pants are a cotton/linen blend (I think. I’ve had the fabric for a while and don’t remember it being labeled well). I used a Waverly home decorating fabric for the waistband lining and pockets. I had a perfectly matched metal locking zipper in my stash and some pretty good thread, too.
These pants have been a long time coming.
I have a growing catalog of pants fitting books. I’ve read through all of these as well as the pants section in Sandra Betzina’s Fast Fit (in addition to watching and re-watching my 3 Craftsy pant classes). My reading on pants fitting focused a lot on crotch measurements (depth, length and curve), and I became convinced that mine would be way off from the pattern’s. With an aluminum wire bent to my shape thanks to the Machinist, I could visualize what had to be done with my pattern.
Having conquered my fear of the fly zipper, I started with some stash fabric for shorts. They turned out ok – the waist was too high, the crotch too droopy, and after wearing them once, they had bagged out all over. I realized I should have started with a fabric with less stretch.
So, I set to work with a proper muslin to test fit, cut from muslin. I’d been avoiding this because I’m not likely to ever wear pants in such lightweight fabric. But I figured they could get me to where I needed to be, and it turns out the crotch curve on the pants pattern was pretty close to my own.
There was definitely too much length and depth in the crotch, and the high hips needed some more room. But other than that, the muslin was a good start. So, on a day off from work, I cut the pants as a “Bermuda” type of short and put them together without any pockets, and with a quick hem. I am quiet pleased! Aside from needing to take the waist down a smidge, the fit is great. I’d like the top of the waist band to just cover my navel and this pattern is meant for someone who likes their pants high or has a waist much higher than mine.
I noted the changes and my process in a notebook that I’m going to use to document these things. McCall’s 6361 is a tapered leg style and I want straight legs, so I sat down one day with my well-fitting cords and a decent fitting pair of trousers to take leg measurements. Then I traced my pattern again. I gave myself a little more room in the front crotch seam, took the waist down a little (both front and back) and then adjusted the legs for desired width. Because I haven’t tried this leg style/shape yet, nor have I done this pattern on a trouser twill/chino type fabric, I’ve given myself LARGE seam allowances — 2 inches on the outside seams and 1 1/2 inches on the inside seam.
In the fabric for the “Exciting Pants” as they shall be formally known, I was going to cut the inside seam at 2 inches, too, but would have had to use much more length of my 60″ wide fabric.
Next step is to finish the fly extension and install the zipper. In the skirt and two pairs of shorts, I serged the fly extension edges but haven’t been terribly happy with that. My serger goes really fast and I actually cut into the skirt front. So, this time, I went with a bound edge.
When assembling the pants, I managed to add an unwanted twist in the bottom of the right leg. They are not perfect, and they have not been photographed yet, but I am happy enough with them (and they’ve gotten several compliments). Most importantly, they have helped me to refine the fit and improve my construction in the next pants, seen above, and here are some pictures of those in process:
I love them, I’m so happy with them, and I’m thinking about what fabric to use for my next pair.