Puns N Needles

Dispatches from my adventures: sewing, knitting, and otherwise.

I made some pants and I’m so excited.


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:

Worn with Washi tunic, wrinkled and naturally untucked.

Worn with Washi tunic, wrinkled and naturally untucked.

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.

Draft crotch curve measurement

Draft crotch curve measurement – before we found some malleable wire.

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.

Cutting the first muslin. I originally traced the pattern onto mystery tracing paper that the Machinist had in his stash.

Cutting the first muslin. I originally traced the pattern onto mystery tracing paper that the Machinist had in his stash.

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.

Tracing McCall's 6361, with adjustments marked for straight leg instead of tapered, onto Swedish tracing paper.

Tracing McCall’s 6361, with adjustments marked for straight leg instead of tapered, onto Swedish tracing paper.

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.


Author: Accacia

I'm a librarian at a college in Lexington, Virginia. I sew, I knit, and I cook.

4 thoughts on “I made some pants and I’m so excited.

  1. Wow! They look great! Wish I had the patience to work on a pattern as hard as you have. No wonder the things you make look so much nicer than the things I make 😉

  2. I saw your review of these pants on PatternReview and the link to this blog entry. I too am going through the process of fitting a pants pattern “for real” vs. just living with what comes out. I like the idea of the metal crotch measurement. I also have a steel foundry mechanic so am going to attempt to get myself a measuring stick/guide as you have crafted. Great idea! I am 5’4″ petite and plus size. very (!!) curvy so fitting is always a problem. I purchased this pattern awhile back but haven’t gotten to it. You’ve inspired me this morning to get myself in gear. I like pants to hit me just below the bellybutton in front and to have good coverage in back, which usually means a full 2″ difference between front and back. This of course leads to problems with how they hang. Sorry for the whining … I’ll get busy and try. 🙂

    • Ann,
      Have you worked on your pants? I’d love to hear how they are going. Thank you for your comment!

      • Yes … I did make the pants … and ended up following the Palmer-Pletsch pants fitting pattern … and two things … I was shocked at how much alteration was required to the pattern before cutting; and then OVERJOYED at how they hang and fit. They are awesome pants and fit me great. I wore them to travel 3000 miles by plane because they are so darned comfortable and fit so great. I’ve got two more cut out on my sewing table (6 months now) but have not had any time for sewing this past fall. Really pleased to hear from you this morning, I take this as a sign that I am actually going to get to delve into my sewing projects soon. I ended up using McCalls 6361 and had the Pants for Every Body book I was following. It was amazing to get them to fit so well. Zero gap at the back, perfect crotch, pockets lie smoothly I’ve sewn for more than 40 years but fitting myself is always difficult. This was terrific.

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