My saga with fitting pants continued over the weekend. I was very tired of making muslins, trying to fit them and failing… yet, I refused to give up. I would like to say I still refuse to give up, but I need to take a break as pant fitting was killing my sewing mojo. In the end of it all, I finished with 6 muslins and a decent fit in one pair of pants!
At the end of the last blog post I ordered the Sewing Pants that Fit book which has yet to arrive, but I am sure it will be here any day now! I can’t wait to get the book and read it, look through it and see what I can learn from it. But in the meantime I was too impatient not to go forward on my own and with the help of the internet.
When I went back to my sewing dungeon, I decided to start with my second muslin. It was a size smaller than the third, but the fit issues were similar. Since I was looking for a tight-er fitting pair of pants, I decided muslin 2 was the one I should start off with again. I tired it on and as I remembered it wasn’t great. The front looked good with no issues, but the back… I apologize ahead of time for the bum shots, but I think they are important here since I am trying to show the issues and my journey onto how I resolved them (hopefully eventually I will!).
The upper back fits me well, it’s my upper thigh and lower back areas that were not looking great. I mean I think some wrincklage (I am sure that’s a technical term) should be there since I am planning to move and sit in those pants but not like what I was seeing. I tried letting the pants out on the side but it didn’t resolve my issue.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I have a big bum, so I knew I would need to extend and slightly deepen my back seat curve to fit over it . For my next muslin I did just that. You can’t see it in the pictures, but at this point I started to fear that I will run out of my 10 meters of muslin fabric I bought a while back, so I only cut my pants # 4 down to slightly below the knee.
This pair started to fit better! The wrinkles were still there though but the pants weren’t digging into my bum as much. For my muslin #5, I actually slashed my pattern at the deepest part of my back inseam curve and spread it by ¾”. It definitely started to fit better and I was happy that I was getting somewhere, yet I was still getting wrinkles under my bum.
I must say that this was a Friday night and the he pants were driving me to drink. I do not know how it occurred to me exactly, I must have been staring at my back from the side thinking what should I do to fix the problem and I noticed that I have pretty prominent butt cheeks that kinda stick out there. As I found out days later, there is a term for that – dropped seat. It sounds like something that would occur to a toddler who’s diaper is full and dropping… definitely not the way I want to think or refer to my backside. So to summarize, my seat is full AND dropping. Bam!
Anyways, in the end I ended up scooping my back seat curve to almost straight angle. I drew a very rough illustration of what the pattern for the back leg ended up looking for me, just so it is clearer. The black line is what a normal pattern would look like, and by normal I mean what it looks like out of the package, because likely that curve will have to change in some way for everyone. The red line is what I ended up doing to it to make it look okay on me. Yeah! Full dropped seat!
My final, for now, muslin # 6 still is not perfect, but I think it is as close to perfect as I can get it right now. As a matter of fact I was so happy with it that I proceeded to make a pair of pants! They turned out beautifully! I apologize for not taking a back shot, I got too excited and forgot about it. However, my learning did not stop here. I wish it did! I was so ready to graduate from pant making. What I learned next was that fashion fabric behaves very differently than muslin. I am sure most people know it, but I somehow managed to ignore it until the pants situation. My pants fit great once I finished them! The fabric was a suiting blend, granted I didn’t know what exactly was in that blend since I bought it years ago, but I knew it wasn’t a stretch kind. I pulled it on all directions to test. Yet, as the day went on my pants grew looser on me. Not badly! But still at the end of the day I could easily take off at least ¼” from each side to make them fit the way I want them too. I still may do just that, but for now I will leave my pants alone.
So far, I’ve come out of this experience with a decent looking muslin and a decent pattern for pants. As well as realization that every single pair of pants I make will have to be fabric fitted prior to finishing just because I imagine every fabric type would behave differently. I wouldn’t say it is an astonishing success, but I still think of this experience as success and I am happy with how it turned out.
Here are some close ups of the pant pockets and fly, just cause I’m so proud of them!
I think I may move the back pockets out a little bit more since they seem like they are a tad too close to each other. Other than that, I am almost ready for another pair of pants, but I think I will take a break from them for a few days…