April 21, 2013

PANTS FITTING ISSUES...(detailed post)

...I can't believe that I didn't make a single pair of pants during the fall/winter season.  If you'll remember, it was back in September when I became completely involved with my Carnival of Skirts - that later turned into a sew-a-long -  and I didn't stop until mid-January when I began completely involved with making over my fabulous pea coat.  Boy didn't I enjoy wearing all those skirts ALL WINTER LONG!  Now I find myself in desperate need of new pants.

Last weekend I tried a new pants pattern - didn't work, caused disgust, trashed them immediately - don't even want to talk about that pattern.   So now I'm coming to terms with my old TNT pant pattern.  Yes, it's an OLD pattern, but I've been able to come up with some pretty nice looking and fitting pants from this pattern.  I wore a pair made from it a few weeks ago and a sewing friend asked if I made them.  She said that had she not known that I make the majority of my clothes, she would have thought they were RTW.  I trust her judgment not only because I was flattered, but it did serve to help with my confidence level.

When I make this pattern I turn the front tucks into darts for a more modern appeal.

Every pair made from this pattern have not been a total success, but the majority have.  Yet, I call it a TNT.   BUT if I still have to work out kinks, wrinkles, or other fitting issues IS IT TRULY A TNT PATTERN???  So I went back to the drawing board with the same old pattern - determined that when I need a new pair of pants, I'll be able to pick this thing up and simply whip up a pair - voila, yeah just like that!

So I:
  •  re-traced the original pattern
  • cut a new muslin without any preconceived alterations- starting from scratch
  • extra tedious work - yes!  But I plan on it being well worth it  
  What does it matter that my pants are made alike?  I contend, especially when time is of the essence, that correct fit, good construction, and quality fabric is really all that matters with this particular garment. 

Here's a picture of my major pants fitting issue and what I'm doing to eliminate it:


Pockets are sagging a little, but I can fix that by stabilizing that area during pocket construction.
It's odd, but this pattern fits me perfectly in the back.  But as you can see from the front, I'm plagued with diagonal wrinkles that extend from the crouch to the side seam.  Here you can see that I've  following Peggy Sagers advice:
  • working with a muslin I've pinched out the wrinkles, pinned up the excess (right side) in a diagonal dart, and then stitched the dart in (left side). 
  • Peggy (see, now I'm acting like I really know her personally) suggests disassembling the muslin and using it as the actual pattern rather than chancing error when transferring the alteration it to the original pattern piece.

Next I'll:
  • mark all basted seam allowances that I've altered to make a better fit, 
  • then remove all the basting stitches, completely dissembling the muslin, and
  • use the muslin pieces as my pattern. 
I won't make a second muslin because I think my diagonal wrinkle problem will be solved.  I have three pairs of pants planned as my next sewing projects, one pair being (believe it or not) floral. 

Maybe by mid week I'll have a new pair of wrinkle free pants...

26 comments:

  1. Great minds think alike. I just finished a pair of khaki's using V1167 - an Anne Klein pattern. I had given up on this style of pants but using Victoria's link on constructing the inseam first and then working out the fitting issues worked great. I will be posting them on my blog soon. Good luck with your pants, I'm sure they will turn out great.

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    1. Hope your khaki's turn out PERFECT Tanya!

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  2. LOL on the "ESP" pattern naming... :)
    That is awesome that your pants fit you perfectly in the back! That's a big win!

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    1. Yeah Kyle "EXTRA SURE" is a great title for a pants pattern.

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  3. I cannot wait to see your finished pants. I still am trying to work the kinks out of pants pattern I use.

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    1. Working the kinks out does take extra time but I've decided to dedicate some time to doing it. I feel as though it will pay off with big rewards.

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  4. Hi Faye - it looks as though we are going to be having a pants sew-a-long here. I'm working on a muslin too, as well as other things. Good luck with the alterations, and I look forward to seeing the finished new pair of pants. And I don't think it matters that the pattern is old - I'm going back to a waisted old pair of pants as well. At least they stay up!

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    1. I'll be checking your pants journey out Sarah!

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  5. I signed up for a Crafty class on pant fitting with Sandra Betzina. I have yet to make a good fitting pair of pants.

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    1. Linda can you PLEASE let me know how it goes with the Crafty class?

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  6. oh I can't wait to see them ... I worked on pants a while back but put them away. Then I lost weight so I'm going to have to start again from scratch. Bonus that yours fit in the back !

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    1. Yes Claire, the fact that they fit in the back is an amazing bonus!

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  7. Will be eager to see your results as I'm on the same journey however my problem is bad enough that I decided to go to Sandra Betzina's Craftsy classes for help. Stay tuned. www.fabricateandmira.wordpress.com

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    1. I will definitely be checking you our Silknmore. Thanks for looking in here too!

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  8. I learned about using the muslin as a pattern through Susan Khalje's The Couture Dress class on Craftsy. It looks like you're well on your way to a perfectly fitting pair of pants! I've been having better success with old(er) patterns for some reason.

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    1. Yes Julin muslins (though time consuming) have become a very good friend to me. I love a good older pattern, I think they were drafted better. New patterns come out so fast so I guess drafting is rushed - something is definitely missing that use to be there.

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  9. Interesting to read. I've just finished a two day class (Palmer Pletsch instrcutor) on fitting pants, and now have a great fit using McCalls 5239 (blog post to follow - navy is as hard to photograph as black!). I have made a pair in navy with a back invisible zip (future versions will have a front zip - boy are back zips hard to negotiate in pants!!)

    But, what I learned is that I need to fit through the hips and then make adjustments. I lost 1 1/2" on each side over my butt - I am as flat as a pancake - and they will make a great pair of dressy work pants. I'll also use the pattern for pyjama bottoms as well.

    I hope your work out, and I look forward to seeing them!

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    1. There is so much to learn isn't it? But I do love a learning challenge. I love the idea of being able to use the same pattern for pj's too.

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  10. Oooooo, fancy pants!!! Can't wait to see those floral pants!!
    With pants, remember that fabric can change the fit, so it can be a TNT but it may take some tweaking because of a change in fabric.

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    1. The thought about the fit changing with the fabric came to me early this morning and I think you are absolutely right Rhonda. I've sort of got pants on the sewing brain right now. I'm determined to get a good fit. I'm excited about the upcoming floral pants too.

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  11. Oh.. fitting pants is so frustrating.. I too, am working on a pants muslin.. I bought a new pattern, and I would love to get it to be a TNT pattern..
    Can't wait to see your new pants.. Looks like your well on your way to getting the fit just right.. Happy sewing.

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  12. I still feel like I've got a bit more tweaking to do although I am pretty much satisfied with the muslin where it is now. I think I'll give it just a little more work.

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  13. You're too funny Faye! We all feel like we know you personally! You know I've never seen where pants "wrinkle" like that in the front. I wish I were coming to Atlanta soon so we could spend a weekend just working on a couple good pants TNT's for you! Good Luck with this one!

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  14. They are looking great! I heartily agree that all pants can be sewn from the same pattern. For variety you can change the leg width. Definitely no need to reinvent the wheel for each pair!

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  15. Maybe we should all go back to the old pants patterns. I used the same era ESP pattern except without the pleats when I was young and teaching school. I would still be using it except I am a lot larger now.If the clothing manufacturers can make millions from the same draft who cares if we make a bunch from a favorite. Only sewing people worry about whether someone is concerned about the pants pattern they cut from.

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  16. My perfect pants was done by cutting up an old pair of "tall" ready made pants that I loved the fit.... I made a muslin cloth pattern & my pants turn out perfect everytime....of course you have to make small changes for stretch fabric & fabric that doesn't have any stretch....I like to buy fabric that has alittle stretch for more confortable pants.

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