I don't like to make muslins. It isn't fun. I mean, neither is finishing a garment and finding it doesn't fit (or fit well) but still. I read posts from sewists who make 3, 4, 5(!!!) muslins for a garment and I think, "no way man. I'd have to be making something really, really, SUPER important like a wedding gown to worry THAT much about fit". I know myself and doing the same thing over and over again will quickly wear me out.
So, I choose not to muslin most projects. Win some. Lose some. I've been relatively lucky...But wouldn't get too ahead of myself thinking I'm untouchable when it comes to pants. I have never, ever had pants off the rack fit correctly. It's always one sacrifice over the other and normally, I'd go up a size to give my (super muscular) thighs the room they need, and take them to the tailor to get the hips/waist taken in. Or they fit fine through the hips and thigh but I know they're too tight at the waist. Or the rise is way too high but I hardly ever tuck my shirts so I wouldn't care.
I made a muslin of S2700 awhile back (about 3 months ago) and they looked like this:
Huh? This is nothing like my muslin. What do you say? The A.F. patterns have a 1" SA? oops! LOL! So then I went whole hog and got this:
Me thinks I took TOO much in. I rather like the idea of using a striped fabric to muslin (or perhaps any repetitive pattern), it's easy to see that the lines are bowing in like crazy over my thighs. You can also see where the darts come down way too far and I pulled too much in on the inseam giving me under butt lines. So then I put this pattern in the bin (not trash...storage!). But alas, I'm tired of having 2 1/2 pair of pants so I got started again.
What didn't I do? Any remeasuring. Oops. I should have. I understand the construction process a lot better now and measuring would have allowed me to see that the front crotch would be far too long/high. And now I have this:
I am quite pleased with the rear view. Quite pleased. On subsequent pairs, I probably will shorten the dart just a smidge...
I think they're nicely balanced. The front is sitting a little lower than the back, but this might also be because I can literally grab 2+" of extra fabric in front. It doesn't look like my thighs are pulling at the seams at all...and I think the puddling fabric (I'm not that tall) makes it appear as if the seam is forward - it isn't.
So while I am sure I'm well on my way to decent fitting pants, I have to figure out how to rid myself of the 2" of extra fabric in front, without ruining these. I like this grey fabric. And I was smart this time and basted the seams - inseam, outer leg seams, crotch seams, and the waistband. Only the pockets and zipper are "permanent".
Today on lunch I took another half inch (1" total) off the front via the crotch seam. I'm sure I could try altering the inseam some. But I don't want to go too crazy. I'm going to take them apart and see if I can trim some of the excess length off the crotch point (oh boy I'm setting myself up for the spam bots with the overuse of the c-word!).
I'm sure I'll say it again after the pants are done and a review is posted -- IGNORE simplicity's little fitting chart!!!! Compare the pattern pieces to your best fitting RTW trousers...to your sloper...hell even just basic flat measurements have got to beat their system. The chart had me sewing something between a 20 and 22 (average). I probably could have cut an 18 with some tweaks...
I made some tweaks. My pants now have
I made some tweaks. My pants now have
1" seams at: front crotch, inseam, side seams
7/8" seam through center back (including crotch)
The slight wrinkling is due to just too much length in the front. I can take a little bit at the waistband but otherwise, I like how the front looks. Forgive my crazy face! :)
Back looks good! I have a little pulling but oddly enough I have that on my RTW pants too. I think I need to "give back" that 1/4". The back in the previous rendition looked a bit cleaner.
In the next pic, I decided I could take in the side seams to reduce some of the excess in front...but it made the back way too tight. This helps to drill in that a little goes a long way when making alterations. I took in the side seams an extra 1/4" from waist to upper thigh (just below the pocket bags) but this is 1" total out of the circumference of the pants! Too much.
The next pair will be great however, I'm still going to rock these babies! Hopefully I'll get them completely finished and posted by the weekend!
Feel free to read, but this list is moreso for me! :)
Immediate sewing plans:*Finish S2700
*Hem 3 completed tops (Finishing is my undoing)
*Cut and sew black sleeveless knit top
Mid term plans:
*Vest using grey windowpane fabric M6149 view B
*Black cotton lawn version of NL 6104 view C (love that pattern)
*White cotton version of B5526 view A or D
*Black pants, Camel pants (once pattern is done...sewing them will be a breeze!)
*Muslin a basic, unlined blazer (NL6035?)
*Sew S1696 in Kelly green gabardine
*Sew M6744, length of A with back of B in chambray cotton gauze