Saturday, August 3, 2013

More Pants Fitting - Butterick 5908

Pants are crazy!!!

I guess when you consider taking flat, two-dimensional fabric pieces and getting them to shape and contour to a very three-dimensional body, things are bound to go awry.

I don't necessarily have a hard time buying RTW pants, but the pants that look half decent on me are expensive, e.g. Ann Taylor, Banana Republic. When I was slimmer I lived in Gap pants. Now? They aren't meant for me. I do still love Old Navy jeans. I have to buy a size larger and get the waist taken in, but for the money, it's so worth it.

When I made my Simplicity 2700 pants, they came out okay, after lots of work. I wore the finished pants to work and realized:

  1. The pants were slightly too big
  2. The flared leg was NOT for me
  3. They need to be shortened
I love (LOVE!) the wide waistband on those. They remind me of a decent fitting pair of slacks that I own already. But, I wanted a style that was slightly more sleek and fit like my absolute favorite pair of RTW pants (black Worthington slacks from JC Penney in a 10 Curvy). I tried to buy more of these but none of the other pants fit quite like these...even other "10 curvy" pants. But now, I can sew! Yay me!

I fell for the RTW styling in Butterick 5908 - kinda because they're red (EVERYONE should have red pants) but I really liked the clean line.

My observations:
  1. she has excess width through the leg
  2. the leg opening is slightly narrower than I'd like (slightly)
  3. the pants are not contoured through the thigh/knee/calf. They're straight
  4. she has a little front crotch bagginess

Because these are similar in styling to my RTW pants, I took all the crotch/waist/thigh measurements from my black pants and automatically transferred them to the pattern. I am also sold on picking up old sheets (queen or king are best!) to use as muslin!!!

I initially thought I needed a larger size after making this muslin:

So I made some changes based on suggestions from PR and got this:

Well THAT isn't attractive!!

Then I made a tuck to get rid of the back wrinkles:

Ok, 'now we're cooking with fire' as Papa would say! It's a little tight (diagonal wrinkles radiating from the butt) but it's getting there. Then I transferred the tuck (and added an inch to the waist)

Ut-oh. That's not good. After reading a TON of blogs, posts, etc, I realized that I took too much out of the tuck. It made the problem WORSE. So I slept on it and read more and researched more and decided on these changes to the original pattern:

  1. add 1/2" to the back crotch point
  2. add 1/2" to back by slashing and adding 1/4"
  3. added back 1/2" (originally took 1/2") of tuck from CF seam
  4. took a 3/4" tuck under the butt, steam pressing this length back into the inseam
  5. tapered from thigh to knee and knee back out (to calf??) to shape the leg
That sounds like a lot but it really isn't. I'm done. There are a few wrinkles but the pants look pretty dang good. I could use a tad more back length - like seriously 3/8" - to get rid of the wrinkles at high hip. And I took back that 1/2" from CF, it's a little baggy.

I'm happy. I'm going to sew the pants up tonight in my fashion fabric!!!


  1. It takes a lot of patience to get a good pants fitting. But, once you get it, 'you'll be cooking with fire'. Hang in there--the goal is worth the trip. Good idea about using old sheets for muslins--never thought of that :)!

    1. So worth it! I told my husband now I'll be stalking people for old sheets! :)

  2. You already know what I'm going to say.

    Red. Pants. For. Me.

    That is all.

    Oh, and you're awesome.

  3. Wow! You really hung in there until you got a good fitting pair of pants! Can't wait to see your pair from your fashion fabric!

    1. Oh Carolyn, it was a journey. There were other tweaks that didn't get photographed. I am LOVING the final result and will be posting tomorrow!

  4. They are really looking good! I bet the fashion fabric pair will be perfect.

    1. Thanks! They are really nice and make me proud. I'll blog tomorrow!

  5. You've really got the hang of pants - usually takes months! Old sheets are good for muslins - I get mine from thrift shops :)

    1. Thanks Sarah Liz! I'm starting to wonder if I really have as many fitting issues as I think I do! :)


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