I’ll admit to you right now that I’ve learned most of my info on pant fitting from Pants for Real People. With that in mind, I wanted to share this image from the book with all of you. This is a summary chart of the most common alterations for pants and it’s very informative. I’ll be referring to this again and again because it is very helpful as a visual for the things you’ll need to do for your pattern pieces. It might also start the wheels turning as you begin thinking about what types of alterations you’ll need for your pants.
Click on image for full size
from Pants for Real People, posted with permission from Pati Palmer
please visit www.palmerpletsch.com for more fitting and sewing aids
Over the next three days, I’ll be going in depth on 3 of the main alterations. They are the biggest problems, in my opinion and they take a bit to explain. Subsequently after that there will be a few more posts on some odd alterations that you may or may not need. And I wanted to let you all know that I plan to share some of the photos that you entered into the flickr pool (unless you absolutely forbid me not to) to give everyone an idea of the things they’ll need to do if they are having the same fitting issue. I promise, it will not be to humiliate you, it’s to help you and the rest of us to see the different types of problems that come with making pants.
Next week, I hope to start the construction process on the final pants. But I’ll wait to see where we are at before jumping right in and making you feel overwhelmed. Ok? Ok.
Tomorrow get ready to discuss crotch depth. It’s fun.
PS ~ Pati Palmer (a co-author of Pants for Real People) contacted me regarding the above image. I checked out her website at www.palmerpletsch.com and found even more of their products and fabulous information. Did you know there were DVDs? Hip Hip Hooray! Click over and have a peek and while you’re at it buy Pants for Real People!
I’ve had many questions and such about why I chose Burda #127 for the Trouser Sewalong. I’ll admit now, that it was a moment of madness and thank you very much, I’m paying for it. No, I didn’t realize at the time I chose it that it was a Tall pattern and no, I had no clue that there were different sizing charts for the Talls and no, I didn’t have the magazine and no, I had no idea that many of you who live in foreign countries have to download it from the German site and no, I didn’t know that for some very strange reason some people can’t view the image from the Burda Style site and no, I didn’t know that you didn’t have to add a hem allowance either. My long line of profanities of choice in this matter would offend too many of you, so I’ll just say, “Sheesh!” Will you please accept my sincerest apologies? Please? For those of you still hanging in there with Burda #127, you guys are real troopers and it is my opinion that you will be rewarded. For those of you who decided to go with a different pattern, you are very wise.
1920’s Lounge Pants Inspiration
Needless to say, I’ve been contemplating pants for awhile now. Actually since Self Stitched September. So I’ve been gathering ideas and inspiration. I was looking for a pair of trousers reminiscent of some 20’s lounge pants that had caught my eye awhile ago. And then I saw Burda #127 as I was lurking around Burda Style. It was the one. That was the pattern I had been looking for. It had everything I wanted. The waistband, the side zip, the slant pockets, the cuffed hem, the pleat in front….
Jessica Biel in Easy Virtue
Watching Easy Virtue a few weeks ago cinched the deal. This Noel Coward play turned film, is set in the 20s. A time for dropped waist dresses. Until Jessica Biel’s character waltzes on the scene in trousers fit for….a man. Her day outfits consist of these fabulous wide legged, flowing trousers, all put together with fabulous frocky tops and jackets and low-heeled mary-jane pumps. It’s an unbelievably fabulous look. And to be real honest with you, her trousers were the biggest drive in using Burda #127 for the sewalong. It’s like they took this trouser pattern straight out of this film. Not to mention, now that those of us using this pattern have had so much trouble with it, I’ve received a few emails with helpful suggestions from those who have the magazine and those who have tried these trousers. Can we all give it up to Cassandra, Stephanie and Mae! I’m seriously glad that I’m not alone on these pants (thanks Ashley for your comment about that). Anyhow, Stephanie sent me a scan of the actual photo of the trousers in the mag with the verbage that appears on the opposing page. It reads: “Very reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich! These wide trousers/pants with broad hip yoke, front creases and turn-ups create a very elegant effect. The cut is very suitable for tall women – and fills college men with inspiration…” Marlene Dietrich! I should have known. That now puts another spin on these beauties.
Jessica Biel in Easy Virtue
Come now, tell me you don’t want a pair of these in every color, for all seasons to go with all those beautiful silky tops and short cinched in jackets. Not to mention the lovely leggy look. Yeah, Jessica and Marlene have great legs, that we never see, but whose illusion is wonderfully accentuated by those trousers.
Marlene Dietrich in trousers
Oh and by the way, Mr. S gave me a Rod Stewart CD for Christmas and I’ve now got a theme song for our Trouser Sewalong. You absolutely have to lend an ear toHot Legs while drooling over these images. The tune is from 1977 and for some reason, I thought that Mr. Stewart’s vocal chords had been blown out in his early years having only heard his later tunes. That is not correct. He was in the thick of it in the 70’s, one of his earliest decades and as you can hear he has that same smoky blown out voice. I do love it so. He’s such a pimp. The perfect pimp for our Trouser Sewalong.
Jessica Biel in Easy Virtue
Anyhow, back to the trousers, I do believe the navy ones (top photo collage) on Jessica are my favorite. Delicious. I will be a leggy seductress after this trouser sewalong, just you wait. And teenage and college boys will most definitely be inspired by these. Sigh…..
I hope this has given you some serious inspiration for this week’s Finale. We are now on the verge of fitting madness, which is coming just as soon as Monday hits. And for those of you who might have been on the fence about this, come now, really, don’t you need a pair? Let’s get with the times. It’s pants or BUST!
This is my quick and dirty way of turning a straight grain waistband into a bias waistband. Totally easy, peasy. Well it will be for Burda #127 at any rate. So with pattern pieces 4 and 5 respectively, 1″ seam allowances except for in those areas that you cut on the fold here we go. Take your fabric, in this case muslin. I used just some scraps that had sort of a square pattern running through it, just so that I could see how I liked it and to give you a better idea of where to place that selvedge edge. Now fabric in hand, you’re going to fold the fabric in sort of a triangle. Open up your fabric so there’s only a single layer of fabric. Fold your selvedge edge along the fabric crease in the middle of the fabric. I’m dealing with a fat quarter here for my waistband, so where the middle of my fabric crease mark is, the other side has been chopped off otherwise you would see the other half of my fabric piece. Does that make sense?
The new fold that is created is going to be where we place the waistband pieces. Now you want those pieces to create a chevron pattern at the seamline on the right and left side. To be quite frank, this messes with my brain a little and so the best way I know to do this is to make sure that as I place my pattern pieces to be cut on the fabric, both of them have to be right side up on the same fold line. And if you are trying to keep that seamline in the back waistband, just don’t cut that back waistband piece on the fold but make sure you have the seam allowance necessary for the back seam. Yes, I realize the photo above only shows one piece, but both pieces should be on this same fold. This means that you be cutting either the waistband front or back with the pattern markings and writing facing up. I know this is a little trippy. But trust me, it works. Now go ahead and cut your waistband pieces out.
After you’ve cut your waistband pieces, give them a good press and stretch them along the bias as you press. Hang them up overnight allowing the bias to stretch as much as possible. In the morning, when you are ready to hit your trouser muslin again, give them one more press and stretch and fold them back to the cutting position, reposition the waistband pattern pieces on top and cut the excess stretch off the sides.
Threadmark the pieces, baste stitch up the right side, press seam allowance open and the top edge seam allowance down. Pin and baste stitch to top trouser edge, easing in if necessary. Press seam allowances upward and give your trousers a good try on. And there you have it! For those of you who choose to do this, this is the method I’ll be using to cut the final trouser as I’m working with plaid and pinstripes. Hopefully this is a helpful alternative for those of you who want to use stripes and plaids and not have to bother with the hassle of trying to wrap your brain matching the design in this area.
OK, gear up for next week’s intensive fitting sessions. Let me know how you are doing and if by chance I’m going too fast or too slow.
It’s time we started putting our muslin together for our trousers. I’ve made complete instructions here for Burda #127. This because I’ve been highly disappointed with all the bumps and hiccups with this pattern that I thought would it would be easier if I just fashioned my own instructions. These are quick and just for the muslin. We’ll be doing things a bit different for the final construction. Now if you are following along using a different pattern, please follow the pattern directions for your particular pattern, otherwise off we go with Burda #127.
Darts and Pleats
Baste stitch darts on back trouser leg (piece 3). Press towards center back. Baste stitch pleats on front trouser leg (piece 1). Press pleats toward center front. Baste along top edge of trouser front to secure pleat.
The trouser leg front (piece 1) adjoins with the pocket lining (piece 2a). Now remember, the pocket lining (2a) was extracted from pattern piece 2. With right sides together pin trouser leg front (1) along slanted pocket opening to the pocket lining (2a). Baste stitch. Press pocket lining to inside of garment.
Now its time to add the pocket. The pocket (piece 2) adjoins to the pocket lining (2a). It also fills out the hip for the front trouser leg. Pin pocket (2) to the right side of pocket lining (2a) matching seamlines. Baste stitch along lower edge of pocket lining. Baste pocket extension (2) to trouser leg front (1) along waistline. Baste pocket (2) to trouser leg front (1) at outseam.
Inseam, Outseam and Crotch Seam
Pin right trouser leg front (1) to right trouser leg back (3), right sides together along the outseam (the seam that runs along the outside of the leg). Baste stitch. Press seam open. Do the same for the left leg, however leave the opening for the zipper unstitched. Pin right trouser leg front to right trouser leg back at inseam (the seam that runs along the inside of the leg). Baste Stitch. Press seam open. Do the same for the left leg. To stitch crotch seam, turn one leg inside out and have one leg right side out. Put the right side out leg inside the inside out leg and pin crotch seam making sure fronts and backs are actually, front and back. Baste stitch crotch seam with 5/8″ seam allowance.
For those of you using the two piece waistband back, baste stitch a 5/8″ seam allowance along the back seam, right sides together. Pin back waistband to front waistband, right sides together along right side. Baste stitch. Press all seams open. Press waistband top down along seam allowance. Pin waistband to trousers along trouser top edge, right sides together, matching seam lines along side and back. Baste stitch. Press seam allowance upwards.
Now I’m quite sure there is nothing I could say or do to not make you try these on. So go and try on your trousers. Pin up the opening where the zipper will be inserted and roll up the pant leg and pin in place until you can walk in them. Have a few looks in the mirror. Dance, sit, walk. Do your worst. Take them off. Jot down some notes on the problems you readily see, how they feel, what you could or could not do in them, etc. Then try them on again. I’m not going to address fit issues until next week, but I want you to be well aquainted with yours before we start delving into that area. It’s OK, if you don’t know how to fix them. That’s the biggest part with pants isn’t it? I mean getting them to fit right. I’ll be giving you a pretty large run down fitting problems and how you go about fixing them. Fitting has as much to do with how something feels as how it looks. So try to get a feel for how your trousers feel. And don’t forget to take a few photos and put them in the flickr pool.
For now, just roll up the trousers so you can walk in them, I realize that for most of us these are going to be extra long. Next week I’ll be addressing the hem and the alteration that you might need for this.
Tomorrow I’ll be showing you how to make a bias waistband if you are going to be working with striped or plaid fabric. Cheerio! Need I mention that it is not a good idea to leave the house in your muslins as muslin is rather see through….
Oh it’s the day we’ve all been waiting for! Today, I’ll be showing you a few basic steps and info for cutting and marking your trouser muslin. Now, I will warn you that you might need to cut more than one muslin to get the right fit, I have. Being an animal in and of themselves, you might find that pants have odd fittings and two, possibly three muslins may be required before you get the perfect fit. However, I will say that when you find a good pant/trouser/jean pattern and such that you want to make again and again, you’ll be thankful that you fitted them correctly and perfected your flat pattern so that you can go and whip them up in no time flat. Let’s start snipping!
I’m using a basic cotton muslin. This you won’t need to prewash, but you will need to press. Please, pretty please, press your muslin before you cut. Sometimes there are folds and creases in the fabric that will affect the fit. Now onto cutting. Layout your pattern pieces on your fabric. Whether you choose to pin you pattern pattern to your fabric or trace or what have you, is ultimately up to you. Now go ahead and cut. With muslins, you are looking for the basic idea of the pattern. You don’t need to bother with lining or facing the waistband. Here’s a run down of how many of each piece to cut.
- Piece 1 & 3 (trouser leg front and back) cut 2
- Piece 2 & 2a (pocket & pocket lining) cut 2
- Piece 4 cut 1
- Piece 5 cut 2, unless you are sewing this piece without a seam in the back in which case you’ll cut 1
Once you’ve got everything cut, it’s a good idea to label everything with a magic marker or pencil or pen. I write directly on the fabric and mark all the darts and such with it too.
Next, thread mark your seam allowances. Why do this? It’s very helpful when you need to adjust a seam, you’ll know exactly how much to adjust because your seam allowance has already been marked. To threadmark, use a basting stitch with a contrasting thread and sew all around your pattern pieces, marking the seam allowance. Now, be careful that you mark the right seam allowances in the right places. Remember, 1″ along the outseam and the inseam, the waistband and the pockets. The crotch, the back of the waistband (if you’ve opted for a seamed back waistband) and that pocket extension flap will be 5/8″. Please refer to this post if you need a visual.
OK, that’s a wrap for today. Tomorrow, muslin construction.