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.
Oh my goodness! It’s already here! January 3, 2011. And that means its time for the official start of the Trouser Sewalong. I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing and fabulous holiday! Unfortunately, I was sick nearly the entire time. Laid up in bed. And quite frankly, it was a drag. But I’m good now and ready to beat my January/winter blues. This week we’ll be cutting out our muslin and stitching it up. First, I thought it would be a good idea to go over the individual pattern pieces together with Burda #127. What with all the confusion and craziness with this pattern, I’m here to say that it does actually sew up and though my muslin was probably one size too big it did fit. OK, are we ready? Let’s go.
I’m again going to stress the 1″ seam allowances everywhere but in the crotch. Here’s the thing with those allowances: the crotch is the major crux of the entire operation. The way it plays with the other areas of a pair of trousers is a big deal. This is the area that you are probably going to have the most trouble in, but it’s not necessarily the area you fix. You’ll actually be fixing the area that’s affecting the crotch. Make sense? Hopefully so. Let’s talk about the pattern pieces now. Alright? Alright.
As you can see on the original pattern, the pieces are labeled. So after you’ve traced off or taped together your pattern (PS, even after I had taped the pattern together, I noticed that there would not be enough room for the 1″ seam allowances I needed, so tracing I did, very disgruntled I might add) you should go about labeling them. It makes the whole experience less difficult. Pattern piece no. 1 is the leg front. You’ll cut two of these. Everywhere but the crotch area (and the hem) will have 1″ seam allowances. The crotch will have 5/8″ seam allowance and the hem does not need any seam allowance. Believe me, unless you are really tall, you definitely don’t need to add anything to the hem. Ahem…
Piece no. 3 is the leg back. Same thing as for no. 1.
Pattern piece no. 2 is the pocket. In fact it’s a pocket within a pocket. I separated this piece to show you what you’ll need to cut. The smaller piece is the pocket lining, which I’ve labeled 2A. You’ll cut two of these. 1″ seam allowance everywhere. The actual pocket is the entire piece. You’ll cut two of those. 1″ seam allowance everywhere but that extended tab part. That part connects to the crotch and so you’ll only need 5/8″ seam allowance there.
Piece no. 4 is the waistband front. 1″ seam allowance everywhere but along that edge that will be cut on the fold of the fabric (right edge here).
Piece no. 5 is the waistband back. 1″ seam allowance everywhere but at the actual waistband back. There you’ll only add 5/8″ because that is part of the crotch area. And that’s only if you want that seamline in the back waistband. Personally I don’t, so I decided to cut this area on the fold, in which case you don’t need to add a seam allowance there. Also, if you are into the plaids and stripes for your trousers, you’ll want to cut the waistband on the bias, because I can’t think of anything worse than trying to match plaids or stripes in this area. In fact, its not even possible. Especially if you consider there is a pleat and a dart in these trousers. So, I’ll show you how to transform your waistband in an upcoming post.
OK, does this help? I certainly hope so. I definitely want to hear your thoughts. Even for those of you who are tackling a different pattern. It is a good idea for you too, to do the same things you see here. The adjustments and fittings I’ll be showing will be easier with more room to work with. Have fun sweets! Next up, cutting your muslin!
If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I decided to make Mr. S a pajama set for Christmas. I had a few bumps along the way, but in the end they turned out rather perfect for him. They are made up from Simplicity 4007, a vintage pattern from the 60’s, I’d say. He ravenously opened them up on Christmas Eve, though he knew what they looked like and had tried them on every so often for fitting and such. He threw them right on and demanded pictures be taken.
The top is made from cotton voile that I interlined with cotton/bamboo muslin all etched in cotton velveteen which I scrapped from my boyfriend’s jacket. The bottoms are a knit, which shockingly worked out. I haven’t worked with knit in a very long time and usually don’t touch it considering I’ve had such bad luck with it. I treated the knit just like a woven and found that it stitched up pretty well. Flat felled seams and all. And yes, nearly every seam in these pj’s are flat felled.
Mr. S said that all these PJ’s lacked were a tobacco filled pipe, a brandy and a bunny. Then he said, “Just call me Heff.”
Aside from sewing, I really hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Family, Santa, hot buttered rum, Red Rider Air Rifle and all! I’m looking forward to ringing in the New Year and am excited for the adventure that 2011 promises. A very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you!