Every time I try sewing up a new pants pattern it’s a scary process. Sewing trousers is hard. Period. That said understanding the fit process is a good step in the right direction. And once you figured out a few key stuff, such as the crotch shape and length, the waist, and getting a good fit around the hips and thighs, you’ll end up with trousers that will fit way better than store-bought ones, even though they might not be “perfect”.
Anyways trouser fitting is an ongoing process for me. I am at the point right now that my me-made trousers fit so much better than any trousers I’ve ever bought in stores.
There are loads of great resources online for fitting trousers. But I wanted to have all the info in one place and since I love the Fit for Real people book so much, I figured that getting their companion pants fitting book Pants for real people would be a good idea. I have used the book for two projects so far and here comes my review:
Two Step Trouser Fitting
The book uses two steps for fitting trousers.
First you do a tissue fit (this could also be done using muslin fabric or non-woven) adjusting all the key points, such as crotch, hips, waist and thighs. I love how they really talk a lot about different crotch alterations, since that seems to be one of the biggest issues to get right when making trousers.
The second step is fitting the pants as you sew, since every fabric has it’s own specific properties so reling on just muslin fabric and pattern tissue will often not be enough. This statement I wholeheartedly agree with and for my Burdastyle straight legged trousers I did a lot of fitting on the actual trousers (in hindsight though, I should have fixed a few more issues on the muslin before I cut the fabric.
My straight leg trousers before I applied the Fit as you sew methods and afterwards. A big difference I would say, even though I should have done more prep work for an even better fit and I also over-fitted the inseams a bit I think, hence the diagonal lines.
For my cigarette trousers I did a more through tissue fitting job using the guidelines in the book. I also added a fish eye dart to remove excess fabric underneath the bum, which is not part of the book. I do wish they had added that method in the book, since I wasn’t successful removing the excess fabric just using the suggestions in the book. Here is the muslin and I was very happy with the fit.
And these are the finished trousers. I’ve done an extensive blog post on how I fitted the trousers with loads of tips.
The second part of the book is devoted to instructions on how to sew trousers. This section is A+++++. Seriously, even if you don’t care about trouser fitting or already have nailed the fit, this section alone makes this book a worthwhile purchase. For my Burdastyle straight leg trousers I used the zipper with shield and classic trouser pocket tutorials. And they turned out really well. For my cigarette trousers I also used the book for several steps and ended up with a good result.
So is Pants for real people (affiliate link) worth purchasing? I say yes. The fitting section could have been even more thorough and there might not be a simple magic bullet found in there , but there are plenty of great solid fitting advice to still make it a worthwhile purchase. And since the sewing instructions are so great, that I think those are a good enough reason to buy this book Plus for me the proof is in the trousers – the ones that I’ve made this year are by far the best fitting trousers I’ve eve sewn.
Have you tried any other pants fitting books that you can recommend?
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