Pant sew-along

Pant sew-along – Fitting the pants

My stack of muslins. I think there are six of them in there, or maybe seven. I lost count after the third.

Fitting the pant
My body shape is best suited for skirts and dresses. But my mind wants to wear pants. It’s a constant battle and as you can see in the image above, sometimes there are causalities involved.
I’ve spent so much time this week trying to crack that elusive code of well fitting pants and I nearly lost my mind in the process. Well I’ve finally made some progress. But let’s start off with were I left you last time:

My first attempt. Too much fabric, going in all sorts of weird directions.

The muslin after a zillion trials. Depending on how I stand there are some diagonal folds going towards the inner thighs, but I still think this muslin is good enough for me.

After my pledge for help in my last pant post I got loads of great suggestions. I actually ended up trying them all and the end result is a mix of these alterations. Please read the comment section for great suggestions on how to alter pants.
Goodworks1 suggested I’d scoop out the back crotch, I did that and it improved the fit.
Debbie suggested I shorten the back inner seam, which was very helpful and took away excess fabric under the tush.
Geek sewing suggested pinching some fabric from the back leg, so I took in the back side seam a little which removed even more excess fabric.
Berry and Mary Nanna suggested that I lengthen the back crotch. The lack of room in the crotch was definitely a problem, but since I wanted the pants to be tight I ended up scooping the crotch instead. Normally that would make the pants too tight around the hips, but since I’ll use a stretch fabric that contains both rayon and linen (both notorious for their growth abilities) I don’t have to worry about that this time.

4 steps towards better fitting pants

1. I scooped out the back crotch, using another (well-fitting) pattern as a guide.
2. Lowered the back crotch seam 1,5 cm (3/5 inches)
3. Took in the back seam 1,5 cm (3/5 inches) in order to reduce some of the excess fabric in back.
4. Then I scooped out the front crotch a little to eliminate a slight camel toe. See Kathleen Fasanella’s tutorial.

As you can see it took a lot of tweaking, and I also found that some alterations had a counter effect on stuff that I had improved on before. That was the most frustrating part of the process and the reason why it took so many muslins. The pants are still not top notch, but I will settle for this. After a day of wear they will probably bag like crazy anyway, so fretting over it more is just not worth it.

I’m about to pack up my sewing machine, since we are moving next week and I wanted to get a head start with my pants before the chaos begins. I don’t know when I can resume the sewing, but in my next update I will have transfered my messy pattern pieces to cardboard so that I can show you the finished pattern and talk a little about the drafting process.


  • luckylibbet
    March 8, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Wow, they are looking SO MUCH better! And from a quick look, the pattern pieces look remarkably like mine – are we twins separated at birth? Looking forward to the next installment, and best of luck with the move – more sewing space, hurray.

  • Berry
    March 8, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    It looks good now, great job! I can’t wait to read next step.

  • cidell
    March 9, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I’m going to disagree with you. First photo: not a fan of pants on you. Second pants: they look awesome on you!!

  • Antoinette
    March 9, 2009 at 1:31 am

    You have real dedication to the task! And frankly, as long as you have waited to make those Anthro pants, and as great as they will be when you’re done, it seems like time and effort well spent. Looks like you’ve got the fit just right in the second photo.

    Hope your move goes smoothly!

  • geek sewing
    March 9, 2009 at 6:09 am

    You’re on your gazillionth muslin already? I’m just in the process of cutting my first one.

    You’re moving?!!

    Busy, busy mom.

    The muslin looks fantastic!

  • Cindy
    March 10, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Wow! You have done your homework! Can you fly to Chicago and help me? I think, I need to eliminate the camel toe too!

  • BeeBee
    March 10, 2009 at 1:01 am

    I think your pants are looking really nice!
    And I’ve nominated you for the Sisterhood award. Go to my blog and find the patch, then You post the badge on your blog, list your top ten, leave them notes on their blogs

  • NGLaLALa
    March 11, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    It looks great! I’ve nominated you for the Sisterhood Award.

  • SusanH
    March 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Your final muslin does look great! Also, if the overall hip circumference is tight after you scoop out the back crotch seam, you can try adding back some width at the back side seam. I’m not sure these pants need it, but it could be useful for different (non-stretchy) fabric.

  • Mary Nanna
    March 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    I’m with the others – your pants look great! and look at all those muslins! Of course the crotch will stretch anyway because it’s cut on the bias, so it’s definitely a good idea to factor in the “wear” allowance.

    I’m very impressed. They are going to look great. Hope the move goes well


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