I sit here writing this post in the most comfortable pants I have ever worn. I've been wearing them all evening any they are awesome--I can run, jump, bend, sit, you name it. I even took the trash out in them.
Unfortunately, said pants are (a) made of muslin covered in red permanent marker notations (b) have some of their darts and seams sewn on the outside (oops!) and (c) are way too freaking baggy in the leg.
I'm really glad I made the muslin in a size 14 instead of 16, even though my measurements are closer to the latter. Here are the front, side and rear views (click to enlarge):
They are not quite looking like this yet:
My first thoughts were:
- Too much fabric in the legs. This would be even more overwhelming in the corduroy.
- Too much fabric on the sides of the hips? Maybe? It's a tiny bit loose and poofy on each side--I can pinch about a half inch on each side. I think I need to pin up the looseness and rebaste.
- I think the crotch seems to be about right in depth/length--but there seem to be some weird wrinkles in the front. I will have to study my gazillion pants books to figure out what they mean. Like studying the oracle...
- The waist seems about right. (Note: these are supposed to sit about 1.5 inches below natural waist).
- The back looks surprisingly good. I have a really flat seat, so I was expecting to have to do some major flat butt adjustment. Maybe the fit model these pants are based on was flat too?
- I haven't pinned the hem up, but they're about the right length. So I'll need to add extra for the hem (and cuff).
- I'd like the pants to cup a tiny bit under the butt, not fall straight down. Though according to all my books, the definition of a trouser is that it has that more straight/relaxed silhouette. So this might technically make my trousers into slacks.
To help in my analysis, I decided to compare my muslin to my favorite pair of RTW wide-legged denim trousers--which fit pretty well except for some bagginess below the butt (flat butt issue, I think) and being slightly too low-rise for my tastes. Here's what I found:
They actually are quite similar up top--similar waist measurement, similar hip width. And at the hem, too--they're both 23" wide on each leg. The crotch curve is even pretty similar.
The big difference as you can see is in the leg widths at the crotch (28" wide on each leg of Baggy Trouser Muslin as opposed to 26" on Favorite Jean Trousers) and knee (25.5" vs. 20.5").
My plan of attack:
- To fix the baggy legs: I'm going to rebaste the muslin to be shaped a bit more like the jeans, taking in width on the inseam and side seams and then gently flaring back out to full width.
- To cup the rear a bit more in back: Apparently I need to stitch a deeper inseam. But I worry that will make the crotch too tight--it seems just right now. I'll have to see what happens.
- To deal with tiny bit of fullness at hips: I might leave the teensy bit of extra fullness around the hips alone and tweak it in the fashion fabric. And actually, the extra fullness seems to disappear when I sit down.
- I think these trousers need back pockets to give me a little padding in the rear. Would it be weird to do welt pockets in corduroy? (Not that I've ever made such a thing).
- I might try adding a sneaky subtle elastic in the back waistband area to make them more adjustable. I find belts really uncomfortable with pants... which means at the beginning of the day my pants tend to be falling down a bit and by the end of the day they are sometimes a bit too tight. This solution is advised in several of my pants books--we shall see.
But I have to admit I'm having a problem with this project already. I probably should have gotten back into sewing for myself with something that was either more of a quick win--a simple skirt with minimal fitting, say--or was really exciting, like a beautiful dress in an exciting print. These pants are boring me and the fitting process is annoying me.
So right now I'm running on sheer stubbornness, since I told you all I was going to make pants. THE PANTS WILL NOT BEAT ME. Though if my rebasted muslin doesn't fit any better they may get a rest while I make something more quick and fun.
Any tips from expert pants-fitters appreciated.
P.S. Speaking of annoying totally no fun projects, I finally rehemmed my bedroom curtains to the right length. They look nice.