Friday, January 31, 2014

Tight Whites aka Muslin #2

On Saturday I went to a pants fitting class at Tessuti Fabrics, and started learning how to make pants fit properly.  There were just four of us in the class, and our instructor Megan was both lovely and terrific.

I've made pants before - V1098 here, here and here, also as a pair of shorts here, the ginormous V2289 here, the very red V1293 here - and Anita pants here and here, but when I've achieved a decent fit it's felt like I've either lucked out with the pattern (V1098, that's you) or played it safe with ponte! Hence the class :).

To try to maximise my education I chose a very fitted pants pattern designed for a woven fabric, V1204 by Issey Miyake. It's essentially a designer version of a jeans pattern:



I figured that if I could get the fit sorted on fitted pants, I'd be able to apply this to looser pants too - and of course the fit on a loose pair of pants wouldn't give me all the answers if I subsequently wanted to make fitted pants. And I've found that stretch fabric can smooth over fitting problems, so it made sense to learn about fit with a woven fabric. 

Megan showed me where to remove bucket loads of excess fabric from my initial muslin, and I came away from the class with a new pattern for muslin #2. It's now sewn up - with just a couple of post-class adjustments (removing a little width at centre back from about hip level and up, and very slightly raising the crotch). It's SUCH an improvement on muslin #1, which was like a calico wrinkle-magnet, but I took a lot of photos of muslin #2 to help myself work out what still needs to be done.

Do you want to see how it's looking? This is muslin #2 with the couple of extra tweaks made after class:




























There's still some fabric wrinkling on the backs of my thighs... so I thought I would try pinching out a dart from the back to pull the crotch curve up:


This seems to at least alter if not completely remove the wrinkles:

 

My next idea was to pinch out some fabric in the front, to pull the fabric up - the photo on the left shows just one side pinned in place, and the photo on the right shows both sides pinned in place:
 
 
 
I wasn't sure if this was working, so I unpinned those darts and tried pinching out some excess fabric from the inseam (this gets pinched out in the back too):

 




















Yes, I think this is progress!


Next up I want to check what the crotch curve on these pants is looking like (I might need more room in the back curve), and I'm going to go on a pants fitting internet trawl.

And over to you - I know there are so many bloggers and sewists out there who've cracked the pants fitting problem for themselves! Do you think any of those darts in the photos have potential to improve the fit? Is there a completely different adjustment I should be making?


Thank you - and good night!


- Gabrielle x

11 comments:

  1. Don't forget you need to be able to sit down as well :-)

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  2. Thanks Ruthie, haha, I'd better check, hadn't I! I wonder which wrinkles are the sitting down ones :)

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  3. Pants are so tricky to fit Gabrielle - so I will be watching your progress - good luck:)

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    1. They really are hard to fit, aren't they - and I'm finding it very hard to even identify what good fit is! It can't be no wrinkles, or as Ruthie pointed out there'd be no sitting ;), but I know the extraneous wrinkles need to be removed - which ones are they though?

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  4. Those are looking really good. Mine always have wrinkles under the bum too, but after I wear them for a while they reduce so I don't worry too much about it. I've been told the fix is to reduce the back inseam length but leave the front alone; you stretch out the fabric on the back with an iron before sewing to make them fit together.

    Good luck with it!

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    1. Thanks Catherine, I consider you to be in that group of people who have pants fitting completely sussed - yours always look like a great fit! This is an interesting idea - strangely in this pattern the inseam seemed to match up without stretching the back leg piece - though that may have been user error, it may be giving me some extra under-bum wrinkles! I'll give this a try and see what it does.

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  5. It all sounds wonderfully complicated to me, but it is really working! I envy you for being able to take those classes!

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  6. Three words work 90% of the time..."drop your crotch". You can baste a deeper curve from where the seam starts to wander into the crack and keep it deeper until it reaches the va jay jay junction and lessens towards the front. Doing this may alter the back side seams a bit but you can let them out. This will also help with under cheek wrinkles as the pants are allowed to slide up a little for a smoother look.

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  7. I hadn't noticed this pattern before but I think I may just have to check it out. I'm keen for a pair of skinnies soon. Good luck with your fitting.

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  8. Thats the class I need to go to. You are well on the way to having perfectly fitted pants! Looking forward to seeing how these turn out.

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  9. The fit looks good! My only advice would be to be careful of over-fitting; you want to be able to sit down, crouch, walk up stairs, eat etc... my feeling is that some of those wrinkles under the bum allow you to do those things.

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