I have worked through a pretty decent Wild Ginger PMB pant but the leg and style are frustrating me. I would like a sort of narrow leg slack a la Betty Draper, and like some I have seen in the Spring collections. Never mind that I am built like two Betty Drapers. That's not the point.
I would like to make pants that were slimmish and comfortable. I would also like to work out a protocol for standard pattern alterations for pants patterns like I have for upper body garments. You know a set of things I could wack onto any pattern I liked and have it work.
I decided to try all of this out on Simplicity 2261, despite the fact that you really can't tell from the photo what these pants look like.
I have also been thinking a lot about where most sewers, myself included, have trouble with pant fit and it seems to come most often down to two problems:
1. a baggy front crotch with so-called "smiley lines" although no one is smiling about them
2. saggy stuff and the infamous diagonal wrinkles under the butt
The fixes for this are many. I decided however that for my body one of the problems and frustrations was a pant leg that was too large.
So this is what I decided to try.
I cut out a pants pattern for my thigh measurement ( flat pattern and about 2-3" ease) this gave me a size 14.
You need to know that if I had cut for my hips I would be a size 16 and for my waist a 18.
So I just added that to the pattern. I also tried the famous "clown butt" alteration to add to my centre back length and to take in some of the extra fabric under my butt. You can find a good explanation of that here kindly posted on Patternreview by Karla Kiser.
Now about my body. That is, after all, what I was trying to fit.
Some people have an hour glass figure, some of us have a glass tumbler figure. In my case with a large behind and a belly for which I make no apologies- the two of us celebrated Mother's Day together thanks.
These two realities meant that I had to add length to centre back (2" in total) and to the centre front (1").
Here are what the pattern pieces looked like after my alterations:
Now of course I didn't bring my sewing room with me so my trial pair is made in broadcloth, not a good fabric for pants, doesn't ease, but gave me an idea.
I also made one design change once I saw the waistband pieces really were a contoured almost yoke. I eliminated the fly front for this pair and just put in an invisible zipper that I inserted all the way up through the waistband.
Now truthfully, for reasons my belly makes obvious, I could do without such a prominent seam along my middle, and since the pattern says that these pants are meant to sit 1" below the waist, I would probably add that 1" in the pair I intend to make in a stretch cotton when I can get my hands on some.
So lousy test fabric taken into account, I am really pleased with the leg shape in these. I might take up a bit with a more pronounced Clown Butt alteration next time, but considering the shape I am trying to fit and considering I will never be wearing anything tucked in, I am quite happy with these.
You may of course look at this test photos and say "is she nuts" but listen this fit is just fine with me and with this body. I have no intention to drive myself crazy trying to get a perfectly smooth fit over a non perfect, not smooth, body. I am a realist.
However I definitely feel I am on to something with the smaller pattern thing and will try another Simplicity pattern with the exact same alterations and see what happens.
My test pants:
Pants front with top. Photographer did not notice tucked up top. Would get another photographer but this one is a damn good cook and kind to small children, animals, and me.
Butt with dog shot
Sad illustration of all my figure flaws. Nice pant leg though.
|Revealing front shot at artistic angle, this time with the dog's butt. Some professional blog.|