clothing, handmade wardrobe, sewing

Pants of which I can be proud

I was in grad school the last time I made a pair of pants.  They were lime green and probably ill-fitting.  I distinctly remember walking into lab, and right away, a fellow student asked if I made them.  As a seamstress, it’s not really a good thing when someone immediately recognizes a piece of clothing as homemade!  Frustrated with printed patterns in general, from that point on I set aside pants as one of those things I would just purchase.

However, following sewing blogs as I do, I was reading about others having success with pants, and with one pattern in particular.  The name, Amazing Fit!, really sells the pattern as something that might actually work.  I took all my measurements and compared the finished garment measurements to how I like to wear my pants (fitted) and went down two full sizes from the suggested size.  I also selected “slim” (this pattern has “regular” and “curvy” options), so I was truly going for fitted, particularly since I was working with a stretch denim-ish fabric.

Nearly the entire pant is finished before you can try them on for fit.  These are well-constructed pants, and so when I put them on and found them to be ridiculously huge, I was super mad!  All that work and completely unwearable!  The instructions’ suggestions for altering the fit were laughable with the problems I was having:

Saggy crotch
Saggy butt
Inches of extra width!

These pictures don’t give justice to how huge they were and I thought it would be obscene to grab the 4-5 inches of fabric below my crotch for photos, but trust me.  Unwearable.  I ripped out the inseam, side and crotch seams and thought about what to do.

Knowing the crotch was too long and low, I reduced the length of the crotch seam in the back.  I couldn’t do as much in the front, since the zipper fly was a certain length.  The photo below shows before (in the back) and after (on top).  I also took in the sides and inseam by about 1/2 an inch or more.  I reduced the waistband width by about half, which also brought the crotch up a bit.

Once I sewed them back up I was incredibly pleased!  The crotch is still a tad low, but seriously, I will wear these!

They fit just right, not too tight and the stretch material is fabulous!  I hemmed them for kitten heels, not the flats I usually wear, since they are more for work.

The back is in desperate need of pockets, but since I have almost no fabric left, I think welt pockets are my only option.

Recognize the fabric for the waistband (it was supposed to be self-fabric), pocket bags and hem?

I had purchased the brown stretch denim fabric from Joann’s to make a skirt, so I only had 1.5 yards of 60″ fabric to make a pair of pants.   I am only 5’1″, so I could sacrifice a lot on the length, but I still had to be a little creative with fabric useage!  Don’t worry, I don’t plan on cuffing the pants 🙂

After altering the pattern, it truly fit wonderfully.  The cut is good for my figure and I like the wide legs (which could be altered to create a different look), so I applied my changes to the paper pattern and the very next day, whipped up a pair of shorts (stay tuned for the reveal of those!).

7 thoughts on “Pants of which I can be proud”

  1. Do give it a try! The good thing about this pattern (Simplicity 2700) is that the waistband is actually 4 separate pieces, so you can take in the sides and back seams until you sew in the waistband facing. I'd seriously suggest sizing down at least 2 sizes and be prepared for a very generous fit 🙂 I have to say, though, now that I have a well-fitting pattern, I am considering replacing my RTW pants!

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  2. Thanks! It was definitely worth the work to adjust the pattern (and not just throw them into the never-to-be-finished pile). Now I'm considering some summery white pants–I've been reluctant to purchase them (with little ones that use my pants as a napkin), but if they are just the cost of fabric and 4 hours of my time, then why not?!

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