Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dealing with Pants Fitting issues...

So I went back to the drawing board with the same old vintage TNT pants pattern after ending up with a wadder when I recently tried a new pattern.  I am determined that when I need a new pair of pants, I'll be able to pick my pattern up and simply whip up a pair - voila, yeah just like that!

So I:
  •  re-traced the original pattern
  • cut a new muslin without any preconceived alterations- starting from scratch
  • extra tedious work - yes!  But I plan on it being well worth it  
What does it matter that my pants are made alike?  I contend, especially when time is of the essence, that correct fit, good construction, and quality fabric is really all that matters with this particular garment.  Here's a picture of my major pants fitting issue and what I'm doing to eliminate it:

Pockets are sagging a little, but I can fix that by stabilizing that area during pocket construction.
It's odd, but this pattern fits me perfectly in the back.  But as you can see from the front, I'm plagued with diagonal wrinkles that extend from the crouch to the side seam.  Here you can see that I've  following Peggy Sagers advice by:
  • working with a muslin I've pinched out the wrinkles, pinned up the excess (right side) in a diagonal dart, and then stitched the dart in (left side). 
  • Peggy suggests disassembling the muslin and using it as the actual pattern rather than chancing error when transferring the alteration it to the original pattern piece.

Next I'll:
  • mark all basted seam allowances that I've altered to make a better fit, 
  • then remove all the basting stitches, completely dissembling the muslin, and
  • use the muslin pieces as my pattern. 
I won't make a second muslin because I think my diagonal wrinkle problem will be solved.  I have three pairs of pants planned as my next sewing projects.  Maybe by mid week I'll have a new pair of wrinkle free pants.  You can reference my blog for a more detailed post.


  1. It is such a challenge to get pants to fit right. But so worth the effort. Looking forward to seeing the end result.

  2. My hat goes off to you for even attempting to fit and sew pants. Looking forward to following along ... J

  3. Hi Faye, I agree, as you know, with the other ladies - pants are tricky to fit. I am sure you will get there - getting a good rear fit is a plus - you must have the right shaped rear for this pattern, even if the front needs tweaking - at least you can get to that easily, unlike the back.

  4. Thanks for all of the tips. It's really a hassle getting pants to fit and its always good to recieve new tips on how to make them fit well.

  5. Next time you feel like making a pants muslin try Coni Crawford Butterick 5222. I use it for all my clients no matter what size. She gets the crotch depth right, the side seams straight and knows what fits.You start by cutting an extra inch or so at the top and after basting, tie elastic at the waist and pin the muslin to it adjusting for crotch depth and tummy and hips and it makes it so darn easy to even fit yourself.Draw on the muslin along the lower edge of the elastic for an accurate waistline seam and then use that to transfer to the paper pattern.
    I'd like to see Peggy Sayers or anyone else alter paper patterns with diagonal tucks like the ones you have pinned. Pinning out fabric on the bias just seems like you are working against the weave of the fabric and then what happens to your straight-of-grain lines on the paper?