Why are pants so hard to make fit on what would seem to be the most normal bodies? It’s because we are solving the mysteries of the crotch oddities. Measurements for crotch ease, lets just say CURVES, full bottom extensions and being a short woman does not make it any easier. Every year for the past 7 years I have tried to tackle fit and learn a new skill.
I hope my failures help you to save time, money and stress.
A big part of garment sewing is learning about handling all of the different fabrics. In February’s Valentines post I discussed how knits are actually not harder to sew. In this post I discuss how the different fabric choices and the same pattern sizes can alter the fit to a huge degree.
Remember needles, size, type and newness are all important.
For the first pair I used Scuba Knit fabric. It is thick, doesn’t fray, has great retention and sews easily. I followed the directions the first time to a T! I should have know better…
1. The pattern stated I need 2 1/2 yards of fabric total. I felt that was way too much and I made it work with 1 1/2 yards of fabric. I did not do contrasting color fabric because I do not want my pants to look dated or out of style.
2. You won’t need straight stitching on the cross grain even though the pattern shows to do this on the waist band. This is the opposite direction of the salvages and where the fabric will have more stretch. These parts most always go across the body, waist band, stomach and hips so they can stretch with ease.
Every sewn seam in the patterns directions said to double stitch the seam with a straight stitch. Then the pattern wants a third straight stitch that is top stitched on the outside and then you trim away the extra seam allowance. I did all of this on the first pair. Each seam was strong and stable with no popping because these are vertical seams that go down the body. They have little stretch. I quickly realized sewing three straight stitches and trimming each and every cut out and seam was a huge waste of time.
Fit for the first pair, to long and to big.
After hemming they are perfect!
Pair #2! You would think after the first pair that you’d know what fit issues to fix and maybe have some success. Not if you are changing fabrics. My next fabric was not as thick and not as stretchy.
Problems I solved included shortening the pattern by folding the pants at the knees. I serged instead of sewing three times and I used the zig zag stitch on the waist band. Want to take a guess at what happens when the fabric doesn’t have enough stretch?
This pair came out super tight.
Let’s take a closer look in good lighting. Those lines are called “pooling” and it’s a direct sign that your fit is off. Way off.
Pooling is a term used in sewing when something is to tight and it puddles up. It really looks quite terrible. One line or two would be ok – this is beyond ok.
The third pair was my first project on my new cover stitch machine. There were a few little problems around the thighs.
I used scuba knit fabric again and all of the alterations from above. The fit over all is perfect and I believe the baggy thighs are from my new machine and my lack of folding the fabric correctly.
Behind the scenes~
Dayton Garment Designer Meet Up meets next week. This group is open to anyone who sews.
There are still a few spots in my Endless Tea and Scones Embroidery Class a Communitea. This class is just in time for Mother’s Day, get your tickets here.
Last Saturday was my Insta Dress class at Creative Communion. These ladies did an amazing job! It’s not easy making clothing, getting fabrics and sizing right. With a little practice and determination they are all on their way. I also want to thank Julie for all her help! She was amazing!
Check out Creative Communion’s other awesome retreats too.
Thank you for reading,
Dream it, Sew it!
Latest posts by Tracy McElfresh (see all)
- Ready, Set, Serve – Mesh Tops - February 18, 2019
- Identifying Rips Worth Mending in Sewing Tips Under a Minute w/ Tracy McElfresh - February 13, 2019
- A Quilt to Retreat In - February 11, 2019