Saturday, July 07, 2012

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!).


  1. wow, I'm super impressed with how they turned out! I haven't been brave enough to try sewing pants yet, but your post has been very motivational!

    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!

  2. Looks great. .I think you got the fit really well. Pants are so hard..

    1. Thanks so much! I have avoided them for too long, though, and now I'm so excited to have opened up this door in the sewing world!

  3. You are sooo brave. They turned out fantastic! Great job :)

    1. 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?!

  4. gorgeous! I can't even believe how beautifully you salvaged them!