My pants sewing journey REALLY began about 2 years ago. You may recall 2 of my trials with Jalie 2909 documented HERE and HERE. I'd taken a couple weeks off from sewing to study fitting pants and I believe that it paid off and was a good effort. I even used some RTW pants to help make me with adjustments to the pattern. But despite that I still had a few fit problems.....
1. I couldn't get rid of back leg wrinkles
2. Couldn't get comfortable fit in rear.
3. My front crotch was too tight. I'd shortened the crotch depth from the original pattern but didn't quite know how to add room in this area.
I made a little more progress in the the Fall of last year with this attempt, again using Jalie 2909. I came away with a better pants fitting strategy but still didn't nail the fit......
Although I didn't quite figure things out entirely I kept reading/watching everything I could on pants fitting. I was determined to get it eventually.....
Fast forward to the Fearless February Sew Along (FFSA), just a few months later, where I decided to have another go at it!!! Suprisingly this time I figured it out and improved my fitting abilities tremendously.
My FFSA Pants Fitting Strategy:
1. Change the pants pattern. I tried again to resume work with Jalie 2909 and got no where. I spent more than half of February fiddling with it before I switched to Burda 7192. I wanted to pick something fit for a slimmer woman's figure and was drafted well.
2. Looked to RTW again for answers. I had to see the difference between the pattern and what I was actually wearing that fit. I knew by comparing I'd find the answers.
I made up my Burda 7192 muslin and used the information I'd studied up on to make changes to the muslin. I still had some back leg wrinkles and the pattern gathered under my rear. I did a few adjustments to the pattern and everything except the crotch looked great. I also found some helpful tips in this other fit book but I still had some crotch issues and back leg wrinkles and I knew I wouldn't resolve it by just minor tweaking. And I DEFINITELY WASN'T going to make more than 2-3 muslins (although the possibility of 10 were mentioned by the book's author). So I had to get radical!!!!! I decided to deconstruct a pair of pants that were similar in style and fit well. I never wore them---they were from NY & CO. and were a mulberry color. Whatever compelled me to buy them I don't know but they were perfect for deconstruction and comparison with Burda 7192.
Well I took it apart and aligned it with Burda 7192 and instantly found my issues.....
(deconstructed NY & CO. pants on top of Burda 7192 pattern. As you can see the pattern were pretty much similar minus the crotch shape.
(red line show changes to front crotch. Lowered the front inseam)
(back crotch curve lowered which helped to add to the crotch length and fully cover my rear)
(muslin after making changes! Butt & back crotch fit looked GREAT!!!)
And as a result I sucessfully made Burda 7192, my gray pants.
But keep in mind that the changes I made to get these pants to fit were specific to this style of pants. You can't just copy your crotch curve from one pair of pants and apply it to all styles. Case in point---try taking apart 3 different styles of pants (fitted, semi fitted, loose) and look at the front/back crotch shapes and lengths. I've done it--it's really cool!!! You'll notice they're all a bit different since they're drafted to fit your body differently. The fitted pair of pants is likely to have a shorter crotch curve whereas the loose pair may have a longer one since the pants will hang from the body more. I learned this when I immediately made my pair of denim capris following this pattern. I had to make slightly different changes to the crotch.
(Excuse my horrible bathroom photos. LOL! Muslin for Burda 7863---the denim capris pattern. This muslin was made out of a crosswise stretching knit. As you can see the crotch depth was too long. I had to go in and shorten it a bit.)
(The back crotch was too tight. I had to add a little to the back inseam and lengthen the back crotch a smidge).
(The final result after all of the fittings---Burda 7863. The fit wasn't absolute perfect. Still had some minor crotch issues to work out but I loved the end results!!!)
From those experience I gained some additional knowledge about how to fit my figure type. Here it is...
Pants Fitting Figure Analysis:
1. My Derriere is more full than high. It's dropped in the recent years due to age and inactivity (unfortunately not hitting the gym like I used to).
2. I have fuller inner thighs. In some cases I need to add to my inseam a bit and taper to nothing.
(example alteration from book "Fitting and Pattern Alteration" for my fuller rear. This usually takes of the fuller thigh issue.)
3. My crotch depth & length is shorter than it is in the back (my waist is at an angle---higher in the back then the front).
4. Due to my rear I have gaposis in the back and rely on darts for contouring. If it's pants with a waistband I likely take out the extra there or if it's jeans with a yoke I can take out darts in the yoke (one on each side) and then take out the excess in the center back seam of the waistband.
Remember it's out of experience with fitting/sewing pants that you give yourself more knowledge to build off of for the next try.....
Lastly, I wouldn't have been able to get this far without great resources. I collect and read EVERYTHING I can get my hands on usually. Here my fave's.....
My Favorite Resources:
I pretty much listed them in my 2010 posts (links above in 2nd paragraph) but here's the 3 most beneficial books to me. I LOVE these books!!!! The Singer is awesome due to the color photos and explanation of crotch shapes, how posture affect pants pattern, etc. The FP&A book is fantastic due to it's wide range of pattern alterations presented. BTW, this is the OLD version---I'm aiming to get the 2009 version. Of course there's PFRP---who doesn't love Palmer/Pletsch books. Such a good combo of photos and drawings. I also listened to Peggy Sager's of Silhouette Patterns, webcasts on fitting pants. I blogged about them HERE.
Anyhow that's all for now. Within the next week I hope to do 2 more pants journey posts focusing on "how I fit pants"---how I make/fit my muslins and how I sew the final pants. I kinda have my own process. And another post as a synopsis of "all I've learned so far about pants fitting"--personal insights, strategies, etc. Again not alot of people post this type of info so I thought I'd share. Hope it's helpful:).......Ok, my eyes are getting heavy so I'm off to bed.......