Let there be trousers

4 Mar

After playing around with my odd, tight-yet-baggy, marker-ridden muslin pants some more, I decided to return to my green pants (Butterick 6833). They fit well enough to wear out in the world, after all. I decided to use those as an already-started “muslin” to  experiment with.  I was intrigued by Connie Crawford’s “flat tush adjustment”, which is about 1000x simpler than comparable “flat butt adjustments” found here and there on the internet. It seemed like a good place to start, and if it didn’t work, I could easily rip out the seam and return the pants to their previous shape.

I liked it.

And so I proceeded to sew an entirely new pair of pants, using the same pattern, that one adjustment, and adding a partial lining (to reduce visible panty line, and to protect my delicate flesh from the hard metal teeth of the side zipper.)

They look like this:

Although I may just be the last woman in the developed world to discover my pants don’t fit, and trying to make pants that do might be a bit of a sewing-blog cliche, I’m posting all different views of my new trousers, anyway, toward getting better at making them fit.

I cheated a little bit. Even though I cut the same size as I had for the green pair, I was a little bit stingy with the seam allowances, so they’re a fraction of a size larger, which allows them to skim even more loosely and the extra ease softens any fit problems that might otherwise show up.

A certain gentleman very kindly insists that I am mistaken in my diagnosis, however: Connie Crawford’s “flat tush adjustment” seems to have been effective at smoothing out the slack fabric just under my butt.

Depending on how I move, though, I get diagonal wrinkles across the backs of my legs, like this:


That’s some inner/outer  thigh thing, or else some indication that  it’s all drastically askew, somehow. I don’t know, this diagnosing of wrinkles is still a foreign language to me.

It’s funny, because an email from the McCall pattern company this week tells me I can learn a special technique to reverse engineer my favorite pants, by taking a workshop. The copy says “As hard as it is to find a pair of trousers that fits right, we all have one. It’s our favorite. It flatters us, and it feels good.”

No. No, everyone does not. I went through my entire pants collection this weekend, trying them on, looking at them with a critical seamstress eye, and to each one, there are wrinkles in various places, which, had I made them myself, would indicate that my pattern requires some “fish eye dart” or “knock-knee adjustment” or some other such tweaking.  I own not a single pair of slacks that 1) fit comfortably and 2) flatter my shape and 3) hang in a way that would be approved by the pants-sewing blogosphere. They all wrinkle and pull, with one exception: my yoga pants. But there are only so many places I can wear those, so…I continue.

And although these are not perfect, either, I think they’re at least as good as any of the ready-to-wear options inhabiting my wardrobe.

Next time: I’ll adapt the facing to create a curved waistband, instead, bringing the zipper to the front and making a mock-fly (also adapted from the Butterick B5222 Connie Crawford pattern), and then maybe I’ll get really crazy and add some pockets, too.

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6 Responses to “Let there be trousers”

  1. mrsmole March 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Nice front to those pants…what is the measurement from center front waist to crotch? The back center back seam needs to be deeper as it curves under to meet the front. It will take care of the wrinkles below your butt a little. Compare the back depth of Coni’s pants with the green pattern you used. And I am sorry to say you do not have a flat butt compared to little older ladies who have had gravity pull their butts really flat. I like the belt loops and belt…so modern!

    • handmadejulie March 5, 2012 at 9:17 am #

      11 1/2″. And then from the crotch seam to the center back waist is 15″.

      It’s funny, because one of the many adjustments I read about was bringing that back crotch point forward, and I thought that might be one to try. Thank you so, so much for following along, and for your suggestions!

  2. catherinedaze March 5, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    I think those are looking pretty darn good! I think you’re right about the endless quest for perfectly fitting trousers – don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  3. roobeedoo March 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    They are so very nearly perfect! I am watching with interest because while I can get wide-legged trousers to fit me, my narrower ones do that wrinkley thing at the back. My answer is not to stand up…! They are my sitting-down trousers 😉

    • handmadejulie March 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      HA! See, I thought I was so smart, making “stand real still” trousers. We could start a fashion line: Pick One Position and Don’t Move.

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