*Warning, this post is long-ish and does not have finished product pictures. Just rants and thoughts*
I hate pant shopping. I don’t love any pants I owe and it’s extremely hard to find something that fits me well and is not jeans. But even jeans though, only a couple brands fit me well and of course they are the expensive kind. When it comes to pants I have a few things that greatly hinder the success of finding something that fits – my waist to hips ratio is bigger than average, I have a big bum that sticks out there (omg Becky, look at her butt… thanks Sir Mix-a-Lot), my thighs are quite thick (and I am okay with that, thank you squats), and I am very tall. Armed with all of that, I have yet to find a pair of pants that fits!
For the longest time I liked wearing United Colors of Benneton pants, but their styles and quality started to tail off and then the stores completely disappeared from Calgary and neighboring Banff. I switched to Gap since their pants at least came in long length and I could fit my bum-bum in them as long as I wore a belt, but the quality was not quite right. Well, with my No Buying Clothes For a Year challenge, I figured I need more than one pair of pants (yes, I only have one pair I currently wear) and I needed to start working on fitting a pattern for a pair of pants I could wear for work.
Let me explain some sad-ish backstory on this. I started sewing when I was very little. By the time I was around 14 years old I begged my mom to sign me up for a sewing class that was taking place in my home town. I was extremely excited to attend the class and I couldn’t wait to learn! The experience though did not turn out as I expected, since no one in the class including the teacher seemed to take me seriously or even notice me. After all I was by far the youngest person there. That didn’t bother me, I am used to being on my own and I was just excited to learn. We had to complete a project for the class and I always wanted a pair of red velvet pants! So I went for them. Unfortunately they were too advanced for me at the time, and coupled with the lack of direction or leadership towards me and my inability to ask for help loudly, my project overwhelmed me. I still finished it though! I even wore the pants couple times. However, the whole experience left me damaged towards the pants. Over the years I’ve sewn many complicated projects for myself and others yet I have steered away from pants unless they had an elastic waist. The closest I’ve come to that is completing a skirt with a front fly closure and thinking that it actually wasn’t bad!
I want to make a good pair of pants! I started with researching patterns and Sewaholic’s Thurlow Trousers were a clear choice. Tasia drafts patterns for pear shaped figures and me with my butt are definitely pear shaped on the bottom, my top is too squared for the pear though. I promptly purchased the pattern, printed it off, assembled it and put it away… it scared me! There were so many pieces and I decided to leave it for a bit.
This past week I dug my pattern pieces out and decided to try fitting a muslin. By this time I have already watched a Craftsy Class on fitting jeans, which essentially are pants, and I felt like I was finally ready for real world training. I cut my pant legs out, basted them together, put them on and… it wasn’t as scary as I thought! As I said, because Sewaholic patterns are geared towards pear shaped bottoms, the pants didn’t look bad.
However I still ran into issues. I had to take the sides in at the low waist, as well as take in the center back seam. My front rise was too baggy, so I pinned it out horizontally. My butt was still an issue though. I have tried deepening the seat which seemed to take care of the pants really digging in, but I didn’t think that by deepening the seat I am taking the fabric away from the sides. There is also fabric wrinkling on my things below my bum.
At first I was thinking that I just have excess fabric on my back thigh, but now I am actually considering that the wrinkles are stress created and I actually need to add to my seams along the outside seam and inseam. This would make sense, since I’ve depended the seat and took away the fabric that way as well. But I really won’t know until I play around with it I guess…
So far I’ve made 3 full muslins. The fit it getting better but it is not close to being great fit I want. I struggled with my muslins and there were a few times where I just stood there having no clue what I need to do or how to bend over in a way to pin my fabric. Seriously, how does one fit the back of the pants on their own?? I’ve even enlisted Boyfriend to help me pin the pants after I’ve accidentally pinned into myself and ended up bleeding on the muslin (yes, things got violent). He really tried and really put in effort! (thank you, S!) Yet, my muslin still has issues.
I’ve considered purchasing yet another Craftsy class on fitting pants, but at this point I decided against it. I already have a couple classes I could watch again. Instead, I ended up purchasing Sewing Pants That Fit book as recommended in this post from Sewaholic. It is on it’s way to me, but I have a feeling that I will continue to fiddle with my muslin even before the book gets here. I am just that impatient.
Here we go!
Try watching silhouette patterns webcasts or youtube video (search silhouette patterns) they have quite a number of very helpful pant (and shirt, etc etc) fitting and sewing video …
They’re free too …
Thanks, Jess! I will give them a try 🙂
Wow, what an effort! I need to do this too, but it sounds so hard 🙁 I think I need to start with a class, would you recommend the class you took or is there another one you have your eye on now?
It is! And it definitely is a lot easier if you have a helper who knows a little bit about sewing to pin the back of the pants. Also, it is probably my lack of knowledge when it comes to pant fitting but I had trouble finding the answer to my problems. I am still on the lookout!
The classes I took were The Perfect Jeans and I am also enrolled in the Pant Sloper class but I didn’t watch the whole thing, just the part on fitting the sloper. I think I would recommend the jean class over the sloper one. It seems like she covers more fitting issues there. There is also Pant Fitting class that I’ve been eyeing but I haven’t tried it yet. I will probably buy it when it is on sale 🙂 What really set me at ease is that in the pant sloper class the teacher said that it can easily take up to 5 muslins to get a good fit. It makes me feel normal 🙂 Pants are hard!