DIY Linen Pants Using Simplicity 8389

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Hello Lovelies!

I hope your week is going splendidly.  I’ve been breezing through my Sew Easy Sewing Makes for the summer series.  Its been such a breath of fresh air for me.  Not just because I’ve been flying through my projects list.  But also because its been really liberating my thought process around my personal style choices.

For a long time now i’ve been struggling between creating things that I deem wow and blog worthy vs. what is truly my personal style aesthetic.  Working through my fabric and pattern stash has given me a framework to focus my individual projects while forcing me to take an internal inventory.  And i’m realizing the following:

  1. Buying fabric is like clothes shopping.  You can sometimes purchase things that are a hit and sometimes its a miss.
  2. I have alot of  summer weight woven fabric in bright colors mostly from natural fibers like cotton.  (A lot of cotton.)
  3. I’m not challenging myself to my full potential.  I keep buying the same kind of fabric and choose the same kind of projects. Pants are a prime example.  I hate working through pants fitting issues.  So I tend to stick to making dresses or skirts.
  4. I want to make things that are really pieces that I can incorporate into my everyday life.  Whether they are wow to others or not.

Which leads me to today’s DIY project.  I bought Simplicity 8389 last summer because they seemed like an easy pull on pants pattern.  It has been lurking in my sewing room for a while and everytime I passed it, I would pick it up and look it over.  So finally about 3 weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and try my hand at pants fitting again.

Fitting palazzo pants is much easier that fitting fitted pants.  I created one muslin before going into fashion fabric.  What I learned from the first fitting is that I didn’t like the rise of the pants.  On the model in the pattern envelope picture it looks like the pants are high waist.  But in reality they fit more like a mid-rise.  Below is a picture of me in the muslin. IMG_3045

On my curvy pear shape.  This isn’t a flattering cut for me in a palazzo pant.  So I made a few modifications which  I list below:

Modifications:

  • Raised the waistline 2 inches only at the side seams and back rise.  This made the pants high waist which is more flattering for my shape but it also added length to the back rise.  (I didn’t need to add to the front because it would have lengthened too much in the front.)
  •  Lengthened back crotch curve by 1in.  There was bunching at the bottom of my butt where the fabric curves into the crotch.  Which was an indicator that I needed to lengthen the crotch curve at the back.
  • The waistband was a bit of a challenge. For the following reasons:  a. The pattern itself was off by about 1.5 inches too short.  So I had to redraft the pattern to make sure it fit. And b. the back band did not stop at the side seams like in a traditional pant. It instead reach around to the front band at the princess lines.  Once I put the elastic in it caused a weird gathering and unflattering fit at the side seams. It gave me a bit of a muffin top.
  • I widened the waistband  from a 1.5″ wide band to be a finished width of 3″.  I also re-drafted the front and back bands to sew together at the side seams. This gave me a more flattering fit at the waist.
  • I took in 1 inch at both inseam and outer seam starting at the hip.  There was too much fabric in the leg.
  • The last thing I did was more out of trying to save my final project because the modifications created a great waistline, and fit in the seat. However, there was way to much room in the front rise.  So I opted instead to release the front pleats and convert the entire waistband to an elastic waistband instead of how the pattern was originally drafted and removed about 7 inches of ease from the front waistline.

My final is more of a wearable muslin.  Even with the emergency modifications there is about an 1.5″ of ease from the front crotch that needs to be removed.  However.  I really like the way they came out and wore them to church styled in the way they are featured below.  These pants have some great styling possibilities and i’ll be posting those as #OOTD on my Instagram page throughout the week. So stay connected.

Photo credits: My beautiful daughter Asabea..

Well that’s all for now! Until next time….

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5 lessons for pants fitting

“She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Proverbs 31:26 (NIV)

“She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Proverbs 31:26 (NIV)

Hey ya’ll!  I pray that you all are having a great day!  Thanks for all the love from my Sunday DIY pants and top post.  Its always encouraging to see that people are taking the time to read my posts and I hope are being blessed by the content.  If you didn’t read it you can click here and take a peak.

Like I mentioned on Sunday’s post, pants fitting has always been a challenge for me and i’ve made a decision to really work on.  I pretty much devoted all of May to this and while I learned alot, there is always more to learn and in sewing you have to practice.  So I plan on making pants an ongoing goal in between my other makes.  Practice makes perfect!

For today however, I decided to share my top 5 lessons learned from my May pants making experience

1.Start with a pant design that you really like.  This will help you to focus on fitting the pants as well as give you a better idea of how a pant should fit.  For example I wanted a very fitted cigarette style pant and I used simplicity 8056 pattern because I also wanted a similar style with a flare leg as well. I thought I could get a two for one out of this pattern.  Only to realize after that this pattern is more for a bootleg trouser which have a looser fit in the seat and leg. Trying to get these to where I wanted them was a bit of a mess.  However, this pattern allowed me to figure out crotch and rise fitting.  As I always need more room in my seat and less room in the front crotch.

2.Don’t be afraid to use measurements from a pair of well fitting pants in your existing wardrobe.  This helped me tremendously in crotch and rise fitting.  I had a couple of skinny jeans that I love the fit of and measured the front and back rise as well as inseam length and waist to knee length to help me troubleshoot the best measurements to use for fitting my pattern.  Just make sure the pants are similar to the style, fit and fabric your looking for.

3.Invest in a good fitting book that extensively details fit issues and corrections.  While I found some great tutorials on pinterest and You Tube I still found it hard to find everything that I needed.  I had to pull from a couple of different places including my design book from school.  Pants Fitting For Real People, was one that was recommended by several sewing bloggers so I bought it. However, I found it hard to navigate and in the end I just gave up on the book.  Which is actually a critique that I heard from only one other blogger.

4.Use a pattern that is easy to fit with minimal pattern pieces, especially if this is your first time fitting pants.  My second attempt at a muslin I decided to use simplicity 8514 which was more in line with my desired style.  However, it was designed with princess seams which is suppose to make fitting easier but for me made it confusing.  It was also hard to slash and spread on pattern corrections.

The good thing about this pattern is that the fitted silouhette allowed me to see that          the pants leg needed to be shortened at the knee.  I was having alot of wrinkling at            the knee and I also noticed it in my first muslin.  So I measured and found that the            knee on most commercial patterns are about 1-2″ too long for my short curvy legs.            Causing an ugly pooling of wrinkles at the knee. (no bueno!)

5.When you get a great fitting pants pattern keep it and begin to explore the              different design variations that you can create using the same pattern as your          foundation.  Adding a fly front, waistband, belt loops or welt pockets etc.  This way          you can challenge yourself to learn new techniques without fussing with fit.  Or                maybe you can change the pant leg or explore different color and fabric options to            add variety to your wardrobe.

My 3rd and most successful muslin was using a new mimi g pattern simplicity 8655          This by far has been my favorite fit and is exactly what I wanted in a pants style. It            came together quickly and armed with all of my new fitting lessons and                                techniques I was able to cut, alter and sew a muslin in a few hours.  Now that I                    have a pair of well fitting pants, I’ve decided that I want to use this mimi g pattern              to design a pair of high waist flare leg jeans by adding a fly front, pockets,                              waistband and butt pockets.

Well that’s all for now!  I hope this post was helpful.  I plan on working on one more post this week on how to make a front crotch and back rise adjustment. So stay tuned!

xoxo,

Iris