More studying! … Pants Fitting Shell …

I know, it’s been a long project!  In October I made my Bodice Fitting Shell and in January I made my Skirt Fitting Shell.  Finally, I have finished my Pants Fitting Shell.

Like before, again I had the help of a Craftsy course – this time Pants Fitting Techniques by Sandra Betzina and her Vogue Pattern 2948.  I tried the pattern twice, first as is, with the centre front and back seams, and the second time without the centre front and back seams, making a one piece front and a one piece back.  I had different results with both.

I used my cotton gingham fabric again, although it was a bit stiff to be used as pants material.  I hope to make any other pants using this technique/pattern with a fabric that has a better drape.

I started by transferring my specific measurements onto the Fitting Shell Pattern tracings I had made, making adjustments as I went along.  I ended up with sloper pieces with no seam allowances, ease, etc. and retraced those sloper pieces again adding seam allowances and an extra 2″ of fit insurance at the sides.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Front centre and side pieces:  slopers on the right and Fitting Shell Pattern on the left.


Back centre and side pieces:  slopers on the right and Fitting Shell Pattern on the left.

Let me just say, the first time I sewed myself a pair of pants was Grade 8.  I am certainly not going to tell you how long ago that was, but let’s just say they were polyester, dark pink, hipster bell bottoms.  That was the first time I made myself pants… and the last!  Even though I sewed them up perfectly according to the pattern pieces, they were the most uncomfortable pants I have ever worn.

After all these years, I have decided to try sewing myself pants again, resulting in the ugliest pair of pants I have ever made, but the most comfortable!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Front, side and back views of my first muslin with the centre front and back seams included.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Next I combined my two front pieces to make one pattern piece, adding in a dart at the gap in the waist line and retraced it.  I did the same with my two back pieces.  I sewed my pants up in my gingham cotton again.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Again another ugly, comfortable pair of pants, this pair slightly less wrinkled.  I should compare the two and see exactly where the differences are in the measurements.  Indeed I should compare these two with a pair of RTW jeans and then see where the differences are!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Front, side and back views of my second muslin without the centre front and back seams.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

I have the option yet of lengthening the crotch seam and shortening the inseam to remove some of the wrinkles but I am not sure if that would do the trick.  Worth playing around with though!  Any comments? Suggestions?

There are lots of projects on my sewing table.  My next project with these Fitting Shell Patterns is a couple of pairs of jeans, which should be tighter than this since they have some stretch to them, and some dress pants, which should be looser and will have a better drape to the fabric.  I also have a cardigan and a vintage dress to cut out still!

Until then, you might find me lounging around the house in the ugliest, but most comfortable, pants I have ever had the pleasure of wearing!  🙂

Happy Sewing!

PS  You might notice that I did not make full length pants, but rather long shorts.  I was more concerned with the fitting difficulties above my knees, than below my knees!

20 thoughts on “More studying! … Pants Fitting Shell …

  1. I think the fit looks good and I would try them again with some cheap, plain fabric first as the gingham fabric may be drawing your attention to the finest details! I love seeing your progression through this blog – I plan to start my sloper this week as it is half term and I have plenty of time to dedicate to sewing!

    1. Good idea! I certainly want to give it another go before I cut out my fashion fabric. I have 3 or 4 different colours/kinds in my stash for dress pants. I am just hoping my RTW pants can last until I get something else sewed up! (RTW fasting, you know!). This fit should be okay for the jeans I am working on. They actually have to be tighter! I am looking forward to seeing your sloper progress… I might get some more ideas!

  2. Looks like such a useful course to follow? Wish I could have seen those bell bottoms though 😉

    1. I did like this course. Some of the instructors are better than others and some of the courses are better than others. I guess those personalities have to sync too! I don’t have a photo of the pants, but I am sure I have one of my hairdo. That was quite a sight too! 😳😃

  3. This whole business is wonderful – not only are you making your own clothes, you’re using your own pattern to do so! I’m in awe.

    1. Thank you! There are so many things to learn out there, I am a very busy girl! Thanks for reading & commenting!

  4. Great work! Lots of patience required by the looks of things. You want to take your ugly shorts to my golf club…’d be one of the best dressed…..they love’d them! (I’m only calling them ugly cos you called them ugly…). Good idea to use gingham though to watch those lines.
    I’ve bought a fitting class from Craftsy, one where you get a dress pattern included, and it’s all about slicing and tucking everywhere! Can’t remember which class without looking. I’ve yet to start it, but since my success this week with a lekala pattern I’m wondering if all this fitting malarky is worth it!
    I’m thinking about splashing out on one of their trousers patterns and see what happens.
    I think in the long run what you’re doing will pay off massively. I think I’ve just decided I’m a confused sewer and need direction!! ✂️

    1. Aw, I’ve seen golfing clothes… These are worse, these are just plain ugly! 😄. I have watched that class, I know which one you mean. I loved the pattern, but I haven’t done it up yet! I was afraid I would have problem with the slice/tuck as I am without an assistant. I would love to try it on someone else though! Let me know how it goes for you. I have realized that I was a misguided sewist before blogging, but I see so many ideas on here and so many challenges that it makes me decide which way I am going. You are having success with Lekala patterns aren’t you. I have put one of those on my “sewing to do” list too!

  5. I’d agree that lengthening the crotch seam (lowering the crotch point) a little would be good. It should help with the “smile” in the front. I don’t think you should take in the inseam, though. After you’ve lowered the crotch point, try pulling up the pants in the back and removing some from the back waist. Of course, take my advice with a grain of salt. My pants alterations never work for me, even when I think I’m doing what my fitting book says I should!

    1. Hey thanks for the idea! It needs something! 😄. I have more fabric I can use so I’m not opposed to trying this again, and again, and …. These should be fine for my jeans, but for dress pants I want it perfect!

  6. Wow, I admire your perseverance!!!!! I’ve never had the patience to embark on something like that!!!

    1. Well … I don’t know if it is perseverance or stubbornness! 🙂 (but thanks anyway!)

  7. Wow. Lots of great comments by people who know a lot about it. Good on all of you!

    1. Thank you from all of us! (and that’s pretty much what I think when I read your blog and comments!) 🙂

  8. I’m enrolled in that Craftsy course, but haven’t got to it yet. You might just have pushed me over the edge!

    1. Well I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I’ve signed up for another TWO fitting courses just last night! When will I find the time!

  9. Good job! That’s a gutsy sewing project. Pants are difficult. My daughter bought me 2 pairs of pants from a well-known clothing store. The pants are the same size, same material, same cut one pair green one pair black. The thing is the black pair are more snug than the green pair!!

    Darts, inseams, side seams, good job.

    1. Thank you! I swear no two pair fit the same. Hopefully sewing them myself will give me the chance to make each one fit!

  10. No advice from me in pants constraction as I absolutely have no clue but I admire the time you dedicate to get the fit right. It seems you’re not far from getting there!

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