Giving it another go …

I started the year with the #2017makenine Challenge – pick nine patterns and get ‘er done during the year!  So far, I am not too sure if I have been successful though.  I started with the dress pattern in the bottom left hand corner.  It was Vogue 9202, but it turned into a top, McCalls 6896 – actually rather successfully!

Last weekend I started my second garment of the #2017makenine Challenge.  Pants/trousers in the middle row, left side – Vogue 7881, described as “Claire Shaeffer Custom Couture Collection”.  How’s it going?

Well I took a good look at that pants pattern again and decided that I wanted to forgo the “couture” techniques just for now – I just don’t have the interest or energy!  I just want some pants, quickly, like now.  So I switched to another pants pattern of mine, Vogue V2532.  A simple pattern – fronts, backs, pockets and waistband – described as a “basic design”.

My fabrics?  I don’t have the faintest idea without doing a burn test – which might involve me burning my fingers so, nope, I don’t want to do that.  Let’s leave it as a  navy blue and light chocolate brown polyester (or rayon?).  But, hey! they are in my Autumn colour palette!

I traced off Vogue V2532, my “basic design” pattern, and could see it was very similar to an older previous pattern I had traced off a while ago.

I cut the pieces out of an old blue sheet, sewed them up and tried them on inside out – as I like to do for fitting.  My muslin was created.  My son couldn’t believe what I was making, nor that I was putting these photos on the internet.  The back fit poorly …

the front even worse!  Now for some changes.

While wearing the pants, inside out, I started by pinching in the sides with my fingers and marking the new seam lines with a blue marker.  After I took them off, I measured carefully and drew in the new seam lines with a pink marker and a ruler and sewed them so I could try on my muslin again.

Simon was fascinated by the whole process!

Narrowing the pant leg was an improvement – back and front.

I cut the extra large seam allowances down to 5/8″ on the right leg only.  (Let’s see how it looks before we cut the left leg too.)  What can I say – I have difficulty committing!  I do love permanent marker on fabric though – not usually allowed!

Then I tried them on again.  The back and front feels good, just a bit high or short in the crotch curve as my inner pant seams pull up a bit?  (Note:  I still have to trim the extra large seam allowances on the left leg in these photos.)

I transferred my changes from my blue sheet muslin to my pattern tracing and was about to trim off the excess when I thought I might compare my pattern tracing to another pants pattern in my stash – McCalls M6901, a Palmer Pletsch pattern.  

When I compared them, the only difference was the Palmer Pletsch pattern had a bit longer point at the crotch.  So I added it to my pattern tracing, making my it identical to the Palmer Pletsch pattern now.  Interesting.  I have tried a few pants patterns  over the years and this Palmer Pletsch pattern might be the best fit for me yet!

An “EASY” pattern

I was so encouraged by the final fit of my muslin that I bought a third fabric for making pants.  This was a dark smokey grey Antonia stretch suiting, 62% polyester. 32% rayon and 6% spandex, another shade from my Autumn colour palette.  There is going to be a pants assembly line going on at my house!  (I’m trying to get into the habit of taking a photo of the fabric label for future reference.)


If I run into any problems I always have books to refer to, like this one “Pants for Real People”.

Has anyone else got this book?  It’s a new purchase for me, but I have heard it is good.

Happy Sewing!


34 thoughts on “Giving it another go …

  1. Hope to see the end result of your pants. I’ve never made pants before and really want to try.

    1. I’ll be showing everything I do step by step almost. I love taking photos of the sewing techniques I try, almost as much as the sewing. For years I just followed the pattern and sewed up my pants. As I have gotten older I’m not as much of an “average” figure that the patterns offer so I like to do a muslin up first and pinch in some here and some there before I cut into my fashion fabric. I’m certainly no expert, but I do love to sew my own clothes!

  2. I need to make some trousers, got the patterns but still procrastinating 🙂 Love the idea of using a marker on the toille!

    1. It is quite a challenge marking alterations on yourself! The blue marker dots work and lots of basting and photos of your behind!

  3. You’ve done great with the fitting and yeah that books great, truly! I’m looking forward to seeing your finished pants!! 👍🏻

    1. Thanks! The hard part is over, now comes the fun part – the sewing! I’m just going to finish off my sister’s shirt/jacket and then I’m free to do these pants.

  4. Looks like you’re getting a good fit there. It’s been ages since I’ve tried fitting trousers, but I’ve got some on my MakeNine list too. That book looks like a great investment. I have their book “Knits for Real People” and one about serging and I’ve found those really helpful–densely packed with really useful information, despite the woefully unfashionable graphics and photographs! I’d rather that than a beautiful looking book that doesn’t have much helpful information, though 🙂

    1. I’ll have to take a look at your makenine list too. I love seeing what others are planning. Yes, when they say “real people” that’s what they mean, which is great… No point in discussing fitting with people who fit the pattern right out of the envelope. There are so many different fitting problems discussed and they make it easy to understand.

  5. Your son’s comments are similar to ones I get here, especially when I was fitting my holly jumpsuit. It’s good to share especially if it helps others with their fitting – so thankyou! Looking forward to seeing umpteen pairs of these, which I’m sure there’ll be 😀

    1. Yes, boys are so understanding, aren’t they! 😂. I have three fabrics waiting and would be so pleased if I was successful with all three. I find dresses easier to fit but more difficult to wear standing at the bus stop on a cold rainy day! It’s time for some new trousers!

      1. I keep looking at the pattern you sent me. I keep looking at all sorts of patterns!! I need to pull my finger out and make some more. I found my SBCC Manhattan pants yesterday that had been put in away as I’d outgrown them, and they fit, so I might did out that pattern and make some more. 🙂

        1. If it’s a pattern you like, go for it! I made some for myself about a year ago. I can’t remember which pattern now. They don’t fit very well anymore so time for some new ones. I suppose I could alter the old ones but I’m just too lazy and too anxious to start something new! Bad me! 😂

  6. Interesting to see that your comparison to the Palmer Pletsch pattern resulted in a very similar shape. I do similar when I try a new pattern and always compare to my favourite Vogue pattern – I have commitment difficulties too or maybe I’m just very cautious before I take the plunge with a pair of scissors on the fabric!

    By the way, I just love seeing all the “couture cats” on sewing blogs!

    1. I always thought all patterns were the same but even between one pattern maker there can be differences. I never knew that before. This muslin looked really silly with the side seam flaps. They were very distracting too but I just wasn’t ready to cut them off. And I agree, what would we do without our pets to get into our things and “help” us out? 😃🐱🐶

  7. PsychicSewerKathleen February 21, 2017 — 6:42 am

    I’ve taken a couple of online pants making courses and they were super helpful – especially the one with Sandra Betzina on Craftsy (I don’t have any reason to promote her other than I think her course was fabulous!) but I’ve also heard that the Palmer/Pletsch is great too. I have their other book which I do refer to when I’m setting out to make pants (which isn’t often!). Pants are so challenging because of that fit business but when you do get them right WOW what joy 🙂

    1. I’ve taken the Betzina course last year, I think. How soon I forget things! I like Joj Mahlon’s too (same with you – this isn’t a promo). I don’t know anything about the Palmer Pletsch courses, but I do like this book! Just a few pattern pieces but boy they can be aggravating to fit sometimes! 😂

  8. Could we all have a well fitting basic pattern and make style alterations from there? Your post is very thought provoking

    1. Actually I think there are Craftsy courses on taking a basic shirt or pants/trousers and adding different details to them. But of course we have to find that basic (fitting) pattern first! 😂

  9. I try to compare any new patterns I’m trying with a tried pattern so I have some idea of how likely it is to fit well. Good luck with your production line!

    1. This comparison stuff is new to me. But I’m definitely going to keep up the good habit! This is why sewing blogs, etc., are so wonderful – to spread ideas like this!

  10. I’m a huge fan of Pants for Real People!! A great sewing resource. I now know that I can face any challenge that pants fitting may throw at me!
    Great work on yours too. Such a satisfying feeling isn’t it?

    1. That’s great! I like the book as they show every possible problem. It is nice to know that they will fit better than store bought (which fit terribly)!

  11. I sympathise! I’m struggling with pant fitting at the moment (am blogging about it but not with detailed photos! Thinking like your son!) . I’m fortunate that I have someone to help with fitting – I have failed so many times before. I’m hoping for a final toile next week now. Exciting! Hopefully this will be a basic block to allow changes of style from it. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress and thoughts.
    I like the Palmer Pletsch book but also recommend the Singer book on pant fitting – it’s an oldie and goody. I bought it 2nd hand from US.

    1. I’ll have to go take a look at your efforts too! My mother had a lot of Singer books. They were good too. I got her Singer books on curtains and pillows etc. It is good.

  12. I have always put off making trousers as being too difficult to fit, even after a lot of years sewing. That was a metric tone of ease in your first muslin. Wow, I knew that the Big 4 were bad for this but woah! Looks like you will have some really beautiful trousers though after all your adjustments. I am looking forward to seeing how you get on.

    1. In my early years I could wear patterns sewn straight from the envelope almost. These past couple of decades (LOL) I have had to make some careful alterations. I picked the size based on the pattern envelope measurements – you see how that turned out! Clown pants! 😂. Oh well, at least I have the extra fabric to work with now. I will post photos as I go along. Fingers crossed all three pairs work out just fine! 👌

  13. Whoooah yes, that is quite an…uhm…roomy pants pattern! I always get cranky when I cut out a pattern and it is just so far off that I would have been better off drafting from scratch anyway! Love your autumn colour palette.

    1. One thing for sure though is that it makes me feel good to cut out one size and have the muslin tell me that a smaller size is better. I am always happy with the thought I am smaller! It’s difficult to shake those feelings! 😁

  14. These trousers are looking really good. I like that Palmer Pletsch pattern, and interesting that you finished up with something almost identical. Looking forward to seeing all your final makes.

  15. Why haven’t I found your blog before? This is just the sort of inspiration I need for my sewing.

    1. Well thank you! Happy to have another blogger join in the conversation!

  16. You say you are planning a third pair in a stretch fabric–and the stretch might make another difference in the way your pants fit. But that should be a tweak you can make after fitting, might be taking them in a bit more.
    Pants are so worth making. If we want anything dressier than jeans, the prices on ready-to-wear is usually going to be more than the fabric to make. And we can control leg width, color, fabric choice, extra details like pockets, belt loops, and so forth to suit ourselves. We can line them easily, too, which is a pricy option, if you can find it in rtw. I will admit I live far from better stores and do a lot of catalog and online shopping, which is also a factor. There my choice for length is 30″ or 28″ and some pants to wear with boots are better in 29″ length. Tall gals have length problems, too, of course.

    1. I agree! Last year when I made a few pairs of pants, one was a stretchier knit. The stretchiest I have this year is the grey with 6% spandex. Last year I did take the stretchier pair in a bit more. I will have to watch for that this year too! I love making jeans – all that topstitching and the flat felled seams – so fun and creative! Now regular pants are only a few pattern pieces, the fitting will take time, but the rest of it should be easy!

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