For the TMS February challenge, I decided to take a Craftsy Lesson: “Jean-ius” on making pants from a pair of RTW pants that fit me well.
I used a thrifted cotton print that is soft to the touch and doesn’t seem to wrinkle much.
It was a challenge to copy the pants! I didn’t do it exactly like Kenneth D King instructed, but I did use silk organza to trace all the seams from RTW pants and found the technique to be really easy. I used chalk to follow the seam lines that I could see through the organza, and skipped sewing a colorful basting stitch along all the seams so that you can see them better. Then I transferred the markings to pattern paper. I made a quick muslin of just the waist, crotch, and hip area and discovered that it was a little tight through the hips. My muslin was a non-stretch fabric and the RTW pants are denim with stretch. I’m guessing this is why the fit was different. I redrew the pattern using my body measurements, to make sure the next muslin would fit. I included extra seam allowance so that I could adjust them where needed.
I proceeded to sew up the second “wearable muslin”. I paid attention to every detail of the RTW pants. I did a great topstitching job on the seams and pockets. I used two threads together, threaded through one needle to create a thick topstitch. Real topstitch thread is 20 miles away. I learned this trick from Kenneth! I also learned how to make a curved waistband, by cutting a straight waistband across the grain of fabric and then steaming and stretching out the side to be sewn to the edge of the pants. It really works! I reinforced the waistband with petersham grosgrain ribbon. I machine basted it to the inside of the waistband, close to the folded edge.
I am pleased with the outcome. The fit through the hips is great, but the waist could have been tighter. I know that I will have to take in the sides of the pants above the hips to make the waistband fit me properly on the next pair. These pants will be great on hot summer days, when you don’t want anymore sun on your legs. They are wide enough to roll up and walk in and out of the waves on the beach too.
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