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Making Pants: A Sewing Disaster

This past spring one of the sewing prompts for Sew Some Fun was "Make a Garment You have Never Made Before" and for me that was pants. For the most part I see pants as pretty utilitarian, not really a creative part of my wardrobe. Then there's the fact that when it comes to fabric I really love a great print. Put that all together and I have never really had the desire to sew pants. But I was intrigued by the paper bag waist pants that have been showing up in catalogs, and so I decided to give it a go. Yes, I sewed the pants and yes, I finished them and then I donated them to goodwill because they just don't fit and there is no way to make it so they do! So what did I do wrong, what did I learn in the process and will I ever try pants again?

  1. I tried sewing a style that isn't in my wardrobe and I have no idea if I will like the look on me. There are lots of styles that I like but I don't like them on me. If that is the case with paper bag pants then I was never going to like them even if I got them to fit perfectly. I should have tried on a ready to wear pair at my local store to see if it was a style that I liked on me.

  2. I picked the wrong fabric for the style. The fabric that I ordered was lovely and would make a terrific pair of pants, but is was heavier then I expected. The paper bag pants have lots of material at that waist and the fabric I choose was just too bulky to be flattering with the extra fabric at the waist. Again checking out a ready to wear pair would have helped. I should have also listened to that little voice in my head that told me the fabric wasn't right!

  3. I read some reviews of the pattern but not enough. The pattern that I chose, McCalls 7726 was a best pattern of the year for 2018 by Pattern Review and had lots of reviews but if I had paid more attention, I would have noticed that many reviewers were saying that the pattern ran large. I fell between sizes and so made the larger one. When I went to fit the pants, there was so much extra material, I really couldn't follow the style lines to fit them.

  4. I didn't make a muslin. I don't really like making muslins and so often don't. That habit or lack of habit has come back to bite me and it certainly did this time! If I had made a muslin, it would have addressed #3 and #5.

  5. 5. Once the inseam curve is cut, you really can't adjust it unless you have extra length in the pants or waist and I didn't. I recently found this article on fitting pants from the University of New Mexico very helpful and will try it next time!

So yes, I am going to try making pants again. Next time it will be the Closet Case Pietra Pants. This is a style I wear all the time, so I know I like it on me, and can also compare the fit to a pair in my closet. I will also make a muslin before hand.

I have read a ton of reviews of the pattern and have even saved fabric recommendations for this pattern so that I make sure to buy fabric that will work with the pattern.


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