Sunday, February 24, 2013
Pants Drafting & Fitting. Or... Why I Always Wear Skirts & Dresses
About three years ago I took a bodice drafting class at G Street Fabrics with Annette Hickman in Rockville, Maryland. This is the only sewing class I've taken to date. I was planning to take every single drafting class I could but that same week I started getting nasty all-day-long-morning sickness (as I was two months pregnant!) and couldn't stand up without being dizzy let alone drive an hour each way via the Beltway (the Washington DC expressway... yuck!) and then sit through classes. I somehow absorbed a boat load of info during those two sessions with Annette despite the constant desire to barf all over my sloper. After that I stopped sewing for about two years... then I picked it back up with a vengeance in 2012! Now I am digging into my memory, pulling out all the goodies I know and attempting to challenge myself... with pants.
Pants. They are oh so easy to construct (and even draft) but fitting them is a horror story. I drafted my own pattern yesterday with the help of the book I acquired in the bodice drafting class and another book, Design It Yourself Clothes. Between the two I made quite a handsome pattern! I sewed up a muslin with some ugly green fabric I've been saving for such an occasion. I was freakishly surprised at how they actually fit... better then most pants I try on at the store to be honest. But these pants I made... they still are horrible. Like many other seamstresses I have the same fitting issues. I can't get the back lower butt and thigh area to work! Aaaaaggggh! I took some photos as I've been going along. I am fairly pleased with the front/side view on the muslin (see the top photo.) But the back is horrid. (Ugly butt shots to follow, I warn you now!!)
Here they are with the pants straight from my pattern. Yikes! Yes, I know there is VPL (visual panty line) but that's not the point here.
Then I tried an improvised fisheye darts to see what they could do. Some improvement. But not close to a good fit.
I ripped them out and tried more of a wedge dart. It's only on the left butt. I left the right side alone for comparison sake when I tried them on.
Still... no so good. I took them up into my living room in the light of day, maybe the awful basement lighting was lying to me and I might have gorgeous, perfect pants. Uhhh... no. I had diaper butt. But I do see some improvements... the back thigh fabric is a little straighter.
Even on my Thurlow Trousers (my best fitting pants to date) I have butt creases... unless I stand with my knees slightly bent constantly. Anyone have any suggestions? I know 2/3 of you have had this problem, too. What have you done to fix the problem? Any particularly good books to reference? I've been just googling 'pants fitting and sewing' and seeing what other folks have been doing.
This is why I usually only wear skirts and dresses. Hummmpppfffff!