Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thurlow pants

I did it! I made pants - finally. I have been scared crazy because ill-fitting pants are really awful and there are so many ways pants fit can fail that you don't even know where to begin. But I need pants desperately so, as a part of this winter SWAP, I've decided to make two pairs. And they are gonna be great. They just have to.

The pattern I'm using is Thurlow from Sewaholic Patterns. This brand of patterns are developed with pear-shaped women in mind. That's a good starting point for me.

Let's muslin away, shall we!

The key to sewing success is making a muslin (or several). It is not the most fun part of the process, but I've never regretted making one. There is always some little tweak you wanna do.

Muslin #1 (using some old 90's curtains I found in hubbies old basement storage)

According to the sizing chart I measure a size 10. After reading some reviews I learned the pattern runs large so I decided to cut a size 6. The first muslin is a size 6 with no alterations:

Okay, not the best photos in the entire universe, but you can still see that the fit is not too bad actually. You can tell they are a tad tight over the butt and there is some excess fabric pooling around the thighs, but all in all probably a better fit than most pants I can find in a department store. But for the next muslin I decided to

  • add some more butt room by increasing the crotch depth on the rear pieces 
  • lower the crotch hight in the front 
  • remove about an inch (2,5cm) on both legs all the way down, along the inseam on the back piece.

Muslin #2 

It seams like I don't have enough thighs to be a straight "pear" since I need plenty of booty space and still I get fabric flapping around them ol' legs. Or it is just the style of the pattern - I prefer fairly slim fitting pants and these are probably kinda loose in the design when I think about it. Oh well.

Now you can see the butt fits into the pants but since I still had plenty of room around the legs I decided to pin out one more inch PER LEG. I guess it would have made more sense to cut a smaller size (probably a size 2) and then add more butt room instead. Anyhoo.. I decided not to make a third muslin (feeling a little cocky now!).

Also, I expect some pregnancy fat to come off in near time, so I want everything I sew to just fit, so that I still can wear them when I've lost some. So, yes, a little on the tight side here.

Time for the real deal - cutting the fashion fabric!

Sewing up the pants

First step was to make pockets, including the double welt pockets. I had never done welt pockets before and I had to do some serious thinking to get it right. I am not even sure I like the look of them that much. I prefer single welt pockets so I think that's what I'm going to make on my next pair. For the pocket lining I chose a vintage fabric that I've had laying around for ages. The fashion fabric is nice black wool suiting that I got at a bargain price. These pants comes down to about 150SEK (15 GBP/ 17 €/ 23 US$) including all the zippers, buttons and stuff. A darn good price for good quality. If they fit, that is....

Front pocket lining
Back pocket lining 
Finished double welt pocket! Neat, huh!
(ignore the white basting stitches - i'll remove them later)

Sidenote: you probably can't see the details properly but with these linings I'll always have cookies in my pockets ;-) Lucky me!

Tadaa - zipper installed!!
So far so good.

The next challenge was the fly.
Tricky and fiddly but I managed eventually.  Now the pants can actually come on and off. Handy, handy.

I do regret making the fly lining in the printed fabric though. I should have used the black fabric (or something dark) - now I'll risk having a white strip shining from the side if the fly isn't completely flat against the body. I might just have to stand still while wearing them. Sitting down is for loosers anyway, right? Seriously though, I am contemplating of putting some black fabric paint on the left side of the zipper (in the picture). Any other brilliant ideas? I thought I had such a cute thing going on... with a balloon and everything.
Fly lining - with a balloon!!
Time for waistband

I don't particularly like attaching waistbands. It is fiddly to get the lining sewn  without it looking like a kid did it when you do it from the outside. Sometimes I slip stitch the lining by hand but it is slow. Instead I wanted to try putting bias tape on the waistband lining and let it hang down past the sewing line. Then when I "stitch in the ditch" from the outside any crooked lines won't be too apparent. First time I am doing that too, by the way.

Look at this lovely finish!!!
Almost looks professional if you ask me.

And then some belt loops. Can you see the "stitching in the ditch"? No, I thought so. It is completely invisible!! Key to success? Go slowly!
It was surprisingly hard to take these photos without everything looking completely black. Maybe photos outdoors would have been the trick, but it is already dark out now and I didn't wanna wait.
I managed to fit into the pants (hooray!) BUT they were definitely on the tight side. I better shed that baby fat pretty soon or... 

Final verdict
All in all I am very pleased with my very first pair of pants! I would wear them in public and that is not a bad review. I think I might add a liiiiiittle extra room in the next pair though.

Rear view.

Put on a massive belt to show the belt loops better.
And Indiana Jones never goes out of style anyway...

Look at all that posing business going on!

AND a final butt pic. Enjoy!



C'mon and make my day!