I finally got around to finishing my first pair of pants, this Vogue pattern that Adriana nailed recently. If mine look half as good as hers then I owe partial credit to her for all the help she gave me. Thank you Adriana! The other half of the credit goes to luckylibbet, who kindly invited me over to her home to help fit the muslin and take measurements. It was like talking to a library's worth of fitting books! Thank you H. I guess I'm out of halves, but I also got help from other bloggers and patternreview, you know who you are and thank you!!
Here are the adjustments I made to the stock pattern after all my tweaking:
-Straightened hip curve to a straight line from waist to hip
-Redrafted my own waistband from a piece of 2 1/2" bias canvas
-Added 1/2" darts over the back pockets
-Took in 3/4" from each side seam in the back
-Narrowed legs by 1/8" on inseam and outseam
-Changed slant pockets to double welt pockets
Fabrics and notions:
-An amazing black/white/green plaid stretch wool from Michael's fabrics. It was a dream to press, sew, and wear.
-Black silk underlining
-Cotton/poly pocketing from Charles Zarit Sewing Supply, which I really like since it doesn't tend to wrinkle.
-Black 7" YKK zipper, also from Charles Zarit
-Black rayon seam binding for the inside waistband and hem raw edges
I LOVE these pants. The underlining is far superior to lining, especially for pants. It moves as one unit instead of pants-within-pants. And the hem is handstitched to the underlining, so it's completely invisible. The fit is better than anything I've ever bought, it was worth all the tweaking to get here. And amazingly, I made no adjustments to the CB, CF, or crotch curve. I think I found a pattern that works for me.
This was my first project completed with the help of my new serger, and it was tempting to use it on everything I could! I restrained myself and used it only to serge the underlining to the fashion fabric, finish the fly and fly facing edges, and finish the pocket edges. All places I didn't want extra bulk, and I'm very happy with the look from the outside (no pressing cloth or padding required!), but my inner couture seamstress still prefers the look of a hong-kong or bound finish.
This was also my first attempt at double welt pockets, so naturally I decided to put in FOUR of them. Now to be fair, I did spend several hours just practicing different methods, so I felt pretty good about my technique before I tried them on my real pants. Out of the Vogue instructions, Debbie Cook's tutorial, and Kathleen's, I decided I like Kathleen's the best. It is slightly less bulky and quicker, however it is absolutely essential to make the pressing jig, and to sew incredibly accurate seam allowances. After trying the Vogue instructions, which involved seperate welt pieces, I decided I didn't like any of the methods that have you deal with welt pieces. Both Debbie's and Kathleen's are what I'll call 'integrated' methods, the welts are formed through the sewing and folding steps. It's hard to visualize, even with their great pictures, so I recommend trying them out for yourself.
Yes I matched up the plaid on the waistband and fly too. I didn't know you didn't have to so I was very very careful with the cutting.