Clover Muslin, Or, I Will Make Pants In 2013

I decided to take advantage of my “Staycation” this week to catch up on the sewing that I’ve wanted to work on.  If you haven’t been able to tell, my sewing momentum has been lacking in the past couple of months, partially because of work craziness and also because winter is getting to me and I want to make cute clothes for warm weather, not heavy bulky stuff.  I churned out a dress this week from my faux Missoni fabric, gave up on my Beignet (more details on that later), and made a toile (sounds so much fancier than muslin) for a Jasimine blouse.  And since I had the muslin fabric out, I cut out a pair of Clover pants because gosh darnnit, 2013 will be the year that I get over my fear of pants and freaking make a pair already.

So here’s the results from Round 1:


Since the waist and hip measurements for a size 6 are spot on what I measure, and the Ginger skirt I made last year fit perfectly, I cut out a size 6 and crossed my fingers that everything would turn out as good as humanly possible.  I must say, I’m pretty pleased with how the first muslin turned out since it wasn’t as awful in fit as I thought it would be.  The waist is a perfect fit and comfortable, but I noticed that I have some bunching around the crotch area.  Hmm.  I’d like it to be as smooth as possible, but I don’t want to take so much away that I can’t sit comfortably.

Here’s the back:


Shhh don’t look at that pile of clothes and fabric in the corner

When analyzing pull/drape lines in pants, the terms “smile” and “frown” are used since you’re looking for lines shaped just like, well, smiles and frowns.  Smiles denote that more fabric is needed in an area and frowns mean that there’s too much fabric and it needs to be reduced.  Well, I’ve got a frown-y backside wth too much fabric going on, affectionately referred to as a “Flat Derriere.”  Now this isn’t news to me, I know I have, ahem, such a backside – I’m all straight lines and no curves.  And since I’ve run into this problem before with pants, it’ll be good to figure out how to eliminate that problem for future pants patterns.  Also, the legs are crazy baggy on me and nowhere near as fitted as they should be, like on Sarai.

So here’s what I’ve determined I need to do so far:

  • Flat rear adjustment: I’ve seen a couple of different techniques online on how to do this and I also looked through some of my Sew Stylish and Threads magazines as well as some of my fitting books.  I have a some ideas on what to do.
  • Shorten the torso: I’m thinking that may be what’s causing the excess fabric in the front and the back?  Maybe it’s just the crotch depth that’s too big.
  • Thin leg adjustment: seems pretty simple, but it’d be the last alteration I do after I get my butt figured out.  Just tapering in the leg from the crotch seam.

Realistically, I don’t think I’ll have these pants fitted/made by the time I go back to work next week.  But it’s nice to have the time to spend on a project this involved.

Do you have any tips on fitting pants?  I’d love to hear them!



    • February 21, 2013 / 4:23 pm

      Adding to my Amazon wishlist 🙂

  1. February 21, 2013 / 3:24 pm

    HI there. I too have been working on pants for 2013. I must say that your muslin fabirc is very thin. If you use a fabric with the same weight for your muslin as what the final pair of pants will be made of you will get a more accuarte idea of what alterations you need to make. I am making a pair of jeans so I purchased the cheapest home dec fabirc I could find to use for my muslin. Good luck.

    • February 21, 2013 / 4:23 pm

      That's a really good point, Kathi – I actually Photoshopped my undies out of the above pics because the fabric is really thin! I have some heavier muslin I'll use for round 2.

  2. February 21, 2013 / 5:19 pm

    The pants are meant to be made out of a fabric with at least 3% lycra, I think perfecting the fit in a woven muslin will only defeat the purpose because your final pair will not fit the same. Buy some stretch gabardine at Joanns and test with that, I used it to make these.

    • February 22, 2013 / 3:20 am

      I found a RPL I bought a few years ago that was perfect for another mock-up. I actually have enough to make the final pair in them, too, yay! Thanks for the advice.

  3. February 21, 2013 / 8:05 pm

    I think the fit looks great for a woven pant. You need a little ease at your thighs parallel to the crotch and below the butt so that you can sit and walk without pulling. If the crotch itself feels weird (too high or too low) then consider adjusting the crotch depth, but from the pictures I think it looks fine.

    Now, if you're going to make this with a very stretchy fabric where the "ease" is provided by lycra, then that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

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