I see pants fitting come up a lot lately around the blogosphere -the woes, mostly. Pants fitting is one of those sewing quests that most of us make at one point or the other. I mean- most people wear pants. It makes sense to sew them, but fitting is another story altogether.
So… What is good fit for pants?
I found this nifty definition from New Mexico State University’s website(follow the link for a very useful page on pants):
“Fit is… key to pants comfort and attractive appearance. Pants should fit comfortably at the waistline and fall smoothly over the hips and thighs. In well-fitted pants, the lengthwise grainline is perpendicular to the floor and creases in the legs are on the straight grain.”
That’s more or less the criteria I apply to pants fitting.
Some people have no problem with pants fitting (I’m assuming). Some people (me!) take embarrassing photos of their “smiley pants” and post them on the internet in the mad hope that a fellow sewist will see the photos, take pity and help fix the problem:
Yep. That’s my smiley pants. It’s a pretty embarrassing thing to have floating around, but it was part of the process. My pants don’t come out like this anymore, I have a simple and reliable way to make awesome fitting pants like my knicks:
Instead, I made several dozen pants blocks for women of various shapes, sizes, ages and stylistic preferences in my classes last year. We were doing a big class on pants and I preferred to draft custom blocks than go through the rigamarole of pants alteration. I was delighted to find my drafts fit quite well, often with little or no tweaking. I use the Maria Martin drafting template, but I added my own nuances based on my observations while working with other women. One day I realized I didn’t actually need to touch someone to help them make pants that fit, and the penny dropped. I wanted to extend this same service to the blogging world for the better part of a year but lacked the time to develop my idea.
When I quit my job last September, I had time. I’m finishing up work on the logistics of sending custom pants blocks electronically with the help of a few intrepid testers (thank you, ladies!). I’m not offering a pattern, but a tool for alteration. A customized tool with no size, made to your own measurements.
I’m really, really excited to finally post about this project, the idea has obsessed me for some time! (I’m sure my husband and friends are sick to death of hearing about it.)
This is the main service The Consulting Dressmaker offers (I had to introduce her first before I sprang this on you all). Her (I mean.. my.…) job is to solve problems for sewists. Pants fitting is a solvable problem.
I’m offering a free pants block to two readers of this blog- I’d love to work with both a long-time reader and a newer one. When you win, I’ll send you an email with more details. I can send the block electronically or by post as you prefer. I simply ask that you make a muslin, let me see it, then we’ll tweak it if necessary. You don’t need any drafting or alteration skills (I will show you how to use it, it’s pretty intuitive), but this tool is useless if you don’t know how to sew already.
If you would like to enter, please leave me a comment here with a link to either:
- your favorite site for pants-pattern-alteration tips (I’d like to make a list of the favorite alteration sites for reference) or
- your own recent “smiley pants” type post, or
- tell me your pants fitting issues.
If you’re reading this and I made you a block last year, feel free to chime in!
Anyone who sews and wants nicely fitting pants is welcome to enter; size and shape are not a consideration. If you would like to be entered twice, then post a link to this page on your blog or Facebook and tell me you did so in the comments. I’ll choose the winners at random.
The Call for Testers Giveaway will end next Wednesday at 12 noon Brisbane time.
This service is in the testing phase right now, but as soon as the logistics work well, I’ll explain more. I expect the price to sit somewhere around $20-30.
Whew… That’s enough for now! I’m going to go work on my sailor top. If you’d like any clarification, just let me know in comments.