Here is the first non-muslin garment I have made from my own sewing pattern. The pattern is a combination of body measurements, measurements from RTW jeans, and instructions from the How to Make Sewing Patterns book. The pattern is a slight modification of the previous muslin pattern I made. Mainly I changed the zipper flap, which I’ll explain below.
The fabric is “10 oz. Bull Denim Medieval Blue.” I washed it three times before cutting it, and this caused it to lighten a bit from its initial darker blue. I know very little about fabric but it is not like normal denim used in jeans (which is what I had expected when I ordered it from Fabric.com). Instead, I think it is a twill weave, which is a sort of diagonal weave. It reminds me of the type of fabric you’d use for upholstery. However, I find it to be very comfortable and actually prefer it over jeans denim.
The topstitching thread is “Gutermann Heavy Duty Polyester Topstitching Thread”, color “bone.” I am not sure about the look of the topstitching on these pants — it seems a bit too noticeable or something. For some parts of the sewing I used the double-needle on my sewing machine and for other parts I just did two rows with a single needle. The main problem I have with the double needle is that I can’t rotate the fabric with a double needle (especially when it is in the down position!).
If you look closely, you can see that the top of the zipper is peeking out and the button is a little off-center. I did this on purpose because I was worried that the waistband would be too tight. I wanted to give myself a little extra room just in case. Well, it turns out that was not really necessary and I could have just put the buttonhole further to the inside. However, I figure it is easier to have loose pants with a belt than to have pants that are too tight to be buttoned… also it allows me to gain some weight. So next time I think I will make the waistband 1/2 inch looser. An unexpected side benefit of having a waistband that fits perfectly though is that I didn’t need to make belt loops for the pants — the pants stay in place on their own without a belt.
The biggest problem I had when making these pants is that the pocket facing I’d designed turned out to be far too short. I didn’t realize that when I am standing, the pocket would hang open a bit.
Initially my pattern had a pocket facing going 3/8 inch into the pocket, however when I looked at myself in the mirror I could see the white pocket inside lining showing and it looked stupid. So, I had to unpick the pockets and side seams and put in a taller pocket facing. The one pictured above is the new one, which goes 2 inches down into the pocket. That seems just about right.
(In the photo above it looks like the back pockets are sewn on at different heights, but they aren’t — it’s just how I’m standing.)
I got a few comments about my unconventional looking crotch curve in my pattern. Well, it turns out that it actually fits my body and is comfortable. However, looking at the back in the photo above I think the back curve needs to be adjusted lower. Mainly for looks – there has to be some middle choice between too tight of a back curve and too loose and baggy appearing. I think lowering the curve a little bit will move it close to what is the expected look for men’s pants.
Clumsily, I have managed to rip a hole in my pants before wearing them…
How this happened was that I decided to wait until I was finished with all the sewing before serging the outseam. I did that on purpose so I could adjust the seam if the fit was wrong. Unfortunately, I was too careless with my serging and managed to get a fold of the back leg piece caught in the serger. When I unpicked that mistake I saw that the serger knife had put a hole in the fabric too.
I found a stitch on my sewing machine control panel that looked like some sort of darning stitch. When I tested it, it did the job really well. Since the thread is the same color as the fabric, the repair isn’t noticeable.
Now to explain some changes I made to the fly flap in my pattern…
In my previous post I had a slight pinched look underneath the zipper flap.
I figured out that this was caused by how I had drawn the fly on my pattern. I made a change to the sewing and it fixed the problem, as pictured below.
Here is my old pattern drawing.
You can see in the old drawing that I have the seam allowance on the outside edge of the fly flap. Because part of this seam allowance is on a curved part beneath the fly, it caused my sewing to be distorted and made a pinched look to the fabric.
Next is the new pattern drawing…
As you can see, I squared off the fly flap and moved the seam allowance to the inside. I figured out how to make this fix while reading some instructions in a book which had a picture of someone else’s fly flap pattern drawing…
It doesn’t actually matter what side you put the seam allowance on though… the problem is caused by the curved line on the pattern — the fly flap needs to be parallel to whatever line it is attached to, otherwise its size will change (obviously).
Anyhow, these pants I made are really comfortable. I might make a few tweaks to the pattern I made but overall I am really satisfied with the fit, even if the look isn’t so great. They certainly fit better than any store bought pants I have ever owned.