I know, I know. I’ve got a million finished things I should definitely show off, like all of my Tour de Fleece spins and the shawl I just blocked a couple of days ago, not to mention some months-old sewing projects…
I’m way more excited about these Real Pants Shorts I made with the fabric left over from Vogue 1172. This is going to be an unflattering butt-and-tum-heavy post.
I’ll begin Operation Buttcover 2k14 with some essentail details. Item the first: most of my wardrobe is about the same age, which is to say, falling apart. Item the second: there is very little I won’t do to avoid shopping for jeans. Thus, item the third: McCall’s 6610.
I selected my size based on finished garment measurements, not McCall’s chart of body measurements, on account of The Big 4 and the Case of Excessive Design and Wearing Ease, and ended up tracing a 6. Then I folded an entire two inches out of the rise so it didn’t sit at my ribs and retraced, cropping the pattern at mid-thigh and redrawing the legs for a bit of a flare to get away from my ill-fitting cut-off jeans roots–the point of the exercise was a wearable muslin–emphasis on wearable. Then I cut the main pattern pieces and basted everything together with standard 5/8″ seam allowances. It was a tiny bit too tight, so I disassembled and basted again with 3/8″ allowances at all vertical seams. That was just about right, with a little excess ease at the back yoke, which I took in during final assembly.
At this point I basted in the pattern waistband–a long, folded rectangle. It’s meant to be slightly shorter than the top of the pants, using the cross-grain stretch to prevent gaping at the lower back. Without buttons, it looks like this:
For comparison, two pairs of RTW jeans–one with a straight waistband as in M6610, and one with a curved waistband:
These jeans, with their straight waistband, are the most comfortable I own–for about 30 minutes. Then the stretch denim relaxes and they start to slouch. If you look closely, you can see that the top of the waistband doesn’t quite touch my hips all the way around. With wear, that gets worse, and I’m constantly pulling them up.
These ones have a curved waistband, and while they’re a little tight fresh out of the wash, they’re very comfortable after an hour or so of wear–and stay that way! I don’t have to pull them up every time I stand up, and they don’t gape at the back.
So! I pinned out the ease in the waistband of my shorts.
Whoops. Maybe I should have basted more carefully, but check out that totally adequate fly front! My first ever! My presser foot doesn’t actually go up high enough to really deal with all those layers of fabric though, and denim will be worse.
Plan A was to use this to trace new waistband pieces, but when I did that the curve was insane and messed up the fit all over. Plan B involved tracing pieces from a skirt pattern and extending the lines so it would fit at my hips instead of my waist. Plan B was successful, but could still use some tweaking.
The result is a surprisingly successful (and comfortable) wearable muslin. The yoke, crotch, and inseam are all flat-felled–no mock-flat-fell here–complicated by minimizing the seam allowances, the outseams are serged and edgestitched to the bottom of the back pockets (those need to sit a little higher, don’t they? also, next time, more prominent topstitching), and each leg has a 1.5″ handstitched hem.
Still a little questionable at the front, things were slipping around all over as the presser foot and feed dogs tried to manage all those layers.
Oh, and that feathery tee? I made that too–Skinny Bitch*Curvy Chick’s Tonic Tee, in a cotton/poly print jersey from Girl Charlee and neck binding from some unknown purple knit I got at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco.
I have to say, I am pretty pleased with myself. I hardly swore at my sewing machine at all! But if anyone has a machine with a little more power than my poor Singer Tradition, or a lead on the type of needles a vintage Mammylock 623A serger takes or what size needles are 1 and 5/16″ in length (hint: it is not BLx1 but if you need BLx1 needles please let me know because I have 10 each sharp and ballpoint, size 80, I think?), well, I would not say no to that!