The Trouser.

Say that with the accent and delivery style of May – one of the judges from the Great British Sewing Bee – ok?

So at the beginning of July my working situation changed a little bit (this is a good thing!). Even though it’s immaterial to this little sewing space, that change was enough to get me (re)thinking about the clothes I drag out of my closet on weekdays. Ever heard the expression ‘dress for the position you want, not the position you’re in’? Yep. So I’m turning my sewing sights on trying to perk up my work wardrobe a little.

I’m almost recovered from my last pants sewing effort to attempt them again – as my legs and arms must be covered in the work place regardless (it’s a construction/operations site safety thing). I’ve always preferred skirts in the office, but it’s a general rule that no matter how fabulous your skirt, it will always look terrible with steel cap boots.

On the 9th of June, I ordered these – the Jacques Pantalons, from Republique du Chiffon:

I received them on the 1st of July – which seemed synchronous, that being the first day I started my new role. I even had a little impromptu postage race with Puu’s Door of Time who also bought this pattern… although even with a 1 day handicap start, I lost by 4 days. Not bad really, when you live in a city Jerry Seinfeld once described as the ‘anus of the world’. Personally I think that honour should belong to Hobart, but hey.

This pattern has been made up by three lovely and leggy French ladies – Jolies Bobines, Les Trucs de Tatihou, and my personal favourite pair by Cosy Little World. So how would they look on a definitely-not-leggy, non-French lady that tends a little closer to stocky than lanky?

This is them in their muslined glory, unaltered in any way. It was my second muslin. (You’ll have to pardon the blurry-ness):

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Capri pants and I were never meant to be friends in the length department. Ignoring of course that I’ve pinned them up unevenly… these pants are too small. The pleat detail is completely lost, I can’t get the two front seams to meet, and the side pockets are straining open due to the lack of ease.

The ease issue starts pretty much at the crotch, and gets exponentially worse the closer to the waistband seam you get.

You can see I’ve drawn the grainline of each of the four leg pieces – I can’t confirm if this is actually the case, but I would think that a properly fitted pair of pants would see the grainline perpendicular to the floor all the way along. I’ve ordered a few books on pants fitting as I really feel the need to beef my knowledge up in this area.

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I like this photo because it makes it seem like I actually have a bum.

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Aaaand I finally got the focus right, fourth time lucky.

Firstly – lets talk size. My Waist and Hips exactly matched the measurements for the size 42 – so that’s what I cut. You can see in the pictures above I can’t actually get the front seams to meet to do them up.

I double checked the instructions to see if I did the right thing – it says quite clearly (albiet in French) to measure yourself nekkid and then compare it to the table. Which is what I did. So I double checked my measurements, nekkid. Nope, still the same. Lastly, I double checked to see if the pattern pieces I traced off were the correct size. They were.

Pretty simply, that’s a big f*** up, Republic du Chiffon.

 

 

Once I had the chance to blow off that little bit of steam, I returned to thinking logically and reasonably. There is one explanation for why this didn’t work out for me – the rate of change between my hip and waist measurement is vastly different to that used by RdC’s design fit. A diagram shows it best:

Me (left) vs RdC (right)

Me (left) vs RdC (right)

I know I’m long in the body – both above and below the waist. I also know that one of the main reason’s I sew is to have clothes that actually fit me. Once again I’m reminded of the fact that patterns are just a starting point along the way – I can’t expect them to fit me out of the packet any more than I would expect a RTW piece of clothing to fit me off the rack. Knowing all of this doesn’t stop me from throwing a tanty when it doesn’t go right, but.

So let’s talk about my second Jacques-related tanty. Let me make it clear to those not in the know, that this pattern DOES NOT have seam allowances. I found this out about 5 seconds after I finished cutting my first (and now discarded) muslin out.

” Les marges de couture ne sont pas incluses sur le patron”.

I didn’t even need to type that into Google translate before that sinking feeling set in… Entirely my fault though.

Other disappointments? The back dart is very definitely not in the centre of the welt pocket location. I’m usually one to like a bit of imperfecion though, so I’ll leave it be.

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I tried out a new thing with welt pockets though – the faux piping at the bottom – and I’m liking it a lot!

So now… do I bother trying to make them fit, or dump them and try something else?

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110 thoughts on “The Trouser.

  1. I’ve had my eye on a few Republic du Chiffon patterns, but I have so many patterns in my stash already and such a long to-sew list that I just can’t bring myself to justify any new purchases just yet. It’s interesting to read about your experiences. I trust that you will be able to make these fit, and they’ll look brilliant when they do. I learned a bit about pant fitting from Sandra Betzina’s Pant Fitting Techniques on Craftsy. She uses a very basic princess seamed pant pattern though, so nothing with pleats or pockets or capri lengths or anything like that. The lack of details might have helped with the fitting, but she threw so much information into the class that unless you knew exactly what you needed, there was a lot to wade through. I guess I’d rather too much than too little though?? Anyway, good luck!

    • It’s a bit like that, isn’t it? Too many patterns, not enough time :) I actually really want these to work, so I’m going to ride off the momentum for the moment and persevere with fitting. If I’m not able to get these to work, I’ll have at least learnt a bit more about fitting pants than I know now. Thanks for the reference to the Craftsy course – I have a princess seamed pant pattern in my stash so I could always work with that and then transfer the earnings across. I’m definitely going to do a bit more research on getting it right!

  2. Move on I say, the amount of work you will have to do to get them looking like the picture might not be worth it.
    Try style arc, or marfy?

    • After sleeping on it… I really want to make a good attempt on these – I like the look of the pattern too much! I haven’t got any Style Arc or Marfy pants patterns in my stash… Yet. Think I might have to change that, and soon!

  3. I love this pattern but you are a braver woman than me attempting these!. It seems like you have put so much effort into this that it would be a shame not to try and see if you can get them to fit. Perhaps put to one side for a mental “breather” and come back to them after a satisfying and simpler make?

    • You’ve pretty much got the same thoughts as me, Alex! I’ll go away and do some proper research, play with a pants block I had made for me many moons ago, then I’ll come back properly armed and ready to do battle. I like this pattern too much to let it slip through the cracks :)

  4. I’m so sorry to say it but put this pattern away for a while. There are too many issues to correct and it would be much easier to do when you have a good fitting basic pant pattern. Then you can compare and repair the issues. I, too, recommend Sandra Betzina’s class on Craftsy even if it is a princess seam pant. Most highly recommended is an in person class with Kenneth King. Since he can’t be everywhere at exactly the time you need him, check his website for his DVDs and I believe he has the lessons on DVD as well. Pants are such a pain without a good fit I can totally understand why the scots can wear a kilt with a smile! Good luck!

    • Yeah the Scottish certainly knew how to keep their tailors from getting flummoxed! I’ll admit these pants are to me what a red flag is to a bull. I’ll definitely have a second go – I’ve got big seam allowances hiding in there – but if it baulks straight up I’ll ditch it then. I always find I learn so much from trying/making mistakes that the effort involved will pay off. Thanks also for the course recommendation – I’ll be sure to check it out :) Geographically, Kenneth is a little out of my range right now!

      • I was going to mention Kenneth King’s pants fitting DVD as well. Or maybe a system such as Sure-fit to draft your own basic pattern, then add design details? I’m another who hasn’t yet sewn a pair of good fitting pants. Different fitting issues to you, but the same end result – frustration.

      • Quite a few recommendations for that, so I may have to look into it. Do you know if he shows his fitting by altering a pattern on a model so you can see the initial fit issue and then the fix?

  5. Have a ritual disposing of trousers & pattern. Move on.

    You might have to consider drafting from first principles. The CAE have really good classes on how to do this, or, pick up a textbook that is used in the fashion courses. You have the right aptitude and skill level to do this really well and enjoy the process. I think you’d get more from the manual process than from the digital software that abounds.

    Once you have the block that fits you, it will be easy to create whatever new silhouettes you want. I should do this again, I had a trouser block that was perfect and usedit to create 10 different pairs. I no longer use as I got married, gained weight, had kids and lost my drafting mojo.

    • You know you’ve just taken my mind into the memory vault – and I recall I actually had a pants block made up for me about 2 years ago. I never did anything with it… must dig it out and see what’s doing! Can’t believe I’d completely forgotten about it.
      I’ll keep an eye out for the CAE courses – I know a few ladies who have done courses with them on creating blocks and they’ve really enjoyed the result. My weight fluctuates also though, so I’d want to know how to adjust accordingly! Thanks :)

  6. Oh dear. I would try something else. I’m long in the waist to hip, and although I have yet to find a TNT pants pattern, Burda does seem to have a nice long rise. The pattern I tried ran large, but better to take in that let out – especially with non-existent seam allowances!

    • You know I haven’t sewn with many Burda patterns, but I have heard on occasion glowing reviews of their pants patterns. I’m pretty pig-headed though so I’m probably going to try taming this one first. We’ll see how quickly my patience runs out!! Thanks Chloe :)

  7. I know you’ve recently done the pj pants, so may I suggest the Thurlows from Sewaholic? I’m a long-waisted pear and could not believe how well these pants fit me right out of the envelope. I never ever have pants fit, even after lots of fitting, but these do. Tasia is some kind of wonderful!

    • ooh… no I think I’ll be keeping very clear of sewaholic patterns. I’m not even close to being pear-shaped and I would think it much easier to grade this pattern to be a bigger size at the waist as it fits marginally well underneath my bum, The only reason I was able to save the pj pants is because of their multiple seams. But thanks for recommending – it must be awesome to have a pants pattern fit well out of the packet!

  8. Congrats on the new position! I could not agree more with Chloe about Burda’s trousers pattern: they rise is perfect. This is a girl with a long waist and a big bum talking. But despite all of your troubles with the pattern, I’d try to make it work. I know you can do it and you know you can do it. But, maybe, it’s worth putting this pattern aside and work on something else to give yourself some break.

    • Thanks Inna! Maybe I will have to investigate Burda’s pants then. But first, I will be attempting to tame this pattern, of course! I’ll give it a whirl, and if it all goes to poo on the first attempt to fit, I’ll probably move on. I like a challenge, but my patience only goes so far! Especially when there are so many patterns out there I want to sew…

  9. I actually think the back fits okay. Using a pants-fitting book, you will possibly be able to fix the crotch/hip situation, so I don’t think all is lost.

    Completely understand the frustration though – especially when you have gone out of your way to try something different.

    • Yeah the back is not all that bad in the photo! The seams would probably rip if I attempted to sit down, though… :P I wasn’t expecting to see that when I downloaded the photos. I guess the frustration part is just part and parcel of attempting both something new and challenging at the same time. I’ll come out more knowledgeable on the other side regardless of the outcome, though. I’m definitely going to give it a red hot go… once I’ve done some research! Thanks Kat :)

  10. I love muslin/fitting posts. They are soooo illuminating. I think you are up for the challenge. Personally I think the fit is a little off even on the model for this pattern so Im intrigued to see you work some magic with them. I think it is worth the effort to master “the trouser” – a good fit on pair of pants is a wonderful thing.

    • Oh I’m going to give it a red hot go, alright! Just as soon as I’ve done some more research…. regardless of whether I end up with a wearable pair of pants at the end, I will have learnt so much along the way that it will be worth it. And, I really, really like this pants pattern :) Thanks Janelle!

  11. Congratulations on your change in role!

    The pattern issues are very frustrating – all those glitches should have been sorted out pre release!

    I think the least discouraging approach would be to make some easier trousers first – a basic straight leg pattern from Burda or maybe the Vogue trouser fitting pattern – before you get back to these. I suspect that this style is going to need a few tweaks on top of basic fitting…

    Good luck!

    • Thanks Gabrielle! It’s been a wonderful, challenging change :)
      You’re probably right, but I’m too lazy to start over right now. I’ll give this a whirl and if it doesn’t come into line reasonably quickly, I’ll most likely pass it up in favour of something more satisfying before coming back to it. It definitely needs a few more tweaks than just basic fitting adjustments! Major structural changes are required…. :)

  12. I don’t mind doing one muslin but after doing two I’ve lost interest and momentum so if it was me I’d bin ’em!
    Did you end up doing the pants block with Steph (3 hrs past?) I find mine really good to check the size of the pattern with first up so at least you know it will fit when you make the muslin/first pair. Still have to tweak the legs sometimes but at least the waist/hips will fit properly (takes a lot of stress out of fitting pants!)

    • Oh I’m such a doofus. I had COMPLETELY forgotten about Steph C’s pants block… it’s been waiting all this time!!! I’m going to pull it out as soon as I get home tonight to compare. And then I’ll make it up to see. Yours has worked so well for you, so hopefully it can help to salvage these! Thanks Suzy!

  13. Oh man. So bummed for you that these didn’t work out. They are seriously so close to the top of my queue and now I’m thinking I should DEFINITELY make a muslin. Eeek! Secretly glad that you broke them in though, or I would probably have made up the entire non-muslin version without seam allowances. Do you think you and Jacques can make amends?

    • Don’t worry, I’ll make it work ;) Jacques and I will be like two canoodling lovers under the Eiffel tower before you know it!You’ve at least got those fabulous Style Arc silk pants to compare for fit – because they were definitely on point for you! Yeah, can’t believe I didn’t notice that the pieces were too small. ha.

  14. Accordian3 makes a good point. I think you’d find drafting your own block super-easy Are you going to social sewing this week? I’ll bring my rresources from the CAE pattern drafting course if you like. Not that I’ve perfected the perfect pants of anything but I feel I was on teh right track after the classes….

  15. Hello Yes I can see that you WANT, no NEED to get your teeth into this . In doing so you will find out about pant fitting for you and be way ahead in the future . You and I have a similar body shape and what I have found works for me is that I should always have at least 5 cm side seam allownaces , this is great for accomodateing easeissues with different types of fabric . For example a pattern that fits well with one fabric becomes a droopy crotch disaster in another . I also have had to scoop out the crotch seam to create more space inside the pants as I have a long body . I started with a muslin and sewed it up and then just took out increments untill all those nasty crotch creases disappeared . I then use this curve on other patterns . This works well. The other thing is to extend the length of the crotch seam at the inner leg crotch seam junction . This can also be fifddled with to get it right . I now have a cardboard master pattern and have learned how to create all my pants patterns from this . The other thing that is very important is that when you bvu a stretch woven to make sure it jas great recovery as otherwise you will wear your lovely fitted pants and the as you warm the fabric and move around they will GROW . Horrible experience . The only other thing that I need is to use a stay tape in the waist band as this also helps mitigate against unwonted “growth”

    • Yep, thank goodness that muslin has giant seam allowances! I’ve bought a few reference books on pants fitting and intend on watching that Craftsy course, so between those I’m hoping to salvage these, or at the very least learn as much as I can about them.
      I won’t be touching stretch woven fabrics…. not in a million years! Far too unpredictable. Cheers for the stay tape trick :) Thanks Mem!

  16. I actually think you should persevere. As you say, no pattern like no RTW garment is going to fit everyone or even most of us out of the packet. So you may well have these issues with other trousers. From sewing i have realised that i have a rectangle figure that when sewing i need to adjust for a large waist, small upper chest, larger ribs, slightly rounded back, no bum, slim legs etc. Its a pain but who else has my very weird sounding body?! In RTW, i got a whole stash of clothes from a clothes swap and they are sized, from XS-L and from 8-14, they all fit, so go figure?!

    I think the trousers are a lovely design, and if you do too, and think you would possibly make other pairs (when fitting right) then it is worth the effort. Plus, i for one are interested in how you make the changes, its why i read blogs so i can learn :)
    Good luck!

    • I’m sure many people have the exact same problems, but don’t sew so aren’t aware of it! This pants pattern seems to be quite polarising – either love it or loathe it. If I make any progress on these… I’ll be sure to post my learnings :) Thanks Jen!

  17. I say keep going, and not leave too much time between re-tackling them. I would – I’ll be honest and say I’d probably resent the cr#p out of persevering to begin with, but when they started to look good I’d forgive the pattern and feel proud of myself for working through it. Then I’d probably sew a simple TNT to cleanse myself. Plus, I get the sense you love the challenge of fitting, so you’ll get even more of a kick out of getting them right than me.

    • Yeah, it’ll be like working on that bustier I made, I’m guessing. Hell through high water, but so very worth it in the end! And you’re right – this fitting issue is like a red flag to a bull for me. We’ll see how I go – thanks Rachel!

  18. Pants are such a wonderful garment that we all try and master. Get out your pants block and at least see where they are the same/different, then you can check reference books to see where to go from there. I hope to conquer pants this year at the class I am attending at the ASG Conference in 6 weeks time!

  19. I haven’t read through all the comments but I would toss them! I think there comes a point where a pattern is not good and the style is difficult. There are so many other things you could be doing. Maybe I just revealed my impatience but I also think it is good to know when to stop something and move on to the next one.
    Will be very interesting to see what you do. (I will say that I am not a fan of the style from the get-go – not anything to do with you, just not liking the style of the pants).

    • It seems to be quite a polarising pattern – either love it or loath it! I can’t explain why, but I really love the way these pants look… and I’m a sucker for a challenge so I’ll probably try tackling these, but only to a point. There is a limit to my patience and there are always so many others things to be sewn up! Thanks Beth :)

  20. First of all, I cannot believe you put a welt pocket into your muslin! That is committment :)
    Personally with all the fit issues on these, I would transfer the style to a pattern that does fit. I am sure the mods would be relatively easy to transfer. But, if you are anything like me, you probably won’t let them beat you!!
    Good luck!!

    • haha, yeah – that was more because I was hoping they’d fit with minimal issues and I’d be ready to kick on into the real thing – so doing the welt in the muslin was a refresher because I couldn’t recall how to do the dastardly things! That and I wanted to try that little bit of non-piped piping at the bottom of it. This pattern may beat me yet.. but I’ll be putting up a fight first!

  21. Beautiful well pocket, and that for a muslin!? Until now I was not able to sew a pair of trousers that fit, regardless what pattern I used. I think you once have to go through all the trouble and frustration and learn what to do. So why not stick with this pattern if you really like it?

  22. I had I huge faith with deer and does shorts pattern a while bak and thought that trousers always would but to much of a mess to be worth it but then I tried the ester shorts and besides minor error in the pattern (waistband not matching the rest) they fit perfectly on the first try. I have realized that even if I really like the look of pleated trouser it is very unflattering on my body shape, it is up to you weather to continue or not but I just wanted to say that there might be patterns easier to fit.
    http://docksjo.com/dresses/

  23. My advice is to use Indie patterns designed and made in countries where we all have similar body shapes. I know that is a generalization but Burda pants and Style Arc pants work perfectly for me with a few minor alterations. I love that back welt pocket detail with the piping – well done.

    • I should really investigate the Style Arc pants… especially after those gorgeous green silk pleated pants Sophie made! Oh I’m so in love with those. I might pop on over to their website now… thanks Marjorie :)

  24. First of all: congratulations on the new job!
    My little piece of comment: ‘no seam allowances’ are a thing on most (all?) European patterns, Burda included. No idea really why there’s this ‘cultural difference’, but it’s there, like miles vs. kilometers, I suppose :-)
    Being European, I actually had to get used to extract the seam allowances when flat measuring the pattern, and to make the shoulder and arm scye seam allowances smaller than indicated, to facilitate sewing the curves. Both systems have their quirks, I am sure, but I know one thing: never take seam allowances (nor their width) for granted!

    • Oh, Thank you Sabine! You know, I can’t believe I didn’t pick up on that no-seam-allowance pattern before. You’re totally right. Never take for granted that there will or won’t be seam allowances!!!

  25. These trews are tres cool. I’m sure you’ll make them work in your own good time. I’m a believer in the put it aside and mull over it camp… I’ve set my Thurlow muslin aside for the time being but I’ll get back to them when the inspiration strikes.

  26. I made my first Republique de Chiffon pattern last weekend and had the exact opposite in size problems. I made the Robe Lucie for my daughter. It is a very simple sleeveless bodice with gathered skirt. I made the smallest size for an 80cm bust (spot on for her) and it is absolutely huge! The fit is OK on me (86cm) but still a little big under the arms. The size chart would have me 1 – 2 sizes bigger so my ‘correct’ size would be huge too.

    For your pants (sorry, trousers!) have you considered taking the design elements you love from the RDC pattern and transposing them onto another pants pattern you know fits you well? If you don’t have anything suitable, In House Patterns ‘Ellen’ would be a good start point. These pants sit below waist, have side slant pockets, slim waistband, back darts, and a tapered leg like the RDC pattern. Adding the welt pocket, fold down waistband and button front would be easy. Adding a pleat to the front is not that tricky either. Any pattern making book will show you how or I am happy to email you instructions. I made a toile of the In House New York Mini today. The pattern went together like a dream and the drafting is worlds ahead of RDC! It was so refreshing to work on such a beautifully drafted pattern.

    • Funny that! The Jacques pattern does say it has very little ease (no sh1t, sherlock), so perhaps the Lucie Robe has lots of ease included intentionally? Still, very frustrating.
      Thanks for the options, I’ll check out In House patterns – I see how the Ellen might work. I think after this I’ll be keeping away from RdC – their drafting isn’t the best – but then I wasn’t exactly expecting Marfy quality from them! Thanks Jenny :)

  27. I think you develop a basic trouser block, then work your fashion fit/design around the sloper. A good pattern making book will give you instructions on how to do this. It makes it harder if you are attempting to see fit around design details. I love your piped welt pocket!!

  28. I think this pattern is cute, although like you I was eyeing the model with distrust. I’m not that shape at all (nor am I the same shape as you – and I think you’re closer). Your analysis of the problem is great and I’m sure will be a help to someone else. I would be inclined to slash them horizontally just to find out where the waistband actually wants to be (and to vent some of that frustration at the same time). Though clearly that’s not the only required adjustment. Hmmm, I don’t know. Up to you – it depends how much you want them.

    Hey, I just had a look at the size 42 measurements and can I maybe try your toile on on Saturday? If you haven’t destroyed it by then. I expect it will be a completely different fit disaster on me. (and while I was looking at the measurements I saw where it says “Jacques doesn’t have much ease” – no kidding.)

    • Nope, haven’t had the chance to rip it up yet, so will bring it along on Saturday for you. I’m working on my block first, so I can translate it across to this pattern. No joke about it not having much ease – geez!

  29. There are two types of sewing peeps (in Amandaland): the problem solvers and the creatives. You, my dear, fall into the problem solvers camp fo sho. Take a short breather, read up with your reference books and kick Jacques in his stylish butt. You’ll rock this :D

  30. You’ve got 2 easy next steps. Add the seam allowances and length the rise length and see what the next muslin looks like. No need to figure it all out at once.

  31. There’s not much more to say that everyone else hasn’t already said. I know that you are onto this now and you will make them work – by hook or by crook!!

  32. I’ve been planning on tackling trousers too but waiting until my weight quite fluctuating (1 1/2 old but still everything’s shifting!) I did a proper muslin last winter and by the time I’d made 3 finished pants, none fit! So frustrating. I hate muslining pants.
    I hope there’ll be a sloper class on craftsy soon for pants.
    I think I’d move on from these, but I understand the red flag of challenge!
    Absolutely love your piping trim at the welt bottom. It’s such a clever, polished detail!

  33. Can’t give fitting advice since I have a love/hate relationship with pants fitting. I keep trying though. I often wail at not having a fitting buddy which would make things so much easier. Good luck with these.

    Congrats on the new position.

    By the way, the link on Cozy Little World may need to be fixed? Love her site. Thanks for sharing.
    Ramona

  34. I have the same waist-hip ratio issue as you do! I’m rather low-hipped and so pants NEVER fit me right out of the package (or off the rack). I say give it another muslin and see if some of your improvements don’t change your feelings about this pattern. But I’d scrap it if three muslins don’t fix the issues. Three muslins is just too many!! Also, it might be easiest to go up a size or two to get the waist/crotch depth you need, then narrow the hips/legs to get the fit you want.
    Gorgeous welt pockets!

    • Yep, definitely three muslins is pushing it. To be fair, the first one I won’t count because I didn’t even sew it up… it ended up becoming parts of the pockets for the one you see hear! You’ve done excellent work on pants fitting for yourself – a definite inspiration :) Thanks Sallie!

  35. I would love to see these work out for you. I have to admit for purely selfish reasons. I’m about the same body type as you and I love these pants.

  36. The style is very cute, but I can’t help but notice that even on their model, the pockets don’t lay flat (see how they buckle out?). And there is something not really working with the crotch and pleats. There are lines/pulls in a few directions. Again, the style is really cute… could you consider doing the waist treatment on a better fitting trouser?

    • You know I hadn’t looked at that picture in that light before… I must have had my rose tinted glasses on because I only saw the things I liked about it! You’re right though, it doesn’t fit the mannequin well at all, either. I’m working on my block and seeing if I can’t translate the style back onto that instead :)

  37. I would have a really difficult time giving up on a pattern into which I had already invested a lot of time, as you have with these… I suspect you may be stubborn enough to stick with them!!
    But I do think you may have to make some stylistic changes to make them look good… I probably sound hopelessly old-fashioned saying this, but if you raise the dropped waist to be more in line with your actual waistline, I think they will fit better, be more comfortable, and look more professional!
    (Full disclosure here – I have made pants, but I don’t like making them and only do so when I have to!)

    • Most probably I will stick with them! I like them too much to give up this far in :) I think choosing where to put the waistline will be the most difficult part of this – I like the on-the-hip design but a little higher is just so much more practical… thanks :)

  38. Honestly, when I looked at the pattern picture, I thought it wasn’t going to end well. There are issues with the pants in the picture with the fit model, it’s too small on her as well, so it’ll be doubly hard to fit when you’re not the model. I.e. Why are there drag lines pointing toward the crotch on the model pic? Why are the pleats disappearing on the model pic? Why are the pockets gaping on the side of the model pic? And just a pet peeve: why didn’t they press the pants before taking the picture? The overall look is cute, but all these issues aren’t.

    • I was just saying before that I must have had rose tinted glasses on when I was looking at that picture – but now you mention those things I can see them all! Ah geez. Regardless, I’m going to see about getting my block fitted then translating this across to these pants. I like the style too much to give up now!

  39. Ohhh, pants… so tough to fit. I’m not sure I have the nerve to buy another trouser pattern ever again, after the work I put into fitting a pair. Honestly, I should have started with a block, but I was scared and starting with a pattern seemed easier. Sounds like you’ve got a block in your back pocket (ha!), though, and I think combining it with the Jacques details would be a great approach!

    • Yeah, it’s taken me loooong time to come around to trying again. Funnily, my last pair sat in my wardrobe for nearly a year before I wore them… and whilst they certainly aren’t great fitting, I wear them quite a bit now. They’re warm, wonderfully made and fit better than any pair of slacks I’ve ever had before. So I’m going to persevere with these – I like the pattern too much to give up just yet ;) I’ll be block fitting this weekend! yay!

  40. Don’t let them get the better of you. Imagine how you will feel after the win! They are a great style. If anyone can do you it, you can, PK! x

    • Dump them. I don’t even like them on the model. You gave it a good shot. Thanks for the detailed report.

    • It’s funny how polarising this pattern has been with people – it seems you either love them or loathe them! I’m in the former camp though… and having this happen is like waving a red flag in front of a bull for me. So I’m going to persevere for a little longer before throwing in the towel just yet!

  41. i’m going to join the “try burda” chorus, i have a feeling they’ll be much closer to your shape. i get pretty stubborn about not wanting to dump a pattern, even if it involves a ton of work, so i get wantng to forge ahead with the adjustments. but, maybe you’d be better off working with a different and more basic style first. it would give you a better idea of what adjustments are necessary and perhaps ease the frustration!

    • Any particular burda pants pattern you’d recommend to start with? I’ve got ginormous seam allowances on this, so will play with my pants block first then adjust this if I can to suit. I like this style too much to let it get the better of me :)

      • i’ve made 02/2014 #129b “spring cigarette pant.” it’s a nice basic pant that you can modify to get the details you want. i didn’t quite get the curvy fit i need (my hip and waist are about two sizes apart…) so instead of fussing with it i’ll go back to my beloved thurlows. but they may be just the ticket for you!

  42. These pants reminded me a lot of the ones JLo is wearing in this photo!

    Your experience reminds me a lot of the Hot Patterns pants I tried. My muslin looked exactly like yours. Just the totally wrong shape for my body. I ended up tossing the muslin, selling the pattern, and moved onto something else.

    Lekala patterns are inexpensive, with an option for body type. Maybe you could try that?

    • Yep they’re a pretty good match for those! I haven’t tried lekala patterns before, maybe I will. I think first I’ll play with a pants block then see if this can be salvaged to match (I’ve got giant seam allowances hiding in there for that very purpose). I’ll give fitting this a red hot go first before giving up :) Thanks Anne!

  43. I’m with Kat in that you should move on, but you seem to have your heart set on this style. So, yes, take a breather, and then come back to them in a while. You can definitely get to a good fit, but it will take some work!

  44. I say take the design elements you like, and morph them onto a pant block that fits you better! The way I see it, pants are challenging because there are so many cause and effect decisions to balance out. Unless you know exactly what you’re aiming for for each pattern piece, you’ll just have to experiment and guess/hope/multiple muslin that pattern. (if you find that satisfying, good on you!). As you get more competent you can obviously take patterns that are further from your ‘base’ and adapt them.

    What fabric were you thinking? I’d also be curious to see how a Marfy pant fit you.

    Frabjous Couture had some good posts in the skirt sewalong about how not all body shapers are equal despite matching measurements, and Peggy Sagers has a great philosophy on fitting (match the length, circumference and depth of your garment to your body) that simplifies give your pattern more fabric where it needs to have it. Her webcasts are online for free and really useful.

    • That’s exactly what I’ll be doing, after I play with my pants block this coming weekend! You’re absolutely right though – getting 2 dimensional fabric to fit around so many curves and angles, whilst still providing for movement and comfort is a serious challenge.
      I’ve got 2 super 100 and 150 wools in my stash that I’ll be keeping for when I get these (or another pair of) pants right. I find it really hard to get good quality, beautiful and non-boring colour pants-suitable fabric in Aus – both of mine were bought in person overseas. I’m going to be placing a Marfy order from their current catalogue shortly, and this has made me want to include a pants pattern so I can see what they offer. Thanks for the info, Anna Katherine :)

  45. Ok, the style of these pants are so cute! I can see that there are fitting issues in the original photo, so perhaps the pattern isn’t perfect. Good for you to move forward and try to make this work — I think you can definitely come up with a version that will suit you!

    • Thanks Jean, they certainly are cute, but I think translation onto a non size-fit model body like my own has proven to be more of a challenge than I originally thought. Still, there as aspects of these pants I can always copy :)

  46. Pants fitting is soooo tricky! I have no butt, either, and Style Arc fit me well. I’d suggest trying one of theirs as I think there would be less of a fit challenge. Once you have a well fitting pattern, you can transfer those changes to this cute Republic pattern. I would not try to perfect the fit using this pattern. Good luck!

    • Thanks Shams! I’ve finally got to the point of a muslin that fits and looks good. So with that block sorted, I’m absolutely going to check out the style arc patterns – they have some really great stuff!

  47. From a fellow pig-headed, flat butted engineer… keep going. Rip those side seams and slash the front (and back?) – easier if you have someone to help you. I think it’ll make a huge difference. What have you got to lose?

    I second Peggy Sagers webcast on pants fitting.

    • Thanks for the webcast recommendation Emma, I’m heading off to check it out now! I’ll take all the help I can get when it comes to delving into the realm of pants fitting. Cheers :)

  48. Hello poppykettle; I haven’t read all the comments here, but have you tried Tamanegi kobo’s Joker pants? they are a free dowload and have a smart, business-like silhouette. Another free pattern is the Evan pant from the same designer, which have a similar style to these ones you’ve muslined up here; loose around the hips and tapered into the legs.
    For more casual jeans/trousers my absolute favourite is Burda 7863, which is a straight leg, tighter pant for stretch fabrics. Good luck, and I hope you find a great pattern :)

  49. Pingback: The Trouser. The Sequel. « poppykettle

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