In Sewing

pants progress

Well I’ve definitely made some progress since my last post about pants. This is my 4th muslin (not real muslin fabric obviously, it’s cheap stretch cotton sateen), and while I’m not ready to call them completely wearable, I’ve certainly made a dent in the fitting issues. The funny thing is, I really only changed one thing.

After my first pair of horrible red pants, I tried to make changes to both the front and the back at the same time – spoiler alert – that was a bad idea! I was trying to take away the pleats and the pockets and some how managed to make the front even bigger than it was before. After messing with that and failing, I eventually reverted to the original front pattern piece straight out of the envelope, and my one change to the back.


The results are kind of miraculous! I sewed the pockets as instructed, and opted to topstitch the front pleats for more shaping and a smoother look. I’m still not sure about the overall rise so I didn’t bother to add the waistband. I did try to finish the waist with a facing but folding down the seam allowance with those pleats is way too bulky (even with a skinny seam allowance), so that’s not going to work for the final version.


Here’s a back view – so much better! Every time I see the photo on the left I picture that classic horror music from Psycho playing on loop haha! I still have some wrinkling but the general shape has vastly improved.

So what did I change?

The only change I made to the back pattern piece was to remove the depth of the crotch and inside leg seam by one inch, tapering it down to meet the original pattern shape. That one alteration made a gigantic difference!


There’s still a bit of fabric pooling under the bum, which I tried to fix with a different adjustment in muslin #3 but I didn’t make it low enough so it took away some width where I needed it most! I’ve been watching the Craftsy class One Patten, Many Looks: Pants and it’s been really helpful. The instructor, Kathy, mentions a “Crescent Leg Adjustment” that’s supposed to be the fitting secret of modern jeans. I’m going to try that technique next and see how it helps. I also really love the class section on how to re-grain and true up the leg after you’ve made alterations. That’s something I didn’t give much thought to until I tried on muslin #3 and the legs were all sorts of twisted! I think I fixed most of that in this muslin.


The absolute biggest lesson I’ve learned in this journey so far is One. Change. At. A time. I knew that rule before starting, but leave it to me to feel overly ambitious and naively “efficient” by trying to tweak multiple things at once, not knowing if any of those changes would actually help. I know. Duh, me!! There are a lot of things I’m really starting to like about this pattern (Simplicity 1371 by Cynthia Rowley) so I’m going to keep working on it until I have a truly wearable, finished pair of pants. I’m pretty close now so I might as well stick it out.

…but I did just get a new pattern in the mail today, so I might have to put the pants on hold and work on something much more fun this weekend 😉

What are your weekend crafting plans?


  • Sometimes it needs some simple chances to make trousers fit your body 🙂 Trousers are probably the most tricky clothing to make since it’s so easy to make your crotch look ridiculous 😀 But those new pants have nice fit to them, well done! :3

  • Great job fitting those pants, you really had patience and stuck with it! It will all be worth it in the end!

  • Hello Rochelle, I’m jealous of your progress. After hours of trying to fix fitting problems on a basic pant sloper, I kind of gave up.
    But reading your posts, reminds me that not giving up, is the only way to get a good pair of fitted pants. So Thanks very much for showing me!

  • Looking good! That’s what I find frustrating about fitting too – I want to make all the changes at once. I’m so impatient. You’ve come so far – so stick with it. Just keep imagining how great it will be to have a TNT pants pattern that you can make anytime (that’s what I do when I’m fitting). 🙂

  • stgilbert

    Holy cow! You’re doing brilliantly! Nary a sausage leg in sight – LOL! Seriously, though, your determination and drive are inspiring and impressive. Well done!

  • Your patience and determination are admirable – looking forward to seeing the final, final version. I am doing a workshop next weekend to make Sew Over It’s Ultimate Trousers – looks as if 10am to 4pm isn’t going to be long enough for fitting alone!

  • Tädi Maimu

    Have you tried to pin out the pleats to side seams and centre front? Back looks almost good. Matter of the fact is, there will always be some fabric pooling under your butt since if you take that all away, you have no room to move around. That doesn’t apply to stretch jeans of course.

  • Well that’s a marked improvement! I hear you on the itty-bitty step at a time thing. When pants are involved, there’s always an alteration ripple effect! How those four pieces join at the crotch is like black magic sometimes…

  • Wow! The fit is looking so good! And you have the perfect bottom for a pair of trousers. Can’t wait to see the final edition! 🙂

  • Woohoo! You’re getting there – slow and steady. Keep it up! =)

    And I have yet to sew any Big 4 pants pattern for anyone that doesn’t need the crotch curve adjusted. I still haven’t figured out the body type they draft pants for.