Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pants Again!

I made these pants in the early 90's. They still fit relatively well. I found them while closet cleaning the other day and before passing them off to the GoodWill I tried them on. I still like the fit but a tweak or two is in order. Keep in mind , these are nearly 20 years old. They are deep double pleated front trousers with a narrow leg at the hem.
The button on the waistband has broken off so you see a bit of an issue there but minor. My standards in 1991 are certainly not what they are now. That being said, I wore the heck out of these pants and then just put them away one day. They were part of a Donna Karan Suit with big authority shoulders. I made a 4 piece ensemble with the jacket, a wearable art type vest out of this same wool,  a skirt with a side slit, and the pants shown here. The suit is packed away for my progeny to hopefully admire one day but the pants lived on. Eventually I gave up the ghost but rediscovered them the other day while doing some purging. I tried them on and lo and behold, they fit not half bad. What I liked about these pants were the proportions on my short frame. The hems were narrower as they should be for a petite, but not too narrow. I have two issues as you see them. Like many patterns there is just too much volume in the leg. Why are patterns like that when retail isn't? So I want to take out a bit of volume in the back leg. They are very trouser-y. So what do you think?
The front has two deep pleats on each side. While I can live with the pleats I think I can reduce a tad of volume there as well.  Yes, I know, the fly is way too long. How the heck did I let that happen? Not to happen again! Isn't it amazing what a digital camera can teach you?
Another interesting aspect of this pattern is that the side seam sits nice and straight but definitely to the rear. The front is wider than the back. Should I worry about that or is that contributing to the reason why I generally like the fit of these? You can pick up on the volume of these trousers when you see the side view, although a bit of shadow is contributing, too.
So here you can see that I took the pants apart, piece by piece. First I found the straight of grain which lined up with one of the pleats as I had anticipated. Next I needed a soft surface, sort of. I needed something I could put the pants on and then poke in a pin along the seam lines. My pressing board was perfect but a piece of foam core would have worked fine as well. I unrolled some freezer paper over the pressing board, a piece long enough to equal the length of the pants. Next I placed the pants front on top and  pinned the straight of grain into the pressing board and freezer paper. I took another big pin and poked along the straight of grain, using a ruler. These stabs marked the freezer paper underneath, my eventual new pattern. At this point I have made no alterations to the pattern. I am just poking my pin along all the seam lines. When the pants are removed, you can see a clear outline of the pants leg piece poked thru by the pin. A sharpie was used to draw along these "poked" lines and make the new pattern piece. Details and grainline were all marked on the freezer paper pattern. No seam allowances are drawn in yet.

Once I have all the pattern pieces I will make my adjustments on them and proceed with a muslin. I have a "loose" goal of making one pair of pants each month for the next year. Pants are so very easy to construct. It's an afternoon' work for an unlined pair. But the tweaking of fit can take a long long time as we all know. I think I am starting with a fairly good basis here, though, and have high hopes. Once I get the pattern down, it will be easy to make a pair a month. Any opinions on the fit of these pants are invited and appreciated. Thanks in advance.....Bunny

4 comments:

  1. OK - you know me....I can't resist a pair of pants. I think you're right in starting with "good bones" of a pattern here...and really on those pleats, thing about them as darts, although you may want to slash and rotate the waistline in a little...using possibly the mid-thigh region as the pivot point - if you need pictures (and you may very well after that description - let me know). This (adding/subtracting pleats) is one of my fav variations on a basic pant pattern.

    And on the side seam, I think once you take out all that fullness in front, that will return that side seam to more of a "centered" side seam. At the least, I'd see what the muslin does after you take out the pleats.

    You know i just assumed that's what you were going to do is take out the pleats...if not, then you do have to take out some of the front side seam and add to the back, to make that seam more vertical on the side.

    Love what you're doing.

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  2. I do want to remove the 4 pleats, which are fairly deep and put in two small darts for my tummy. This will clearly take more than one muslin. It will be interesting to see what happens to that side seam. Thanks so much, Claire, for your imput. It is very appreciated.

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  3. Glad your silk velvet top turned out better than my wadder! I had about 1/2 yd left over, which I washed and dried and made into a skirt for DD. That worked.

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  4. I love a good pair of pinstriped pants! Good luck with the refashion!

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