I’m in week three of my five-week pants-making class, and, y’all, it’s getting real.
I’ve never made pants for myself. I’ve made plenty of toddler pants, but the fit on those isn’t particularly tricky. I mean, you’re working around a diaper, after all – it’s not like you’re going to get a tailored fit. But 99% of the reason I wanted to learn to sew was to make clothes for me. I like making clothes for JB, of course, but he’s a little boy who’s easy to fit; I’m a…*ahem*…generously-hipped mid-30s woman who would like cute clothes that don’t gap in the waist or do frowny things in the crotch* or squeeze me in one place while simultaneously bagging sadly somewhere else.
I’ve made a lot of skirts, but the truth is I don’t really wear skirts very often; I spend a lot of time on the floor building with blocks – I need pants.
But oh, fitting pants. Who knew it was so much work? Our first pair of pants for class was a simple drawstring pair. I made three pairs before I got the fit the way I like – you know, crotch** in the right spot, waist at a comfortable height, right fit through the hip. It took time, but now I have a pants pattern I can use for simple PJs or fancy up in a nice linen.
The next two pairs are more complicated:That’s the Clover by Colette Patterns and the Vogue 1051. I know the Clovers say “beginner,” but only the sewing is easy; the fitting is challenging. We’re making the Clovers first, and my first muslin has already been abandoned; it was clear it wasn’t going to come up near high enough in the seat and just wasn’t fitting right there. So, I traced the pattern and did this:That, my friends, is a “full butt adjustment” (and a lot of painter’s tape, because I apparently don’t have any masking tape in the house). I haven’t put together the second muslin yet, because naptime ended rather abruptly and therefore so did my sewing time, but I’m hopeful the fit will improve. The thing is, working on this pattern is making me oddly accepting of my body; when I was reading about all the ways one might need to adjust the pattern to get a good fit, it was eye-opening.
I’ve stood in a lot of dressing rooms over the years and felt sad and embarrassed about how clothes fit my body, but you know? It might actually have been the clothes, not my body. And so I’ll put in the work and make 2 or 3 (or 4 or 5…) pairs of these pants until I get a fit I love that flatters the body I have, not the body a fit model in Indonesia has.
And then I can have awesome pants anytime I want, no dressing rooms needed.
*Taking a pants-making class will make you immune to the word “crotch.” It’s not a word I generally liked to use, but now I’m saying it about 40 times a day.
** See, I just did it again.