What’s your favorite item to shop for? I am not sure about the favorite one, but I know that I hate buying pants. Well, it’s a bit of an overstatement probably. Still, nothing gives me so many problems as buying a pair of pants. Most of the times they are too tight, or too loose, or too short,… Anyhow, finding a pair that fits you can be a nightmare. My best solution to this problem is to make pants on my own. Sewing your own pants is a great idea if you have a problem to find a perfect fit.
Sewing your own pants can be very easy, but it can be tricky as well. It depends on what kind of pants you want to make. Of course, it depends on your experience and skill, too. But, even if you are inexperienced sewist you can make a decent pair of pants. You don’t need a heavy-duty machine. Any inexpensive sewing machine will do the job. And with small adjustments, you can make them fit your body type way better than most of the commercial models.
The benefits of such an endeavor are almost countless. You will save some money and avoid shopping stress. You can choose the materials that you like, the styles and colors that you prefer. Wearing a cozy piece of garment that flatters me, has always made me feel great, proud and maybe even a bit more confident. So, if you are an aspiring sewist, don’t be afraid to try to make a pair of pants. There are many easy patterns that will help you level-up your skills and get a nice piece of garment.
Good preparation is necessary to avoid unnecessary stress and mistakes. For starters, make sure that you prepare all of the tools and materials that you’ll need. You will need your sewing machine, of course, a measuring tape, a pair of scissors, and sewing chalk. As for materials, it is up to you completely. However, in the beginning, you will probably want to avoid heavy and stretchy fabrics. These are harder to work with. Tightly woven cotton and flannel are some good choices. Also, purchase the thread that matches the color of the fabric.
Pre-washing your fabric is a step that many forget. This way you will avoid or decrease the shrinkage of the material later on.
Take Your Measurements
While this seems trivial, it is an important part of the process. You need to take precise measurements of your body. Otherwise, you will have to do countless adjustments without the perfect result. A measuring tape should be snug, but not too tight to get it right. So, don’t do this roughly, be accurate as it will save you from a lot of unnecessary trouble.
Choose a Simple Pattern
A simple pattern will allow you to make a pair of pants in no time. If your first projects are easy and successful it will give you the satisfaction and boost to take on more complicated projects. So, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Loose pants with no zippers or pockets are the easiest solution. Simple patterns will allow you to create pants quickly, with little adjustments.
There is also a simple trick to simplify the process. You can use an existing pair of pants that fit you just right as a pattern for your new pants.
While this may seem like a waste of time, muslins can provide a lot of help. With muslin, you don’t need to visualize the final product. You will be able to see if it fits, are there any wrinkles, draglines, or anything else that doesn’t look right. You should choose muslin that is similar to your fabric in stretch and weight. The muslin will also allow you to experiment with different techniques. Although, you don’t want to experiment too much for now. Also, you can keep the muslin and wear it occasionally. But, double-checking and timely adjustments are the most important benefits of muslins, at least for now.
If your pattern came with a guide sheet follow the instructions. If not, there are some general guidelines. First, stitch up the legs. Sew the side seams of each pant leg first, and then the inseams. Start from the crotch and follow through all the way to the ankle. Use a straight stitch except for the raw edges. To prevent unraveling, zigzag stitch the raw edges. Then, you straight stitch the crotch seam from the bottom up to the waist. Sew the front side first and then the backside.
You are almost there. Fold down the waist to create a waistband. Stitch all the way around and leave an opening to insert the elastic. Use a safety pin to thread the elastic into the casing you have made. Finally, hem the pants and it is done. Before hemming, try them on to check out the length. Make sure you zigzag stitch the raw edges and straight stitch the rest.
Most Common Adjustments
Draglines and wrinkles are the most common problems and reasons for adjustments. Horizontal lines that radiate upwards from the front crotch can be fixed by extending the front crotch point. It is simple and effective. Wrinkles that go from the front crotch towards your thighs require a deeper crotch curve. You can do this by scooping out the crotch curve a little bit.
As for the backside, it is similar. Horizontal draglines can appear under your seat. Scooping out the back crotch curve is the solution. Diagonal wrinkles radiating from your back crotch require extending the back crotch.
There are many more possible issues and solutions, but for your first simple pair of pants, this should suffice.
Each and every project is different, but some general tips and tricks can work for most of them. You are ready now to start your pants project. It is important to take it easy. It is very likely that you will have to make a few adjustments because everybody does. There is no one-fits-all pattern. Actually, most of the patterns are created for an average non-existent person. It means that it can’t fit more than 10% of the population. But, it won’t require extensive adjustments either. Don’t rush the adjustments and don’t overdo it. A couple of muslins can be a great help to achieve a great result. Practice makes perfect, so get your machine ready and start making your pants. Once, you get your first pair done, you’ll be proud. And it will only get better!