Project Tailoring

Let me fit your pants!!

I named this project “Project Tailoring” because I wanted to make a pair of pants for someone else and custom fit them. This year I made it a mission to learn all about fit . One of the reasons I started sewing was not only for a creative outlet but to also allow me to wear the things I wanted to. My frustration came when I noticed I had a hard time finding clothes that fit me well. Shocker eh?

Well that pushed me to start sewing my own clothes. At first I would pick my size, cut that size and sew up the garment right away. Guess what … I still had fit issues. So I knew I had to really learn about fit. Why waste all this money and time sewing up clothes if I wasn’t too happy with them?!

I got books, I read all the articles that came my way and watch as many YouTube videos as I could all about fit. Guess what they said? You need to match all major points on the pattern to yours and you can make ANY pattern fit you. At the same time I was also learning how to pattern draft and this also gave me an AH -HA moment when it came to understanding fit.

Soon I’ll be discussing everything I’ve learned and what has made a big difference in my sewing. But let’s get onto discussing Project Tailoring!

I’ve notice that I had a very good success rate in fixing majority of my fit issues on a flat pattern before making a toile that I wondered if I could do it on someone else especially if they had a different body type. To give you an idea my body type I’m considered a rectangle shape and I do have a larger bust.

I was getting my hair done one day. Kacey, my hair colorist, had issues too when it came to shopping for clothes especially pants. I asked Kacey what her biggest issues were when shopping for clothes. She said when it came to pants, she would pick ones that would fit her hips really well and then there would be a gap in the back waist area. She also mentioned it seemed like she was always get them pants hemmed. I thought what better than to try making her some pants! She sweetly agreed to be my trial run at this. Great!!

I wrote down her measurements and she picked out McCalls 7726 paper bag style pants in view B.

I always make sure to write down when measuring, is after taking the circumference of an area, I measure the front and backs separately (side seam to side seam). They must add up to the circumference.

Here are her base line measurements (circumferences)

Bust : 38″

Waist: 36″

Hips: 46″

Crotch curve: 27.5″

Time to get started:

Step one: I took a look at the size chart and based on her measurements it looked like size 22 was her size category.

Step two: ok now after selecting the size I cross reference it with the finish measurement chart on the pattern. I felt that the finish measurements had too much ease to my liking so I looked at the next size down. That looked better. So I decided to go with a size 20.

Step three: I cut the size 20 and drew out all the seam allowances . Measured the pattern pieces, for example front waist I measured that area then compared it to her front waist, etc. Thankfully the big 4 companies have the major points marked out for us. The adjustments I made to the flat pattern was adding more to the back crotch curve, and adding length to the legs.

Step four: Using unbleached muslin fabric I cut out the patterns and sewed them together. I made sure to add the HBLs (horizontal balance lines) to the toile to help with identifying fit issues. (For more information on HBL lines I reference Sarah Veblen book)

Now for the try on.

Right away I noticed an excess of fabric in the front between the waist and hips. The top red line represents the waist line and that was hitting at her waist. The hips line below was sagging way below her hip line. So I pinched out the excess fabric so I could know how much to take out in the front crotch curve.

I didn’t want to recut a whole new toile with the adjustments. I decided to sew wedge taking off the excess fabric which was about an inch. Had her try on the toile for a second time after making the fit adjustments.

That was much better and she agreed! Now it was off to make the final piece. She wanted a grey color and I happened to have a grey stretch twill in my stash that I purchased from Joanns Fabric Store. Yay!!

Tip-trick of the day:

Using a transfer carbon paper rolls can be a big time saver along with a double tracing wheel. This allows you to cut transfer paper in the size you want and you can easily have enough for the bottom and top layers. A double tracing wheel was a great purchase because it allows me to mark out the seam allowances. Which helps with sewing accuracy and measuring. Transferring all markings was really important in this pattern. Every notch and circles transferred counted.

Saral transfer paper roll

Double tracing wheel

Now let’s look at all the angles!

A huge thank you to Kacey from Succulent Hair Co. for being my model for this project it made me extremely happy! ❤️

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