This month I made Simplicity 8749 trousers for another Minerva Crafts Blogger Network* (“MCBN”) post. You can read about the project and the beautiful fabric on the MCBN website here, and I thought I’d give you a bit more detail here about my approach to fitting the trousers in this post.
You may have gathered by now that my sewing tends to be geared towards practical, every day makes. What can I say, I like the thrill of wearing a favourite handmade item week after week! So I knew I wanted a smart, simple pair of trousers for the office, and I really liked the look of Simplicity 8749. Mimi G herself has made a gorgeous suit from this pattern which seriously makes me want to do the same.
The thing about trousers is, they’re not that hard to sew – it’s fitting them that can be so horrendously complicated! I decided to use a fitting method broadly based on the trouser fitting reference book “Pants for Real People”. In a nutshell, I followed these steps:
- Grading: I knew from my measurements that I would need to grade between two sizes, between the waist and hip, so I did that first, based on the finished garment measurements. I also checked the trouser length measurement against my waist to ankle measurement.
- Adjust all the seam allowances bar the crotch seam, to be 1″ wide rather than the included 5/8″ – this includes the waist seam at the top. This leaves a little more wiggle room when fitting. I made the same adjustment to the related pieces such as the zipper fly, waistband and the pocket/pocket facing pieces.
- Tissue fit the pattern: This involved pin fitting with the pattern tissue to try to identify any major fitting challenges. Having done the grading, I felt that the tissue fit looked pretty good, but I left out the front waist darts because they weren’t flattering to my ‘mummy tummy’. I was interested to see that the authors recommend that the tissue be against your body at the crotch point, for the same fit in fabric to be the recommended 3/4″ below the crotch point. (The bias curve along the crotch curve causes the fabric to stretch and gain that much).
- Assembly: I made the trousers up in accordance with the instructions, fitting as I sewed (which really just involved taking in a little bit more at the waist). Before attaching the waistband, I tried on the trousers and then tied elastic around my waist to see where the waistband should actually fall. I then traced around the lower edge of the elastic with chalk, and used that line as a guide when attaching the waistband. This was another good tip from Pants For Real People – as it happened, I needed to use some of the 1″ seam allowance to increase the rise at centre back, so I was sewing a 1″ seam allowance at centre front, 3/4″ at the side seams and 5/8″ at centre back.
I really enjoyed working on these trousers and added some personal touches like the bias bound waistline, topstitched pocket openings and Hong Kong finish on the pocket edges.
If you’re thinking about making these trousers, I’d say ‘go for it!’ – it was a lovely make, and I’m already looking forward to tackling the jacket!
Until next time..
*As an MCBN blogger, I was able to select complementary project supplies from Minerva Crafts, and was asked to review the project supplies in the form of a blog post. The blog post definitely expresses my genuine and honest opinion.