This year, one of my sewing goals it to focus on proper fit. It’s not enough to just make my own reflective clothing anymore, I want it to look good and fit properly. This means forcing myself to take my time on projects, which I’m really too impatient to normally do. I like quick and easy garments! But I guess my priorities are shifting, at least a bit.

So I decided to make the pants from McCalls 6361 because of the fit instructions written into the sewing instructions. I had previously made a skirt from this pattern and was pleased with how easily it went together (even though I couldn’t figure out the zipper instructions and made it up). I decided that I’d make a muslin, but out of something I’d actually wear. However, I’m not sure I’d make this pants pattern again.

McCalls 6361 Skirt, made last fall

McCalls 6361 Skirt, made last fall

I didn’t take photos of the fit process, I’m sorry to report, so you’ll have to make due with mental images. I tried the process of pinning the pattern pieces together for the initial fit, but without having two legs, just the one, I found this challenging. I did take a tuck in the waistband to get it to lay flat against my body, which turned out to be perfect. I lengthened the legs, too, as I usually do. So I just cut out and basted everything together to test the fit.

Dammit, I put the label in crooked!

Dammit, I put the label in crooked!

Successes: needing to take in Center Back, thanks to my sway back. Failures: The waist ended up higher than I expected; the pant legs themselves were waaaaay too big; and I didn’t like the shape of them. So I pinned out inches off the leg circumference, took in a bit of the front crotch to reduce wrinkles, and cropped the legs. At the very last minute, I decided to add reflective trim to the hems – I hadn’t planned on adding anything, since they were a muslin, but couldn’t stand having something reflection-less!

McCalls 6361 at work

McCalls 6361 at work with my Stitch Fix sweater, bug scarf from H&M, and new Dansko Rebel Wedge shoes

Final result: I love the color, they do fit well, and I’m sure I’ll wear them a lot. However, the cut was not what I was hoping for – I think they are still baggy, and as I mentioned, the waist is above my belly button, which was not what I’d expected. (They do remind me of these Banana Republic pants, actually)

See the hem reflecting?!

See the hem reflecting?!

I'm totally in love with these new Danskos, too!

I’m totally in love with these new Danskos, too! Bought on clearance from, woot!

Trying to pin fit pants on oneself is not the easiest thing to do! But now I have an idea of what alterations need to be done on the next pair. Of course, I want a nice pair of 1930s style wide legged trousers, so that will be a different fit to begin with. But I think I will always need to take in Center Back, and the back crotch length needs to be a bit longer. I remember from my sewing classes in the 1990s (!!) needing to drop the crotch, but that wasn’t a problem on these! But this Cadet Blue color goes with everything in my wardrobe, so I’m sure these will be used frequently.

The reflective camo fabric on the pant hems reflect less than the other accessories, but I still love it

The reflective camo fabric on the pant hems reflect less than the other accessories, but I still love it

I’ve got two other projects to distract me from pants, in the meantime. I just got some basic khaki twill to make the Vogue 7910 skirt (version B) I’ve been wanting to make for ages. Khaki SkirtI wish I had enough of the gold reflective fabric to make bias, but I think I will need to use the reflective piping on this. Its more challenging to work with than the flat reflective camo fabric, so I’m not entirely thrilled with the option, but color-wise, it will work best. I really hope this turns out well. As much as I love my tan suede skirt, it’s hard to bike in. I hope this is a worthy replacement. Khaki Skirt ReflectingIt will be a few weeks before I get to do any sewing again. I guess I need to clean our apartment, and let it stay clean for a while! Does everyone make a huge mess when they sew, or is it just the bad habits I picked up while working in costume shops?!


4 thoughts on “Attempting Proper Pants Fit, Take One

  1. getting pants to fit you right is a challenge! I’ve just finished a pair of jeans after making changes to the pattern and they are nearly there. These look a really good effort and I like the hem trim.
    My sewing area is a mess. I never clear up properly between projects……

    • I’m so in awe of people like you who make jeans! They seem really complicated to me. 👍🏻 I wouldn’t clean up except the ironing board is in the middle of the living room and in the way of everything. Drawback to apartment living, haha!

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