I’m not one to follow fashion trends. I typically stick with the tried and true styles that last because I tend to wear my clothing until they disintegrate. I also take so long to sew something up after buying the pattern that the trends have already come and gone before I get to wear them!
These pants though! This pattern first caught my eye when Maya from Something Zen made them; her’s are so perfect in a black cotton twill. I went searching for others’ makes using it and discovered this post on the Palmer/Pletsch blog talking about the pattern. It’s McCall’s 7445 and it’s a Melissa Watson pattern. Although the cover photos are meh, when you see real makes like Maya’s and Melissa’s (’cause we’re all on a first name basis!), you get a picture of the pattern’s potential.
Also worth mentioning is that this pattern has all of the Palmer/Pletsch easy fit marks printed on it, including fitting instructions in the written instructions. This makes tissue fitting a breeze, seriously. If you are interested in tissue fitting, take a look at this Craftsy pants fitting class using the Palmer/Pletsch method, and also the book Pants for Real People. Using both together really re-enforced, at least for me, the way in which to tackle pants fitting. Of course these are just my opinions 😉
Now I have to admit I get stuck on the “perfect fitting pants” train and have to force myself to jump off. It’s so easy to tweak and tweak until you want to pull your hair out and scream at kids/dogs/chickens/anything really. I decided right from the start not to do that with this pattern. I prepped the pattern per tissue fitting instructions (marking seam allowances and taping along the curves which takes minutes), and I tried it on. I was actually pretty impressed with how great they fit right from the start, then I started down that dark tunnel of perfect fitting and yanked myself right out. Whew!
Regarding size, my current measurements are waist 26.5″ and hips 35″. Since I’m in between hip sizes 10 and 12, it’s recommended to go down a size since I’m younger (-ish), and adjust for waist as needed when tissue fitting. The only fit changes I needed to make in the end was to use the bottom back crotch stitch line to increase my back rise (my bottom was pulling the tissue down a bit there), took in the back inseam 1/2″ (mainly personal preference as I didn’t like the extra bit of fabric poof under the bottom where it met my thigh), and shortened the length of the pants by 6″ as I wanted them to be more spring/summer length (I did this at the leg’s lengthen/shorten line).
Next I had to find fabric that would work, as the pattern calls for corduroy, denim, or twill with some stretch (the slight stretch part is mentioned in Melissa Watson’s blog post linked above). I had a medium weight denim with some stretch in my stash that I think I picked up from Discount Fabrics, and I like the dark color, so I went with that for my first pair.
Once I had my pants sewn up, but before adding the waistband and hemming, I tried them on. I had to make a few more adjustments at this point, which is to be expected. Fabric will always fit differently from the tissue. I lengthened the back darts 1/2″ and widened the dart legs 1/4″. I also had to pinch out some at the middle back, from the waistline to the top of the back crotch curve. I tried it on again, and I still had to pull them up and lower the stitch line just a bit at the sides and back, about 1/2″.
Now I really should’ve probably basted my waistband on, but I attached it and hand sewed it down before trying on. It’s not bad, but it could look better. There are lines pointing down from my sides, aiming towards the darts.
This could’ve been remedied by lowering the sides a bit, but I’m not kidding when I tell you there’s no way I’m seam ripping the waistband off. Also, after wearing them for awhile, I noticed the crotch hanging down (although denim will grow a bit, I think I need to shorten the crotch depth).
The back view.
I’m moving on to a second pair. The changes I plan to make are simple. I’m not going to add any of my previous fabric related changes to the tissue pattern. I am going to shorten the crotch depth 1/2″ to both front and back tissue pattern pieces. This seems to be a common fit change for me on pants, and although I didn’t add it to this first version, it was something I had in the back of my mind. I also have a gorgeous tencel denim from Cali Fabrics I plan on using for my next version! Eeek, I really love this tencel denim so I’m hoping it works out!!
Hope everyone gets some weekend sewing or fabric shopping done!