A lot has happened with my pants project since my last update – more than I can cover in a single blog article.
Today, I want to cover some of the more advanced things I’ve been doing on the computer with Wild Ginger’s PatternMaster. But I also want to get back to working with fabric.
Walking and truing seams is an important part of patternmaking; you want to make sure that matching seams are the same length unless you’re intentionally doing so, in order to shape the garment in some way.
Wild Ginger’s Pattern Editor makes it easy to compare two seams; if you select the lines and curves that make up a seam, it will tell you how long the seam is, and it even has a tool that will compare two seam lines and tell you the difference between the two.
You can also use Pattern Editor to simulate the way you would walk seams on paper. (You can click/tap to see closeup versions of all the screenshots).
I started by flipping the back pants piece (in red outline) left-to-right using the Mirror command, then used the Align command to align it with the front piece at the bottom inseam.
Using the Rotate command, I successively “walked” the back piece up the front. I rotated the back a bit until it aligned with the front seam, then picked a new rotation pivot point at the new place where they started to diverge.
Repeating this process, I eventually reached the end of the seam – where the front and back crotch curves intersect.
I zoomed in, and used Pattern Editor’s Measure tool to find out the back piece is ever-so-slightly shorter than the front – in this case somewhere between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch.
I walked the side seams and found nearly the same discrepancy. So I added that amount to the bottom hem on the back piece and got a very good agreement between front and back seams.
In my last article, I drafted a contoured waistband from the front and back pieces using Pattern Editor’s Offset tool. But I forgot to tell you how I dealt with the dart in the back piece.
Let’s start with the back piece, containing that pesky dart.
I used Pattern Editor’s Dart Transfer command to transfer the dart to the side seam of the pant, just to get it out of the way of the waistband. Dart Transfer automatically rotated the top and side seams to close the dart at top, and opened a gap for the new dart on the side seam.
Pattern Editor requires you to work a little to clean up the old dart and draw legs for the new. Here’s the waistline with the dart removed. You can see a slight mismatch now where the dart was; that’s easy to true off to make a clean waistline using the Move Point command. Once cleaned, the curve can be cloned and used as the bottom seam line of a waistband piece.
After completing the back contour band piece, I aligned it back to the original back piece, so that I could add pattern notches (in red) to both.
Final Test Muslin H
I decided to make one last trial garment with actual muslin fabric. I wanted to test my new waist band, as well as try out welt pockets in the back. Finally, I wanted to create a fly zipper opening following David Coffin’s instructions, so I could make mistakes in muslin rather than actual fabric.
I chose not to include front slash pockets. The facings for a front slash pocket incorporate the side seam curve, and I still don’t have the side seam dialed in correctly for fit. So I didn’t want to have to redraft my facings. Otherwise, this muslin was very much like a real pair of pants.
Welt pockets are little bit of a thing in the men’s sewing blog community lately. While working on this project, Wil at Thin Man Sewing stitched together his own welt pockets for a pants project he’s working on. He followed a very well done YouTube video on the subject; I’m following David Coffin’s method, as shown in his book Making Trousers and in his Craftsy Class, Pant Construction Techniques.
Here’s the wrong side, interfacing waiting to be fused over the welt slash:
Here are the welts are applied to the right side, before slashing and turning. One difference between Coffin’s method and the one Wil used is that I folded and shaped the welts after stitching and turning, rather than before. But the two methods are very similar.
Putting together welts with stuff muslin fabric was a bit of a challenge. The right welt turned out better than the left. I’m not happy with the finished results, especially on the sides which aren’t perfectly square and show raw edges. And the welts are kind of droopy. Ah, well – practice makes perfect.
I built a fly zipper, again following instructions in Making Trousers. DPC also covers the technique in his Craftsy class. I choose to use his Option A, a method of constructing the fly that involves stitching in a separate fabric fly shield.
Here’s the stitched fly with the fly shield folded out of the way:
And moved into place:
I made two big mistakes. I followed Coffin’s photos in the book literally, and wound up with a fly that overlaps right on left – great for a woman’s garment, but not suitable for menswear.
Finally, I carelessly yanked the zipper pull off the end of the zipper before I attached the waistband.
Fearing the project ruined, I searched YouTube in desperation and found this video which shows you how to reattach the zipper pull to a closed zipper. Project saved.
Testing the Muslin
I’m going to spare you yet more photos of me posing in muslin pants. I’m sick of them too. I do have photos, but they turned out blurry and I won’t reshoot them to include here.
But as I expected, the side seams still are a bit of a problem. They continue to open up a bit below the widest part of my hip, and aren’t giving enough ease around the area where my hip is widest.
I’ll update and print the “final” pattern for a wearable muslin, including adding front slash pockets.
And I’ll cut into actual fashion fabric. Honest, I will: