Yesterday, I discussed the construction details of the wearable muslin for my gray Bonobos-clone chino pants.
So, how did the wearable muslin turn out? It’s time to take a look.
To my great surprise, the finished pants ended up with too much circumference at the waist, by about 1 1/2 inches or so. You can see it in the above photo right around the belt; the pants are bunched up. I can’t wear them without a belt, otherwise they fall off.
I’ve been slowly putting on weight through the rounds of fitting and construction. If anything, I was concerned the waist would be too snug!
I think the too-large waistband may have been present in the muslins, but I wasn’t aware of it because the muslins were all too snug at the hip. When I finally added the proper ease into the hip area, the too-large waistband became an issue.
Here’s a view from the back.
First of all, I’m surprised by how poorly the shirt (a Perry Ellis RTW) fits. Remind me to toss it into the incinerator after this blog post. I need to take more photos of myself with the camera; it exposes fit issues in a way nothing else does.
I’m mostly happy with the back, but again the waistband is a bit bunched up from the extra ease there.
The white welts certainly make a statement; it’s amazing how just one detail can completely define a garment. I’m not sure the welt pockets are a successful experiment. For one, the welts “pop” against the gray a bit too much; they basically scream, “Look at my behind! Just LOOOK at it!!!!”
Secondly, they greatly limit the kinds of shirts I can wear with these pants, since the welts clash with most shirts that aren’t solids. So this isn’t a very versatile item to have in my wardrobe. Still, I can wear these pants with a plain white T-shirt, or perhaps a solid colored polo. Also, I think this is more of a weekend pant; though I wore it to work this past week, it is a bit strong for the office.
I may also consider raising the pocket welt by one-half to one inch. It’s 3 1/2 inches below the waist, which is the maximum suggested by Roberto Cabrera’s tailoring book. I basically didn’t want to have to shorten the dart.
Center Back Seam
Before we move on, I want to show you an outtake for the above photo.
There’s an unusual dip at the center back seam, caused by too much fabric pooling in that area.
I think there’s a glitch in the center back my pattern. While working on the pattern in Wild Ginger, I noticed that through endless revisions of the crotch curve, the center back seam had gotten so straight that it actually went past the grain line and turned slightly inward to the center back. Compare the center back seam line to the green line I drew in, which lies along grain.
I think I can fix the pant by opening the center back seam, and restitching it along a shallower angle. This will also take out some of the excess waistband ease. The corresponding change will go into the digital version of the pattern in Wild Ginger for the next pair of pants.
Here’s a closeup of the pants fronts. Though I pressed the pants immediately before the photo shoot, they still wrinkled by the time the camera snapped the photo. There is still a bit of excess fabric at the bottom of front crotch, but as you can see here it is noticeable only by a fit nerd (like me).
And yes, the belt loops are too long.
Hem and Break
I deliberately chose a hem length to get a good break. The pants taper and are pretty narrow at the hem, as is the current style for men’s pants these days. The narrow opening causes them to catch on the tops of the chelsea boots in the photo, rather than fall nicely.
The pants are very comfortable to wear! Other than the waistband being too large, I feel like the pants match the contours of my body. I won’t say it feels like I’m not wearing pants at all, but there’s no cutting, binding or tightness while wearing them.
Where to from here
My next pair of pants will have the following changes:
- Angle out the center back seam a bit, based on what works for the gray pants.
- Take in the side seams right at the waist, tapering to the current amount of ease at the wide hip.
- Look at raising the welt pocket and shortening the back darts a bit to keep the pocket from going through the dart.
- Perhaps look at removing a bit more fabric from the front crotch curve. But maybe not.
This pair of pants is the culmination of a years worth of effort, including acquiring the necessary fitting and pattern-drafting skills to alter the pattern to fit my body. They still need some work, but they are quite wearable.
Finally, I also appreciated the opportunity to work through the pants construction techniques in David Coffin’s book and Craftsy class. I’ve enjoyed putting them to work and appreciating them in a way that a mere printed page or video demonstration doesn’t allow.
I’d like to move onto the next pair, partly to refine them further but also because I need pants to wear! I will return to pants-making, but it’s back burner for now. Time to get some other projects out of my system.