The Breakfast Club Wardrobe, Part 5: Hammer Time

My goal was to get out of muslin-land by the time this 4th of July weekend was through. I almost made that goal; while I got a shirt and a pants muslin made, I think there’s at least one more to do.

The Shirt Muslin: Print It

I’m pleased with the alterations to the shirt pattern.

First, I like the look better with the shoulder seam relocated farther back.  Now that I look at the photo, I notice some pull lines across the collarbone area, especially on the left, but wonder if that’s due to the use of pins rather than actual buttons.



The alterations to remove the pooling fabric behind the collar were also successful.



I’m happy with the shirt pattern as-is; it’s ready for production.

I want to give a shout-out to Kenneth D. King’s “Smart Fitting” method, which really worked well for me. There’s a fancy video course that you can buy on DVD from Threads Magazine for a lot of money, but I got the basics from their special magazine issue on fitting, which you can find in hardcopy or digital download for just $7.

The Pants Muslin: Hammer Time

I spent most of Sunday hammering out the pants muslin, made from my ugly polyester that doesn’t take creases well. I skipped the patch pockets, belt loops, and zipper insertion.  I also skipped all the fancy seam finishing, though I did finish the seams with an overcast stitch on the machine. The fabric was fraying quickly and I hate dealing with fraying fabric.

I chose the size 36 pattern based on my waist.  The waist ended up a bit loose, maybe about an inch too large.  And I need to shorten the legs by 3 1/2 inches or so.

But it’s clear everything else is way, way too big. They look like Hammer Pants on me.

IMG_1348 IMG_1353 IMG_1352 IMG_1351 IMG_1350 IMG_1349


I plan to deal with the problem tomorrow.  The general plan is:

  • Reduce the waist by about an inch.
  • Shorten the legs by about 3 1/2 to 4 inches.
  • Grade the pattern from a 36-ish waist to one of the smaller sizes at the hips and legs.
  • Hopefully this will also address issues with the crotch, which is a bit too deep.

As with the shirt, I plan to pick apart this muslin (also sewn with a basting stitch), recut and resew the muslin to check fit.

Do any of you have fitting/alteration suggestions? If so, please let me know in the comments.

Next Time

I hope to have the muslins behind me, and ready to cut fabric for the actual garments.  See you then.

5 thoughts on “The Breakfast Club Wardrobe, Part 5: Hammer Time

  1. John Yingling

    When I do pants muslins, I always sew a center front zipper into them. I do a quick sew method where you join the waistband to the fronts (don’t sew the back parts in yet, makes setting in the zipper easier and faster), machine baste the front at least 1/2″ seam allowance from the crotch point to the top of the waistband, press open, using frosty tape, tape a zipper to the CF seam on the wrong side that extends past the waistband. On the right side, using your zipper foot, topstitch the zipper, staying close the the seam and zip teeth, down one side across and up the other side. Remove the basting with a sharp seam ripper, unzip and zip, no need for pins during fittings.

    1. mportuesisf

      It only took me a few readings, but I see how your method works to quickly set in a zipper. For my second muslin, I think I will attach the zipper using the pattern instructions as practice for the real garments. But once I have some more pants-making experience under my belt (no pun intended) I’ll give this method a try.

      I really appreciate your critical feedback and suggestions – please keep them coming!

  2. Josie

    Hi Michael,

    The pant legs appear too big, perhaps is due to the belt. grading adjustments. I did notice the same issue with RTW pants my husband wear. Personally, I would prefer a little tigher on the buns department. ill change the overall design.

    1. Josie

      Darn computer posted before I was finish. My point,
      Grade just enough of the pant legs, buns there is, to make it less baggy, unless this is what the project is intended. Not sure if I am making sense.
      Thanks for sharing

      1. mportuesisf

        I measured and figured out I could go down a whole size on the pants pattern. I’m also grading down the pant legs. I’ll show you the results with my next blog post.

Comments are closed.