Monday, April 15, 2013

Moving Onwards - aka, More Fitting Fun!

In November last year I took a 'Fit For Real People' class based upon the Palmer/Pletsch teachings with the fabulous instructor Janice.  More details here.  As a result, I have made 5 great fitting cardigan type jackets from ponte knit (wow - I can't find any photos, I will have to rectify that!) as well as 8 or 9 Sorbetto tops (find out more here!)

So, when Janice advertised that she was going to run a  follow up 'pants' fitting class, I was all over her like a rash.  I have to pause here and let you know that as I am British born and Bred (although I am now living the dream in Canada) and that 'pants' to me have two meanings before we even get to 'trousers'.  First of all they are knickers, undergarments etc.  So when ever I hear talk about pants, I first think of underwear, have a little snicker to myself then have my second thought . . . . which is that if something is 'pants' then it is bad/wrong etc.  To put it into context:

Tilly being eliminated from the Great British Sewing Bee is 'pants'. 

See what I mean?

Only after these two thoughts have completed their dizzy dance inside my head do I realise that pants are also know as trousers.  So if we ever meet and discuss clothing, please excuse the delay in some of my responses . . . . !  Sewaholic had a great discussion on her blog about these differences - go take a look!

Anyway, back to the story - I am happy with my skirt making, getting more confident with fitted tops, so pants seem to be the next garment to master.  Yet again, I found out why I have so many issues with both sewing patterns and RTW.  My RTW jeans and trousers are always hugely baggy under my butt - I can always gather up a handful of fabric and there are times when my trousers have been known to start letting gravity take hold and slip down past my hips.  The reason is that my hips are too small for my waist measurement (the other way to look at it is that my waist is too big for my hips but we are not going down that road).  So after some pattern selection and tissue fitting, Janice happily advised me that I have a flat butt - like a seriously flat butt (we took out an inch in the back pattern piece.  On. each. side. - and I am still flapping in the wind).  But hey, I am not drooping yet, says Janice.  Thanks heavens!  After a number of alterations to the pattern pieces, the result is that my rear is two sizes smaller than the front of me - I tried explaining that to Mr. SDSC and he dissolved in a fit of giggles.  Seriously? 

My homework for this week is to insert an invisble zipper into the crotch - I think I am going to go for centre front - and sew up the crotch seam.  This will be a plain garment - no pockets or fancy smancy stuff, and I am using McCalls 5239 which is supplied as part of the course:

I have a lightweight (summer weight really) denim, as well as a heavier dark brown jumbo corduroy (with a bit of stretch), so I will use one of these two fabrics.

The class is based upon the Pants for Real People book that I got for Christmas:

I know that this probably reads like an advertisement - it is not meant to but I am really excited about these classes.  I am sure that there are lots of other classes that you all attend and making the connection that although my measurements may match those on the back of a pattern does not mean that the pattern will fit is just such a revelation.  I want to jump on the 'wool crepe pants' bandwagon and knock out a few pairs for work as well as making some fun casual trousers and this is a great place to start.

Well, that is me - by next weekend I should have some well fitting pants to wear, and I will get some photos taken of my cardigan/jackets that I have made as well.  The fire is back again and I am ready to sew! 


  1. Hello - it must be something to do with the British build - because I too am British Born and Bred, living Australia now. I have to take a full 1 and half inches out of the back of the same pattern you are using - and still baggy! Closest thing to good fit I have got though. Glad you have made good progress - wish though that we had access to these sorts of classes here.

    1. Hi Sarah - there are some Palmer-Pletsch teachers in Oz ( and I think may be nearish to you.

      Oh, and it is good to know that I am 'not alone' with this intersting fitting shape - I think that the English Pear shape is overrated . . . . . !

  2. Oh, I wish there was a class like that around here! You are very lucky to have someone able to aid you in your fitting journey.

  3. I took a pants class in the Fall and it was a revelation! I still haven't made a proper muslin, though, so I don't know how close I am. It really is nice to know it's the pattern and not me!

  4. Very interesting and amusing! I wonder what your husband thinks of 'pants' with an invisible zip in the crotch - sorry, couldn't resist it!


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