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Anatomy of a pants fitting

Today I'm walking you through my fitting of the Pattern Emporium Hepburn Shorts. You will notice that there are several muslins involved...

Today I'm walking you through my fitting of the Pattern Emporium Hepburn Shorts. You will notice that there are several muslins involved. The more you practice the fewer muslins you'll need. My first try at this pattern involved no less than 5 muslins. 5! And that was for the elastic back. I didn't get them anywhere as good as I did this time. So keep practicing.

One thing I noticed in these images is that my hips are not level. Whether that is the result of me standing strangely in our very cold kitchen late at night or if my hips are actually indeed not level, I'm not sure. But I'm not ready to start fitting my clothes so extremely that I fit each side independently. Not yet.

Step 1:
Cut out pattern as written in your size range. In this pattern, my lower waist is a size 8 and my hips are a size 10. The pattern says to use the smaller size, but I know that my quads are NOT going to fit into the smaller size, so I'll be doing this differently.

Step 2:
Sew Muslin. When I look at this muslin, I noted that the center back at the waist band was gaping, A LOT. I pinned that to get the back to hold itself up. I also noted that the back leg was HUGE and stuck out away from my body. I wanted to get that to hang straight down, so I pinned out some at the center back of the hem.

The front was good, for now.

Step 3:
Make pattern adjustments. I removed 2" from the center back hem (1" on each side of the pattern piece). AND I removed 1/2" from the outseam and 1/2" from center back at the waist.

It is now time to add in the waistband. All of my adjustments are on the back pattern piece. So I removed 1/2" from each side (the pattern is a full back pattern piece). THEN remove 1/2" from both sides of center back. That removes 2" from the back waistband.

Step 4:
Resew pattern, this time including waistband and hemming. When checking your muslin, you need to check 2 things. Are all the vertical lines vertical? AND what about range of motion? For pants that means sitting, squatting and bending to ensure that your pants aren't going to attempt to fall off OR be too tight to move properly.

I include the hemming, as this is the MOST important part for me to adjust for my quads. I need to know where the hem stops and whether it restricts my movement. In this case, it does, so I need to add a bit of width to the center front. The trick to this pattern is that I can add directly into the front pleat. I will add 1/2" to the pleat to allow more range of motion.

Unfortunately, my photographer, when told, I just need photos of the shorts, missed taking photos of the hem entirely. <sigh>

Step 5:
Final pattern. I have never made this pattern with the side zip. If you've never done a side zip on pants OR are just a little unhappy with how your side zip turned out, the instructions and methods on this are PERFECTION. Your zipper absolutely will not peek through. YAY!

I did cheat on this pair. The pattern calls for a button OR hook closure. I didn't have either available, so I used a kamsnap. I think it blends just fine. :)

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  1. Oh, those turned out great. I think next month's goal will be to start working on shorts! :)


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