My penultimate make before Christmas and today I have some comfy, stretch, zip detail floral Ponte pants to show you. Before I go any further though, I really think this blog post ought to have been called “fitting pants is a pain in the butt!”…I’ll explain why later on…But in the meantime let’s get chatting about the details…
First off, the fabric I used came from Clothspot and is a lovely sturdy Ponte knit in a subtle waterlily design in teal and olive browns. I had in mind a slim pant style with a zip at the ankle so I used my original pattern for this that I created a few years back from a RTW pair of pants that seemed to fit me ok. When I first did the pattern I made a few toiles and made several (many, many!) adjustments.
On this pair of pants, I made a new design change by adapting the back of the lower leg. I noticed that some of my pants seemed to stick out at the back towards the hemline and I wanted them to hug the curve of my calf more. I decided to create a seam down the centre where I could add shape, here’s how (bear in mind that I’ve never done this adjustment before so I totally winged it so I hope it makes sense):
- I worked out where the back of my knee was on the pattern piece and created a horizontal seam across at this point.
- I divided the lower leg section into two down the middle.
- To shape the centre seam I first removed ¼”(about 6mm) grading to nothing at about 3”(7.5cm) down. Then at the bottom, I removed ½”(1.2cm) grading to nothing at about 7.5”(18cm) up the leg.
- In order to keep the overall widths the same, I added the amounts back on at the sides (I hope this was the right thing to do!)
- Finally, I drew my finished pieces and added seam allowances.
***note, if you have curvier calves your measurements might need to be adjusted. I literally guestimated mine.
My waistband is slightly contoured for a nicer fit and I added a single layer zip guard for a clean and less bulky look. To make the inside a bit pretty I used a toning teal-coloured thread on my overlocker and neatened the edges with the stitch length set at about 2 and a wide cutting width. It looks almost like binding around the edges which I really like.
Last up, I added the zips and stitched the hems. Sewing the zips in was really easy, I just folded back the seam allowances, basted the zips down each side and using a zipper foot I stitched a little way back from the folded edges. The fabric was easy to work with and it made for a really pleasant sewing experience.
Floral Ponte Pants Fitting Woes
Ok, so I mentioned at the top of this post about fit woes. Well, I did have to faff a bit with these pants when I was making them but it was during the time I spent taking these photos that I realised something was off with the fit. I kept fiddling with them as the legs felt like they were twisting. It doesn’t show up on the photos but basically, the inseam keeps coming forwards toward the hems and the outseam goes backwards. The problem appears to be due to the fact that my legs rotate inwards from my hips. I vaguely remember when I first made my pants pattern that I altered the seams, but various incarnations of the pattern might have caused it to have morphed a bit over the last couple of years. I haven’t sewn any new pants from my own block for a while but I clearly need to re-do the pattern.
Anyhoo…after standing and staring at my legs for ages (as you do!) I think I know what I need to do (it’s difficult to explain but I’ll try and cover it in a future post) and I’m determining to get a new, well-fitting pattern block sorted. Slim-fit pants are a wardrobe staple for me so It needs to be done to maintain my sanity 🙂
Sadly, I can’t alter these pants so I’m going to have to put up with the twists and wear them anyway. But I’m a woman on a mission so I will work to get perfect fitting pants if it kills me! You can hold me to that statement 🙂
In the meantime, thanks for reading and feel free to commiserate and share your fitting woes in the comments.
See you soon!