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Pants sloper and different fabrics

brsnyder117 | Posted in Fitting on

I’ve been trying for years to get a pants sloper. I tend to try one thing after another and never stick with one method long enough. Anyway, now that I am “between jobs” I finally decided to use the most recent sloper I had and work with it till it fit. I finally got a great fit using that pattern fabric-paper stuff with the red dots on it.

So I thought I was ready to make pants. I tried a linen-cotton blend. I guess it’s because the fabric stretches and/or drapes and the pattern stuff doesn’t, but after much teeth-gnashing I finally realized I had to take in the entire rear crotch seam an inch. That is, basically draw a parallel line an inch from the existing seamline, tapering to a slightly different curve at the bottom to meet the original inseam point.

I bought several similar fabrics so I hope the other pants I make fit the first time around. But I really don’t want to have to make a muslin and fiddle with the crotch curve (which took me all those years to perfect!) on every different fabric. But I’m not sure how to avoid it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!

Replies

  1. KarenW | | #1

    You're right, the linen/cotton (and linen/rayon even more!) can sure stretch... I'm working on an unlined jacket/top now and have had to handle with great care for this reason.

    For the crotch seams, I'd suggest that as SOON as you cut the fabric (and if you have a large cutting mat and can use a rotary cutter to cut flat and reduce the possibility of stretching even more), stabilize the curved portion of the crotch seams.  I always cut strips out of leftover fusible interfacings to use as stabilizers for things like this, there are also some great stabilizing tapes you can get that are sew ins (my favorite has no name on the roll and I have only found it at one independent fabric store out of town... but I know there are others) or other fusible stabilizing tapes.  That should help the actual seam line.  If the fabric is terribly stretchy, you may see some stretch from when you sit down in the rear or knees, but the seams should stay as designed!
    HTH,

    Karen

    1. brsnyder117 | | #3

      Stretching - I forgot about the crotch seam stretching! Because in fact, when I first tried on the pants, the waist had stretched two inches. I had to go back and ease that two inches back in and add fusible tape to hold it. But I didn't apply the same logic to the crotch seam, compare it to the pattern, etc. Since it's on the bias, I'm sure it stretched a bunch. Thanks! From now on I will indeed tape everything that isn't straight vertical before doing anything else on fabric like this.

      1. SewNancy | | #4

        After reading these letters I immediately used fusible tape on crotch seams, before sewing or taking off paper pattern.  Yes It really works!     Thanks.

        Nancy

  2. carolfresia | | #2

    One author I've worked with has a slightly unconventional method for fitting pants, which is intended to forestall exactly the problem you encountered. She has found, like you, that even a perfectly fitted pattern will behave quite differently in different fabrics--she says the same pattern sometimes needs no darts at all in front, and other times darts that are 1/2 in. or more deep. Her solution: complete as much of the pants construction as possible before sewing darts and/or pleats and applying the waistline treatment. This way you can custom-fit through the waist , including hiking the pants up a bit if they've gotten slightly droopy through the crotch, and pull in the waist as needed. This won't fix major problems, but can help fine-tune the fit on pants that "should" fit.  I've tried it, and, for many styles of pants, it works quite well. It's trickier with a contoured waistband or side-seam or slash pockets, however, if the adjustment is more than an inch or so.

    Carol

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