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5 Steps to a Perfect Slacks Pattern

Threads #114, Aug/Sept 2004

The ability to fit a pair of pants seems to be an elusive skill for many sewers, but my experience in the garment industry, and as a home-sewing teacher, has proven time and again that there’s no need for pants-fitting to be a stumbling block. With a little help from a friend, you can whip any basic darted slacks pattern into shape in five quick steps, by simply pin-fitting a muslin, as shown on the following pages. I’ll also show you how to use this muslin to correct the fit of any pants pattern that catches your eye, by tracing the muslin outline onto the new tissue. Let’s banish this struggle over pants-fitting, forever.

Prepare your muslin

I suggest you start with a basic slacks pattern you’ve made before, so you know generally how the pattern fits. In any areas that felt snug when it was last made, shift the seamlines outward so the muslin version of the pattern you’ll make will be a little loose all over, and add an extra inch or more of seam allowance above the waistline. It’s better to start a little bigger simply because it’s easier to pin out extra room than to slash and patch an area that’s too small. You can also just start with a bigger size than you’d typically use, and extend the waistline seam allowance. If your pattern requires a front pocket piece to create a complete side seam, be sure to tape the pocket piece in place on the pattern before you cut, so your muslin will have a full side seam.

Some figures require the addition of extra length in the back, beyond what simply adding to the waist seam allowance can provide. You’ll know you’re in this…

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Fit and Sew Pants

Fit and Sew Pants

Making your own pants is a great way to get a perfect fit, every time. 

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