Trouser Muslins and Sewing Plans

Making trousers seems to cause quite a few of us some grief as they are not easy to fit.  Mind you, buying RTW causes even more grief sometimes - and I am happier sitting quietly at home solving fitting problems than being in a noisy shopping environment.

I have plenty of trousers to get me by which means I can take my time with making trousers that I want to make. 

The first pair I want to make are Kwik Sew 3853.  I have made a pair of Kwik Sew pants before, but being a novice, the fit was not that good.  Strangely though, I wear them quite a bit around the house for doing the chores as they are comfortable and I like them more than my old RTW house pants.

Kwik Sew 3853
I like the front of these pants - they are quite roomy, but then they are in the photo as well.  I cut size Small for most of the trousers and just cut a little large on the waist.  (I'm looking fed up in these photos because I was fed up with never ending muslins with not a solution in site - but you all know now that my pants story has a happy ending.

The back is disappointing on me.  The legs are far too big and baggy.  I suspect I should go down to the extra small and just add a little extra at the waist. 

Nancy Zieman says that pants/trouser patterns are always too baggy in the leg and to go down a size smaller than your measurements suggest - and I think this picture proves she is right.  (Book: Pattern Fitting with Confidence).

I am going to go back to this pattern and quickly redo with making alterations in leg and crotch area - I won't invest too much time, as my first pair of trousers will only be made from cheap cotton drill.  If the alterations work, and the pant looks good, I'll make a pair in soft corduroy going into next winter.

The next muslin I made up was form Kwik Sew patterrn 3363.

Kwik Sew 3363

My face again says it all :).  Muslin fatigue ! I like these pants but there is some pulling across the tummy area.  I need to work out why - I don't usually have this problem.  Horizontal wrinkles usually indicate tightness somewhere - but again, I have never had this problem with any other trouser pattern, or RTW pants.

Kwik Sew Front

The back of this Kwik Sew pattern is not too bad - especially compared with other Kwik Sew pattern I am trialling.

Kwik Sew Back
However, as you all saw yesterday, I can do better:

A retweaked pattern
I achieved this by using my original SureFit crotch shape. For those of you that have not heard of the SureFit Pattern System, it is a simple to use system to draw basic slopers to your own measurements.  I attempted to draw a few blocks in January, but when I get something new to play with, I usually just work out it the system works before investing a lot of energy into pursuing it (I'm not an ABC linear learner, but an immersive visual-spatial  learner).   I still struggled with getting the crotch depth right, but I have discovered that the crotch shape works better:

What I didn't like about the Surefit system was how huge the legs were - just look at the fabric hanging in the inner leg - these look like little culottes, not trousers.

However, now I have more trouser knowledge (these muslins teach you something), I will be able to rectify that - so in due course, I will have another attempt at using the SureFit system using better measurements and more diligence :).

And some of you have asked about my experimental crotch curve - yes, I did use that in my retweaked crotch.  I used a combination of Surefit Crotch Shape, and using the size 6 crotch depth.

SureFit Crotch Curve overlaid on retweaked pants crotch

  And - then checked with my experimental crotch curve - and guess what?  Almost perfect match .

My Experimental Crotch Curve.

 I'll be retweaking the crotch a little more by taking out a little more front - Janine  suggested with a comment yesterday that dropping the crotch a bit may solve the last of the problems.

So, that is my pants fitting story so far.  Next week I hope to be making progress on Kwik Sew 3853, the pleated front pants. There are pleated front pants with narrow legs on the catwalk for Autumn Winter 2014 - so I have time to practice this pattern via a muslin, summer wearable muslin, and then pin wale corduroy for the "real thing".

I also will make up the wide leg Kwik Sew Pant in a linen or chambray for summer - Armani had really nice wide leg pants - some with pleats. I'll do the flat front for now as it will still give the same effect.

Sarah Liz :)


  1. Oh Sarah Liz - what a work... however I agree making more and more muslin help to understand the fitting issues and construction and corrections. It is so dificult to do this alone. I will take a break from my trousers... for a while ;-)

    1. Hi, yes I understand the need for a break from trousers - I did that for a while, but decided this week to think about what I might want to make :)

  2. It is truly a learning curve Sarah. It takes time, but you are almost getting the fit you desire. Maybe moving away from this project for a bit will give you a fresh perspective when you return. m.

    1. I tend to be a problem solver - so I find I just incubate while doing the ironing - I also don't just focus on trousers but do other simple garments in between :)

  3. Your persistence is nothing short of remarkable. You are certainly on your way to the perfect fit.

  4. Hi Sarah! I am enjoying your post and thank you for showing us all the details. I am going to make a trouser in the future, I hope I can make it:)

    I am sure you will make a great fitting trouser:)

    1. Of course you will be able to Hana - you've made gorgeous shorts already - they are little trousers - so you can already do the top bit:)

  5. Sarah Liz, I'm so impressed with your patience in getting the fit right on your trousers. I'm sure I would have given up by now!

    1. Sometimes I do give up Sam, then a few weeks later go back to trying again - maybe I'm a slow learner :)

  6. Oh and you also try different types of trousers at once! You are amazing. I'm afraid I'd never have that patience... But I'm sure I'll try trousers some day, and then I can use your experience for reference, I'm certain it's going to be very helpful :)

  7. Yes, I play around with ideas and then work out what I want to pursue and in what fabric, or what pattern will work, and which is not worth the effort. Or what will work with modification.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Just a Blog Post

SarahLizSewStyle Update

2018 Make a Garment A Month Guidelines