The Closet Case Patterns blogfest continues! (Yes, this is my third CCP post in a row, after three Jalie patterns in a row… next up will be a wildcard though!)
I made these Sasha trousers in April, and they have been in steady rotation since. Because my closet is so full, that really only means they’ve been worn once a month, but I enjoy them every time! They are both made with a lightweight stretch denim.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you won’t be surprised that I made them into pull-on elastic waist trousers! I first wrote about pull-on trousers in 2012, and started sewing them in 2013. One of my most popular posts is about how to insert a stretch waistband onto any stretch pant or skirt, and that’s still the method I use today. I get indigestion any time I wear pants with a non-stretch waistband, so I’m all stretch, all the time.
Here’s what is going on up top: I sew the pants as normal, including the darts and pockets if I want them. (I wanted these pairs to be sleek to wearing with longer tops, so I skipped pockets all together.) You could do a faux fly, but I never do. Instead, I use part of the fly extension fabric to give myself a little full tummy curve in the front seam.
Next, as you can read in my tutorial, I cut a rectangle of matching fabric with the same circumference as the top of the pants, sew the short ends,and zig zag in a shorter length of elastic. I pull tighter at the back and stretch it less at the front, so the waistband will hug my figure in the right places! I serge the whole thing in, and voila, pull on pants!
Now, it isn’t an exact science, and after wearing these a bit, I decided the elastic needed to be tighter to keep them high on my waist. I did my favourite lazy fix, and stitched a tuck in the waistband elastic and waistband. You can see it on the green pair above, but it’s also on the blue pair as well. Honestly, I’ve done this on a fair number of knit dresses over the years, and it’s not as noticeable as you’d think – especially because no one but my blog readers is ever going to see the top of these trousers!
Here’s the thing: I think these are really well fitting pants. I’m always happy with CCP pants, because I think the crotch curve and side shaping really works for a figure like mine. I made a few minor adjustments, like scooping the crotch curves slightly and a knock-knee adjustment, but these blue ones are my first ever muslin, and they are a-ok in my books!
BUT – (Butt?) – what drew me to the Sashas first is that I see so many versions with a perfect slim fit and minimal leg wrinkles. Check out the hashtag on IG to see what I mean, or the model pictures on the CCP website.
My question is: Can pants ever fit that like on a plus-size figure? I have a pronounced low hip curve but also a high hip curve, with a dip in between where my hip joint is. I have 11″ different between my waist and hips. The bigger ones leg is, the more curvy the line is between thigh and knee and calf and ankle. Plus on me, all of this is happening on a leg with a 29″ inseam, so there isn’t much room to fit in all those curves!
I worried more about fit when I first started sewing pants than I do now. When I look at these pictures, yes, I see pull-lines and wrinkles and poses where my crotch curve doesn’t look perfect, but I also see something as good or better than what RTW has ever looked like on me. As Heather says in her fitting post/pep talk about Sashas, “Saying “Good enough” (and then maybe trying to improve a little the next time around) will mean enjoying your clothes and this hobby a lot more.”
I worry, though, that pants fitting is where expert resources have left the plus-size community high and dry, which means that sewists my size and larger don’t see examples of what “perfect fit” looks like. What would good fit look like on me, and how close am I? The Curvy Sewing Collective has lots of resources and reviews on pants, some of which I’ve written, but have we ever seen a pattern designer or expert really talk about how to fit modern slim stretch pants to a curvy figure? Let me know below if there is a book or class I’m missing, because I’m all ears!
In the meantime, I like this pattern a lot, and I feel great in my trousers! I wore the blue ones yesterday with this topper and I’m modelling the teal ones as promised with a RTW blazer I thrifted at the time I was sewing them pants. I had a blue one as well, but I gave it to my sister. Sorry you don’t get to see two matching “suits”!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on plus-size pants fitting – what are the best resources? Is it possible to get a wrinkle-free fit on a curvy figure? Who could we ask to make more resources from an expert point of view about fitting slim stretch pants to a larger figure?