Friday, April 16, 2010

My first pants

I turned in the pants for my apparel construction class on Wednesday. This was the first time I made a pair of pants. It was not an easy project. I usually make a few practice items before the one I turn in, but for this project I did not have time to do so. All I could fit in was one extra muslin, but even that little bit helped a lot.

My pants are not great, but for a first attempt I think I did a good job. The pants fit well, but I will probably never wear them. I did not make back pockets. The requirements for the project were front pockets, fly front with zipper, and waist band. I put a back pocket in one of my muslins, and was very bad. I found making pants difficult enough and I did want to risk mangling the pants with a poorly made back pocket.

Belt loops were not required, but I added them to my pants. Wearing a belt during my final fit gave me a little wiggle room in the waist size. I did not like my pattern for belt loops or their placement, so I designed my own loops and put them where I like. My pattern called for me to make belt loops by sewing a thin tube of fabric. Turning the tube was too difficult, so I wanted to find a different method. I examined a few pairs of pants and found that belt loops are commonly made by folding a piece of fabric and covering the raw edge with a coverstitch. I do not have access to a coverstitch machine, but I do have a double needle for my lockstitch. The double needle is not as good, but for belt loops it is good enough.

I used matching color thread for the pants. The contrasting thread was used here for contrast.

The fly front was the most difficult part of the project. It took me a lot of time to finish, and my seam ripper saw a lot of action. My finished fly is not great, but it works and there are no exposed unfinished edges. My instructor warned the class that the waist band would also be quite difficult, but I found it easy. The method I use to attach sleeve cuffs worked well for the waist band. The bottom hem, while easy, proved to be a time consuming process. The hem had to be hand stitched. Had I done it at home rather than in lab with all my classmates to distract me I would have needed less time, but working in lab is a lot more fun.

I used one of the computerized machines for my buttonhole. Last semester as I was working on shirts I wrote about how easy it was to use my home machine to make buttonholes. Compared to the school machines, my home machine seems overly complicated and difficult. The buttonhole feet at school have a special slot into which I insert a button, and this tells the machine how big to make the hole. At home I must measure the length of the hole myself and hope I get it right. On my home machine I must stop after each part of the hole and change the setting on my machine. At school I just hit the gas pedal and let the machine do all the work. The school machines even give me a choice of a few different types of holes. I made a keyhole buttonhole for my pants. It almost seems too easy. Sewing should require more effort.

Muslin Muslin Pants

1 comment:

  1. I got my pants back today. Out of 20 possible points I received 19. I lost one point for some problems with the fly. My instructor had some concerns about the seam finishes on the inseam, but the problem was not serious enough to affect my grade. I used the serger to finish the seams, and I should have trimmed away more of the seam allowance. I finished it close to the seam line, but in a few places it should have been closer. I'll do better next time.