Pants Drafting: At Last – A Finished Wearable Pair

 At Last – A Wearable Pair of Shorts!

Here they are.  I had my husband take the photos outside hoping for more light.  With more light you get more shadow so the pics are both good and bad.  I had been wearing them throughout the day and they are a bit wrinkled but overall this is the best fit I have achieved ever in sewing pants for myself.    

Final Pants Draft: Front View

Final Pants Draft: Side View

Final Pants Draft: Back View. This picture is all bum. I had to laugh. Believe it or not this is the most modest rendition as any other size crop left too much bare skin exposed.

These shorts are not perfect.  There is some seamstress-y stuff like a tiny pucker at my lapped zipper but overall I was very pleased.  They fit better than most store-bought. The photos show deeper folds than are apparent in real life.  (I am starting to understand why we look ten pounds heavier in a photo, every minor shadow in our clothing is magnified.)


I had remnant of navy gabardine.  I’m thankful that shorts take so little fabric as good quality gabardine can be pricey.  Alas, this was just JoAnn’s run of the mill stuff, but now that I have a working pants pattern my mind is opening up to new possibilities,  like the RTW-alike quality men’s trouserweight available at a nearby family-owned fabric store.

 Zero Waistband Wearing Ease

Who Knew!?

The waistband now fits as I took out the wearing ease.  Knowing how uncomfortable a too tight band is on a plus size torso, I was concerned about this adjustment.  In the past I have added to the waistband area, unconscious that I was ensuring a poor fit.  Contrary to my instincts less wearing ease is crucial in certain areas.

Sway Back or Back Chub

When I turn I can see a tiny gap in the pants at my sway back, but it is minimal and the pants no longer risk falling off.  I will warn you, pattern drafting will lay bare any body-type denial you may have previously entertained.  To my consternation, even though I made the proper sway back alteration, it isn’t only a sway back causing that little gap.  My back chub stand away from the spine, the swell of the chub creating a larger dip at the spine that isn’t technically part of my sway back issue. I will have to live with it or lose the chub. 

Any More Alterations?

My only future alteration is to slightly slant out the side seams as straight shorts are not as flattering to me as those with a flare. 

Anything else I do will not alter the pattern but simply add stylistic features such as pockets, or change up darts for pleats.   I am eager to pull out scraps to practice welt pockets excited that for the first time in my sewing experience I have a pattern that will allow me to make a custom pair of dress slacks.

The End of the Body Shots

A Sigh of Relief.

Seeing and posting for the world to see, such detailed close-ups of my torso has been hard for me.  In real life I deliberately choose clothing that allows me to selectively ignore this part of my body.  Undergoing the pattern drafting process has brought me more in touch with the realities of my figure.  I know other sewers struggle with pants fitting and I wanted my readers to see the reality, and that called for photos on a live model.  Putting delicacies aside I posted the real-life photos of my muffin-top, Buddha-belly and bubble-butt for the all world to see.  

—-And I promised myself I would stop when this was all over.—–

Those of you who post photos of yourselves wearing the outfits, I admire you and envy how put together you look.  But for me, I am returning to my favorite model – Millie Mannequin.  Her figure is so nice, make-up is never an issue, her time is at my disposal, and she is possessed of endless patience, standing for hours on end letting me poke pins into her.

Millie Mannequin: Sew Store-Bought Top Model.

It’s hard not to like her.  

She is a bit wobbly, (there’s been talk!), and her center bar is prone to collapse her torso to the floor without warning, (a condition seen as confirming all those salacious suspicions.)  But then what friend doesn’t have a few faults.  To my shame, I have occasionally cussed her out over these minor failings, but she has always forgiven me forthwith – and reminds me that it is probably a good time to take a break 🙂

When undertaking a personal pattern drafting shots of the live model are key for illustrating fit and alterations.  When there is no other way I will post photos of myself, but for now, Millie officially returns as top model for Sew Store-Bought.

Next Post: Tuesday, June 15, 2010; A Review of the Book I used for the Pants Pattern Drafting


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