The pants muslin fits! The pants muslin fits! That deserved to be said twice. I am totally blown away that they actually fit. Can't you tell? Even my husband understood what a good thing this is! Pants are most definitely the hardest garment to fit for me - even with RTW I end up trying on about a dozen before finding something that will work. So did I cut out and sew up a bunch of pants with this wonderful pattern? Nope. I hoped for a streak of luck and traced off the short version of the Manhattan Skirt by Textile Studio. My luck didn't quite hold out. But first, about the pattern tracing.
I used the soil separator fabric that other sewists at www.patternreview.com rave about for use in tracing patterns. The stuff actually worked well. It's flimsier than I thought it would be but it was much more pleasing to work with than crinkly tissue paper. I didn't realize how annoying the tissue paper had been until I worked with something quiet! The roll is 36", which is quite wide and at $15 for 150' it is much cheaper than the pattern paper I buy through Nancy's Notions, which is $7 for a 21"x77' roll. Due to the width, I was able to lay out all the pattern pieces at once. I like to use colored pencils when I trace on the pattern paper because the pencils are softer and thus glide easier plus I could color code sizes, pattern pieces, or alterations if I wanted. However the colored pencils didn't work very well on the soil separator fabric. I found that a regular ball point pen did the job but because all I had was black and the pattern lines were black it was tough to see if I'd already traced a line. I think I will purchase some different colored pens or see if I can at least dig up a red one. I wouldn't dare use a felt tip pen or sharpie - the fabric is rather thin and the marker would bleed through for sure. One surprise is that the soil separator fabric sort of "stuck" to the pattern pieces. It didn't really adhere, but I guess because of the fibrous quality, it was rough enough to not shift once I placed it over the pattern I was tracing. I didn't really need to use weights! I also found this to be the case when I went to cut out the muslin, however on my fashion fabric I will be more careful and use the weights to prevent any mistakes. Since many of the pattern lines of this skirt are straight, I simply used my quilting ruler to aid in drawing/cutting the lines. Another bonus is that the soil separator fabric cuts much easier with my rotary cutter. I found that with the pattern paper, I had to pre-cut my traced patterns otherwise the rotary cutter got bogged down cutting both paper and fabric. Perhaps the paper dulled the blade or it was dull to begin with but I always had problems unless I cut out the entire traced pattern ahead of time. With the soil separator fabric I don't have to and this is a huge time saver!
I eagerly sewed up the skirt muslin and tried it on. Too tight! Well, I should have expected this because my hips measure one inch more than the pattern size. I don't know why I didn't take this into account when I traced the pattern. I guess after my pants victory I was eager for another win and wasn't thinking. I let the side seams out 1/4" on each side - better but still a bit too tight. It might be ok because I'm using cotton lycra (pattern calls for a stretch woven), but if my hips are 1" larger than the pattern size I cut out, then I'd need to add 1/2" to each side seam, now wouldn't I? Since I really want to wear the skirt and like the fabric I'm going to use, I think I'll add the 1/2" and take in if necessary.
But yeah! The pants muslin fit! The pants muslin fit!