Thursday, May 13, 2004


I cut out the pants from view B of the Kwik Sew 3040 pattern last night. I used plain 'ole muslin. I bought a bolt of the stuff from and used a 40% off coupon so it was pretty reasonable. I figured it was better than buying muslin in 3-5 yard pieces and ending up with short remnants. I also figured that having a bolt of muslin would spur me on to make more muslins and thus try more patterns. Fitting is the most difficult part of sewing, I think. Patterns that boast "Fast and Easy" and "1 hour" or "2 hour" sewing really do a disservice to new sewers. The garments often don't have darts or shaping of any kind. How is an ill-fitting garment going to encourage a new sewer to sew a second garment?

I didn't make any adjustments to the pattern, just traced off a size L and cut it out. This pattern has 5/8" seam allowances so that gives me a little bit of wiggle room. I thought all Kwik Sew patterns had 1/4 inch seam allowances so I was surprised to see this one didn't. Perhaps because it's for a woven fabric.

I hope to find a little time to baste the seams together. If by some miracle it fits, I'll practice making a zipped fly and go ahead and put one in.

I tried on my Kenneth King pants moulage recently and was surprised to see that it fit. I took his class a few years ago, when The Sewing Place still had their B&M store. The class cost a few hundred dollars but was well worth it. I actually took two classes, one to make the moulage and one to make trousers. In the moulage class we drafted a pattern based on our measurements: waist, hip, crotch depth, inseam. Then we sewed up the pattern, which had just front and back darts and a zipper fly, in muslin and KDK checked each one of our muslins for fit. Nearly everyone had to make adjustments. He had a really cool way of pinning out the excess and transferring the changes to the pattern. Then I made a second muslin to check the revised moulage pattern. It's this muslin that I tried on recently - I've lost weight since the class so rather than having no ease, like a moulage should, there is now wiggle room and I think they could work to make pants from directly. In the trouser class we started with the moulage pattern we made and added ease, pockets and pleats. KDK loves pleats. He also loves button flies. I almost finished the trousers in the class. The waistband, hem and buttons are all that remain, but the trousers are much too big now since my weight loss. I also don't like how they look. The pleats are much too voluminous and I don't like the button fly. It's a shame because the fabric was really cool. It's a rayon blend that I bought for only $2.40 from a long time ago - in fact it was one of my first purchases from them. KDK even liked the fabric and wanted to know where I bought it. The fabric wasn't that easy to work with though and unraveled like crazy.

I really should dig out the moulage pattern - I must have it somewhere - and make a test pair of pants straight from it. But at the very least I should compare it to the Kwik Sew 3040 and maybe a Burda WOF pants pattern. I know it's delusional to expect that the Kwik Sew pants will just miraculously fit me. My problem area is my hips. They're a bit wide - or my waist is small. I have to try on lots and lots of RTW pants before I find a pair that won't pull across my hips yet fit in the waist.

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