Monday, 28 May 2012

Zumba Pants...

Garment Sewing Challenge: May 2012

This month I've joined in the I Will Wear it in Public Garment Sewing Challenge, hosted by Rikka, from Ricochet and Away. This challenge was just the motivation I needed to make something for me.

Not long ago, I said that I would make three tops for myself before the end of the year. Originally, I thought that my first top would be made as part of the I Will Wear it in Public Garment Sewing Challenge. Somewhere during the month, I totally changed my mind and decided to make myself a pair of pants to wear to Zumba.

I knew exactly the design I wanted. I already have a couple of pairs of Lorna Jane 3/4 Flashdance Pants. However, as it's nearly Winter here, I wanted my new pants to be full length.


New Look 6055 was as close as I could find to the pants I wanted. Obviously I wouldn't be wearing my new pants with high heels. I found a black stretch cotton poplin, made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex.


The first modification I made to the pattern was to add knee pleats for ease of movement. This simply meant adding four small pleats at the knee: two on either seam at the front.




Next up were the pockets, where I added a line of blue topstitching. When doing the first pocket, my machine skipped a couple of stitches. Had I been using black thread, it wouldn't have been seen, but being blue, it was very obvious. I already had a ball point needle as the fabric was slightly stretchy. When sewing with bias binding a while ago, readers related experiences of changing the needle fixing a myriad of problems. So I changed the needle to a new ball point and the problem was fixed. 




Part of the sewing challenge was to attempt something new to us. My flashdance pants have flat felled seams, so of course I wanted these on my new pants. This was perfect, as I had never attempted flat felled seams before.


The New Look pattern used a regular seam. I have no idea what you call the seam that is most used on garments. Can anybody help me out with the correct name? 


A quick Google search and I found a great tutorial by oliver + s. Flat felled seams appeared to be easy enough to do. Begin by sewing a seam with the wrong sides of the fabric together. Why did I then sew the fabric with right sides together? Of course, I sewed the length of the leg before I discovered my mistake. Hmmm... black thread on black fabric at night is VERY hard to unpick. I was too impatient to wait till daylight, so I decided to have my flat felled seam on the inside of the pants, instead of the outside. And it worked!!! It looks fine and as the fabric is thin, it's not noticeable when wearing.


Having done one flat felled seam on the inside, of course meant doing the other leg seam the same way. I still hadn't successfully mastered a new technique. When it came to sewing the two fronts together and the two backs together, I made sure I sewed my flat felled seam, beginning with the wrong sides together... a successful flat felled seam


The next modification to the pattern was to add a waistband from stretch ribbing and elastic, instead of the same fabric as the rest of the pants.

I also added a band of stretch ribbing to the bottom of the legs, instead of sewing a cuff with a button, as in the pattern.


I was a bit lazy and didn't add a flap to the external pockets.


I wore my pants to a class this afternoon. So... I have worn my garment in public. We had fun taking these shots before the class.


These are the most comfortable pants I have worn to Zumba. However, I'm not totally happy with them. When I first put them on at home, my immediate reaction was... clown pants. Compared to my old pants, they felt and looked too large, both width wise and from waist to crotch. Folding the waistband over has solved the latter problem and funnily enough, it hasn't altered the comfort.


Before cutting my fabric, I took my measurements and chose which size to make accordingly. I'm usually quite lazy with multi sized patterns and just fold the tissue paper to the correct size and pin it to the fabric. This time I decided I'd transfer the tissue paper pattern to a thicker paper in my size. I don't remember where I saw this, but I put the tissue paper on top of my paper and used a pin through the tissue to mark the cutting line. Worked like a charm.


Once I had my pattern cut out, I measured it against my old pants. Allowing for seams, it appeared like the sizing would be OK, except for the length, which is always too long. I adjusted the pattern and set off sewing.


Well... something went wrong, because the pants are much wider than expected and the waist to crotch was way out. Perhaps it's just me comparing them to my old pants. Perhaps they're meant to be that wide. Next time I will go down two sizes and there will be a next time, as I purchased enough fabric to make another pair.

Since returning to sewing in recent times, I've found that any patterns from Simplicity, Butterick, etc are all sized too large. However, as I'd taken my measurements this time, I thought I'd be OK. When I sewed for myself many years ago, I didn't have problems with the sizing of patterns. How do you find pattern sizings? Is it just me? Am I too picky?


When I look at the pants in the photos, they don't look too bad. Perhaps it was just my expectations, thinking they'd be the same as my old pants.

I'm pleased I joined in the challenge!!! It's given me the push I needed to begin sewing for myself. Thanks Rikka, for hosting yet another fabulous challenge. I look forward to the next one...

... Pam

36 comments:

  1. Way to go, Pam! They look comfortable and sporty at the same time, very cool :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good for you, meeting your challenge! I do find that the big pattern companies seem to have a ton of built in ease...so much so, that it means going down a few sizes from what your measurements are. The few times I have sewn using Simplicity, Butterick, etc. patterns I check what the finished garment measurements are and use that to pick what size I sew.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great job Pam!! Trying to unpick the black on black at night does NOT sound like any fun!! I used a New Look Pattern too, my bodice came out a little big. I should have tried it on before sewed the top and bottom together. However I have no idea if that is just user error or something with the pattern.:)
    I love how your pants turned out. They look like they will be great to Zumba in!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your pants look great--good job! I hate pattern sizing and trying to find the right size. It doesn't work for everything, but I like to use a garment that I know fits to draft my own patterns.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I always have problems with pattern sizing, Pam. Measured myself last year for a skirt, made the appropriate size according to the pattern and I've just taken it in about two sizes!

    Your zumba pants look great - hope you get the sizing sorted for your next pair!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pam I think these pants looks awesome! The don't look too big or baggy and if the saggy crotch is bothering you, just adjust that next time. I think you need a bit of room in your pants, especially if you are doing the "Zumba", not that i know from experience ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great job!!!! These look super! I seriously need to follow your lead and sew something for myself too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. wow..your pants look fantastic..just like store bought..but better because you made them..how cool! I think they fit you pretty great and love to see you in action with the zumba class ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Our fellow challenge participant June also had trouble with her fit. I think Steph's previous comment about starting with a garment that you know fits is sound advice. However, from your photos you don't seem to be swimming inside those pants. The fit looks good to me. Congrats on learning something new and "making it work"!!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. They are great my daughter could do with some
    Please note my blog address has changed was constant crafter now http://dawnthecrafter.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love comfy clothes! Good job, and I like those moves!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your pants look great!
    Pattern sizing always confuses me! The last time I used a shop-bought pattern (for a corset/bodice of a costume, to be made in vinyl) I made a mock-up in cheap cotton first...and was glad I did, because it was huge!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great pants Pam! love all the action shots of you wearing them too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. they look fantastic!
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  15. looks great, Pam! i love the contrasting stitching

    ReplyDelete
  16. Pam I think your pants look great :-) I find pattern fitting really hit and miss and usually when I use fabric that is really special everything goes wrong with the fit. I just finished my second dress using a vogue pattern and whilst the first dress was a dream and fit beautifully I did some silly mistakes on the second one so instead of learning from the first attempt I went backwards somehow. Nothing like a challenge to get you going though.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well good for you, it's great to see you sewing for yourself! And taking Zumba, very impressive! I've only made one pair of pants for myself from a pattern and they were very baggy, but then, that was probably the style of the pattern anyway. It's hard to find the perfect pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congratulations on rising to the challenge! The pants look great on you, and very comfy. Thanks for linking up at Etcetorize~

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Always good seeing your blog, so inspiring and clear instructions. Ideas are great and brilliant. Would love to join your other linking if I have some more creations.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh Pam, they look wonderful. I'd never have been brave enough to choose contrasting cotton like that but the blue stitching looks great.. and they don't look too baggy at all in the pics!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congratulations on completing the challenge! I think the pants looks great! And thanks for introducing a new seam technique!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Awesome pam, they look great, I love the contrast stitching:)

    ReplyDelete
  24. These look great, Pam! I have done Zumba once and think that loose fitting pants would help with all the movement.

    I haven't sewn much with clothing patterns, though I do follow many blogs that do. I hear a lot about how much ease is built into a pattern and if made to your measurements, you could be drowning in fabric. The pattern I used to make my top I had to resize, so I was able to make sure it would fit me with the right amount of ease. But then again, I also used knit fabric for a pattern designed for a woven. That may have made a difference in fit.

    ReplyDelete
  25. That is great and you did well. It is good for the winter; by wearing it, you can feel the warm. Thanks for sharing.

    wholesale miskeen

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love them!! Way to go on meeting your challenge! i've been wanting a pair for my zumba classes for awhile now, i guess i need to get on it. Thanks for the motivation!!

    PS I found you over at the "Mommy by Day Crafter by night" link up party

    ReplyDelete
  27. very cool. All you need now are a few bright colored tassles to add to the pockets. Was the elastic for the waist hard to deal with?

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think they look great. I cringed when I heard you say you did the entire seam the wrong way (well the right way, lol). I would have cried at that point but it is reassuring to think that professionals like you make these mistakes too. Glad you were able to work with it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think they looks great! I always work a litte on the fit w/ patterns too. I don't sew much for myself, and mostly it's skirts so I find them more forgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  30. That looks wonderful! They look so good and comfy!

    x Lana
    lanared.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Pam!! These are great! I think you did such a fabulous job! I know you said they were huge, but they don't look it! I'm glad that rolling up the waist helped!

    ReplyDelete
  32. These are so cool, stopping by from the Hope Studios link party

    ReplyDelete
  33. these look great!! love the blue contrast stitching
    Thanks for linking up to Serenity Saturday

    Natasha xx

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is beautiful! i love the simple factor in this look!
    Leather Jackets

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I love reading your comments and try to reply to all of them via email.