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Making New Pants pt. 1

I hate searching around online and not finding what I want. After looking around and deciding that things were either too expensive or not what I wanted, I decided to just make my own shit. I haven't pulled out my sewing machine in a few months, but whatever...I'm pretty good at making stuff.

In this post, I'm going to go over everything up to sewing.

Click to see bigger images

I found a pattern I like - Burda 6101, style A. Bonus, it was 30% off when I picked it up over at Joann Fabric. The only thing that pisses me off with Burda patterns is that the sizing chart is printed on the pattern paper inside.

If you are not a person who sews or are completely new to sewing, just note that pattern size is NOT the size you currently wear. It's pretty structured across the board and is based on sizing. Measure yourself and find what matches up. After looking at the chart and the figure - these are pants so I need to know #3 and #4 - I need to opt for a 42 euro/16 us (my pants are size 8/10 typically).

List of More Stuff to Get (see back of envelope):

  • 2-1/2 yards if 45" wide or 2-1/4 yards if 55" wide of fabric with stretch content

  • Interfacing (picture of iron below suggests iron-on interfacing - I already have this)

  • 7" Zipper

  • Pants flat hook and eye

  • Optional: Thread matching fabric if you don't have it already. Not listed, but implied.

People, I'm down to wearing 2 pairs of stretchy athleisure pants that are starting to fall apart. I had a pair of jeans that were awesome, but fell apart. So these pants are a little important. lol I actually have a pair of jeans on the way, but I want a second pair of trousers. I do a TON of window shopping online; I pin a lot of stuff to pinterest. I just don't get myself that stuff.

For these pants, I'm thinking maybe a stretchy jacquard or something. In the 90s, you could easily find jacquard pants and now it's a rare find. I always thought they were cool.

No stretchy jacquard at the fabric store right now. Bummer.

This is what I picked up. This shiny black polyester fabric with a pretty nice stretch to it. Its going to be a fabric that ravels easily, but I can work with it. Also, picked up a 7" zipper and hook and eyes. I only found small ones, so I might have to use 2 of them.

One thing I always do with fabric is toss it into the wash on a speed cycle just to get it seated. Nothing is worse than making something awesome, washing it once, and having it torque. If the fabric is going to move, it will move with that first washing.

If you're new to sewing, cut out all the pattern pieces on the outermost edge. Doesn't matter what size you're planning on using. Cut out the outermost edge. You might end up needing to make a larger or smaller size in the future. Don't fuck up your pattern by ONLY cutting out the size you want to use.

Picture: (left) Pointing to an outermost edge at the crotch of the pants. (right) Showing you that I cut the outermost edge of everything.

Now that you have your pattern fully cut out, look at the information that comes with the pattern. There are different pattern layouts for what you're making. The fabric I am using has a 2-way stretch (left - right). Since I'm making pants, I want this to stretch across my hips so when I sit down my seams don't rip out, also comfort! The length of the fabric has no stretch. If you check out your pattern it will note grain of fabric (center of the pattern pieces). This is so you don't get wonky pieces that move differently. Also, if something says 2x or 1x or 4x, that is the amount you need to cut out of the fabric. Most patterns require 2x or 1x. Keep an eye out for anything that says "on fold" (typically waistbands). That goes on the folded edge of the fabric.

As you can see in the photos, I folded the edges of the pattern pieces to the size I want to use, then pinned them to the fabric. Use the pattern layouts unless you know what you're doing. Get everything pinned before you cut.

Pictures: (left) Close up of edge being folded at the size I'm using. (right) All my pieces are laid out, pinned, and I've started to cut my shit out.

Once you cut everything out, keep it pinned. KEEP IT PINNED! At this point, we can do what I call "bagging it up". I toss everything into a grocery bag - left over fabric on the bottom, the pattern envelope, and my pattern pieces - which I usually fold into a pile. If you want to take a sewing break, this is a good time for it. After this, it's all construction baby!

Keep an eye out for Part 2, where I go over the construction of your fabric pieces. Here's a hint: Your pattern comes with instructions if you want to just get to it.

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