I finished the second muslin for my trousers yesterday – it was actually the FIRST muslin of Simplicity 2562, after having tried out Butterick 5221. I’ve added the new muslin to the pants lineup below…
really like the shape of the legs!
the side view is alright, not my favorite, though.
the back is the most troubling – lots of folds!

All in all, I really do like the results and am tempted to just go on to the actual pants and not do another muslin. I really, really liked the ‘amazing fit’ features of the simplicity pattern – mainly that there are 1 inch seam allowances in the center back and side seams to allow for better fitting and there are pretty good directions (and drawings) for what to do if things aren’t fitting right. There’s something about the way that the pattern pieces fit together for trousers that completely confuses me as to what seam needs tinkering with to get the fit right!

I did make quite a few adjustments – unfortunately I was camera lazy yesterday, so there are no before/after shots of the problem areas, but I did take some pictures of the changes I made and can go through those!

But first! The pattern adjustments!
Before I even cut the fabric for the muslin, I did make a few pattern adjustments. These pants run up to size 22 and I needed to grade up 4″ in the waist and 5″ in the hip. I was concerned that if I just added to the waist and hip area, I’d lose the line of the legs, so I just cut the leg patterns vertically (from hem to waist) and added 1″ of wax paper evenly from top to bottom to add 4″ to the width of the entire pattern. I knew that this wasn’t quite enough for the hips, but figured with the wider seam allowances, I could tinker once I got the pattern pieces put together. I also added 1″ to the waistband pieces. Finally, for the muslin I skipped the pockets, taping the yoke piece to the front pattern piece so it was the right shape. I will probably not add pockets to the final pants either, they just don’t look very good!

The first tweak – too tight across the hips!!
After I finished the muslin and tried it on, the first problem area was general tightness right across the hips – not surprisingly, since I knew I was around an inch short. It was pulling a bit and a little uncomfortable. I re-sewed the side seams starting right at the top of my thighs and going up to the waistband. The original seam was 1 inch and I sewed with a 5/8 seam allowance, adding an inch and a half total.

Adding 1.5 inches to the side seams

I tried on the muslin again and it was still feeling a little tight across the back, so I added a bit to the center back seam – starting right where the back starts curving towards the waist, and angling back in below the waistband. You can see how there’s a sort of a curve added right in the back (the blue line) – which, unfortunately, is the way I’m shaped!

adding to the centerback seam

The second tweak – adding ease to the seat of the trousers
After making this change, the hips felt like they were fitting much better, but there was still some tightness in the seat of my pants. After going over the instructions, I resewed the ‘back crotch’ seam at 3/8″ (the original was 5/8″) to add a little room. I started right where my resewn centerback seam ended and ended the new seam at the intersection of the center and inseams.

adding ease to the seat of the pants

All the changes feel better, but still not perfect. And you can see in the ‘back view’ above that there are a lot of wrinkles happening!

The final tweak – removing the bagginess from the front of the trousers
The final adjustment I made on this muslin was a MAGIC ONE!! I always have a problem with sagginess/looseness right in the front crotch area – I think it’s because a lot of my extra inches are in the back, not the front, so in order to get pants that fit well across the seat, I end up with too much fabric in the front. I’ve never really known how to fix that, but the Simplicity instructions suggested resewing the inseams the full length 1/8″ at a time. I didn’t really want to lose width the whole length of the leg, so I resewed the inseam at 1/2″ (original seam was 5/8″) starting right at the top of each leg and angling to meet the original stitchline about 6″ down the leg. It really made a world of difference!

removing the bagginess from the front of the trousers

 OK. I’ve clearly got another muslin in my future. I’m fairly certain that there’s something more that needs to be done with the crotchline – either dropping the whole thing or scooping out from the back… we’ll see….

patty brower

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