I ordered gray cotton stretch twill to make another pair of Itch to Stitch Mountain View pull-on jeans. The idea being that on my second go-round I would have the advantage of learning from my mistakes from the first pair. My two main problems were cutting the fabric with the stretch up and down instead of across the body, and twisting legs. Despite these mistakes I have worn the olive green pants lots, and the only thing that bothers me about them is that they slip down a bit. To fix that problem I am making the second pair with a higher rise, and with tighter elastic.
So how did I do this time around? Will this be mistakes part 2?
I cut the pant pieces very carefully, measuring to keep the grainlines straight, with the stretch in the right direction, and in a single layer.
I did this in an effort to eliminate twisting of the legs. I believe the twisting was caused by the back and front outer seams being different lengths causing me to twist the legs as I sewed them. But the extra steps couldn’t hurt.
I also referred to this pattern review post and especially the diagram about balanced pants.
I had to piece the pockets to cut all the pattern pieces from 2 yards of fabric, and topstitched a simple design that well with the seam. I used a lighter gray all-purpose thread for the topstitching.
I like this pants pattern because instead of having a bunchy elastic waist they are smooth and flat, and hold my stomach in while being comfortable. I also enjoy the actual sewing of the pattern; the instructions are good and making them is just complex enough to be satisfying, and easy enough for me to sew well.
And this time I decided to change the back waist to knit ribbing, and used the navy I had on hand.
This time I couldn’t pull up my pants!!
I learned the number one thing to know about working with stretch woven fabric: test the stretch percentage.
I ordered fabric with the same description from the same vendor as my olive green fabric, but while the olive has 30-40% stretch, the gray has only 10%. When I received the gray twill, I thought it felt different, but ignored the sewing “red flags”. The pattern states the fabric needs to have between 20% and 30% stretch. I used the Megan Neilsen guide for calculating the stretch.
After I added the waistband, the pants couldn’t get over my hips. I thought about adding panels to the side waist, but then realized the length of the waistband has to stay roughly the same to sew onto the pants. The stretchy knit ribbing I used for the back waistband worked, to my relief. I don’t wear my shirts tucked in, so it doesn’t show. Luckily, the pants legs are slim but not skinny tight, so I can move in them, although they’re not as comfy as my stretchier pair.
I plan to make a shorts version for the summer, and a denim version eventually.
For me, there is a lot of problem solving in sewing. I’m able to get through projects faster now that I’m better at figuring out solutions. Do you find that you are always having to solve problems in your sewing or in your craft ?