a: Test the pattern in muslin
to make sure the pattern
fits well. 

Here are the steps involved in preparing to sew pants

1. If you are using a new pattern for the first time, even before you buy the fabric, test the pattern in muslin. Then either look in a three-way mirror to see the fit in the back of the pants, or as a trusted friend to tell you have they look. You can also have your friend take a picture of the back of the pants to make sure they fit well (diagram a).

b: Lay the pants out on the cutting table to determine how much
fabric will be needed. 

2. Determine how much fabric you will need to cut the pants. Lay all of the patterns the same direction. This presents the possibility of shading in the finished garment. Sketch the layout on the front pant pattern.

d: Swatch the fabrics in a notebook.
Add the length and width of the
fabric and where it is stored.

c: Keeping swatches in a swatch book makes
it easy to prevent buying fabrics
you already have while in a fabric store .

3. Before buying the fabric, check fabrics that you already have. A good idea is to have your fabrics inventoried so you can quickly check without going through your stored fabrics.

Keeping swatches in a swatch book with the fabric’s width and length makes it easy to check the fabrics you already have (photo d).

Write the yardages on the front, needed to cut favorite patterns. Add your contact information so if lost the booklet can be easily returned (photo c).

4. Consider buying enough fabric (10 yards is a good length) to make not only the pants, but also a top such as a jacket or blouse depending on the fabric’s weight, and a skirt. This will provide an ensemble that matches, making it easy to put together a complete outfit whenever needed, for whatever occasion. Buy a color that matches your color palette. Ask other shoppers in the store if the fabric’s color is good for you. 

e: Check with an L-square to make
sure the fabric is on grain.
f. If the fabric is badly off grain, pin as shown and steam
toward the fold. Stop just before the fold so as not
to press a fold into the fabric.

g. Cut from right-to-left if right handed,
left-to-right if left handed.

5. Prepare the fabric. Check with an L-square that the fabric is on grain (diagram e).

6. If the fabric is badly off grain pin then press as shown in diagram f.

8. Lay the fabric as determined by the previous layout. Refer to the sketch on the front pant pattern (diagram b).

9.  Cut the pants. Cut from right-to-left if right handed, left-to-right if left handed. This way the eyes are always the same distance from the shears. Slide the shears on the table as you cut (diagram g).

More about sewing pants next week.

Diagrams for this post are from
The Basics for Sewing Pants and Skirts.

Your comments are most welcome – Laurel

If interested in reading more posts about fashion technology, please consider adding your name to this blog’s circles. Please consider following me on Facebook where I post links to fashion feeds and other fashion related topics.

Look for the article about seam allowance modification that I wrote for Threads Magazine. It will be in their 199 issue that will be on the newsstands in late August (2018). 


Phone: 215 884 7065

© Laurel Hoffmann, 2018. 

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