This week on the sew-along we’re talking about making a muslin of your pants or overalls before you cut into your fashion fabric. Here is our sage advice on this topic:
A muslin is something you never regret making. Not making a muslin is something you often regret.
I made one, as you see here, and while I was happy with most of the fit, the muslin helped me see that I needed to narrow the fit in the thigh area. I altered my pattern tissue to reflect this, and now hopefully I won’t need to fiddle with this area when I make my real pants.
This week in the sew-along we’re talking about style inspiration and suitable fabrics for M7547. I know many of you were thinking “Hmm, I’m not so sure the high-waist pants or overalls look is for me.” And I have to admit initially I had the same thought. But then I made a muslin of the flare pants, and readers, I like them on me!
Let’s talk about suitable fabrics first. I made my muslin (View A, above) out of a lightweight cotton sateen with Lycra, and I was hoping this version would turn into a wearable muslin. While I do think they’re cute, I felt the fabric was too lightweight and would probably crease more than I like. So I’m making my “real” version from a floral stretch cotton twill I bought at the former Chic Fabrics in the garment district. It’s a little more substantial than the cotton sateen but lighter in weight than a denim.
Because this pattern is designed to have a close fit in the hip area, I strongly recommend you choose a woven fabric with Lycra in it. That bit of stretch will make wearing these pants more comfortable, I promise. Fabrics that work well for either the overalls or the pants include:
Jacquards with Lycra
bottomweight fabrics with Lycra
suitings with Lyrca
For your sewing inspiration we’ve created a Pinterest board filled with RTW styles to borrow:
More RTW style inspiration:
• • • • •
A couple of sew-along notes: One, if you are ready to cut out your pattern, cut the waistband piece 1-2 inches longer than the pattern piece. This is not a mistake in the pattern—this is just a personal suggestion from me to make your sewing easier. When the instructions have you attach the waistband to the pants, we specify easing the pants to fit the waistband. If you make your waistband longer you don’t need to bother with easing and this step will be a lot faster and easier.
Two, we just created a Sew-Along group on Facebook for this. Joining the Facebook group is not necessary to participate in the sew-along, but I think the people who do join find it makes sewing together a lot more fun and personable. It’s a great way to make new sewing friends.
Next week: Amanda will be talking about sewing a muslin to assess fit. Stay tuned!
It’s sew-along time! Each spring for our sew-alongs we choose a pattern or style that’s a little more beginner-friendly, preferring to tackle the harder stuff in the fall. The past two springs we’ve done dresses—a wrap dress and a shirtdress. It’s about time we thought about sewing pants, right?! Joining us on this sew-along as co-host is the fabulous Amanda of Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing.
The main pattern we chose for this sew-along is McCall’s M7547. We like that it has four view options: overalls, short overalls, flare pants, and slim pants. You can choose to sew any of these. The pants:
have a side zipper (the “fly” you see in the illustrations is just decorative stitching)
are fitted through the hips and upper thigh
have a slim leg in View B
have a flare leg in View A
are high-waisted with the waistband sitting at the true waist
This is a really great pattern for those of you who are new to sewing, or who want to try pants for the first time or again. High-waisted pants are really on trend right now, and next week we’ll be sharing lots of style inspiration and fabric ideas. Plus, making a side-zip pant is an easy gateway to sewing zip-front pants, and you can apply this same knowledge to future side-zip skirts you might make.
Sew-Along schedule for blog posts:
Week of 3/3: Announce sew-along
Week of 3/10: Style inspiration; suitable fabrics
Week of 3/17: Making a muslin to assess fit
Week of 3/24: Pockets (steps 1-13)
Week of 3/31: Seams and zipper (steps 14-24)
Week of 4/7: Waistband and overalls bib (steps 29-61)
Week of 4/14: Finishing (steps 62-66)
Week of 4/21: Big reveal
Our sew-alongs are always go-at-your-own pace. Some of you will finish way ahead of this schedule, and some of won’t finish for months. No worries! Whatever works for your schedule. We will leave the sew-along blog posts up indefinitely. We’ll also create a sew-along Facebook group where we can share our progress with each other (coming soon).
Personally, I’m really excited about this sew-along. I’m desperate for new pants that aren’t black trousers. Amanda is going to make View D, the overalls, and I’m going to make View A, but more of a cropped flare, kind of like these pants:
We really hope you’ll be joining us for this sew-along! You don’t need to sign up anywhere or make any kind of public pledge: just sew along at home and join the Facebook group, if you’d like. It’s a very chill kind of thing!