Before you get down to sewing you need two things – a project and a machine to make your pants in a professional manner. The following tips will definitely make your work easier.
Sewing machine – mechanical or computerized?
While both types of machines, like Singer sewing machines, perform the basic task of making stitches, factors like your skill level, needs and budget will affect which machine is more suitable for you. With computerized models, you get additional features and extras that will save you time and improve your sewing.
One of the key things to consider when purchasing a sewing machine is the number of stitches available. Standard stitches include straight stitch, zigzag stitch, buttonholes and blind stitch. However, these are fairly basic stitches and may not be sufficient for all users. A basic Singer sewing machine may be adequate here and you can upgrade over time once you know what you want to sew.
Another decision is to think about what you are likely to sew and whether that will change in the future. If you already know the projects you will be working on, or have a general idea of what stitches you want and need, this can be an easy starting point for choosing a machine. If you are unsure of what to buy, it is usually recommended that you look at a sewing machine that can serve you later as your skills and experience grow and evolve.
One of the hardest parts of sewing for yourself is knowing your measurements very well. So know your exact measurements for your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips – but if you want to fit the garment exactly, you obviously need to know more. For these pants, measure the length from knee to ankle, ankle to crotch, knee to crotch, and thigh circumference. The copy we will be sewing today will be modeled after the Butterick pants from 1970. This vintage model is a bit oversized, so sewing pieces that fit perfectly will not be a problem (this is most important when you want a perfect fit of the jacket, pants, etc).
To start your project, you’ll need two yards of fabric and a bit of stiffening (belt length), for which muslin or a similar material is best. About an eight-an-inch zipper, snaps in the back, and you’re done.
Cut off the fabric and mark the front and back waist darts, then sew them in place. Any minor alterations you’ll want to make to this pattern yourself should start at the cuff and end at the knee. Taper the leg by shortening the pant legs, measuring the pant cuff size by a few inches front and back, and cutting diagonally from the new cuff to the knee, gradually tapering down to zero, keeping the knee and above measurements the same. Measure the length from the ankles to the knees by putting on your own pants and pinning them where they hit the knee, then take them off and check the measurement. Next, sew the pant legs together, front to back at the side seams, and pull the seams apart
Lay one pant leg on top of the other, right sides together, and sew the seam at the crotch – leaving an opening for the aforementioned zipper in the middle back. Turn the pants inside out and pull the edges of the zipper apart and pin the zipper in place, then stitch – starting on the right side of the zipper from the bottom to the top on the inside of the garment.
Once the belt is sewn to the pants, turn it right side out and press the seam allowance at the open end inward and press it to the pants. A top stitch will be stitched along the bottom edge of the belt to secure it in place. Next, tie the pant legs to the appropriate length and sew a few snaps at the waistband over the zipper.
Main photo: Gustavo Fring/Pexels