JSM Pants Waist Alterations

originally published 12/30/2009

First, happy photo of me:  




Unfortunately the dark grey corduroy doesn’t show too much, but the point is I’m already happy with these pants. 


The side seam adjustment worked. 


But the waist line was still at least 3/4″ too large.  Unfortunately, I had already put side seam pockets in.  The sporty kind, where you add a stay, stich in and make a rectangular opening for your hand; and then topstitch to nail the seam in place.  Altering at the side seam wouldn’t work too well because of the pocket.  I decided upon taking equal amounts out of the back center seam and the fronts. 


The back was easy.  Stiched just another 1/4″ at the seam top gradually diminishing to nothing.  Done and Tah Done!


The fronts were kind of a problem.  I already had the zipper stitched in.  I make every zipper permanent.  Then I am not even tempted to try to take it out.  That’s how much I hate re-sewing zippers.  My next thought was to make these a faux-panel pant.  A real panel pant would have been cut in at least two more pieces and would have given me a great place for alterations.  For the faux-panel, I folded the pant in half, right-sides together, side seams alighned.  Because these are cords, I had a built-in line and was assured of sewing the front seam perpendicularly instead of wobbling along.  I stitched along the fold (from the inside) from hem to about crotch line then gradually increased that to 1/4″.  Repeated on the other side front.  Almost ok.   I looked it over in the mirror and decided another 1/2″ was needed but only in the front.  I repeated the seam along the faux-panel and then tried the pants a second time.  These feel pretty good.  Let me say that again “THESE FEEL PRETTY GOOD” . 


I took pictures.  Drat!  Can’t see much on a dark pant.  However handy sun icon allowed me to lighten the pictures:


Now remember, the point of this set of alterations is to fit the waist and have the side seam running perpendicular to the floor.  I know that because of my posture, the seam line will never truly be perpendicular, but it can and does bisect my leg evenly and does not have an S shape or drastic curve in any direction.  This pair of pants is a SUCCESS.


I will remove the faux panel and replace it with a second dart.  Stitching a long seam on the fold introduced some drag lines. 


In fact I’m going back down stairs to finish these pants completely.  I want to wear them all day tomorrow during our monthly shopping trip.  I’ve found that there is no real final fitting until I’ve worn my newly sewn garment all day long.  By wearing them tomorrow, on New Years Day  I’ll be ready to adjust my pattern and tackle the next alterations, if I still think they are needed.


Did you miss that “if”?  Yes, IF because right now they feel fine. I’m not seeing or feeling any crotch droop or tightness.  I do see the wrinkles under my butt.  But I’m not obsessing with them this time only the waist. 


BTW, my 2-hour max T-shirt is about half-way through the embroidery.  It may be wearable tomorrow too!