I don’t think you can really know how to make pattern adjustments to achieve the perfect fitting pant until you stumble across the perfect fitting pant. I still have yet to find the perfecting fitting pant, but I’m getting closer and until I made the Simplicity Amazing Fit 8056 shorts, I didn’t realize how badly fitting my pants were. If you follow this blog any, you know I’ve had my pant fitting woes. About 6 months ago, I finally achieved a wearable pant pattern. Looking back on this pattern, all I can think about it how badly fitting they are given all that I’ve learned in the last few months. I’ve gravitated towards Simplicity’s Amazing Fit patterns, because they give you options on fitting the waist, bum, and hips. Because I hike a lot, I need a longer crotch length! These Amazing Fit patterns have for the most part been really great. Crotch length was (what I thought at the time) close to accurate and the rest of the pattern big enough that I could make on-the-fly adjustments when constructing the pants. I’m still learning a lot about pant fitting etc. I know pants are scary, but I think its important to try new patterns constantly. You’ll learn a lot about fit.
I recently made a whole bunch of Grainline Studio Lakeside PJs and making those PJ shorts gave me a huge insight into what my pant pattern should look like, particularly when it comes to the shape and design of the crotch seam (sorry this post is all about crotch this and crotch that). So, when I traced out my pattern from the latest Simplicity #8056 Amazing Fit pattern, I used my Grainline Lakeside PJ pattern as a reference. Before I even sewed a muslin, I immediately lengthened the back crotch by 1/2″ and the front crotch by 1/4″, because I loved the fit of the PJ shorts, and thought I should just immediately try it out on these new pants. It was definitely worth the experimentation.
I was astonished, my muslin fit nearly perfectly. Look, no wrinkles around the butt!!!! All of the previous Amazing Fit pants / skirts I’ve made (2860, 1541, and 1696) have all required taking in the side seams by two inches or more! I only had to take in each side seam by 1/2″ on the 8056 pattern, which was great, because I didn’t have to totally redesign the pockets and contoured waistband. That has been the worst part about the Amazing Fit patterns is adjusting those pieces by that much in the past. Ugh. So the image below shows the 8056 shorts on the bottom and my last pant pattern (1696) on top, which is a skinny pant pattern. As you can see, the two patterns are identical in width at the waist and hips and now you can see how my shorts have the front crotch lengthened. Big difference! This is why it is important to keep patterns organized, they are useful references as you continue to make more clothes.
The Simplicity 8056 shorts have a lot of great features already: dreamy pockets, nice contoured waistband, perfectly straight legs for the shorts, zippered fly, etc. I added belt loops to the pattern, because I think its criminal to wear structured pants without a belt. This isn’t the 90s, we wear a belt when we tuck in our shirts! You look ridiculous without a belt and a shirt tucked in. I also took the liberty to finish the hem with bias binding instead of rolling the hem under and sewing it. I’m totally in love with finishing hems with bias tape (like I haven’t said that enough lately).
The other thing about pant construction is fabric. I’ve had some bad luck trying to find fabric that I liked, but for now the fabric of choice surprisingly is Jo-Ann 7 oz. stretch denim fabric. I used bright poppy color for these shorts. Yay for red shorts! If you type in “7 oz stretch denim”, they don’t have a ton of color options, but enough to be nice.
Like I said, the pockets are dreamy. Because they extend across the front, they don’t bind or flip-up in weird ways. I love sturdy deep front pockets. The pocket construction wasn’t intimidating or anything. I still haven’t learned how to make great welt pockets, so I don’t have pockets on the back. I always add bias tape to the waistband. It adds a nice touch of color. Pop of yellow to go with my turquoise and cherry pockets. Finally, I left the shorts long so I could wear them to work (we have a dress code). All in all, these shorts are the best I’ve ever had and the closest pattern to my fit yet. All I did was lengthen crotch and take in the side seams by 1/2″.