Thursday, January 06, 2011

Look, my first made-to-measures pants!

Olivier’s Christmas list only had one item this year: made-to-measures running pants. His old ones were in pretty bad shape and they are important to him because he runs almost every day. Olivier’s dad is also a regular runner and we thought it would also make the perfect present for him. So I naively ventured into this difficult project a mere three days before Christmas, innocently thinking it would be as easy as simply copying the old pants. (FYI, I started three days before only because that's when I finished my essays!)

My first version had major problems in the crotch area. The crotch, Readers, is the heart of your pants. The slightest variation in its curve or length will entirely change the fit. Turns out it’s basically impossible to make a proper crotch without precise measurements and complex calculations. I wish I had a picture of my previous tries to show you just how wrong they looked!

But I only learned this fact after 2 days, 4 pants and 5 metres of muslin. I was then faced with an ultimatum: giving up on the project entirely OR teaching myself pattern-drafting in, gulp, one day.

Bellow, my previous four failures.

I took a deep breath and found a tutorial online. There was only problem: after all my previous attempts, I was out of muslin to test my newly-drafted pattern (very important since the actual fabric was not cheap at all!). Let me remind you, Readers, that there are no fabric stores in Hull.

Then I remembered that we had a extra set of sheets in our wardrobe somewhere.

Seeing Olivier in these bedsheets-turned-pants made me so happy. At that moment, I knew my project was going to be successful!

The online video tutorial I found is called eSewingWorkshop. Not only is it fool-proof, but it really works (and it's Canadian!). That particular tutorial is more than an hour long. Access to the website is not free, but it’s well worth the price at around $15 CAN a month. Now, I know how to draft the perfect pants for any body type.

This is the version I made for Olivier's dad. They fit like a glove!

And these are Olivier's...

I lined the inside with ultra-soft bamboo cotton and the outside is a type of water-proof, high-tech nylon from London’s SoHo district.

Olivier is really happy about both the fit and the feel. On my end, I must say that I am excited about my new skill. All I’ve been thinking about since then is what kind of pants I’ll make for myself. We all know how hard it is to find nice-fitting pants!


  1. These are great! I love the cute and slightly awkward pictures!!

  2. Thanks, Adrienne. Now I'm REALLY famous.

    The old running dad.


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