Sewing

Chi Town Chinos Expansion Pack #2

Hello there! This year, one of my big sewing goals is to work on making myself pants, jeans, and shorts of the non-elastic waist variety. Back in March and April, I made two pairs of Alina Design Co’s Chi Town Chinos (using Expansion pack #2) and I’m finally getting a chance to write about them! I posted a peak at my first pair when I wrote about my Hampton jean jacket.

Chi Town Chinos 1

Chi Town Chinos 3

My first pair fit pretty well, but I wanted to work on a few fitting adjustments for the second pair. I had enough fabric left over that I made a second pair of chinos from the same fabric. It was kind of boring to sew two pairs of the same pants so close together, but I’m glad I did. The second pair is somewhat of improvement over the first pair, if only because I did welt pockets on the back. I think the pockets look really great– Alina’s instructions for doing welts are fantastic. They are french seamed and look so professional. I used to be scared of welts but now I think they’re really fun!

Chi Town Chinos 5

Chi Town Chinos 8

My pants fitting issues are usually the crotch curve, knee wrinkles on the front and back legs, and drag lines under my bum. For this pair of Chi Town chinos I did some adjustments to work on the knee wrinkles. Masha from The Itinerant Seamstress linked to some really informative posts from Stitches and Seams about full inner thigh adjustments and how full inner thighs cause the same fitting issues as knock knees. I definitely have full inner thighs and I think I’ve got knock knees, too. I was curious to see if the adjustment in this post would do anything to improve the fit on the back of my chinos. I cut the pattern at the knee line and shifted the bottom portion 1/2″ in toward the inseam. I did not add the 1/2″ to the inseam of the back piece, since I didn’t really want the leg to get wider at the bottom.

Chi Town Chinos 7

The fit on the back of this pair of chinos really isn’t substantially different from the first pair, so maybe I should have added that 1/2″ after all. It could be that having an extra bit of fabric would help cure the drag lines at the knee and under bum. I am also thinking that on my next pair I should add a wedge to the bum to give me a little more seat room.  (These are a size 10 graded out to 14. I lowered the front rise 1/2″ on these, in addition to the full inner thigh adjustment.)

Chi Town Chinos

The fit on these isn’t perfect but I’m happy with them anyway. The fabric I used has a little bit of stretch and they loosen up a little bit as I wear them, which helps with some of those drag lines, too. I’m really proud of how these pants turned out, construction wise. There are great details included in this pattern and the pants (or skirt or shorts– I’ve made all three now) turn out so professionally!

Chi Town Chinos 6

As a side note, I had the privilege of meeting Alina, the pattern designer, a few weeks ago and I was totally surprised when she told me she’s only been sewing for a couple of  years! I think it’s pretty incredible that she started sewing and became a self taught pattern designer in such a short period of time.

Chi Town Chinos 4

Do you have any other pattern modification suggestions for what might help the back of my pants? I’m trying not to be obsessive but I would be happy to get rid of some more of those lines on the back.

~Teri

 

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15 thoughts on “Chi Town Chinos Expansion Pack #2

    1. Thanks so much, Alison! I am really happy with them but the perfectionist in me always wants to improve the fit. I may try one more tweak on my next pair but these fit me much better than anything I’d be able to buy in a store!

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  1. They look great! Better than RTW, if you ask me! 🙂

    If you visit a tailor they may be able to tell you what modifications to make!

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  2. So first of all, they look really good. Ever since I began sewing pants, I have spent an inordinate amount of time staring at the butts and back legs of women wearing pants and so many of them have wrinkles much worse than this in rtw clothes. That said, I also tried that adjustment without the extra 1/2″ added to the back and saw a little bit of difference but not much. I want to try a knock knee adjustment where you lengthen the inseam only. Have you tried that one?

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    1. Thanks, Masha! I’m exactly the same way– always scrutinizing the fit of people’s pants now that I’m trying to get my fit perfected! I’ve used the other adjustment on my Morgan jeans. The second pair I made recently had a big improvement on the knee wrinkles with that adjustment. I need to get pictures of those soon. I think you’ll get good results from that adjustment!

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  3. I think they look great. I’m by no means qualified to offer advice but I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about fitting pants recently and I’ve seen people say to scoop out the back crotch curve slightly to help with wrinkles under the bum. I have this fitting book and on Amazon UK you can look inside it and see quite a lot of the alterations, if that’s any help.

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    1. Thanks, Leigh! I have to look at my pattern piece but I think I did scoop out the back crotch a little bit. I’ll have to experiment with scooping it out a bit more on the next pair. I think that I’ve actually checked out that book from my library when I was trying to figure out how to fix my front crotch issues. I will have to get it again and see what it says about the back crotch/legs! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. These look fantastic, Teri! Truly, I don’t know that they *need* any adjustments. I will eagerly wait to see if you do a version 3, however, and if so, whether any of the suggestions help! Pants fitting is so complicated and fascinating!

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    1. Thanks, Inder! These photos were taken when the pants were freshly washed and ironed– they definitely loosen up with wear and I’m sure some of those back leg issues go away. The good news is that they are on the back of me and I can’t see them anyway! 😉 I will try giving myself a bit more room on the back of the leg next time but otherwise I am not going to try any more major adjustments. I need to let good enough be good enough!

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  5. I don’t think I’d bother too much about continuing to tweak the pattern, these really look great! I think we obsess too much over those back leg wrinkles. Take a look at the fit of other people’s RTW and I think you’ll see that the wrinkles you have are totally normal, especially for a relaxed fit. I still need to make the skirt and pants version of this pattern. I got my shorts back out the other day and remembered how much I loved them!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! You are right, it is very easy to get obsessed with making things fit absolutely perfectly, which is never going to happen! I have been checking out people’s RTW pants a lot recently and it’s rare to see pant legs that are totally wrinkle free in the back. I think you’ll love the pants and skirt versions of this pattern. I wore my skirt a lot in the fall/winter and I want to make a Summer version of it, too.

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