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 peek at my first pair when I wrote about my Hampton jean jacket.
My first pair fit pretty well, but I wanted to work on a few fitting adjustments for the second pair. I had enough fabric leftover 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 an 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!
My pants fitting issues are usually the crotch curve, knee wrinkles on the front and back legs, and draglines 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.
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.)
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!
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.
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.