For a long time I have been wanting to make this Marcy Tilton pattern, except I was planning to make the skirt. Then, when I finally decided it was time to tackle the Holy Grail of Sewing – the well fitting pant – I took a second look at these cute pants with the knee darts and the horizontal pockets. Though this pattern isn't designed to be closely fitted, even loose pants can be a challenge to fit.
In this case, I read the reviews on Pattern Review and, uniformly, people said that this pattern runs really large. According to the hip measurement (and I always sew pants/skirts based on my hip measurement because I have small hips and a very large waist and it's usually easiest for me to alter the waist, but YMMV) I should be a size 16.
Most Vogue patterns indicate the bust, waist, and hip location, along with the finished garment measurement at those points. For some odd reason, that is not true of this pattern, so I measured the flat pattern. I was very surprised to find that the finished garment measured somewheres around 55" for a size 6. (I am going by memory, but it was in this range.) Given that my hips are 40", which, according to Vogue, is a size 16, I am not surprised that people have been finding these pants to be oversized.
I decided to cut out a size 6, the smallest size available, and alter the waist. The back of the pant is gathered elastic, but the front uses a curved facing. This makes sense because the pockets do not lay well if the front waist is gathered.
I said I decided to cut out a size 6. I intended to cut out a size 6. However, I cut out all the pieces as a size 6 except one – the side back. The side back I cut out in a size 12. I did not notice the error at first. I made the muslin before I realized my mistake. But the muslin fit me well, so I decided to leave it this way for the final pant, but it was an accident, and I think the size 6 on the side back would have worked too. :)
I altered the pattern by increasing the waist, the front waist facing, and also the side front, where the pocket is located. The waist shaping begins in the pocket, so both the upper and lower side front were affected. Finally, I shortened the pants by 1.5" on the "lengthen or shorten here" line – I am 5'5".
The fabric I used is a Taslan that a friend gave me. She bought the Taslan from Mizono, back when she manufactured locally. It's a 100% nylon fabric, in a khaki green color, and has a wonderful drape – and these pants need a fabric with good drape.
I sewed these on a recent sewing retreat and, even though they have extensive top-stitching (even the knee darts are topstitched), they were fairly quick to sew up. Once they were finished, I found them to be comfortable to wear and flattering. Seven women at the retreat also tried them on and they fit everyone, even though they were different sizes and shapes. The only alterations needed were in the overall length, or to take in the waist. The pants fit around the hips, and flattered, every person who tried them on.
I love these pants and will definitely be making them again. And I still want to make that skirt...
Back. I had worn these for several hours so they are a bit rumpled.
Closeup of knee darts. A little hard to see, but all seams are top-stitched, even the darts.
Using the pocket
Closeup of pockets and front waist with facing