Thursday, January 08, 2009

Underlining Pants #2

Several days ago I cut out another pair of pants. This time I made the legs wider at the bottom. The fabric is a polyester woven that is super soft.
Too soft. I was afraid they would look "saggy" so I decided to underline them. I know there are several methods for underlining. I like this one. I first learned about the "glue and fold" method from a book I got years ago called Painless Sewing (My book is older and has a completely different cover than this one.) I am using a poly/cotton batiste for the underlining on these pants and I think it gives them just the right amount of body.

First, cut the underlining the same as the pants legs. Now, Sandra Betzina shows a method in her book that puts a clean finish on the seam allowances and underlines all at once. I have also seen links to this method on Pattern Review. The only drawback with this method is that you must have the exact fit since you can't really do any alterations with this method. I prefer the glue and fold, since you can still make changes in fit.

Lay the fashion fabric and underlining together wrong sides together and press them as one. Then, lay the pieces on a flat surface and put small dots of glue about 1/5" apart along all of the vertical seams between the underlining and fashion fabric. Before the glue dries, fold one seam in toward the middle and smooth the underlining toward the opposite seam. A little bubble will form in the underlining as you're folding the fabric - push this toward the opposite seam. Repeat, and a little more fabric will scoot over the edge of the opposite seam. Leave the fabric folded like this until the glue dries - about 5 minutes.

Here you can see how the smaller under lining now pulls the fashion fabric up. This is because our pant legs (or skirts) are cylindrical and need the inside to be slightly smaller than the outside. This is called "turn of the cloth"

After all of the seams are dry, I baste through the center of the darts. This holds the layers of fabric together while I sew the darts. In the other method, you sew the darts separately on the underlining and lining before you put them together. (You can click on the pictures to make them larger.)

Now, using the pattern instructions, they have you sew the CF seam (leaving off about 1.5" at the inseam) and the zipper in the CB. Since I am using an invisible zipper, it is easier to install the zipper this way.

After the zipper is installed, it is time to pin fit the pants. I did not tissue fit the pants this time because I already did that on the last pair and I am using the same pattern. I decided to still pin fit the pants because this is different fabric and it is underlined. Either one of these things could have changed the fit. Also, I made some small alterations on my pattern after the first pair, and I wanted to make sure everything would fit nicely.

OK, this is a VERY unflattering picture, but I wanted to show you what the pin fitting process looks like. Here I am checking the fit of the pants while pinned. I can see that they lie smoothly in the front and back and there are no draglines that I can see. I did pinch in the waist about 1/8 inch more on each side. Other than length, I think the fit looks pretty good.

I've sewn the inseams and side seams and serge finished the edges. Now, Carolyn, I know you said you thought this was a "cheat" when you did it, but again, I like doing it this way so that I can adjust the fit if necessary. I also think the serged finish looks just fine.

This weekend I will attach the waistband and hem them. I hope these will fit really well after I attach the waistband, because I like the feel of them and I think they will be really comfortable.


Elaray said...

Very interesting method. I'll have to print this out and file it in my notebook. Thanks!

Little Hunting Creek said...

I like this method. Also, very nicely explained. I'll try this with next pant. Thanks again!

Alana said...

The look very expensive.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Nancy - that's because I know the correct way is to sew them so that the seams are finished...but I have to admit that I wore the pants I made with the serged finishes and were very happy with them! So I will make another pair using this method...hope these work for you as well!

Nancy Winningham said...

Carolyn - don't think of it as the "correct way" It is just another method. I have seen underlined pants with serged finishes and hong kong finish, or left raw if lined. It's all a matter of preference :-)

Sigrid said...

Looking very good. Thank you for sharing the underlining pictures. I'd like to try that.

Summerset said...

I like this method - I know how to do this by stitching, turning and pressing (see my post today) and it works nicely for my art garments. This serging method would be perfect for regular skirts and trousers - I'm glad to see someone else trying it with good results. These pants will look great - can't wait to see them finished.

LindaNan said...

What glue did you use?


Charlene McGill said...

Thanks for sharing the details. The fit is really great. I have only one pair of pant I ever fitted and it's still in the muslin phase. I made a decision not to start any new projects until I have completed the ones I started at the end of the summer. I'm hoping to have them done by next weekend. Wish me luck!

Linda T said...

Nice fit!

Beth H said...

I have that old pink book, too. Thanks for reminding me to look at it occasionally!

Your pants look great.