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Sew! Lets Get Dressed – Black Pants Weekend (part 2)

I am back to finish my black pants weekend sewing Eureka! Pants that Fit.  I have already cut and prepared the pants for construction and am returning to the studio around 4PM Saturday afternoon with 2 1/2  hours to sew…  No time to dilly dally!

First I finished the small pockets that I put into the waistband of most of my pants.  (This secret pocket will quite possibly be a give away with large purchase at the ASG conference this summer, so stay alert. )  I pinned and then stitched the 4 inseams, making sure to get the sateen sides of each pair matched correctly; having 2 different leg lengths and widths made this easier.  I pressed open and finished the inseams, then serge-finished the crotch of each piece.  After measuring down 7” from the back waist for the zipper opening, I pinned and then stitched the crotch seams and flipped the pants so I could pin and stitch the side seams.  The Eureka! Pants that Fit instruction book has great text and illustrations that walk you through these directions slowly, one step at a time.

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Crotch seams being prepared for stitching.

Before stitching the side seams in the narrower pair of pants, I fused a 3/4” by 5” strip of tricot interfacing to the front and back of each leg where the slit will be formed. When I sewed the side seams, I left the bottom 4” open in preparation  for the slit in the hem.  After pressing open and clean finishing the side seams, I test fit the pants and finished sewing for the afternoon.

On Sunday I returned to the studio just after noon to finish the pants.  I use standard zippers with a lapped application in my basic pants, so I put my trusty zipper foot on my machine and installed both zippers.  After a quick test of the zippers, I left them unzipped so I could easily attach the waistbands.

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Elastic zigzag stitched to waistband.

Once attached, I stiffened the waistband with my preferred 1” elastic stretched and stitched into the seam allowance.  It keeps the pants anchored at my waist where I am a bit soft and squishy.  The waistbands were then finished on each end, and stitched neatly in the ditch  all around. Then I took a much needed break.

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Finished waistband, ready for large hook and eye.

Right around cocktail hour, my trusted colleague and Licensed Eureka! Pants Professional Edye Sanford came by to see if the pants needed any adjustments and to pin the hems.  I had the shoes for each style of pant already waiting by the studio mirror so we could work efficiently.

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Two different hems, clean finished and ready to be stitched.

Sunday evening I marked each hem and clean finished each trimmed edge on the serger.  I formed the slit and hem of the narrow, shorter pair on the machine.  On the longer pair I used the catch stitch, my favorite hemming stitch, for the hem as it looks better with heels.  Last but not least, I hand stitched a large hook and eye to each waistband and gave them both a good press.

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Machine stitching the slit hem.

Here are some take away tips:

  • Sewing two pairs  of Eureka! Pants at the same time  using the same color thread really speeds up the process of making pants.
  • This process could easily have been divided up into 4-5 evenings of a week, or one evening a week for a month, if your weekends are full.  Just make the time to sew some pants.
  •  Remembering to take breaks is so important, it is good for your body and your concentration.
  • Be sure to put on the right shoes when pinning the hem for any pair of pants.
  • Get a friend to help if you find it hard to assess the hem length and fit yourself.
  • If you are just starting to sew Eureka! Pants, summer pants are the perfect introduction.  You can find fabrics that are light weight and inexpensive as you perfect your Eureka! Pants fit.

Is there anything in this post you would like to know more about?  Let us know so we can plan future posts that will be useful as you begin to create your Eureka! Pants wardrobe.