I am writing this at the end of day one of having both of the Chi-Town Chinos expansion packs out in the world…and you guys have blown me away once again. I cannot thank you enough for taking a risk on me and spending your hard-earned money on my patterns. I am humbled and grateful.
I’m back today with photos of my testers’ versions. Both expansion packs went through two rounds of testing; in the first round, I asked testers to first spend the time making muslins of the straight pattern. From there, we worked together to make adjustments as needed.
Something that I saw across the board (for both patterns) was too much fabric across the back thigh. I asked testers to adjust this to fit their individual bodies, and then found the average between all adjustments.
After the first round of testing and adjustments to the patterns, I asked them to sew up the revised version and/or compare their adjusted pattern to my revised pattern. After round two, I found that I had thinned the back thigh too much for expansion pack no. 2, and let things back out just a bit.
All of that to say, we went through papa bear, baby bear, and mama bear revisions–too big, too small, and just right! 😉 Something to note is that no pant pattern is going to fit everyone right out of the envelope–but I wanted it to be a great universal starting place for the masses.
I want to say a special word of thanks to each and every one of my testers. They have families, busy schedules, full-time jobs, and just the general chaos of life–and yet, they volunteer to help test patterns, which is not just sewing up a pattern (at least not when it comes to making pants!)–it is making a muslin or two, making fitting adjustments, sewing up final versions, and taking photos for me at every step along the way. They proofread, they make suggestions, and they work hard to help me make my patterns the very best versions possible. I am eternally indebted to and grateful for them.
I also want to point out that most of my testers had never fit or sewn a pants pattern before. This was 100% new to many of them. But they did it and they look awesome. If you have never sewn pants, I want to encourage you that you can do it! It’s not going to be a quick afternoon project, but if you tackle it bit by bit, you will no doubt be able to complete custom made pants.
XP1 is meant to be fitted, while XP2 is meant to be semi-fitted. What you see below is the beauty of sewing–you can make things fit however you want! A little looser here, more fitted there, you can make the fit decisions for your own body.
One final thing to note is that I had 25 testers, and I am only showing 12 here for the sake of brevity (which I’m clearly already not doing well with on this post-ha!). Below is a good mix of the same patterns across lots of different body types, which is really important for you to see!
Expansion Pack No. 1 Testers
Jill is the teeniest tiniest thing you ever did see (and a mom to four)! She made up a pair in this awesome deep green that has me wanting some of my own in this color. Jill was one of the testers that helped me determine whether or not this expansion pack was needed, so you can thank her. 😉
Abigail used this really pretty purple. They remind me of something you would buy at a luxurious clothing store. I love her expression in the right-side photo–she’s all, “yeah, I made these.”
Katie made a pair in this bright green. She’s always struggled to find knee-length shorts that fit her thin thighs, and now all of her problems are solved (well…in the shorts department, haha)! She’s the other tester that helped me determine whether or not to create this expansion pack! Seriously, my testers are the best.
Anya is an expert maker. She has a sixth sense about what exactly needs to happen to fabric to make it fit a body. She’s been a tester for all of my patterns, and I think I can speak for all testers when I say that we are very fortunate to have her insight! She actually muslined both expansion packs, but here is her shorts version!
Darcy is a fellow indie pattern designer, and I was very excited to have her insight as a tester. Not everyone gets professionals as testers. Her gray twill will go with everything!
Jodi did an amazing job on this denim pair. I’m just as thrilled as she is that she has shorts that fit just how she wants them to!
Expansion Pack No. 2 Testers
Sandra made two pairs, and I honestly don’t know how she manages to accomplish so much beauty so quickly! She said she loves her butt in this pattern–and come on…that’s the point of making your own pants, am I right?!
Amber made a pair in this really pretty pink/purple/maroon/wine color that I’m in love with. Her sewing is absolutely perfect!
Liz sized the legs down for a slimmer fit. She is always so good at styling–plus, extra points for the cute puppy! (That’s Max!) She’s new to sewing this year and LOOK! She’s amazing.
Laura made up a pair in this beautiful linen that will stay season-appropriate year-round. The perfect welt pocket pictured is the very first one she’s ever made…ever. No practice first. My instructions for the french-seamed welt pockets are very detailed (and a bit hand-holdy if you’ve already done them), but I won’t leave you in a lurch if you’ve never done one before!
Masha took a dive into pants-making for herself for the very first time (she has made lots of pants for her kids). <–Go read her blog post to see just how busy she was during testing (hint: four kids, homeschooling, making clothes and cake for a wedding, traveling, and fitting/making pants for the very first time). I love the color she chose, and I’m just as stoked as she is that she has tackled pants-making!
P.S. A big thanks to all of the husbands and kids who took these photos for their wife/mom! You guys are awesome, too.
Below you will find the list of links to each blog post in the sewalong. If you have any questions, absolutely feel free to e-mail me.
- Introducing the Chi-Town Chinos Sewing Pattern
- Introducing the Chi-Town Chinos Expansion Packs
- Chi-Town Chinos Tester Round-Up
- Chi-Town Chinos Expansion Pack Tester Round-Up
- Part 1 : Inspiration
- Part 2 : Supplies
- Part 3 : Customizing the Pattern
- Part 4 : Fitting + Finishing
- Part 5 : Prepwork
- Part 6 : Front Pockets
- Part 7 : Fly Front
- Part 8 : Back Assembly + Final Fitting
- Part 8.5 : Welt Pockets
- Part 9 : Waistband, Center Back Seam, Inseam, Side Seams
- Part 10 : Belt Loops, Bar Tacks, Hemming, Front Closure