Working Towards Pants that Fit


It looks like three of us have signed up to take the one-day Silhouette Patterns fitting seminar in Denver. And all of three of us are planning on making pants muslins.

I have a favorite jeans pattern from Jalie. I’ve made it several times. The last pair I’ve worn for several years now and I think it’s at its end. One problem I have not been able to understand is this: how to get rid of that smile that forms under my rather flat butt? And is a jeans fit different than a “regular” pants fit? Jeans seem to be more butt-hugging than “regular” pants. Is a butt-hugging fit flattering for a flat butt? How many times have you stood behind someone, looking at their butt, thinking that if they just knew how they looked from behind, they wouldn’t wear that pair of pants. Do people think these thoughts about me in my Jalie jeans? I just don’t know!

Making the Muslin Anyway, it is my hope to understand pants fit better. To that end, I am making the pants muslin for the Silhouette seminar. The pattern is Silhouette Patterns #3200 Sally’s Pants. It is a “simple” 8-dart, no pockets, one front zipper pant with waistband. The instructions for the muslin are as follows:

  • Mark the seam lines
  • 2″ seam allowances on outside seams
  • 1″ seam allowances on inside seams

This sounds easy enough, but the pattern itself has only the cut lines marked and the seam allowance is 3/8″. I did the following:

  • Trace the *cut* lines with a tracing wheel and tracing paper
  • Unpin the paper pattern and mark with a permanent marker (or any other marker) the 3/8″ seam line *and* the 1″ or 2″ cut line for the muslin
  • Trace the seam lines and cut on the cut line

This seemed rather involved to me. Maybe one of the other gals can figure out an easier way to to accomplish the same thing.


Choosing the Right Size Here’s a cool tip that I got off the back of the pattern envelope. “To choose your correct size, wrap the tape measure around your hips and then sit. The tape measure will be the ease you need”. Using this approach, I chose to make a size 12 with a slight waist upgrade, shall we say.

The muslin is finished. No zipper, no waistband, but the back center seam is open about 10″ so I can get the muslin on and off. As far as I can tell the muslin is the right size, though it’s hard to tell with the back center seam open.

Wearing your Muslin in Public And here’s another tip from Jamie: when wearing your muslin in public (like at a fitting seminar), consider wearing leggings underneath!

Muslin to Sloper Here’s a general question I have. Let’s say I can get the muslin to fit perfectly. How do I turn it into a reference sloper for pants?


  1. Wow Lynne, Reading through your muslin post it does seem that adding the extra seam allowance is pretty labor intensive. I can’t think of an easier way to do it though. But Jamie’s good at figuring out stuff like that. Any tips Jamie?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Lynne,

    I spend so much time trying to fit muslins by myself that I have developed a system that makes it easier. Any pattern that opens in the back, I either cut with the stitching line on the fold or sew the seam shut. I cut the pattern with a 1″ seam allowance down the center front, and I trace in the center front line, usually in a bright, easy to see color. That way, I can always put the pattern on and close it down the center front, which I can reach easily.

    I can hardly wait to find out how you eliminate the smile below the fanny in back! Jeans patterns are drafted with a slightly shorter crotch length (I believe it’s done by removing 1/2″ from the back crotch extension) so that they have less ease under the buttocks.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about what you learn at the workshop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does make sense to leave the opening in the front when you’re trying fit all by yourself! Peggy said to leave the opening in the back, so that’s what I did. I’m hoping she’ll do the appropriate tugging and darting for me!

      Liked by 1 person

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