One of my sewing goals for this year was to copy a pair of RTW pants. These are the source pants I decided to use:
They are a linen/cotton blend that I bought at the Gap probably 5 years ago (maybe longer). I’ve always really liked them, they are cool and have a nice loose, comfy fit. Unfortunately, over the years they have shrunk considerably in length, and have become too short to wear without ridicule. So I set out to copy them.
A few months ago I took a class at a local college that covered how to copy RTW clothing. It was a short class (just 3 Saturdays) but we learned the basics of how to copy shirts and pants. I also purchased the Jean-ius course on Craftsy – and finally watched it. (Does anyone else buy Craftsy classes, and then never watch them?) In the end, I did a mash up of the two methods I learned.
Since I was working without a pattern, I pulled out the instructions from my Thurlow trouser pattern, and roughly followed that. This worked since my pants are actually pretty similar to the Thurlows. (If you were copying jeans, the Jean-ius course does cover construction.)
The two main challenges I faced were drafting the waistband and figuring out how to sew the back welt pockets. For the waistband, I determined I needed to draft a contour band. How I finally figured out how to do it is a bit of a blur now. I know I drafted several versions, poured over sewing books and blogs, and spend a lot of time pinching and pinning my muslin. What I came up with works, but I’m sorry I can’t really tell you how I did it. 😦
The second challenge was the back pockets. I wanted to make single welt pockets. (The Thurlow instructions didn’t help because the Thurlows have double welts.) I found my sewing books incomplete, but then I stumbled upon this great tutorial.
I’m pleased with how they turned out.
The fabric I used is Robert Kaufman cotton/linen denim. I really like it, so much that I’ve already ordered more!
Anyway, I’m pretty excited about these. Although it was a lot of work to do the copy, I think it was easier than trying to fit a pattern. I didn’t mess with the crotch seam at all, which was a welcome relief after the muslin madness that ensued when I made my Thurlows.
I’m really liking the option of copying RTW garments. Last month, during Me-Made-May I copied one of my favorite t-shirts, and made 2 new tops from that. I’ve got a sheath dress that I wear all the time that I think will be next. How about you, do you ever copy RTW items?