July 24, 2007

Boy's dress pants

Before I get too far on this blog entry, please take a minute and vote on my bib poll. Thanks!

Here is a look at a pair of budget dress pants sized 24M. These were most likely sold by a big box retailer as part of a set that included a dress shirt and vest. They are 65% polyester, 35% rayon, made in Taiwan. Since these were likely sold as a set, it probably is not necessary for them to have all of the same details as an adult pair of pants. I call these pants budget because they would have sold for a low price point and were made from an inexpensive fabric. Still, there are some nice quality features.

The pants have 4 pleats in the front. 1" cuffs on pant legs. There are no pockets or other trimming details. (Click on the images for bigger close-ups). The front waist band is flat.

The back waistband has 1.25" stitch through elastic. Most infant/toddler pants or skirts have an elasticized back waist. This age group has a longer front waist than back waist. Combine this with a large seat (padded with a diaper) and it becomes necessary to take up the extra back width of the pant waist with elastic. The elastic is applied with a specialized machine that stretches the elastic while it is stitched on. Be sure to spec out the finished elastic measurement (the measurement of the elastic after it has been stitched). If you don't, the elastic will end up being too big or too small. A quality auditor (or you) should do in-line inspections during production. This is the one area that is the easiest to mess up.

You can see the nice neat finish of the waist side seam. The front waist band is stitched onto the front pant. The back waist has the elastic applied, turned to the inside and top stitched down. Some manufacturers will have a separate back waistband piece, but I like the nice smooth back waistband of this pant. The side seam is stitched by folding the front waistband to the front over the back elastic waist band. When the front band is turned out, the back waist is enclosed. Lower quality pants do not enclose this seam. Even though these pants are budget, the topstitching of the front waist band runs even with the lowest line of stitching for the elastic.

This is the only place where I could find the manufacturer truly skimped. The inside leg hem has a 1/2" hem which is topstitched down. This is a quicker finish than a blind hem and it can be hidden underneath the 1" cuff. To allow for future growth, you can add to the hem depth and do a blind hem instead. I wonder if there are many that would actually take the time to let the hem and cuff down, as simple as it is. Most parents would probably just buy another pair of pants.

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