sdBev's Pants!

I needed a 2nd pair of pants for my 6PAC and I needed to refit Pamela Pattern #113.  To my surprise adding the PBA to fit my protruding behind has actually introduced my dreaded X wrinkles. I couldn’t tell that with Ver1 or with Ver 2 but it was entirely evident when I made the Ponte version.  With that version (3), I blamed the fabric with the possibility of the waist treatment adding to the issues. But I could not deny that Version 4 made from a cotton crinkle and never shared; or  version 5 a cotton twill (not shared) also badly suffered from the same X wrinkles.  Why? Why suddenly was I seeing X wrinkles?  I looked carefully at PBA Versions 1 and 2 and realized that the wrinkles were lightly indicated.  Those particular fabrics had the right kind of body to minimize the X wrinkles.  Well not all bottom weight fabrics are made cotton/rayon or cotton/lycra. Actually the cotton/rayon in a bottom weight was/is a rare find. Why the PBA should create X wrinkles is a mystery to me. A mystery I don’t want to solve right now.  At the moment I want to complete my winter 6PACs. So I want to use the best of my pants patterns, TJ906 and PP113. Er the version of Pp113 that produced perfect trousers.

Except the original version has gone missing.  How could I have lost it?  I remember carefully labeling, folding and placing in the envelope. Later moving all the pieces from the envelope to a 6 page folder and finally moving all to a 13-sectioned filer. The very first section is labeled “Original Fit”. But it is empty.  The stretch fit has its 2 pieces. The PBA has it’s 2 pieces. But the original fit is empty.  The original fit was not misfiled, or hanging elsewhere.  So I begin the process of fitting from scratch. Again.

I read back through my entries and decided upon size, the front and full back.  My alterations were limited to adding 1″ to the back’s side seams and reducing leg length 2″.

My fabric is a beautiful, high quality twill with slight stretch.  If I remember correctly, this was purchased from Hancocks and has a polyester/lycra content. I stress again, it is high quality. This is not the fabric of inexpensive Walmart slacks. For a twill, it is heavy and thick. It sheds wrinkles.  It took 3 tweaks to make this into a classic trouser with beautiful fit. I wrote down every change both on the fabric and on paper . Before putting away the pieces, I also  summarized all the changes. I may need this again.

Unfortunately this fabric is also darkest black. Even lightened 100%, you can’t see the details.

I chose to use the Faux-Welt pocket. I don’t like stitching pockets after the pant is half-way put together.  (Pam’s recommendation is sew the pant together; check fit and then add pockets).  I stitched the pocket in place and then basted it closed with WST before proceeding to baste the pant together and complete fitting. I have left lots of ease. Which is good and maybe not so good.  As is, my hem circumference is 22″.  I prefer a hem circumference between 16 and 20″. I left it because this fabric wanted to reveal VPL even with 1/2″ less ease. I don’t know why. It irritated me but at the same time I thought with this much ease any of my woven fabrics should fit. Also it’s only a matter of time before wide trouser legs are back in fashion.

Anyway there it is, Piece #5 and my 2nd pair of pants for the Winter 6PAC

In the last few weeks, I experimented with TJ906. Trudy Jansen’s Designer Jean which  has a 2 piece back leg.  I’ve made this successfully with many fabrics. Rarely experienced a wadder. OTOH I’ve tried multiple UNsuccessful times to alter a 1-piece back-leg jean.  Just before this I attempted fitting B5403 again and failed miserably. I thought, why not try to convert TJ906 into a 1 piece back leg???

Using Monster paper, I cut the two back leg pieces.  Then at the sewing machine, I stitched them together.  I don’t think I ever realized how curvy that back leg is until I tried to persuade the stitched together pieces to lay flat. I ended up taking a 1/4″ dart at the inseam just below the crotch and a large 1″ dart on the side seam slightly above the first dart. It lay flat. But even with the yoke and waistband pinned into place, the side seams didn’t match.  I slashed the back-leg side seam open just below the yoke and spread until the side seams were even.

I cut and stitched together in a flash. I’ve made so many copies of this jean I don’t even need to think about it. Also I wasn’t concerned about it not working. This was an experiment. If it worked great. If it didn’t well another wadder bites the dust.  However it came close to fitting, So I ripped the side and inseams and did a little twiddling.  I’m using a cotton twill in a taupe color that was purchased with musling in mind. I don’t remember when where or how much I paid for it.  It is a fairly firm fabric but not stiff. It just doesn’t motivate me to make a lot of effort. I quit fitting and serged seams together when I realized that I had morphed a wonderfully fitting pattern into a garment that doesn’t quite work.

(A much lightened pictured)

I know I can blame the fabric, but I was really annoyed that the front and back developed wrinkles not previously seen; And even though I made a great effort to make the side seams the same length, it’s obvious by the ruching that they aren’t.  Fronts normally fit and look beautiful. I can hardly believe that change the back leg made the difference in front, but there it is. Not only are there leg wrinkles but suddenly the front crotch is too short?? I took length out of the leg. Never even came closer than 1″ to the crotch.  I’m not wearing a belt. So I can blame that too. Truth is the highly lightened view above shows much more than the real life view:

While I hate to admit having done this, I do have a pair of pants I can wear around the house.

What’s really interesting though is this comparison:

On the far left, is RTW jean that I’ve decided to buy. In the middle is the lastest version of TJ906 with the 1 piece back leg (pattern piece I’ve decided to discard). To the right is a pair of TJ906 jeans constructed with the 2 piece leg.  Of the 3, I like the 2-piece leg the most. I won’t mess with the 1 piece again (documenting with this post so I have a record of the fail).  The RTW, I might buy again. It is the best RTW jean I’ve tried on in years. In Y-E-A-R-S.  Most fit in the waist but are too tight in the b utt.  If the b utt fits, the waist is too large.  Either the crotch crawls up into my divide or the RTW jean is too big all over. This Diane Gillman jean fits in the waist. The front, which I didn’t share, is beautiful.  As is the side view.  The back has the dreaded wrinkles between b utt and knee. I think a tish more hip circumference would help but it wouldn’t change the knock-knee issue. I also feel like it is slightly too long which is odd because the TJ906 on the right is practically dragging the ground and doesn’t feel long.  I’m keeping this pair hoping that with a little time and body warmth, the hip issue will resolve itself. After all, denim will always warm and stretch.

I purchase a fabulous Ponte early this year while visiting Ft Collins Co.  It is a thick, beefy, spongy fabric. I thought it would make perfect pants. I wanted great pants and chose to use PP113 because that has been such a fabulous pattern for me. I mean, I’ve made at least 5 versions of this pattern. Each better than the previously.

I thought it was time to make a knit version of the pattern.  I’ve worked out all the fitting issues and already tested knits. Like  Pamela, I need to increase the side seam to an even 1″ (My normal SA is 1/4″. So I’m taking in about 3/4 more on each side seam.)  I traced the pattern and vertically folded out 1/2″ evenly from top to bottom on both front and back. I have worked with knits that were so stable, they needed to be treated as wovens.  My thought was most knits I use for pants will need a 1/2″ seam. Those that are more stable could be stitched at 1/4″ and those that are stretchier could be sewn with a larger seam allowance 3/4″ or more. Having done so many the exact same style, I craved changed I elected to add the faux welt pocket and  narrow the leg.   I also chose to use the magic waist band. I created a template that would add 1″ to the top of both the front and back.

I omitted the front zipper; happily serged the inseams and crotches together. Fortunately I had presence of mind or maybe just by habit, I basted the side seams and hems into place.  I stitched my elastic into a circle and tried my pants on as directed by Pamela. To my surprise, these were obviously too tight in the rear but too loose in front. Yes they were. VPL was plainly, in-you-face  apparent on back. the front drooped and yet floated. I decided it was a matter of individually adjusting ease front and back because the side seam was absolutely perpendicular to the floor and bisecting my side perfectly.  I offset the side seams to make a 1/4″ Sa for the back and 3/4″ on the front.  I trimmed another 1/4″ scoop from the front at the waistband to rid some of the droopiness….. and tried them on again. This time no VPL and the front looked good enough so I added the faux welt pocket.


You must try the faux welt. It really would be easy had I added it while the fronts were still two different pieces.  Because I checked fit, I was adding the pockets with the inseams and crotches stitched together. It’s a lot of fabric to bus around. Once the faux welt was completed, I stitched side-seams added the magic waistband and stitched hems.


Then I put the pants on for final pictures and ….

…….the real fitting began. I really should have known this: I cannot fit pants to myself until everything including waistband is basted into place.  Between the fitting and final stitching my pants were crawling up my crotch and the legs had developed the dreaded X wrinkles. I was bewildered. I re-read the waistband instructions to see if I’d one something wrong. The previous magic pants had fit beautifully. I had used the pattern with all the ease; no pockets and a different fabric. Did those factors really make all that difference??  I scooped the crotch 1/2″ and carefully adjusted the pant on my body so that the top edge of the waistband was really at my waist and not above.

These are what they are including pockets that pooch despite the front still looking like it has too much ease, and excess wrinkles under the bum. At least they no longer creep uncomfortably into my hoo-hah. Seriously, I blame the fabric. After I removed the worst of the back-action, I narrowed the legs a total of 2″ (1/2″ each seam * two seams = 2″ per leg). I kind of like the leg width at 18″ but wouldn’t mind if it iwas narrower.  This is a heavy fabric which I thought was also a little dressy.  I anticipated wearing these the rest of fall and into winter. During that type of weather I’m also wearing a long-sleeve top which would be untucked and totally cover my behind but not the leg. The upper part of the leg will be covered by my 3rd layer which is usually mid-hip or tunic length. IOW I will be able to wear these without shame.

Did I mention this was an expensive fabric?  I paid $18/per yard the tag said normally $29 (I’m a bargain hunter).  It takes 2 yards  for pants. (I’m short and have a short but deep crotch. ) So I’m at about $40 for these pants. I may be out of sync with the times, but for $40 I expect better looking pants and I mean from all views including the front.

Still the fabric feels fabulous.  I’d like to have several more yards of it.  Unfortunately, Ft Collins is a long ways away and I’m not sure I’ll ever get back there.  I did not find an equal fabric within 200 miles of me and buying on-line is iffy. Maybe I’ll get something this good but probably not. I’d love to make several pairs until I figure out what to do to make it into fabulous pants instead of just passable.

I use some of the same terms over and over but they aren’t common to the general public and may not be readily understood by every sewist.  I’ve been following common courtesy by spelling out the first instance accompanied with abbreviation and then using the abbreviation when needed subsequently i.e. Water Soluble Thread (WST) the first time then just WST.  Frankly, I know I’m lazy. I also tire of writing out these terms over and over. Yet I know that very people have read my every post and few of them are likely to understand all my abbreviations. But I’m still lazy.  I’ve opted for what I hope is an acceptable substitute. I’ve created a page on my base blog  titled “uncommon abbreviations” and I will link my abbreviations to that page. Granted the reader will have to scroll down that list to find my definition which could be a bit inconvenient for them. I apologize for that and the fact I am slightly lazy. But I’ve learned I can’t please everyone. So it’s most important that I’m satisfied with myself.

Uncommon Abbreviations

MSS Shorts

Posted on: July 6, 2014

I have been sewing just not sharing.  I had some nondescript mending to do.  DH wanted me to convert his jeans-that-wrestled-with-barb wired-fences into shorts. His is an easy request.  I cut the pants to his desired length; stitch 1″ bias tape to the cut edge; fold it up and slightly roll the bias tape to the inside before straight stitching into place.  High temperatures have occurred  and so I began wearing my clothing from last summer.  Surprisingly most is still wearable. That is really surprising since most of my long pants (made before Jan 2014), have had to be replaced. The shorts made from the very same pattern are OK. Well a little sung along the crotch. Pictures show that they are not digging in or developing tight horizontal lines.   I discarded one pair of shorts because of the fabric. The fabric was very firm when constructed last year. I mean it didn’t have a bit of give then and didn’t soften throughout last summer.  I wore the pair once this year and decided I’d gotten my money’s worth.  It was too uncomfortable to go through that another year.

I sorted through my stacks of Under 2’s. I decided to rearrange into Tops, Shorts, Vests and Scraps. Then I took the Shorts stack and separated into two piles 1) the fabrics I’d like to make into jean shorts, the fabric I’d like to make into  MSS shorts.  I selected 4 fabrics but then decided that a moleskin would be better as a vest.  Moleskin is warm and not really conducive to circulating much-needed air during summer.

I checked the fit of the MSS pattern (Cutting Line Designs 11202 My Swing Set) back in May 2014 (that’s not too long ago); at which time, I added a single pair for my Summer 6PAC.  Possibly I didn’t need to add more shorts now, but I like to sew-down those stacks during the summer and those old shorts do  feel close through the crotch.  I decided to make the pattern as currently fit with the exception of folding down the casing only 2″ instead of the 2-1/4 marked.  The result is perfect.  I probably should copy that back to the pattern.

I had plenty of Louise’s elastic on hand so  I just sewed. I produced a pair a day.

The first pair is a bright blue cotton/polyester that was only 45″ wide. I carefully recorded the steps I make to construct that beautiful MSS pocket.  I don’t follow CLD instructions to the letter. Most prominently, I use self-bias instead of fusible interfacing to complete the pocket opening but my construction sequence is also slightly different.  Works for me, when I remember it. When I don’t remember, I’m ripping out seams and rustling through the pattern instructions. I wanted the pocket instructions separate from the pattern so they are easy to locate, readily at hand for implementation with other patterns and quick to review. I know I know. Seems ridiculous but otherwise I spend 15 minutes hunting through the envelope to find the right sheet. Yeah, it’s a personal problem.

My 2nd fabric was a rayon/ cotton/ lycra  blend. A delight to sew and wear.  In the picture, it is freshly washed but not dried.  I wanted pictures now and so pulled it out of the dryer.

The last pair, (on the right as we are looking into the picture),is a brushed, polyester twill. Sincerely doubt there is a whiff of cotton or other natural fiber content. I purchased two short cuts thinking I could make 1 pair of long-legged pants.  One of the cuts was a mere 30″ long.  I never figured out how to cut long pants for me from that short length.  Turns out I need to either piece the leg or start with a length of at least 42 inches. It is a soft fabric and wonderful to wear but I am concerned that it will be too hot for the up-coming dog days.  I decided to finish it a little better than the other two. It is slightly dressier and very appropriate for the overly, air-conditioned spaces I must visit. I made the legs slightly longer and blind stitched the hems. All the top stitching along the pockets and waistband are done in matching thread. It looks like a classy skirt.

The pockets on each pair of shorts, is decoratively stitched just slightly differently. The bright blue pair uses a triple stitch in navy blue thread. The middle pair uses my Ruby’s built-in cross stitch in a contrasting black. I top stitched the hems of both these two pairs using multiple rows of stitching for the bright blues. I changed up the distanced between rows of stitching on the elastic for each of the 3 pairs of shorts.  That added a little interest for me during sewing as well as during wear.  I’d venture a guess that if a person didn’t sew, they wouldn’t realize I used the same pattern, same basic design for all three. Not only is my finishing different, but each fabric hangs and fits a bit differently.  I love all 3, but I appreciate each one’s individual traits.


Posted on: May 27, 2014

I have things to share, but finding the loss of my pen-tablet functions to be severely hampering. I’m excited enough about my 2nd go at PBA2 to persist through the frustration. That and having finally decided which tablet I want, finding out it won’t be here until about June 4th. I like ordering from Amazon. I do wish that estimated delivery times were stated by non-Amazon warehouses. Had I known it would be nearly 2 weeks, I might have bought something else or hied myself to a big city. So onto PBA 2

My fabric is a cotton/rayon blend in a summery yellow color. I was concerned it would not be heavy enough for pants.  I need light weight pants for summer. I burn easily and there are cooler days and places where a bit more coverage is desirable. But I don’t want to expose my underwear either as a visible panty line from a too tight cut or as a shadow beneath the outer layer. I’m happy to say this fabric is perfect. Its rayon content provides a wonderful drape.  It might have been perfect for even a fuller-cut leg like the One-Seams of old.

Indeed, this side view shows how much ease is in the medium-size of Pamerla’s Patterns Style 113.  I’m rather happy with PP113 and in particular, this version. Because of the protruding b utt alteration, I have not added any width to the hemline. It is 20″ as the designer drafted.

What’s very different about this PP113 version, and excites me, is the placement of the PBA.

Red=PBA1; Green=PBA2


On the first version of the PBA (Red lines), I split my back pattern piece the red lines.The lines disected the crotch and waist lines leaving hinges at side seam and hem. The pattern was spread along the lines.  I felt this was a qualified success. PBA1 also did not add ease at the hem, but did add between crotch and knee.  I might have left it alone except I don’t really want billows of fabric over my back thigh. Rather than trousers, I want slacks. I want something that instead of concealing the body beneath, hints at curves and shape.

So I attempted the PBA a second time. As shown with the green lines, the back leg is again disected vertically along the grain. The waist is bisected and opens as much as needed but that split stops just below the tush.  The horizontal split was placed 1″ below the darts because that is where my b utt sticks out the furtherest. OK my b utt is not really a point. From that point and  about an inch my b utt is the same large width. I decided since  that’s the first point at which I start needing the maximum width, that would be the point to start adding extra width. To my delight, the vertical split did not need to descend as far into the leg.  I spread the vertical slash apart 3/4″ (instead of the 1″ last time) and secured it with a little tape. I did the same with the horizontal slash and then smoothed all the flapping pieces, persuading them to lie flat. The back crotch opened up over an inch effectively adding length to the back crotch.  The first fitting was heavenly–almost. The pant felt truly wonderful. Granted the fabric has a lot to do with that but I’ve noticed everytime I really improve the fit of my garments, they feel remarkably more comfortable. My first fitting however showed that the back crotch was now too long. I’m using the same front piece as fit with PBA1. For PBA1  I needed to shorten the front crotch length by about the same amount as I  now removed from the back.  I think that the PBA could be the “magical” alteration I’ve been looking for.

Before I share the back view, let me say that I had the same camera problems as always and…

my right pant leg got hung up around the high hip. Another step forward, a shifting of the weight, even a quick tug and smooth and my right leg would have looked as good as my left.

I won’t be altering the fit of this pant pattern further (unless I change shapes again).  I will be converting to magic pants and pull-ons; adding pockets other details AND most importantly slimming the leg. This 20″ hem circumference is the widest that I like to wear.  Any larger and the pant looks like it is wearing me instead of the other way around.  It is the same width as flared style jeans drafted by Jalie or Trudy Jansens (TJ906).  In the past, I’ve successfully narrowed the leg between knee and hem as much as 3″. I’m also still concerned about the amount of ease over the back thigh.  I am wondering if I I can shorten the back fork.  It’s something I might work with in the future.  My concern as always is avoiding the Big X wrinkles that develop between knee and b utt.

Apologies for crappy photo. I know the shorts look better on my matronly body. But the temps are still cool. I simply wasn’t going to model these at 58 degrees.

The fabric is 100% cotton; a remnant from the rose Brown pants made a few weeks ago.  I used Louise cuttings MSS pants shortened to just above the knee.  Oddly, shorts never develop any of the wrinkles that long pants do on me. Well, I think it’s odd. This is the pattern that I folded out 1″ ease from the front and add 2″ ease to the back. These pants are therefore 1″ wider at the hem and over the thigh/leg than the designer intended. I like the full leg on shorts. It’s breezy. Lots of air circulation.  Air circulation is good during the summer.

Usually when I want shorts, I fold up the legs of the last pattern fitted. I made so many of these last year that I traced a separate pattern just for shorts and altered the leg to my preferred length.  This pair of shorts was incredibly easy and fast.  Those last 4 rows of stitch along the elastic get boring. But then it so satisfying to see the elastic draw up and assume the proper shape as I pass the steam iron over the finished pant. Easy. Quick. Fits. TNT’s are worth the effort.


Posted on: May 6, 2014

ETA: It’s not de ja vue. You could have read this post before! This post went public before I intended.  It really needed this last edit and maybe one more. 

I’ve noticed that the fitting books all read “if you have this problem, do this” or something to that effect.  So when I tell people I have lived 6+ decades and have a mass of fabric beneath my tush, they look a the “this problem” and  promptly advise  a “do this”  of flat-butt alteration.  However, I don’t think I have a flat butt.

That’ s my b utt. I earned that b utt.  It’s a left over from my childhood when running was my favorite activity; high school when I played the Field Hockey Right Wing; and years of walking as a method of solitude, meditation and exercise.  Now that I’m retired, 2 flights of stairs taken many times daily, keep my b utt high.  When i saw the picture above, I decided I needed a FBA (full-bust alteration) for my b utt. I started looking through my library;  searched the internet but found nothing. (Warning do not search the internet for b utt alterations. You will not believe the finds.)  The general attitude seems to be buy a pattern big enough to go around and your pants will fit.  P&P even suggest that I might want the extra fullness over my back-thighs to fill in and disguise how much I stick out back there.

I gave up and went about my sewing. Until the day I was looking in my books for something else… when I delved into Lynda MacIntyre’s “Easy Guide to Sewing Pants“. This book is not just about sewing pants. It includes lots of fitting information including the elusive PBA Prominent Butt Alteration”.  Although I had planned a quick and easy pair of pants, I had to try this alteration.

I traced both front and full-back pattern pieces of PP113, size medium.  It’s possible I didn’t need to trace the front at all. But I’m unsure of exactly what alterations I’d made. I decided to start from scratch and document the changes like I’d  have alzheimer’s today. I’ll spare you the details of the changes I made (which are normal for me) and jump right to the PBA.   The PBA consists of two slashes one horizontal along the HBL starting at the back crotch going to to but not through the side seam. The 2nd  vertically bisects the first along the grain line. It would look like a big cross. The vertical does not cut through either the waist or hems.  Then the PBA is spread apart, taped into place  and the back crotch line trued.

The first question I asked was how much do I spread the PBA. I’m always trying to add 1 inch ease. On the MSS and Eureka pants patterns, I folded out 1″ of ease from the front, then split the back along the grain line and spread the back 1″ (effectively adding 2″ ease to the back hip.)  Other patterns, I’ve tried to create wedges and curves to add 1″ or more at the side seam.  Believe it or not, the PBA slashing and spreading is a better way of adding ease. I spread the vertical grain line apart  1″.I didn’t want to create a bubble at the crotch seam, so I pulled the slash towards the side seam to open it.  I slipped some tissue paper beneath and tacked the spread in place. I worked from the vertical slash towards the side seam and then again from vertical slash towards the crotch allowing the tissue to fall into place. Surprising to me, the slash along  HBL  also opened 1″ at the back crotch.  It wanted to. It just sort of spread open as I was working towards the side seam and settled into place. Frankly I wasn’t sure of what I was doing and decided to trust the paper.

Once all was secured with tape, I cut fabric.  My fabric was purchased about 3 years ago in Rapid City SD. I think I was at Hancocks. I make it a habit to look for good pant fabrics anytime I’m in a real fabric store.   This particular time Hancocks had splurged and added a few colorful denims.  I purchased two, well I purchased 4 fabrics that day, but 2 were in unusual colors, a light rose-pink jacquard and a periwinkle denim. Both with 2% Lycra. I used the rose pick jacquard today.  It tested with 15% stretch which I reluctantly didn’t take advantage. I mean, I didn’t want to stretch this pair of pants to fit.  I wanted to alter the pattern to fit.  I put the darts and zipper in permanently. Skipped the pockets; serge finished all the edges and then using water soluble thread, stitched the pants together for the first try on.

Heavenly, just heavenly. The front crotch was too long –the same complaint I made about the pants Pam fitted on the DVD. Interestingly the first pair of PP113’s I used the 1″ SA on the back to cover my rear. With the PBA, both front and back side seams are an even 1″ — I’m not using the side seam insurance to fit my backside.  I feel like  the PBA creates  less distortion of the design line.   I’m excited that there is less excess ease over the back thigh and the hem circumference has not increased by my attempt to add more b utt ease.

I ripped out the waistband and reset it  3/4″ lower in front; 5/8 lower on the side narrowing to 0 (or no change) at the center back seam line. Perfect. I transferred the change to the pattern by overlappinig and taping the sides along the side stitching line; slashing across front and sides to the center back stitching line and over lapping the pattern pieces; and finally taping the alteration in place.

I finished the pants by narrowing the lower leg between bottom of knee and hem; 1/2″ each side total 2″ per leg. I also scooped the back crotch just slightly because the first pics showed the back crotch creeping between my cheeks. I’ve not transferred the last 2 changes to the pattern.


The front looks a little large to me. I’d like that ease for trousers, but slacks are a different animal.

This is very close to how I want my slacks to look. I want slacks that hint at shape and fall smoothly from my waist.

I am pretty happy with this pair of pants  I do think they are just slightly large for slacks. They’ve been worn for 3 fittings and about 30 minutes before taking pictures. I plan to take in the side seams another 1/4″ and call this version done.

BUT I’m not 100% satisfied with the PBA.  I wasn’t sure where to place the PBA and chose the HBL.  The fullest part of my butt is about 1″ below the bottom of the darts which is 2″ higher than the HBL marked on PP113. When I think back it makes more sense to place the cross over the largest point instead of 2″ below. The split would then  come back together about 2″ above my knee and not be as wide over my thighs. I’m always complaining about the excess fabric in that area — (it is that symptom that causes people to say make a flat-butt alteration)– when in truth when I’m trying to add ease across my b utt, the area over my thighs is also getting more ease.  I also think that a full one- inch spread could be too much. I see that in the length of the back crotch as well as the over all ease in the back.

Oh yes, there will be another version…..



I’m sure the bolt didn’t say it was tent fabric. I’ve had it for so long that I’m pretty sure it was off a Walmart $1 table with content listed as “unknown”.  I’m not sure why I didn’t realize it would be perfect for tarps or tents either then or when I started these jeans.  5 minutes into pressing and I decided this fabric had to be softened or discarded. I ran it through 3 different hot, boiling hot washes to which I added a liter of coke and a cup of vinegar each time.  It took longer to pretreat this fabric than to sew the garment.Thankfully, the fabric did soften. But I will always think of these as my Tent Jeans made with my all time favorite jean pattern Trudy Jansen 906.

Once softened, I cut the the fabric and then embroidered the yoke, back pocket and front pocket

The embroidery file is used is half of the back pocket. I then rotated and clipped to make the other designs.

I have to tell you that I made no changes to the pattern since I used it for the pants in the March 19th post.  I’m not sure if it’s a fabric issue, or a dressing issue. At first I could feel the pants sitting too low. But then correcting that seems to have resulted in the pants being too high and tucking in between my cheeks.  After the harsh pretreatment the fabric has gained and almost velvety nap. It now feels like a brushed, heavy-denim. But it’s possible that some of the original stiffness is still inheritant and causing the pants to sit the way they do.

I will direct your attention back to the side view.  Well meaning people are always telling me to make a flat-butt alteration. I claim I do not have a flat butt and that picture is my proof.

Before I even started fitting Pamela’s Perfect Pants pattern, I wanted to make the Magic Pants and the Grown-Up Leggings.  Today, I finished the Magic Pants and I’m in love.

It helps that I started with a wonderful fabric.  I think I bought this fabric from  It is described as “Dark Brown Stretch Poly/Rayon Crepe… Maggy London). It is very similar to the Modern Gab stocked at but  a lot cheaper.  It was a steal that I don’t expect to find again. Also, I couldn’t be 100%  sure how good  it was going to be like until I opened the package. Then it was too late to order more, or I would have.  This brown is so dark that I need to place it next to black or blue to tell the difference.

To make the Magic Pant, start with your already basic fitting pant pattern. Fold out the zipper placket and add 1″ to the top .  Pam likes to use back darts. She says she also like the look of the front darts and will use them; but says it’s your choice. Use. Don’t use. Whatever you want to do will work. I added another 5/8″ ease to the back pattern piece and covered all pieces with non-woven fusible interfacing.  I like to add non-woven fusible interfacing to my TNT patterns. It reinforces the tissue, preserving it from tearing and also grabs a little when placed on fabric.  Instead of chalking the needed change onto the fabric, I made templates that can be reused. for the templates, I copy the pant pattern from Hip HBL up to the waist. I mark the HBL and grain line on the template.  That makes it easier for me to realign the next time I want to use this template.  I copy the other lines of the pattern (darts, notches) onto the template and then add the changes. Once I’m sure the template has all the information I need, I trim the excess tissue.  For the Magic Pants, all that is needed is adding 1″ above the waist.  I also added a 1-1/2″ marker because I use both 1″ and 1.5″ elastic for pants waistlines.

In sewing I didn’t mark or sew any darts probably saving 10 minutes..  I serged the side seams and crotch using 1/4″ seam allowances.  I serge finished the hem and the waistline before turning up and fusing the leg hems into place.  Pam has you leave the waist unfinished for hours.  I serged because I know in the long run, that’s best for me.  I’ll explain in a sec. Pam has you try on the pants to determine the amount the side seams need to be taken in.  She says it is usually between 1/4 and 3/8″ but can vary with the fabric. Then wear the unfinished garment for a few hours to see if it needs to be taken in more.  I immediately stitched the side seams 1/2″ wide/deep.

I’m not sure why I made the following mistake. I know that different elastic stretches different amounts. I knew I was using WAWAK elastic and Pam was using her special elastic. But I followed her instructions to use a 1″ elastic that was the length of my waist measurement-2″. It slipped up easily over my hips. It also slowly worked its way down to my butt. The biggest trouble with this is that I did not follow her instruction for testing the elastic and pant fit before attaching the elastic to the pant.  So I had cut my elastic, joined it in a circle and then using a wide long attached the elastic at the waist. This is why it’s good to serge finish the top edge: I had to rip out the zig zaging  in order to remove and shorten the elastic. Thank heavens it wasn’t serging that had to be ripped.   The WAWAK elastic needed to be shortened 2″ for my taste YMMV.   I also took the pant side-seams in another 1/8″ (each side). That’s a generous 1/8″ almost 1/4″.   I thought it was justified because even holding the pants up, they sagged below my butt and the front just looks — roomy.

I did not wear my pants for hours before finishing. Nope I immediately finished using Pam’s “Talbots Waistband”. (Fold down the elastand stitch-in-the-ditch along each seam and dart.)  Without  the darts,  4 stitch in the ditches was not enough to hold the “waistband” in place.  I also vertically stitched  half way between each of the previous.  It’s wearable. It’s OK but I think in the future I will finish the elastic differently.  I know several  cut-on-waistband finishes. It’s a matter of choosing one that works and looks good to me. (Which is odd because I never tuck my blouses. So why should I care what it looks like as long as it stays in place and will never be seen?)

I think I maybe at the point of scooping the back crotch.  I always have to do this.  Even the Eureka needed a small scoop.   I need the back crotch to be lower than the front instead of on the same horizontal parallel-to-the-floor plane.  That’s me. That’s the way I’m built. I know there are several others out there that have the same crotch shape. I’m also sad to see the back X’s developing. The scoop will help but truth is, my body is shaped the way it is shaped and I stand the way I stand.  The X’s, diagonal pulls crossing from butt-knee-calve, occur anytime my pants hem circumferences  are less than 19″. This pair finished at about 16.


Yes I shared pics before the pants are completely finished. I just need to scoop which will take care of the drooping back waist and excess ease under the butt. (Maybe even help those knee line drags). I also took these pics after carefully pressing but not wearing the pants. Being a woven stretch I’m sure they will continue to stretch while being worn. I’m really happy with this version even at this unfinished point. I spent more time fusing interfacing to the pattern and making templates, than I did sewing — and that includes ripping. I do think that future versions will take a few minutes longer because darts are warranted and I want to add pockets.  Still this is a good pair of pants than can be made in about an hour, maybe hour and a half.

Side and back view of almost finished pants: