Temperatures have dropped to uncomfortable levels, causing me retreat and center my activities in the easy-to-keep-warm areas of my home. These are also core areas of the house which need to be heated. By heating just these areas, my bill is kept from resembling the national debt. I do experience reduced functionality but it’s not all that bad. For instance, in the recent days when I couldn’t sew or embroider, I completed a recently-purchased Craftsy Class” Sewing Designer Jeans. (Hope that link goes to the class and not my personal list of classes.) I have to tell you, I’m very pleased. I’m particularly interested in how to duplicate visible jean details that might be used in high-end designer jeans. The class instructor, Angela Wolf, demonstrates her competence in this arena through-out the 9 Lessons. If you want a go/no go recommendation, I give the course a GO. However, I don’t like blanket 1 sentence “loved it/you” reviews. So I’m continuing with an in-depth review:
Lesson 1, Meet Angela Wolf and Get Started
I encourage you not to skip this lesson. The other Craftsy Courses I have finished, include an introduction which could have been eliminated entirely. But Angela talks about the fabrics she has used for jeans which of course includes denim. She talks a lot about the various denims, stretch factors and weights. She recommends a 6 or 8 oz denim and cautions that a 12oz denim is a heavy fabric indeed. While AW prefers a 6 or 8 oz denim, she uses cotton sateen, non-stretch denims and shiny printed, high stretch denims as well. She admits freely that these are her preference and that you should use what you want, once your pattern fits to your satisfaction. In fact, I think one of the things I enjoyed most about her class is that she states her preferences but repeatedly encourages you to make choices that you like. During the introductory, she also makes thread, needle and stitch recommendations as well as alternate reinforcement options (try stitching, bling, or small findings from the jewelry department.)
As with all the dressmaking/garment Craftsy courses, pattern recommendations are made. Not surprising, Angela recommends her own pattern first. However, she follows that with strong recommendations for Jalie with its high and low waist options, Jennifer Stern (misses and women sizes) and an almost glowing recommendation for Kenneth King’s “Jeanius” class for copying a favorite pair.
Angela is wild about distressing denim jeans. There is never a lesson which does not include specific hints and tips. However, I can’t repeat them as I don’t like distressing and didn’t pay much attention. I was a child in the 50′s when it was very common for younger children to wear their elder siblings discards. There was no shame in it. All my friends wore their siblings clothes. An elder child was the subject of limited admiration because they were the one, in nearly every family, to get the news clothes. The rest of us received “distressed” clothing also called hand-me downs on a fairly regular basis. I mean it was almost understood that these weren’t your clothe. They were lent to you until you grew out of them and then the clothes became garments in the next younger child’s wardrobe. OTOH, we would also “get after” an elder sibling for not taking care of our future garment. We knew it was to be ours in the near future and we didn’t want to wear a rag just because our sibling was a slob. I can remember how thrilled I was when my parents gave me my first school-clothing allowance. A humongous sum of $10. I found 3 dresses for $7, and added socks and panties to my basket. The total was just slightly under $10. Until they added taxes. I stood there at the counter, a very determined 11-year-old, demanding to know why they wanted more than $10 when any second grader could add up the tags and see I was owed a few pennies. The clerk was beside herself trying to explain “taxes”. Fortunately, this was a time of small towns, rural communities and proprietor owned businesses. The owner came over to see what was going on and paid my tax — with one condition. That I ask my parents what taxes were. So no, I’m not interested in distressing my jeans (or being overcharged).
Lesson 2 Perfect Fit
AW makes several recommendations for solving jean fitting issues. She highly recommends that you take Betzina’s pants fitting or King’s Jeanius courses and start with a fitted basic pant or jean pattern before starting. She doesn’t address all pant fitting issues. Only a few that seem to persist with jeans and perhaps aren’t present in regular pants. I was particularly impressed with her recommendations for choosing a jean size and measuring the inseam but totally flummoxed with her recommendation for the hyper extended calf HEC. Her solution for the HEC involves folding out length just below the bum, then slashing and spreading an equal amount below the calve; finishing by truing the curves and seam lines. It looked like an excellent means for destroying the leg styling. Besides, it doesn’t make sense to me. If you have a large bust (can that be called a hyper extended chest?) you don’t fold out length above the chest and add length down around the hem. You do something called a Full-Bust Adjustment FBA which adds both length and width across the front without changing the finished side seam length. So the HEC doesn’t make sense to me. Some of her other adjustments were also questionable, in light of my experiences. However, I know that there can be fitting issues that remain even after making all the experts recommended changes. I would say, if nothing else has worked; if no other alteration you’ve made has fixed your issue, go ahead; make a muslin and try AW’s alteration. AW does show you specifically which wrinkles she is correcting and what you should do. She also recommends making your alterations in small 1/4″ increments until you find the amount needed to be changed for your body. She pointedly states that there are wrinkles you will never get rid of if you are making a close fitting jean. AW is another who respects the fact that all our bodies are different and no single guideline/rule works for everyone. As for myself, she has convinced me of a couple of things. I’m definitely picking my next jean pattern size by measuring the pattern; and I’m looking forward to correcting the gaping of back waistband which commonly happens to me with any pant whereon the waistband sits below the waist. That gaping is one of the reasons I will not wear low-rise jeans. (BTW low-rise jeans are flattering especially for those of us who are short-waisted.)
In this lesson, she also discusses making some pocket adaptions. Don’t miss that. It’s brief but I like that she covered everything I learned the hard way. Another note worthy segment is when she talks about using stretch fabrics after having fit the pattern for a non-stretch denim. I do believe that the process could be reversed, i.e. fit for stretch and change for non-stretch. Last interesting segment is her discussion of marking and aligning the grain and somewhere in here she talk about working with a length of denim which is uneven. You know the kind where you can see that the grain is parallel to the selvege but the cut end is at an angle.
Lesson 3 Back Pockets
Loved it. Can’t say enough good about this lesson. Not sure I would have paid $20 for this lesson alone, but still it is the lesson I remember the best. AW covers so much information. She does stick with the basic jean pocket size and shape during her discussion, but makes numerous changes, adds buttonholes and shows an easy way to make sure your design is mirrored exactly for both back pockets. Do any of you suffer with a “flat rear end”? No junk-in-the-trunk? AW has a solution for you: flaps over your back pockets. Unfortunately, I’m exactly the opposite. I say unfortunately because AW shares numerous ways to decorate the flaps, add buttonholes and place in conjunction with your back pocket. Back flaps are really a great way to add zing to your jeans and have fun too!
Lesson 4 Sewing the Back
I don’t use AW’s construction order but I think she has good reasons for the choices she makes. One is flat-felling the center back seam. She offers lots of advice on this topic. I have one notes here that says “sew, press, distress, top stitch” . So apparently I did retain something about distressing. She’s specific on the order and the reasons why. Also great advice for which way to press seams, where and when to top stitch, through-out all 9 Lessons, but here in particular in regards to the yoke and CB. What I loved most and will use, are her details for pocket placement. Most patterns add a dot and say attach pocket here. Well if you make any changes, mine are always changed to accommodate the junk-in-the-trunk, your pocket might look better positioned slightly differently. AW gives you measurements of where to place the pockets.
Lesson 5 Front Pockets
AW loves crazy linings from improbably fabrics. She also prefers a one piece bag/facing referencing the lessening of bulk and how easy it is to place it into perfect position. She prefers an overlay on the facing covering the area which will show when the jeans are finished (a bulk reducing method). She also explores pocket shapes, the coin pocket and some variations. Interesting to me, she does not stay stitch or stabilize the front pocket, but is very careful to reinforce stressed areas. She prefers not to use grommets (although in one of the lessons she goes into detail for how and when to install) substituting zig zag stitching or other decorative elements.
Lesson 6 Front Fly
I didn’t view this lesson at all. Judging from the other lessons, I’d say it is probably full of good information. However, I don’t care to make the faced pocket fly. I always wear my granny panties which means that I never expose my tender flesh to the machinations of a metal zipper. I don’t use metal zippers either. Don’t like rust, stubborn zipper or broken needles. AW probably provides workarounds for my issues, but I’ll never know. Take the course and let me know if I missed anything important.
Lesson 7 Joining Front to Back.
I’ve got 2 pages of hand written notes. You’d think this would be an easy lesson. Saying like, stitch this seam and then that. Well those directions are included plus AW tells you which order to use if adding embroidery. She stresses pinning to avoid twisting the legs. She’s not only a real believer in the effects of grain, but shows you how to avoid that problem even at this stage of the game. She mentions hammering frequently to include when, where and which side. But she adds fun to the mix. I felt like she loved belt loops. She shows a variety of stitching and some placement changes. She does specify exact spots that must have belt loops if you want your pants to stay up. Really impressive to me is the top stitching along the side seam. She details the direction to stitch, press and the length of the seam. She explains why. Nobody has ever told me why. I just think it’s great when someone is not only technically proficient i.e. knows what to do, but they understand why and can tell you.
Lesson 8 The Waistband
I was surprised by information in this lesson. AW does not interface the waistband or it’s facing. I should make you pay for the class to learn this secret. Except, I think she shared it on TV. She stitches the waistband and facing together along the upper edge. Then stitches 1/4″ twill on top of that stitching. AW promises that the waist will never stretch. If you adopt her process it cannot change size. I don’t know if this is true or not. I’m going to test it myself, after all, with the crazy belt loops I’m planning, the jeans will stay up even if the waist grows a little.
Like the other lessons AW is very specific about what she does. I underlined that because AW repeatedly says “this is what is fastest for me but you should do what works for you” (or something to that effect). I’m much more appreciative and attentive to the instructor who can allow that I might have learned something from someone else or I might have limitations that demand I do things in a certain way. AW covers this segment in detail including tips for making sure the waistband is smoothly and evenly attached to the pant, the stitching across the front matches and how to avoid breaking needles even with a metal zipper. She shows you how to trim the zipper, remove excess teeth and finish top stitching the waistband and the zipper for a flawless finish.
Lesson 9 Finishing and Hemming
AW talks about buttons and helps identify a classic jean button that will resist detaching from its stud. She shows you what can go wrong with grommets, metal nipples and buttons and how to detect poor installations before the first wearing. For this type button, she does recommend the keyhole buttonhole and spends a lot of time showing how to choose the size, stitch, and reinforce. She continues to offer “fun” finishes encouraging you to choose buttons not because jeans are supposed to have a certain type, but because you enjoy the button. This is the time that she finally stitches the belt loops into position. Her timing makes sense, I just hate having the floppy button loops. Surprising to me, she recommends washing the jeans before hemming. That’s washing the jeans now even after having washed the denim at least twice before cutting. Once again, she has an explanation: All the handling given to jeans can easily stretch them out of shape. If they are washed and dried now, the denim will recover its shape and the hem will be at the correct length. She also states that denim will continue to shrink. According to AW and my personal experience, shrinking is an inherent characteristic of denim. Being thankful that shrinking is really not my fault, I’ve made a note to myself to hem my jeans 1/2″ longer than desired.
Seriously great course. It was well worth the full price of $40. Although I’ll admit the grinch in my heart was happy to pay half-price. I still have issues with the video format. I know I’m not going to remember everything said in the video. I’m also not going to be able to easily find the place in the video that I need to rewatch. I’ve yet to figure out how to make “book marks” on the video but that may be because of my crutch. See, I make notes and from this class I have 25 pages of hand written notes. Even though I prefer a written format, I acknowledge that there are times when I need to see something being done. Words are just not enough. I’m so glad Angela Wolf recorded this course and very glad Craftsy made it available.
When you saw my photo you either said “She’s ridiculous to be pleased” or “She’s made so many better pants. Why is she pleased at all?”
I nearly ruined these pants. No kidding at one point I thought I had made a wadder and I knew it was my fault.
I set out to “check” the CLA and waistline adjustments I’d made to the last pair of Eureka pants. Then I decided that I wanted to add pockets. Pockets are so handy. When I’m first fitting a pants pattern I don’t like to use the pocket pieces. My own experience has been that a pocket can change or disguise fitting issues. But now, with a couple of good pairs in the closet, I want to add pockets for the pattern.
I also decided I needed to start adding real winter fabrics to the closet. The temperatures are decreasing daily and we’ve already had our warning storm. (Usually sometime in Oct, Mother Nature warns us that winter is coming by unexpectedly dropping snow in all our yards. That’s already happened. Twice and three times in some parts of SD.) From the stash, I selected a grey moleskin. I like to wear moleskin in the winter. It is a beefy fabric and the 100% polyester is good a deflecting wind and rain. Its satin back ensures any garment will slip over whatever undies I’ve decided are necessary for the day (when it’s 30 below you want layers and layers of thermal undies). Generally moleskin has a tiny bit of stretch which also makes it a good choice because it enhances movement. But it can be a devilish fabric to sew with and, late last winter, I had one pair of moleskin pants that, despite a measured 10% stretch, I couldn’t sit when wearing.
So combine a forgotten 1″ seam allowances, a can-be-temperamental fabric, and a desire to add pockets where none have been before and the stage is set for disaster. I decided to use the pocket Kathy Ruddy shares during in her Craftsy Class. It is a pocket opening in the shape of a D cut out along the side seam, which is finished and then a pocket back is stitched to the pant front and behind the finished opening. I’ve designed similar pockets myself. Now Kathy makes no bones about this. She copied the design from a RTW garment. You cut the little D shape out of the side seam; roll that edge under and top stitch. Did I mention, every moleskin I’ve used ravels horribly? Well this one was no exception, so I didn’t just roll the edge under, I serge finished it first. Then I tried to roll under and top stitch. It wouldn’t roll. I had this ugly, wavy, terribly uneven cut out along the edge. Then I realized, that didn’t matter anyway because I had forgotten about the 1″ seam allowances. The pocket opening, that D, would be entirely within the seam.
After a head slap and an Oy Vey, I decided I should go ahead and check the fit. Well the D was not entirely but mostly within the side seam. There was a largish 2-3″ along the side seam that was not basted as I tried on the pants. The back looked fine, but I kept looking at the front and thinking could it really be the small unsewn areas that made the front look so bad? I had no choice but to finish the pockets. I did the typical side slant pocket opening. It was sort of large because I needed to get rid of the failed D pocket opening. I used bias tape to finish the pocket edge and as originally planned fixed a pocket back but not a bag to the pant front behind the pocket opening. (You’ve got to sew to understand). Now I measured and cut carefully. I want you to know that. I also placed the pocket back carefully into place and fused it there with Steam A Seam; before double top stitching the pocket to my pant front. I did both pockets. They were well secured when I realized somehow the pocket back had slipped at the side seam and was 1″ lower than it should have been.
I was totally shocked. How could that happen? I swear I was careful with each step of the pocket. I fused because the fabric was slippery and I didn’t want the pocket to slip out of place during stitching. I don’t know about you, but the SAS I buy is difficult to remove. Once I’ve fused something in place, removing it is nearly impossible. I’m more likely to spend hours wrecking the project. I don’t have enough fabric to cut a second front. I have to fix this or toss it. So this is where this pair of pants almost became a wadder. I aligned the front and back pants at the hem, knee and widest hip. I smoothed as best as possible from the widest hip up to the waist and had some of the back just dangling in air. I basted side seams from hem to waist. (Zipper, inseams and crotch were previously permanently stitched). Then I basted the waistband angling it across the top of the pant as smoothly as possible. I tried the pants on. Holy cow, this was going to work! I basted the side seams another 1/4″ in and decided this was good and enough. I finished the pant and called it wearable (See first two photos. I think I’m as good as anybody else in the bank line).
I won’t make any changes to pattern based on these pants. The back is really not all that bad. I wish it were a bit tighter across the bum. I do like a pant that smoothly flows over the rear and down to the floor. But this the flowing that is “old lady butt” instead of “healthy behind” flow. I didn’t want to take-in the seam allowances any more because I was beginning to feel a little pulling as I sat down. Above all else, I must be able to sit while wearing my pants.
My side seam is leaning backwards and I think the waist is rising in the front. I didn’t make any effort to correct the issues. I figure the problem was caused by my pocket application. Besides, looking at the first two pictures in this post, I’m pretty sure no one is going to see the problems. I also forgot how badly that kind of pocket opening can gape. During construction, I stitched it into place using water soluble thread. During construction the pocket opening set nice and close to the body. When everything was done, I spritzed the pocket opening with water; removed the WSS and took pictures. That’s when the pocket opening gapped. Fortunately as I normally dress (Pic 1 and 2 again), I think it’s not likely to be noticed.
If the front didn’t bag at the inseam knee, I’d say these pants are fine. Yes I wish they’d enhance my butt just a little better. But they are the right length. No VPL, no nasty fitting issues There is less excess fabric over the back thigh. I’d like to reduce that a little more, but I am pleased with my progress. I added belt loops this time. The Stretch Velvet pants which fit beautifully at home, stretched at the waistline while out and about. It was really annoying to be pulling up my pants through-out the day. I was in public, far from home. It was really, really annoying. With belt loops, that won’t happen again. (I will say I was surprised at this wear issue and blame it squarely on the fabric. The other pairs of Eureka’s pants never do that to me and I wore the Grey Eurekas during that trip.) But back to this pair, I made the waistline a non-issue.
I have already worn these pants. I’m pleased to say they were comfortable. They may not be “the perfect pair” but they are good and enough for all my activities.
CLA is the abbreviation I’m using for Kathy Ruddy’s “Crescent Leg Alteration”. I’m really thrilled with this alteration and while I’d normally write about my pant first, I’m so excited I want to share the alteration first.
Kathy Ruddy details the CLA at the end of Lesson 3, Refining Fit. For me, it was the most significant alteration in the entire lesson. Kathy details several important alterations which often receive little or no attention and therefore women remain unsatisfied with their pants because they don’t know what to do. Kathy gives lots of good information, but the CLA was a new-to-me concept accompanied by absolute relief at her assertion that you should not expect to make the same alteration equally on front and back or even both sides. Indeed if you are asymmetrical (which she also explains) you will need 4 separate pattern pieces and will need to alter each differently.
But back to the CLA. Before this lesson, I could fix all my pant fitting issues and still have excess ease over the back thigh. If I tried to take the leg in an equal amount front and back, the front started looking nasty. If I tried to take in along the inseam, the crotch and knee started looking bad. For the most part, I prefer to wear slacks and trousers with a little ease. So for a trouser, I would say “it’s a trouser” and ignore the extra fabric over the back thigh. For slacks and jeans I kept fussing with the pant’s leg, never finding the solution that would remove the extra fabric without making some other part of the pant look bad.
I will not detail the CLA here. Kathy deserves your money for this. But I will say she leaves one issue unclear and that is exactly where do you make this alteration. She uses a pivot and slide procedure and tells you that the alteration point is somewhere between knee and under the bum. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of territory on my body. In the question and answers following the lesson, she answers more specifically. In case you can’t find or miss that section, I will describe her answer here. This is a “it depends” situation. It depends upon your body. The way to determine your alteration point is to fit your basic pant pattern and solve all the other issues; winding up where I am now i.e. everything solved but still have extra fabric floating around over my back thigh. With the fitted pant on your body, grab the deepest place of “too much fabric”. Mark it somehow. I used a safety-pin. Then identify that area on the pattern. Mine is about 4″ below the crotch HBL but your place could be higher or lower. I laid the pant and pattern on my cutting table trying to make them exactly across from each other. Then made a mark on the side seam that corresponded to my pin. Kathy recommends starting with a 1/2″ deep mark. So from the side seam I moved my mark to the interior 1/2″.
Kathy says the amount of the alteration can vary by person and gives as an example someone who needed a 1.5″ deep CLA. I’ve already found that the depth of the alteration can also change depending upon fabric. My first fabric, the pant I’m sharing today, was a no-wale corduroy with 25% stretch. The depth of CLA for that fabric was 1/2″ . My next fabric (pant to be shared in a future post) was a satin backed moleskin. I started with 1/2″. Basted the pant together and took pics. It wasn’t enough. I had to make another 1/2″ alteration (total of 1″) to remove the excess fabric to suit my aesthetics.
Now, onto my Eureka. I felt that the muslin was coming up over my tummy and ending on my midriff instead of sitting at my waist. But my pictures said the muslin was fine. My first pair of Eureka’s also felt too high at center front. The fitting pictures continued to show the pant sitting at my waist even though it felt like it was higher. However the final, side view, made when all the seams have been serged and the waistband nailed into place, did clearly show the CF rising. I didn’t want to rip everything out and besides, I always wear my blouses and tops untucked so this error wouldn’t be visible to anyone. So I did nothing to that pair of pants. But for this version I trimmed the pattern from side to center front 1/2″. I drafted the 1/2″ CLA but cut the pants without it. I chalked the CLA onto the back leg and started construction of the pant.
I sew the zipper, pockets (if desired), inseam and crotch with permanent stitches. But I use water-soluble thread and baste the side seams, hems and waistband into place. Then I take pictures and tweak the fit. I know that no matter how many times I’ve made a pattern, the chosen fabric will make a difference. Usually, my garment can be adapted for the fabric by adjusting the side seams slightly. For today’s pants, I eventually trimmed 3/4″ across the top of the pant from the back dart, across side seams and across the center front. I’m really happy with the final fit. Unfortunately the only pictures I can find is the full front (posted on sdbev.wordpress.com). But I can share the nearly-there Fit03
I’m happy with this pair of pants and don’t have any real complaints. I’m pleased at how the waistline seems perfectly horizontal and for the first time, it feels right. That’s important to me. I once had a pair of pants which “felt” wrong however the pattern designer refused to work further with me because they looked perfect to her. For me, if it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right. I made only a 1/2″ CLA ( which is reflected in this fit). Looking now I think that another 1/2″ could be in order. But the pants look so much better in the mirror, as well as the pics, plus they feel terrific. The rest of the drag lines smoothed out after the final stitching and pressing. I could take new pics — after the pants are washed and pressed. Yes these are already in the laundry basket. I like to wear new garments quickly because that’s the only way I can be 100% sure that they fit the way I want.
I finished my first pair of Eureka pants using a very good fabric. This is the kind of fabric you want to wear. It is a nylon/poly/lycra blend woven with a subtle vertical stripe. The fabric has a fabulous drape and would have been perfect for One-Seams. After my last fiasco (counting the muslin and first trial of the Eureka pant), someone suggested that I use 10″ instead of 4″ when calculating stretch. With the 4″ sample, this fabric had 25% stretch i.e. it stretched from 4 to 5 inches. With the 10″ sample it has 15% stretch i.e. it stretched from 10 to 11.5 inches. I know for a fact that the larger the data sample, the more accurate your final database and program will be. I’m assuming that’s true here and will adopt a 10″ sample standard.
I apologize for the quality of the photos. My camera is acting up again. I’ve decided to replace it and ordered new but until the new one arrives, the pictures are what they are.
I traced the pattern a second time. This time I carefully compared the pattern with the MSS pattern. At the first tracing I looked carefully at the crotch shapes (which I shared in the first post) but not compared the tissues as a whole. When looking from the bird’s-eye view, I could see that the fitted MSS is shorter at the top and bottom; the Eureka has the big back crotch; but otherwise both are very similar.
I decided to make one tissue alteration immediately. I trimmed a wedge across the top 2″ wide at CB extending across the sides and narrowing to 1″ at the front. I applied the wedge above the first HBL because that’s where I made the changes on the muslin which kept the HBL’s evenly horizontal. This is the biggest change I made to the first Eureka muslin and it is the obvious difference between the two patterns. I added 1″ to the side seams. I didn’t want to take a chance on forgetting to add the safety factor while cutting out the fabric as I’d done with the fabric that got me. I stitched two front and back darts, a total of 4 darts (one on each piece). Then I tried it on
The pictures I’m showing are finished shots i.e. these are being comfortably worn as is.
The fabric feels heavenly but as you can see the finished front does indicate a little of my belly flap- the result of child-bearing, weight gain/loss and Father Time or Granny Gravity. I suppose I could wear some slimming undergarments. I’m instead hoping that my blouses, which I never tuck, will disguise it for me. I hemmed at 1.5″, then 2.5″ and finally 3.5″. Funny, wasn’t that the amount I took off the hem of the first tracing? Yes it was. Maybe the fabric of the first muslin wasn’t the entire problem after all.
I didn’t notice this at the first fitting or photos, but the waistband seems to tilt up towards the CF in this photo. I’m not sure if it’s the photo though, because I felt like the front waist was coming up a little high. What I paid the most attention to was the side seam. It’s about as perpendicular as it can get. The leg just falls smoothly from waist to hem. Well it does from the side view.
There are so many good things to say about the back. Starting with the ease I added on a whim. Well not exactly a whim. The backs of the Eureka and MSS had about the same ease. I had noticed that my MSS consistently needs another 1″ of ease only on the back. I split the tissue of the Eureka along the grain line and added the 1″ in the middle of the back. This worked really well. When I basted the side seams I basted them at the same distance (1-5/8″) instead of trying to offset the back and front side seam. I do see the diagonal fold between hip and knee only on the right leg (left as you are looking into the picture.) That didn’t occur in the first fitting pictures. The biggest difference between these pictures and the first pictures of this version is the hem and serging the excess off the side seam. Oh and everything is nailed down instead of basted into place. Looking in the mirror I thought the pant looked a little loose overall but decided to leave it. There are fabrics, and this is one of them, that should have more ease. Some fabrics need more ease because they have no stretch. In that case more fabric is required so that the body can move and sit. This fabric needs more ease because it clings to the body. I refer you back to the picture of the front and visible tummy flap. That is the fabric clinging to body.
I also noted the twist between calve and hem. I didn’t try to correct it. After the pant was done I pulled out my notes from Kathy Rudy’s One Pattern Many Looks class. I untaped the wedge across the top and compared the leg as Kathy instructs. When I pinned the two inseams together, I found that the back inseam is shorter than the front. This is typical, but I don’t personally subscribe to the theory. That’s based on my personal experience. Please note that I do not have a model’s body; and my body is most certainly different from your own. But for my body and the fabrics I sew with, following that theory often creates ruching along the front inseam. I don’t completely understand why. I know that I have the dropped rear, my waist is tilted (shorter front crotch length than back) and that I am shorter than the standard. Not to mention the difference in body weight. I do know that other sewists and other real people don’t have the same experience. But I’m sewing for my body and my body needs the inseams to be the same length.
At the side seam, I started by pinning all the HBL’s together. From the top HBL to the knee HBL the pattern lays nice and flat. When I try to pin the waist together the front bows. When I try to pin the hem together, a diagonal forms between hem and calve just like it is on my back leg. When I pin so everything is flat, the back side seam at the waist is clearly 3/16″ shorter than the front and the back hem is 1/4″ longer on both inseam and side seam. Could I have traced these incorrectly? It’s possible the tissue slipped. I say possible knowing that I routinely use 4 pieces of tape to secure the original and then another 4 pieces to secure my tracing tissue. I also smooth my tissues twice before each taping and I keep checking to be sure the tissue is not shifting. But hey, I could have made a mistake. It wouldn’t be the first time. I trimmed the back leg 1/4″ at the hem and added 3/16″ at the top and then taped my 2″ horizontal fold back into place. I won’t say the pattern is wrong but I would recommend that you pin the pattern together starting with the HBL’s and check to be sure the lengths are even (excepting maybe the stretch at the top of the back inseam). Kathy Ruby clearly explains that it’s not enough to match hems and pin upward. In this case I would have thought there was a hair’s difference on the side seam and that the inseam was only stretched 1/2″. Matching HBL’s, which are commonly translated to notches on the pattern, revealed that the vertical seams had significantly different lengths.
I do think I still have some fitting tweaks to make.
- I’ve already corrected the leg lengths.
- I think I need to increase the wedge I made (at the top) another 1/4″ in the front (making the front crotch shorter, pulling the waistband down and more horizontally across my body).
- I want to reshape the front hip curve slightly. When I look I think at the pics, I see the front peaks on the side seam at the Hip HBL and a fold develops directly beneath. The back curves smoothly from waist to Hip.
- I want to remove a little more ease on the front between the top HBL and the hem.
- On the back, I only want to remove ease under the bum. I was excited about Kathy Rudy’s specific alteration for this. Most of my pants have excess ease right under the bum. I’ve not ignored it; but all the other alterations I’ve made have only added drag lines.
Final evaluation of this pattern: I’m really pleased. In all 3 versions (muslin, Gotcha Twill, and this lovely nylon) I have not touched the crotch curve and none of the pants have displayed a butt vortex or diagonals between hip and knee or any crotch related issues. The major alterations are the wedge which shortens the top of the torso between waist and the first HBL; and 1″ additional ease for the back. These were quick and simple changes making me wish Fit for Art would produce many more pant styles.
I was pleased with the final alterations to my muslin of the Eureka pant. Had a few questions about the leg and a little hesitant once I realized how the fabric stretched when body-warmed. But I transferred the changes as accurately as possible to the tissue, trimmed seam allowances as appropriate for me for cutting a “real” pair from very nice fabric.
I think I need to start making notes to myself. I made the changes to the tissue one day. I made a mental note to add 1″ seam allowances on the following day, while cutting the fabric. Well instead “Sweet and Low” I must have added “Stupid Flow” to my morning coffee. When I got down to the sewing room I had completely forgotten about increasing the seam allowances. I cut the fabric as per the tissue. Oh yes I regretted it.
The result, while I wouldn’t wear it, is interesting. Sorry no pics. There are somethings I just don’t share. Public views of my girlie parts rank high on that list. Let me describe. The side seam is perpendicular. The back is too tight between HBL 1 and 3. While the outline of my underwear is detectable, the rest of the area is fine. I saw 1 diagonal line between knee and bum which I believe is related to not enough ease across the hip. From all sides, the pant is too short which I think is odd since I removed 2″ less than I had pinned up for the hem. The front shows that I still need to lift the waist at the side between grain line and side seam. Otherwise the pant as a whole could be OK. In fact, other than the hem length, I might wear these,,, if I was willing to don industrial-strength shape wear. I’m not. I mean, I’m not willing to wear strong shaping underwear. I do wear a back support, knee support and wrist support as needed. I may eventually need to wear these support devices continuously. I may even need corrective surgery in the future. For now, however, I wear support when needed and add enough ease to my clothing to conceal my support devices.
The problem with my “real” pant goes back to the chosen muslin fabric. It did not stretch in any direction as long as it (the fabric) was cold. Once on my body, it stretched subtly but significantly. A secondary issue is not cutting the side seam allowances 1″ wide. Something Kathy Rudy emphasizes over and over is “Cut big. Sew small” . This garment could have been saved if it had 1″ side seam-allowances. The side seams could have been released, adding enough ease in the needed areas. The hema, could have been faced with bias tape or a faux-cuff added.
The question I face now is: Can I adapt my pattern without making a whole new muslin? It is clear to me that I must find a way that when there is ever a doubt, I can/will add more width to the seam allowances, not merely plan to do it. It’s also clear to me that muslin fabric must be more carefully chosen. Are these changes possible?
Ummmmm, have to think about that and get back to ya…
PS Suggestions definitely welcome.
I’ve taken several Craftsy Classes. One I started but did not finished. Two I haven’t started (purchased during a very good sale). I’ve added lots of classes to my wish list, but as I learn about the Craftsy format, I delete more and more. The first classes I took were definitely “meh” variety. The information was good, but could have been presented as a free blog post with maybe an open sew along. Definitely not woth the cost but I hesitated to ask for a refund. I knew Craftsy was just getting going and while I was unimpressed, others (several of whom I admire greatly) couldn’t get enough of Craftsy. I refuse to pay $50 for an online class. I won’t buy a book for that price. When I received an offer to purchase this class for $35, I hesitated. I will pay $30 for a book. But it’s a book I’ve had a chance to thumb through and determine if it’s an hour’s worth of entertainment or something that I will use over and over. I actually don’t really like the video format. My short term memory needs a little assistance. So if i want to remember the information in a video, I need to stop the video and make notes and sketches. With a book, I slap a post it note on the page. With an ebook, I make a bookmark. But, I really would like to fit one pants pattern and be able to adapt it to a multiple of styles. That’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve tried. Even what seemed so minor, adjusting a pants leg width 1″, didn’t turn out well. I’d love to know the secret tweeks the designers use to change pant shapes and adapt for different fabrics. I’d really like to know. So with Craftsy’s guarantee in mind (love it or refund it), I purchased and started viewing “One Pattern, Many Looks: Pants” by Kathy Ruddy.
This is the first Craftsy Course I can truly rave about. First off Kathy is very personable. She comes across the screen as knowledgeable, experienced and down to earth. She is able to full describe the task at hand so that you understand. The visuals help, but I think I could figure out what to do with just the text. I was very enaged with this class, I wanted to go on and on. Let me give you a recap
Lesson 1 Meet Kathy Ruddy: Doesn’t add any important knowledge. Kathy introduces herself gives a autobiography and encourages you to download the course materials.
Lesson 2 Creating the Pattern Block: The class needs a basic pant pattern with a waistline at the natural waist, no pockets and slacks legs (i.e. neither belled or severely tapered.) Kathy recommends a Vogue pattern, but acknowledging that maybe you don’t want to run out and buy a pattern, describes what to look for and then takes the time to show you how to convert your existing pattern into a pattern that will work as basic. Upside is that you don’t have to buy a new pattern. I felt it was a little extra instruction, a bonus. She is reverse-engineering these patterns and explaining how the shape was created. It’s food for thought. I filed it away as information to create that kind of shape when my basic pattern fits. I am BTW using the Eureka Pant from Fit for Art Patterns in conjunction with the class. I chose this pattern because I just purchased it and it does fit the standard for a basic block.
Lesson 3 Refining the Fit: Not every figure variation is covered, but she does a good job of covering the major differences and is the 2nd source I’ve seen describe the dropped rear. It’s a common physical difference rarely recognized by designers or manufactures , and the reason all my pants crotches are scooped in the back creating. Of great interest to me personally was the change for removing excess ease directly under my rear and removing the twist which sometimes happens in legs. Can’t wait to try these solutions. It is important to solve your individual fitting challenges before going onto the following lessons.
Lesson 4 Leg Design changes: Finally I know why my leg changes don’t work. Every thing I’ve read said to take the same amount from the inseam and side seam. Kathy gives two rules for how to remove/add ease and tells you how and where to true the new lines. Then she helps you realign the straight of grain. She illustrates the process with a striped fabric. She makes such sense that I’m eager to try her method.
Lesson 5 Faced Waists and Hidden Zippers: Confession time I skipped through the hidden zipper segment. I used those 30-40 years ago when they first came out and I was incapable of sewing a nice zipper installation. I’ve solved my zipper issue. I don’t really want people staring at my clothing wondering how do I get in and out of that thing. So hidden zippers are not of interest to me and I don’t have a single one in my stash. However I watched the Faced Waists twice. This is a look I love. I was fascinated by how the facing changed shape using two easy clips and over-lapping the dart legs. I think I understand now and can make a faced waistband for all the varieties of waistband heights that I like to wear.
Lesson 6 Elastic Waist: Kathy has an easy way to install elastic that doesn’t involve pulling elastic through a casing. I’ve seen this technique in the past but didn’t like to use it. All elastic does not have the same stretch and it seems that all waistlines don’t have the same circumference even when I’m making the same size but different patterns. Kathy’s method overcomes both of these issues. I’m curious enough to give her procedure a try but being me, I’ll be using large removable stitching.
Lesson 7 Adding a Zipper: I didn’t want to write myself any notes. I’m not impressed with zipper guards — that extra piece of fabric behind the jeans zipper. My tender skin is always protected from zipper teeth with underwear. I don’t have a burning desire to copy exactly ALL designer details. I don’t need to make you feel like I’m rich enough to purchase Chanel or Valentino etc etc. If there was a display near me, I’d go and see the work of these famous designers and I’d probably learn something. But for my everyday, casual life I don’t need a extra step to install a good zipper. YMMV
Lesson 8 Slashed Pockets: Loved this lesson. The course materials include the “slash” Kathy uses. It is curved and she explains why. This is one of several pockets she talks about in the course. Since I both love and need pockets, I was especially attentive.
Lesson 9: Back Yoke and Patch Pockets: Another fascinating lesson. Kathy takes the basic pant and shows how to make the yoke that you want. It’s wonderful to see it change shape (similar to the waist facing) She also uses this lesson to show how to copy RTW details to include placement. Kathy encourages snoop shopping. Even praises the designer for the effort they go to in creating their garments. As she says, they’ve invested a lot of time to get these details right. Why not learn from them? She shares a neat pocket copied from RTW even including the shape in the course materials.
Lesson 10 Welt Pockets: These are special tailoring details we all love. Kathy shares a procedure that is easy enough for a beginner. You do need a special supply: tear away stabilizer. You might be able to use paper. I’m fortunate to have a stash of embroidery supplies so I’m all set to try her method.
As I work with the information Kathy Ruddy provided, I will be referring back to this post or Craftsy. I thought it only fair that instead of, out the blue, writing Kathy Ruddy this and Kathy Ruddy that, it would be a good idea to post this evaluation. Again it is the first Craftsy Course that I can rave about and think I will use the majority of the material presented.
- In: Eureka Pant
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I want to start with a discussion about the pattern draft. The front piece is unremarkable. Other than being longer at both top and bottom, I really don’t see other differences from my favorite patterns. However the back is astonishing. Look at the back crotch:
Maybe it would help if I compared the back with the MSS back, a pattern with fit I do like.
The Eureka crotch (Back #3) is at least 1″ longer than the MSS. I’ve never seen a crotch this long. My first reaction was astonishment at that extension. Then I noted that it was not a hooked crotch. It’s pretty much a capital L with the angle slightly smoothed. I thought I would need to scoop the crotch eventually. Also note, if you can, that the crotch upright is not a straight line. In fact both front and back crotch uprights have double curves. The double curves are slight. You have to look closely. I left the back crotch as is but I wanted a front zipper and so the front crotch extension was straightened. Also look at the curve of the side seam. If you are hippy or blessed with saddle bags, this pattern is going to help you. Please note, I didn’t even look at Back 1 or 2. They could be entirely different. I read the description of Back #3 and said “That’s me!” and that’s the one I’m using. So other than what you can see here, the big back crotch, wobbly line upright and curved side seam, the Eureka looks pretty standard. Much like a basic block.
For the first fitting, I basted in the zipper, 4 back darts, 2 front darts, crotch and side seams. The directions have you add 2″ to the top at cutting time which I did but didn’t need. I folded and pinned 6″ of leg into hem and then took pictures. I was shocked! The pant felt tight in the waist but fine everywhere else. The pictures looked excellent both back, side and front except that the side seam leaned towards the back from the first (highest on the body) HBL to the waist, indicating that the back darts were too deep.
From there it went down hill. I released 1 of the back darts. The side seam was now vertical, but the waist obviously tight across the tummy. Odd to me that releasing a back dart suddenly adds volume under the tummy and makes the tummy look very prominent. But then I’ve known for a long time that you do one alteration at a time because one alteration will affect the next. Next fitting I released the front darts. 3rd fitting I offset the side seams. This looked much better across the tummy and front, except that the waist itself was too loose and side seam again leaning towards the back. Next fitting, add small dart to front.
Ah, waist looks good, tummy looks good but now the back which previously sat nicely at the natural waist, is now trying to crawl upwards, the front has developed a drape across the lower leg and the HBL’s are no longer horizontal. They are dipping at the side seam and center back. Next fitting, pull up across the back and onto the front to the first dart 1/2″. (I should have expected this. Looking at the patterns above, the MSS back is 1″ shorter than the Eureka without the 2″ extension) Also I decided it was time to examine leg length. The knee line, or what the HBL I thought was the knee line, was 3.5″ below the middle of my knee. With so much to adjust, I chose to make 3 horizontal tucks, 5/8″ each on only one front and back leg. The HBL’s look great but I’ve developed my old nemises the diagonal lines from the knee to butt. I decide that now is not the time to work on the leg although I note that the grainline is now perfectly vertical from waist the hem. The leg does need to be shortened, just not there and probably not that much. I also make a mental not that perhaps it is not entirely the crotch’s fault when those diagonals develop.
My final alteration was to pin out the excess hip curve. I pinned out 1.25″ tapering at the 3rd HBL and the knee. I made the adjustment evenly on front and back, but it really needs to be more taken out of the front than the back.
Ok lots of words to describe 4 alterations
- Waist circumference
- Crotch Height
- Leg ease
- Leg Length.
Note that the crotch curve never needed to change. This is the first pattern I’ve worked with that didn’t need the crotch scooped as the final alteration.
However, this muslin is a mess. The 3 leg-length tucks would not lie flat. I trimmed them. Well I whacked them down to 1/2″ using the scalloped blade in the rotary cutter. They stick out like ruffles but inside the pant leg. So much length removed in that short distance really distorted the leg shape. The unaltered leg looks really nice from waist to hip except being too long it piles up in horizontal folds along the lower leg . The horizontal tuck I made across the back, side and into the front, also will not lay flat, adding girth where I least need it. To add fuel to the fire, the fabric is not as I originally evaluated i.e polyester with no stretch. I’m not sure it is polyester. I’m not making a burn test, because this is going into the trash as soon as I’m sure I’ve transferred all the changes to the tissue. The biggest problem with this fabric is that as the body warms it, it stretches. I didn’t believe my eyes and tested the stretch in several cross grain areas. I hunted up a large leftover and tested it. The leftover did not stretch. That means this would have been a horrible garment. You would have started the day with either a too tight fit or a perfect fit and ended the day with a size much larger, drooped and probably a wrinkled mess. I realized how the fabric had changed just before the last alteration (tuning the side seams to fit my curve). At that point I put everything down, turned off the sewing machine and “had a think”. Could I trust this muslin? Should the alterations be transferred to the tissue or should I start with a new muslin? I have another issue. The pant fabrics I buy intending to wear, I want a little Lycra. Lycra adds a bit of comfort and allows for a closer fit. With a bit of stretch in the fabric, It’s not necessary to surround my body with yards of fabric (which make me look even larger). Over the last few years I’ve sewn most of the non-stretch pant fabrics in my stash. What’s left and keeps sitting there while I make muslins, are beautiful stretch fabrics. I really want to use the stretch fabrics I’ve purchased, but I like to start fitting the pattern by using a non-stretch woven. The amount of stretch varies from fabric to fabric. If I make a pattern for one stretch fabric, I can’t be sure the pattern will work in the next stretch fabric. But if I make the pattern in a non-stretch woven, I know I’ll need to reduce varying amounts of ease, but will always be able to fit me. The exception would be slinky. Slinky stretchs so much you almost have to start with a smaller pattern. I don’t make pants of slinky. Just don’t. I finally decide to finish fitting this muslin (I was so close), copy the changes to the tissue and mark the tissue “20% stretch”. I’m gambling that the final pattern will work. I will construct a real pant and reveal ,,,,, soon.
- In: Eureka Pant
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I decided I had to try the Eureka Pant after Janis shared her version with us at SG. I thought I ordered the pattern earlier but when I first started, I couldn’t find the pattern in my stash or a record of purchase. That’s when I made the ill-fated Terrific Trousers (still think I must have done something terribly wrong, but moving on….). I made Otto 5/2013 Style #2 because Eureka pattern hadn’t arrived and I needed another pair of pants. When the pattern arrived, I finished Style #2 hurriedly ( I didn’t really complete Style 2 as well as I first intended.) But I digress, Eureka is here. I’ve read the instructions and I’m ready to start.
I was surprised to find a size Medium recommended. Mind you, I’m quite pleased that I’m no longer a 2X but I’ve not lost all padding. Most clothing in the size large fits. I need an XL sometimes. But a medium is too small. Far too small. Nonetheless my hip and abdomen measurements fall well within the size range listed for a medium.
I chose the Style #3 back after carefully reading the description. I was pleased with the verbiage used. Fit is described in terms of how a RTW pant behaves on the body. It was easy to peg me as a Back #3. After tracing the front and back pattern pieces (along with all grain lines, HBL, dart and other markings), I pulled out my tape measure. Just to be sure. I mean I’m normally a large or x-large. I didn’t completely trust the medium recommendation. It’s really a simple and quick thing to do. I measured across the front and back at the hip line. Multiplied that times 2 and compared with my hip measurement. Repeat same for the abdomen. I’m pleased to report that medium should work for me.
My muslin fabric is a polyester twill purchased many years ago when Walmart still cared about customers. The fabric had a flaw which didn’t matter because at $1/yard I purchased 5 yards and made a few garments by cutting around the flaw. I’m left with about enough to make the pants muslin. It doesn’t stretch but does fray. So after cutting, I transferred all the pattern markings and then serge finished all edges.
Next, I basted in a front zipper. Fit For Art recommends leaving the seam open but does allow those who are fitting themselves to use either a side or front opening. I admit, the reasoning is good. The thought is that the zipper will interfere with fitting the torso. That can be true. I won’t contest it generally. Except for me. I seldom have fitting problems with the front. I do however become very irate with trying to pin seams together and then looking around and see if the @!!##! thing fits while pins poke and prick me. I basted in the zipper. Basted the inseams. Basted the side seams. Folded the hems up 4″ and pinned in place. Then decided, what the heck, I have a pretty good idea of what darts should be like on my body and I basted in 4 darts (2 front, 4 back).
Then I tried on my muslin for the first fitting.
- In: Otto 2013/5-02
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Read about my experience here.
Similar to the PatternReview poster, I spent hours working with this pattern, about 6. First thing I have to tell you is that there are significant differences between the Terrific Trouser (TT) apple and pear drafts. I wish I could make a little chart here, but I don’t have the smarts yet so a descriptive of the differences will have to do.
Looking at sizing, in relationship to my measurements just before starting to work with the pattern. I would use an Apple Size XL but a Pear size L but would need an entirely different size for the waist. For an apple I need the next size larger but for the pear my waist requires 3 sizes more. I find this surprising as I normally use a size smaller at the waist and just leave out the front darts. For pants, I take an extra dart in the back and when possible (some designs just don’t lend themselves to this) curve the side seam at the waist a little bit more.
There are several large tissue sheets. They are needed for the two drafts and the various templates. As I sorted through the first major pieces I found were the fronts. The apple front crotch was deeper and had a longer front extension. Not good for me. I know from experience that a little hook in front gives me the smoothest appearance. I know because I’ve seen in patterns and RTW that if I have a long extension on the front piece, I will have a bubble in the front. Reminds me of a female hyena who has grown the part she needs to be dominant. The pear front crotch is more upright and has the tiny hook I need. I also noted that the side seam of the pear curves in at the waist which is something else I find helpful.
On both front and back I found that the grain lines shift. That’s hard to explain but between apple and pear draft, the grain lines are not in the exact same relation. They are tilted as if going from a trouser draft to a slack draft and that makes a difference in how the fabric hangs on the body.
I then found the backs. The apple has a slanted crotch which is deeper and much longer, extension. While the pear has a more upright crotch, and the shorter extension. Front and back combined have a U-shaped crotch. Very important. I cannot even proceed if I’m looking at V-shaped crotches. I know this from experience. Both RTW and pattern experience. I’ve lost count of the number of patterns I’ve tried to fit and failed. I have 5 patterns which fit. All have a nice U shape. Here’s the thing, my shape,,,, is,,,, my shape. For a long time I was ever hopeful that the next V-draft would be different enough to fit beautifully. But it doesn’t matter how you tweak the waist, hip or leg ease or shape. If the crotch shape of the pattern doesn’t fit my crotch shape, the pants will look awful. My shape requires a deep U with a little scoop out of the bottom back. I’ve never gotten any other shape to work. I no longer hope that a V shape will miraculously fit. I know it won’t.
So why did I buy this pattern? I loved the idea of having one pattern that I can tweak to have wide, boot, or tapered legs. I was also curious about how the apple and pear shapes would accommodate my tummy and hips. I thought I might be cutting an apple front and a pear back. To my surprise I decided upon the pear front (small hook and curved waist) with an apple back (deep crotch, long extension).
I traced my pieces. I had a heck of a time locating the waist and pocket pieces for the pear front. Since there were such obvious differences between the apple and pear drafts, I wanted to use the small pieces that corresponded to the major pieces i.e. front and back. I finally found these pieces by looking in detail at each of the templates. But I thought had I been a new sewist I would be thoroughly upset by now. As it was, I was beginning to wonder if I had a defective pattern.
I pinned the pocket to the front and compared both back and front with the MSS pant. The fronts were nearly the same. Not enough difference to note. The backs however caused concern. The back extension was 1.25 inches shorter and the back crotch upright was an inch shorter than the corresponding MSS piece. I decided to trace the TT crotch which would be the same as the MSS. That turned out to be the 5x. Now I had an issue. Do I try to true that extension with the leg size L?? It made for a steep curve the likes of which I haven’t used before. I decided since I hadn’t even considered the effect of my knock knees (primarily because they usually aren’t a problem with wide leg pants) I would trace the 5x back inseam. This added a little over 1″ ease to the back leg. As this is a wide leg, I probably won’t notice the extra ease. I’m not so sure about how it will affect the boot and tapered legs. I also added the 1″ I needed to the upright. There just is no sense in fooling myself. I’m using the MSS for comparison but I know on all 5 pants patterns that fit me, I needed to add the height to the upright or, the pant will pull down in the center back. I do not wish to wear a plumber’s butt pant. I corrected the upright by measuring up 1″ and making a mark. then I matched my french curve with the curve of the back as drafted. Keeping the side seam end in place, I rotated the french curve at the CB upward until at the 1″ mark. I drew my new waistline. It looks like an upward slope.
I cut my fabric, a cotton/poly blend that is semi-sheer and has several large flaws. It was a Walmart find from long ago. I’d already cut around these flaws to make a blouse. I thought it would be fine for a muslin but because you can see the outline of my body when I’m behind a strong light (think Sun), I don’t think it would make a good item in my wardrobe. Just to be sure I wouldn’t be tempted, (I’m ever hopeful that the first draft will be a winner) I used a Sharpie Pen to mark the grain, and horizontal balance lines (HBL). I did not cut the pocket bag or the waistband facing. I basted the pocket to the front and basted in a zipper. Then I pinned the front side seam to the back side seam and…
…. came to an abrupt halt. There was 3 inches difference in side seam lengths. None of the HBL’s would match no matter where I started pinning. Was I supposed to ease the side seams? I checked the instructions. No nothing about easing anywhere. OK so maybe the apple and pear can’t be combined. I pulled out the pear back and compared with the pear front I have traced. Sunnybeach, it didn’t match either. The front pear I traced was 3″ shorter than the back pear tissue and the HBL’s didn’t align. OK maybe the HBL’s aren’t really HBL’s. I really expect a notch at the knee which matches on front and back. I also expect lines marked “crotch depth” to match and the top of the side seam to match. Maybe I could ignore what I think are HBL’s. BUT the pant front is still 3″ shorter than the pant back. Did I attach the pocket at the right place? Yes. Did I make a mistake when tracing the front? That has happened to me before and that’s why I always tape the pattern and my tracing tissue to the top of my cutting table. Just in case, I pulled out the front tissue and compared it with my tracing. They were the same. I’m still not believing the pattern is wrong. It’s not unusual for me to make a mistake, miss an instruction yada yada. I compare the front pattern tissue to the back pattern tissue. I did take pictures. None of them were clear enough to share. I see the same thing. The HBL’s do not align and the front is shorter than the back. Either I’ve made a colossal mistake I can’t see or this pattern is wrong.
You know, it’s hard enough for me to fit pants with a well drafted pattern and adequate instructions. I scoop the whole mess off the top of my cutting table and into the trash. I’m not a patient person.
ETA: I’ll make another comment about this pattern. I really was concerned about how well it would fit because of the picture the company chose to share on the face of the envelope. I see several issues I’d want to correct. But then, maybe it’s just the way the ladies are standing or the fabric used. I checked the website to see more examples. I got into a loop between the Gallery which had no pictures and the pattern description which had the same picture as the envelope. The company owes me nothing, of course, but I’ve come to expect a little more from the Indy pattern co’s. I like to see more views. I particularly like to see back views especially for pants. I also like more complete instructions. I buy all CLD patterns even if I know I’ll never make the garment. I buy the patterns for the wonderful instructions. I know from the envelope that this pattern can successfully be made. Just not by me. 6 hours is all I’m interested in investing.