sdBev's Pants!

I do my best thinking when I’m relaxed and looking not at the problem but at something else. I’m not alone in this. Many people have had the same experience. This time my conscious mind was directed at watching cops and robbers on TV, but it was picking away at the: Why?  Why couldn’t I fit this pattern? Why did it get worse with every change? Why did the Eleanors fit without a hitch? Why did Otto #11 5/2016 Fit easily? Why did I want to continue this mess when I had other patterns which did fit? Eureka! (and not the pants). I realized the Eleanor’s fit because I struggled with them last year. I had learned a lot about that pattern before I started refitting using Peggy Sager’s procedure.  I had a good starting point for the Eleanors:  I knew my size.  There’s another factor at work though. That is both the Eleanors and Otto pants were made with stretch fabrics. Although not the 8″ stretch of my DG2 Jeans, my fabrics had enough give to overcome some fitting/drafting issues.  I chose E047 #418 specifically because it was drafted for a non-stretch fabric.  I may have erred in that a drapey fabric is also recommended. If it really requires a light-weight drapey fabric, I should just throw the pattern away. The only drapey pants fabrics I have are also knits with stretch. “Light-weight” is debatable. My twill is not blouse weight but it’s not heavy either. It is perfect for warm-weather pants. But maybe I greatly erred in selecting this light weight twill.

So could I find a point of success to start with fitting E047-418? I pulled out Pamela’s Patterns 113 to compare. Thankfully, grain lines matched.

Look, I’ve got 4 or 5 different patterns with different crotches that all fit. Some are drafted for knits; some for denim jeans. But they all fit and they all are very different. I know from personal experience that it’s not just the crotch or the ease, it’s how the ease is distributed, how the grain line is placed, how the fabric drapes, moves, breathes;  and how the crotch is shaped. Sometimes I can’t even compare patterns. Comparing a jean to a trouser pattern never works. The back and grain is so canted, I don’t see how the crotches differ. They do differ; and it does matter. Comparing a knit to a trouser isn’t a better proposition either. A pattern drafted for knits will be shorter, narrower, have shallower curves. It’s not just a shrunk version of a non-stretch pattern. You can’t like offset the patterns 1/4″ and see they are the same. It’s comparing apples to oranges. Yeah we’ve got fruit but they taste and digest different.

The patterns aligned fairly easily so I could see important differences. I copied the differences to the 418 tissue. Then took apart the test garment, pressed, and carefully recut.   I had to add a gusset to the back crotch because Burda’s crotch was 1/2″ shorter than Pp113.

Back ——————————————–Front

As you can see from the trimmings above, I removed a lot from the top of the back along with a small sliver down the crotch. Not seen is the 1/2″ added to the crotch extension or how the back crotch was reshaped. The front crotch is boldly reshaped which also required cutting some from the fly.  The whole thing will move the crotch in towards the body about a 1/2″.  A full inch was trimmed from the front side seam. I just went with it. I decided this was my last try. I didn’t care if it worked or not as long as I’d given it my best effort.  I was surprised and pleased when this appeared in my pic files:

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Obviously too tight. I’m surprised and not surprised.  I saw the PP113 back was 1″ wider than 418 and didn’t correct the back piece. I have a few PP113’s in my closet that I’m wearing. The pants I’m wearing are quite roomy. I didn’t think I needed to worry about that inch.

The first pic was enough to convince me to keep trying. Truly nice was the loss of the almost-camel-toe front and while I have drag lines in back they aren’t as deep or as many and from butt to waist looks pretty good.  I did think it odd that the back side seam was shorten and not the front after making the changes from PP113’s but I figured my PP113’s didn’t have issues — so let it go.  I can tell from those drag lines on the side front I really should have rewalked the side seams. As a consequence, now I was ripping the side seams, shortening the front via a dart then restitching at a scant 1/4″ hoping to both make the side seams the same length and add enough ease. I took pics at this point but not sharing because I immediately added the 1/2″ deep hip line dart Peggy recommends and took a 2nd set of pics:
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Still has room for improvement so I also pinched and then stitched a 1/2″ horseshoe dart at the top of the inseam.

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It’s really time for a 2nd test garment/muslin. I’ve made substantial changes. It is so possible to introduce errors during recutting or pinning and basting. I especially remember pinning the horseshoe dart and then changing it slightly before stitching to keep cross grain.  A 2nd muslin with changes applied will eliminate those errors and create mirror changes for example:  both side seams will probably have the same number and depth of wrinkles if the changes are applied to the tissue and the fabric is cut and stitched once as opposed to the multiple try on’s, pressings and cuttings this fabric has experienced.

But I want to think about this first.  My point in making this test was to see if using Peggy Sager’s procedure I could once again fit Burda’s pants patterns quickly.  It would be nice not only because Burda publishes such a wide range of pants styles but also they use the same block. So once I fit this pattern, I would transfer the same changes to every Burda pant pattern I wanted to use. But I see no real value in creating a usable tissue from this pattern. Why?  Well the hem circumference is finishing at 17″ rather than the 11″ listed in the magazine. Probably because I cut the bottom 4″ off instead of  distributing the length adjustment through out the knee.

I actually don’t want an 11″ hem circumference.  I learned that from my encounter with Otto’s Carrot Pants.  A close hem makes my butt look huge. I mean H-U-U-U-UG-E. ( I’m trying to create the impression of balanced shoulder and hip girth. )  My best looks have hem circumferences between 14 and 18 inches. I can go up to a 20″ hem – which does make my butt look smaller but it also makes me look shorter.

Point is, I would need to alter the leg to reach a hem width I like which will end up creating the PP113 pattern I already use which has a 18″ hem circumference. I’ve done lots of work with PP113. I’ve made PP113 into my basic slacks pattern which includes a range of waistbands and pockets to choose from. I don’t need to do that with a Burda pattern. If I want a basic pant, I’ll pull out PP113 which I will point out again is the crotch shape I used to fit 418.   I think I’ll move along.  Not sure how quickly I’ll be working with another Burda but when I do I want to come back here and review

My Personal Procedure for Fitting Burda Pants Patterns

  1. Size: Trace  46; use 50 for back circumference
  2. Waistband:  Use PP113 for Straight Waistband; TJ906 for contoured
  3. Length adjustments
    1. -3″ leg length (leaves 1.25-1.5″ for hem)
    2. Note Size 46 should correct torso length
  4. Circumference Adjustments
    1. Sizing 46/50 should take care of most of that
    2. No front waist dart
    3. May need 2 back waist darts
  5. Crotch Shape
    1. Non-stretch/Wovens Copy from PP113
    2. Stretch/Knits copy from Eleanor
  6. Depth Adjustments
    1. 1/2″ hip line dart (total 1″ removed)
    2. 3/4″ Top of inseam horseshoe dart (total 1.5″) removed
    3. Scoop back crotch equal to hip line dart (1″ if using 1/2″ hip line dart)
  7. Seam Allowances
    1. Waist, waistband and Crotch 3/8″
    2. Side seams 1/2″

Just for fun

Fit 00/Out of the Envelope next to the Last fitting (read for test 2):

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Such a huge difference but still a little more work to do

 

 

more like a nightmare. Generally pants will look good (at least) from the front and side views which I can also see in the mirror. It’s the back view that I can’t see very well and have a dickens’ of a time pinning. But I did try

Fit 0 (shared yesterday) and virtually “straight out of the envelope”

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since it was from a Burda magazine it was traced, seam allowances added and then seams walked. It was not a beautiful fit but looked like a place to start from especially since the Burda crotch looked good for me.  I can’t use a narrow V crotch nor a U crotch that’s evenly divided between front and back.  My best crotch is a U but the front is just barely a little hook and the back is a long ledge for sitting on. Even when I find such a crotch, I’ll still need to scoop a little. But at least Burda’s crotch looks like I’m starting with the right shape. Eager to work with Peggy Sager’s procedure I first evaluated length. Both front and crotch felt in about the right place. I could tell that the side seams were too long .  The sides collapsed into diagonal which met in a few places across the side seam. I thought the first thing to do was shorten the side seam by offsetting the waist band.  Easy, I ripped the waistband then marked 1/2″ down on the side seam and then replaced the waistband aligning it below the mark just made. Looked good in the mirror so I proceeded with Circumference changes. I took the side seams in 1/2″; then 1″. Not right but better

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Now I realized that the crotch was a little low, in fact it seemed as though the upper torso was too long except for center back.  I made a dart starting below back dart, crossing the side at about 1/2″ deep and continuing onto the front also 1/2″ deep. Repeated for the other side.

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I can always tell when I’m on the right track. The pant immediately felt better; and that’s even though it felt OK to start with.

Next up the two common adjustments that Peggy recommends 1) adding a 1/2″ deep hip line dart and 2) the 1/2″ deep horseshoe dart at the top of the inseam. I pinned these first but it’s hard to tell in the mirror when looking at the backside. So I basted them in.  To my horror

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this was obviously worse. So I return the side seams to their original 1/2″ depth Not good. I added enough to the pattern to have 1″ seam allowances, even worse returning to a 1/2″ SA was no help at all.

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OK time to think about this and start over with Round 2 by taking it all back to Fit00 with the 1″ seam allowances.. Looking closely, I could see that despite the 4″ of ease I added, the back was too tight even at Fit 0. Why I didn’t spot this before is beyond me. Also noted on close inspection that the front crotch looks odd. Not exactly camel toe but not very nice either.  I may need to reshape the front crotch, which won’t be easy. Easiest is adding a little ease to the back side.  First I let the seams out 1/2″.

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Didn’t help. Front has too much ease back, not enough. So I offset the seams stitching the back seam allowances at 1/4″ front at 1″.

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Holy cow. It looks like I’ve added ease to the front. I check to be sure I’m offsetting correctly (yes back SA is 1/4″; front 1″). Time to rethink and start again at Fit00 with Round 3.  I trim 4″ from the leg length. Obviously I’ll need to shorten the leg at some point and I want to be sure that’s not creating some of the leg, drag lines. I remove the waist band, yet again, create a 1/4″ stitched crease line in front (which removes 1/2″ from each front); stitch the side seams at an even 1/2″ and add a back dart which snugs the back of the pant to the waistband when I replace it.

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No help? I’m still seeing VPL in back with masses of front ease and that odd not-quite-camel-toe crotch.  I increase the depth of the front crease to 3/8″ which removes a total of 1.5″ ease from the front. I offset the side seams so that I’m stitching along a 1/4″ back SA but maintaining the front 1/2″ SA.

slide9_resizeSeems like I’m drooping everywhere so  I also extend the offset between waistband and pant so that I’m taking in 1/4″ at CB, 1/2″ at side seams and zeroing just before the center front.

 

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This just sucks canal water.  After 3 days, 11 fit and photo sessions, and I think 19 total alterations,  this thing, this test garment is getting worse and worse.  All the things I think I know or have learned about fitting aren’t working.  I’ve stuck to it this far because I’d love to be able to use Burda Pant patterns again. I love the little nuances of design that Burda incorporates. But I can’t get any closer to a decent fit then the very first basting.  I close it down. Put everything away. Even file the pics in the ‘Archive’ subdirectory. I’m really disheartened.

Fortunately, we’ve already made plans for dinner. A few drinks later, a belly full of good food and a few TV episodes (courtesy of Netflix) and I have another idea….

…to be shared tomorrow.

 

Loving the ease of fitting pants using Peggy Sagers procedure, I’ve decided to tackle fitting Burda pants to my figure.  There was a time I could easily fit Burda pants. That’s long passed and I haven’t been able to fit them even with much effort. I’m hoping that my recent success with the Eleanor and Otto #11 5/2016 are not flukes but a repeatable formula. To that end, I took new measurements and selected my size based on the Burda chart. Not surprisingly (because they both use European sizing and ease) , I use the same size in Burda as in Otto but with Burda I must use their Plus Size magazine patterns while Otto publishes all sizes in one book. I reviewed my Burda Plus magazines for pant patterns but looking specifically for non-stretch fabrics, classic slack styling (waistband at the waist, skim-the-curves ease) and  leg hem-circumference less than 18.   I was hoping for a 14-16″ hem circumference. E047 #418 boasts an 11″ circumference but otherwise filled all my other requirements. I noted that Burda doesn’t really publish many plus sized pants patterns and most of them are very similar. At least, in the magazines that I have. Style 418 was really an anomaly.  Most non-stretch, plus-sized Burda pants stated a hem circumference of 20″ or more.  A plump, 5’3″ senior, I’m not flattered by the extremes.  My best choices, the pants I like the best skim all the curves without revealing underwear and terminate with a 14-18″ hem. (I do have some 20″ hems that are acceptable but I never feel my best in them.)

I traced my size, added a fly front because that’s easier to fit that a side zipper and ignored the zippers at the leg hems. ( I don’t plan to wear this pair and pretty sure, I’m not going to let them finish at the very narrow 11″). Then I added seam allowances

  1. Waist 3/8″
  2. Crotch 3/8
  3. Inseam 1/4″
  4. Side seams
    1. Front 3/4″
    2. Back 1″

I used a different front and back side seam allowance because I’m constantly adding 1/4″ to the back of my patterns. I need extra ease for a prominent seat. The 1/4″ solves the issue. It’s built into my bodice blocks and now I’m adding it to pants. Also,I use a 3/8″ SA at the waist and crotch because typically  I sew those seams at the sewing machine.  That’s the easiest SA to accomplish on the SM. That and the 1/2″ I’ll trim the side seams once I’m sure of fit. I use 1/4″ along the inseams because I serge those. I seldom tamper with inseams, and certainly not at the beginning of fitting pants,  because that seems to be a receipe for disaster. The pattern calls for a straight waistband and gives dimensions. I pulled out my straight waistband from Pamela’s Patterns 113 Pant. It should fit or be really close after all, I am wearing pants made of the same pattern with the same waistband (PP113). It’s great to be able to start with something, anything that works. I walked the seams and made a minor adjustment in length on the side-seam, back piece. Even though I try to keep things from shifting, it’s possible I made a mistake while tracing the pattern. Equally possible to change things slightly when adding seam allowances, which is what I suspect happened because the difference was a mere 1/8″. Not much, but why start with a known error?

From my stack of muslin fabrics, I chose a cotton twill that has acquired fade lines and stains. This was a Walmart $1 fabric from eons ago (OK 25 years). When new it was lovely for pants. I know because I made several. However, time has had a negative effect and the remaining fabric is best used for test-and-dispose projects.

I used white thread in the needle,   water soluble thread in the bobbin through-out the stitching process. I want ripping to be super easy. Also, I want to recover the zipper when the fitting is done. I mean, this is a test. I don’t want to throw away a perfectly good zipper.

Once I stitched the pieces altogether, I made the first try on. This is almost wearable

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No this is not a beautiful fit. I’m not ready to hem the legs and walk down to the post office. But the crotch feels the right length both front and back. The butt has sufficient room-I’m not seeing underwear; and the back leg wrinkles are minimal. I did note that I’m experiencing a little gaposis at the back waistband, the front is too large by far and I’m experiencing drooping under the waistband at the side (it makes those odd , short diagonal lines between waist and high hip. The legs are too long by far, but who knows what length they will become once I start making changes.  So it’s not a beautiful fit, but it’s a good place to begin.

 

… and so the fitting journey starts.

 

They were quick. Although ‘jeans’ may be a stretch.My fabric is a 100% cotton, brushed-twill in a deep-dark, almost-black, blue. Brushed twill is a wonderful fabric but not the classic denim that jeans are usually associated with.  However, I think my choice of pattern, Trudy Jansen’s Designer Jean a#906, with all its jean styling makes these jeans.

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Deep dark blue lightened 100%

Back there in late summer/early fall, I discovered that I need new ‘blue’ specifically ‘blue’ jeans. I donated a few pairs of jeans 1 of which was made from TJ906 about 6 years ago. I’m fairly sure it shrunk as opposed to my growing, because the pair I made last year still fit comfortably and the shorts made in June this summer have lovingly been put away for next summer.  So I pulled out the previous copy of TJ906 and pressed the pattern pieces carefully. I noted some pins in the pattern; placed in a narrow dart just under the butt. Reminded me that I had been seeing some slight ripples but not the big ol’ mess in back that I usually have.  I had attempted to correct the ripples last year by pinning a little dart under the butt. Didn’t work. I took out the pins, press out the dart and then made a new 1/8″ dart right at the hip line extended across both back leg pieces.  Then stitched as usual up to the waistband unit which I added using water-soluble thread. Although that is normal. Attaching the waistband with WST for the first fitting is normal for me.  After fitting most pants patterns, I stitch permanently the pockets, zipper, crotch and inseam but use WST for the first fitting along the side seams, waistband and hems. This slight deviation, stitching the side seams permanently, allowed me once last chance to easily adjust the fit. Which I didn’t need to do after all.

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I did not do any fancy top stitching or pocket embroidery.  I really just wanted to get this done and in my wardrobe. I did use a contrasting fabric for the pocket bags and waistband lining because I like to and because the lighter quilting cotton reduces bulk in both the pockets and waistband. Minor goof here, I had intended to triple zig zag stitch but used a straight stitch to understitch the waist band.  I really like the difference using the triple zig zag stitch for understitching along the waistband. Somehow it is much better at securing all that bulk and persuading it all to turn to the underside nicely.

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I used a button closure this time. I like using buttons. It’s really given me the chance to use up strays and singles but I think the slacks hooks hold better. I abandoned those regular jeans button thingys that have to be hammered on a stud. They hold the least well for me, usually coming loose the first wearing.

I made another slight goof with my front pockets. I fused the edge with tape but did not top stitch or understitch. Consequently, the pocket bag had a rolled instead of crisp edge and it wanted to roll to the outside. I knew it wouldn’t be possible to completely top stitch after the fact, so I chalked marks about 1.5″ away from the inner edge and 3/4″ away from the side seam on both pockets, and top stitched between the marks.

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I’m blaming any and all front and side  wrinkles/drag lines on the fact I’m not wearing a belt. These sit just below the waist.  I’ve noticed that with waistband that sit at the waist, all my pants will stay up in place. But the somewhat more attractive below the waist waistband, droops slightly. I really need a belt for those pants to ensure the pant stays in place all day.  Past experience tells me as soon as I put my belt on, all the drag lines seen in the pics will just disappear.

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The back, looks great. No mess under the butt.  I thought I might need to scoop the crotch a little, but it feels comfortable and looks good. I’ve been working on slimming the leg of this pattern. Out of the envelope, it has a 22″ circumference. Much too much for this petite, plump lady. I’m down to a 19″ circumference but would prefer 18″.  With each new pair, I’ve been making a little dart starting at pant leg hem slowly decreasing the circumference.  I didn’t continue to reduce the circumference this time because I was tweaking for the under butt wrinkles.  On previous patterns, I discovered that there is a point at which my narrowing of the hem starts introducing drag lines around the knees. I’m still not really sure what causes those wrinkles, so the narrowing will continue to be a slow process.

BTW, I’m not just proud of these pants for their looks. I also love that I stitched them up in less than 6 hours (I’d never make it in one of those sweat shops. I’d be first the first day. First morning.) I’m really loving that I’ve used an old Walmart fabric. It has to be older than 10 years.  I’m also delighted to have used a non-stretch fabric and achieve a comfortable result. As good as my Talia’s look, they don’t feel this wonderful. Point is, I’ve noticed that I tend to make the stretch fabrics into pants and leave the non-stretch marinating on the shelves. Stretch fabrics are more comfortable to wear. The stretch makes up for any lack of fitting. Truth is, non-stretch fabrics have to be made into good fitting garments.  Not just good fitting, because the Talia’s are good fitting, but near perfect fitting. The better the pants fit, the better they feel. I’m reluctant to use TJ906 for all my non-stretch pants, but maybe I should?

 

 

After making my tissue changes, I selected a wonderful fabric.  Surprisingly, it’s a Joann’s Rayon Ponte.  The inside looks like you expect of Ponte but the outside is a nice smooth knit that is wonderful to touch. This fabric is beefy — I wouldn’t wear it in the blazing heat of summer.  Marked at 50% off, I paid $15/yard. Wish I had bought more, but I’m not sure how well the rayon ponte holds up.

I finished the waistband first thing, again.  using the Wawak elastic. Skipped pockets. Didn’t even top stitch to give the appearance of front pockets. Stitched the yokes and crotch permanently but decided up water-soluble thread for side seams and waistband attachment. I pinned the hems up and took the first pics. OMG these are near perfect! I  have some horizontal wrinkles at the knee, totally acceptable to me.    I’m going to wear these a time or two and take more pics.  Garments can hang a bit differently after they’ve been on your body. Denim is famous for this.

So I replaced the WST with permanent stitching. Used a blind hem for my pants and took Final pics. This ponte is such a dark blue that even lightened 100%  It’s difficult to see. However the front is near perfect:

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as is the side:

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Looking at the WB I think I’ve  shortened the back elastic a bit much.  That’s more of a feeling then being able to point out a definite issue.  I do think that I still need to shorten the side seams bout the hip about 1/4″

dscn6468_exposure_resizeThe back has a couple of issues.  I feel it pulling down at CB waist. I need to add a little length.  The crotch has been scooped 3/4″. That’s usually more than enough. It does feel comfortable which can be attributed as much to the fabric as the fit. Those horizontal wrinkles I saw at fitting have been joined by more diagonals above the knee.  I’m questioning exactly the issue. Is the hip to knee-length too long for this particular fabric? I shortened that area another 1/2″ making it a total of 2″ shorter. 2″ is what I’ve used on the other pants which fit nicely. This Ponte had  30%  widthwise stretch. No appreciable lengthwise stretch. I mean, I feel it give, but when I try to measure lengthwise stretch I keep coming up with ZERO. When that happens usually I think the widthwise stretch has somehow also become diagonal/bias stretch. What is astonishing to me is how well these look at the first fitting and how much/badly that changed just a day later from hanging in the closet.

I stand by my decision to wear them a few times and see what happens. They could shrink a little. Denim is infamous for growing; Rayon for shrinking.  If it shrinks, I’m betting 90% of the wrinkles disappear.

Note to self:  Possible tissue alterations

  • 1/4″ under waist dart
  • spread 1/4″ at CB below waist.
  • leg may need to be shortened for 4-way stretch or 30%+stretch fabrics.
  • In: Eleanor
  • Comments Off on New Eleanor’s

Now this will sound insane, but I’m refitting Jalie’s Eleanor.  Yes my great fitting pattern that doesn’t need to be refit. The thing is I’ve discovered that I need new blue jeans. Specifically blue colored jeans.  I also want to know if Peggy Sager’s pants fitting procedure is reliable or if easily fitting  Otto #11 5/2016 was a fluke. So I’m starting from scratch, almost.  I know what I had to do to fit the 11’s.  I’m going to repeat that and modify Peggy’s procedure through these steps:

  • Trace size CC
  • Shorten the leg 1.5″
  • Remove 1″ at hip level (dart)
  • 1″ inseam horseshoe dart
  • Scoop crotch 1/2″
  • Use Seam Allowances
    • side seam front 1/2″
    • side seam back 3/4″ (my prominent seat always needs a little extra ease
    • Crotch 3/8″
    • All else 1/4″

I selected a fairly recently acquired fabric. Bought at a time when large florals were popular for pants.  Didn’t think I could do the large florals but an ice-dye print? Maybe. However, it has marinated for 3-4 years because I just can’t see myself wearing something like this. I think if will make a fine muslin.  If the first fit is successful I can use it as PJ’s to gauge DH’s reaction. If he’s negative, I know I won’t want to wear it publicly.  This fabric is a cotton/poly/lycra twill with a built-in lining. The lining is a very thin, almost transparent batiste. Not sure how the two layers are attached because the fabric still has the required 20% stretch.

I finish the waistband immediately. It’s satisfying to having something done so quickly. I’m using Wawak’s braided elastic .  It’s a little firmer than Louise Cuttings famous elastic. No matter how much I shortened Louise’s elastic it would stretch some more and this type of pant would droop. Wawak’s  stitches easily. Slides up over my butt without problems and holds at the waist without dropping slightly through the day.  I also permanently stitched the crotch and back pocket pieces.  I had taped the front pockets pieces to the pattern and cut them on the pant front. When I started sewing, I top stitched to give an appearance of a front pocket. Hey these pockets aren’t big enough to hold a key. Mostly they just rumple up and have to be pressed to stay flat. Top stitching gives me the look of front pockets without the fiddly sewing of such itty bitty pieces.  Side seams, yoke, hems and attaching waistband to pant were all stitched with water-soluble thread (WST).

 

I’m going to cut to the chase. I  tweaked the muslin 5 times.

3 of those tweaks were because I wimped. With the last pair of Eleanors I had decided the AA length was perfect for me. I wimped when I realized I would be shortening the back crotch length (taking the CB dart doesn’t just pull up the bottom part of the pant).  I thought the extra 1/2″ the CC length would be needed. Nope.

The other 2 tweaks involved scooping the crotch. I have that supposedly rare high-low anomaly i.e. the bottom of my crotch is not parallel with the floor. It is tilted upwards towards the front. Even the easily fit Eureka’s, PP113s and TJ906 needed to be scooped just a little (1/4″). I did scoop the back crotch tissue but I scooped in the wrong place. It may be easier to show:

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On the left in red, I scooped the tissue in the well of the crotch.  I should have extended the crotch upright down then curved upward (left side purple).  When extending the stitching to the front, the front curve is changed slightly. Just enough that front and back meet smoothly over the inseam. Then I trim the SA to 3/8″.   I stitched the final side seams at 1/4″ instead of the 1/2″ I allowed. I don’t like this ‘reveal everything’  trend. I want my garment to skim my curves. Letting out those seams was just enough for me.

Note I needed to adjust the exposure of the pictures to clearly see the drag lines. The fabric is  much darker than the pics.

 

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I still have a few issues.  The leg is too long and has to be adjusted above the knee.  I’m shorter from hip crease to knee than the average person. I know that because anytime the legs are shaped, I can’t hack the fabric off the bottom to fix the fit issue.  The side seam between waistband and hip crease is too long.  I can tell because I can pinch the side seam and remove a substantial number of drag lines on side, front, back.  To correct the length any more on this muslin, I’d need to remove the triple-stitched back pockets. (Why did I put pockets on a muslin?) There is a time when you can no longer tweak the fabric. You have to change the tissue and cut new fabric.

For the next pair I plan these steps :

  • Trace size CC width AA length (1/2″ less length than CC)
  • Shorten the leg 2″ above knee
  • Remove 1/2″ at hip (dart)
  • 1″ inseam horseshoe dart
  • Scoop crotch 3/4″ (extending the back crotch upright not in the well as done on this muslin)
  • Use Seam Allowances
    • side seam 1/2″  by adding
      • front 3/4
      • back 1″ (I add 1/4″ extra ease to the back hip whether it’s tops or bottoms. Helps to cover my prominent seat.)
    • Crotch 3/8″
    • All else 1/4″

I just had to know. Had to know if the alterations I made to Otto #11 5/2016 would be standard for all Otto pants. It would be wonderful, I think, to know that every time I trace an Otto pant, I can make the same corrections and achieve the same excellent fit.

So with that in mind, I traced #9, 5/2016,

patternpiece

the one-piece leggins in the size I used last, 48. (Otto recommends a 44 for me but I like more ease). I’m getting the hang of Peggy Sager’s fitting method and so I think CLD.  Circumference.  Well I did that by choosing the size.  Next L length. Judging from the last pant (Otto #11 5/2016), I make a .75″ tuck (1.5″ total length removed) just above the knee.  Now I’m working on Depth.  First depth change is at the hip.  Oh, this is one piece. Can I make the dart just from CB to an imaginary side seam?  It worked better (the end result was flat instead of crumpled) to slash all the way across from CB to CF; make the 1/2″ (total removed 1″) dart at the CB which automatically tapered to nothing by the time it reached CF. Next depth change I need to make is at the top of the inseam.  A 1″ dart needs to be made on the back inseam zeroing at the side seam; and repeat on the front. Oops. Cant’ do that.  I end up with a tent. Yes folding out a dart that zeros where I imagine a side seam to be (instead of where there really is one) on both front and back inseams creates a tent in my pattern.   I can’t smash it down. Oh it goes down but it’s a crumpled mess not a flat pattern. Can’t make a dart at the top of the inseam. How about a tuck?  That removes L (length) but does not effect D (depth). This needs to be a D change at the top of the inseam. I could slice from hem upwards and create a two piece leg.  Don’t want to. I want a 1 piece leggin.  I see no other possibilities.

I already have a Kwik Sew pattern to make long johns. Since what I’m doing will produce the same pattern as my Kwik Sew, I crumple all the tissue and toss into the trash. Until I get smarter.

I have to admit that the experience made me think back to other one-piece pants patterns that I’ve attempted and some off-the-record advice received. .  On rare occasions I can fit them in the mirror but later can’t sight of myself and wonder why they look so bad.  It’s because I’m curvy. I need more places to adjust for my curvy body. Other curvy women have commented that they never have true success with this type pattern. They need seams and darts to look their best.

I  made this quick blog post so that in the future if I’m tempted to use this pattern again, I will say “been there, didn’t do that because it won’t work” and I won’t waste my time.

 

After finishing the brown pair, I begin to wonder how quickly I could make pants using this pattern.  I selected a lovely black ponte from my stash. It looks good even when stretched 40% and recovers in a split second. Incredible fabric.  Hancocks has closed so I have little hope of ever finding it again. Again, lightly pressed and steamed then laid out and cut.  Did I mention that Otto 2016/5 #11 is incredibly fabric conservative?  I had 2 yards of this 62″ wide fabric.  I’m left with 3/4 yard –enough for shorts next year or a variety of neck bindings this year.

This could be a serger garment. I serged the inseams and crotch; serge finished the side seams. I stitched the side seams at 1/2″ double the 1/4″ previously used for the stable knit.  I felt that the greater stretch warranted a deeper seam.

The TALBOTS WAISTBAND  Join the elastic in a circle. Serge one edge of the elastic to the pant waist.  Fold down to the inside. The elastic will no longer be visible.  It’s covered by the right side of the pant that has been turned to the inside. Top stitch along the the serged edge i.e. the now lower edge where you attached the elastic to the pant waist.  I use a narrow zig zag when top stitching on stretch fabrics; and yes this waistband can be used on woven/nonstretch fabrics. The key is starting with a waist that will slip up over your hips without needing a closure such as side or front zipper. 2nd key, is that the pant must fit before attaching the waistband.  I suppose the elastic could be un-serged and the pant refit but I’m not going to do it.

I learned this waistband finish from Pamela’s Patterns DVD.   She found it on a shopping trip to Talbots and therefore calls it the Talbots Waistband.  Since I learned it from her, that’s what I call it.  I love that it is quick, easy and beautifully finished.

After the waistband I added the cuffs.  I serged the seams, folded WST, lightly pressed and then basted the two raw edges together. 3 raw edges are difficult for me to keep aligned. Unlike that Hi-End Designer fabric, this Ponte stretched magnificantly.  The leg and the cuff serged together easily.   Time till done?  Includes finding the fabric, determining stretch, cutting, loading 2 machines with thread and all the sewing.  I did not do any fitting. Nope, didn’t stop even once to check.  Total time to pics: ONE hour, twenty MINUTES.  I mean these are pants I can have right now.  Going some place and need a new pair?  All I need is an hour and half (need 10 min for a quick shower).

Pic lightened 100%. This is really a dark, dark black.

Fit?  Still think I need to scoop the crotch just 1/4″. Also may need to increase the hip dart.  Won’t do that until I see what scooping the crotch does.

Once the muslin fits, it’s time for a ‘real’ garment, right?

 

From my stash I chose a 2-year old Hancock fabric that was marked “High End Designer”.  It has a ribbed appearance but low stretch. However, I wanted the same stretch as the test fabric and it was perfect.  I will say when purchased,  I wondered about it.  Located on the same shelf as the bottom weight Ponte’s,  I wondered if it could have been misfiled but the weight truly was good for pants. Also might have made a very warm cardigan. Properly lined and interfaced, a great jacket. But as I said, I wanted to use it now because its stretch was 10.25%.  Like the muslin fabric, I could pull really hard and make that percentage go up.  I prefer to back it down so it looks like something I’d like to wear.  I don’t remember the fiber content. It does remind me of the Woolray yarn I bought in the 80/90’s for machine knitting pants. That stuff was wonderful. Good stretch. Excellent recovery. Priced so the home MK’er could afford a pair of Jill St John or similar hi-end designer pants. (Back then I think those pants retailed about $200 and we were paying $20 per cone.  Always needed part of a second cone, though).

I pressed lightly counting on the steam to help smooth out any bubbles or slight wrinkles. Partly that’s why I think it at least has a rayon content.  Polyester or acrylic does not cooperate with low temperature, light steam. At least in my sewing room it hasn’t. Laid out my 3 pattern pieces and cut fabric. I serged inseams, side seams and crotch but basted the waistband for the first try-on. To my delight, it’s darn near perfect.

I may want to scoop the crotch a little.  The CB dips down slightly and I feel it tugging on my rear.  I’m not surprised.  I’m the one with front/back crotch anomaly i.e. my crotch isn’t horizontal to the ground. Not just that the back and front crotch lengths are different but my front crotch is higher than the back. Typically, I need to scoop the crotch just a little.  Adding length under the waistband doesn’t help. Instead it will develop little dips.  Add at the hip and the back of leg mess recurs. Nope, the adjustment for me had got to be in the well of the crotch.

For the first time I added the cuffs which I think we’re calling ‘Lanterns’. What a pain. I had to cut a second set. Originally I had added 1/2″ to the cuff side seams.  I added 1.5″ and the cuffs still wouldn’t stretch to meet the leg.  I fought the issue with my serger, breaking a needle in the process and ripping out one half the leg seaming.  Finally eased at the SM and finished the seam at the serger. Finishing was absolutely necessary. Oh, I forgot to mention I’ve never seen a ‘knit’  that raveled like this one. Making me question if it really was a knit.  For the second leg/cuff, I got out the clear elastic and gathered the leg edge first before serging.  I also basted the two raw edges of the cuff together before serging because on the first leg part of the fight was keeping the 3 raw edges aligned with the differential kicked up to 2 and tugging to try to feed the fabrics. But I finished and I’m super pleased except for one thing. These are winter pants!  The fabric is that dang heavy. I won’t be able to wear them until sometime in November!

Note:  Leg width above cuff is 19″.  Cuff edge, with my 1.5″ seam allowancess finishes at 14″ .  Better try on that cuff before serging it to the pant leg.  Nothing like a pant you can’t pull up over your foot.

I’ve fit 3 Otto pants patterns but it’s always a struggle. Needed several muslins and at least one of them looked dreadful on me even after fitting. (The Carrot Pant.) But this latest issue 2016/5, had an interesting looking leg.  I’ve been looking for that slim leg which is not body conscious nor does it flare at the knee or ankle.  I also prefer a waistband either at or just below my natural waist–no plumber’s butt for me. I’ve seen a few patterns that come close, but they’re always issued by companies whose draft I can never fit (Kwik Sew, McCalls etc).  So when this Otto  design posted:

I knew immediately I wanted to try it but I wasn’t using my normal methods. Burda and Otto seem to like a closer fit than me; and since I’m in between sizes, I chose one size larger (48) than the recommended. I located Sheet C, traced the pattern pieces and extended the leg pieces as instructed.  I tried comparing the just traced pieces with  Eleanor, a knit-fabric,  yoga-pant, type pattern which fits me (it took 6 muslins).  Looking at the pics…

…should tell you why I always have to fit from scratch.  My crotch and legs never come close to looking like the new draft. I’ve found I can’t just transfer my crotch to the new draft. Found that out the hard way with lost time and precious fabric. Can’t just measure crotch depth, leg length or ease.  I know there are people out there who always transfer “their crotch” and claim the pattern fits perfectly.  I have 3 great fitting pants patterns to which I did little at all ( TJ906 The Eureka and Pamela Pattern 113).  Each of the crotches are vastly different but each somehow fits.  It is the “whole being much greater than the parts” type situation. I know a new pants pattern means I’m fitting from scratch and will need several muslins.

Otto recommends adding 5/8″ equivalent to all seam allowances. I think that’s a waste at the crotch and inseam.  I added 1/4″ — enough for my serger seam– everywhere except the side seams. I added 1″ to both front and back side seams.  Knowing that I’m 3″ shorter than the standard figure, I shortened the leg above the knee by making a 3/4″ tuck (total 1.5″ length removed).

Also very familiar with my elastics, I cut a 34″ length of 1″ elastic.

I chose a remnant for my first test garment.  With 10.25% stretch, it just barely makes it into the moderate stretch zone. I can stretch 10″ to 11.5 if I pull really hard –but I don’t like to wear pants that are pulled really hard. I laid the parts out carefully and marked knee (both sides) and hip notches. Then I went to watch TV.

Not just any TV but Peggy Sagers 8/8/2016 broadcast on pants draping.  I paused, replays can be the best, to take notes which I’m happy to share.

Image is linked to full size pic which I think you can download or at least click and save.

 

I didn’t write down everything she said.  Some of her fixes don’t apply to me; others I don’t care about.  Also Peggy doesn’t cover every fitting variation. I don’t recall a single mention of asymmetrical hips, front-back low anomaly, etc , etc.  Pretty much she seems to think no matter the issue,  fix it during  musling.

So I cut my fabric; basted the pieces together, including inserting the elastic.  I can’t tell how pants fit on my body until the waistband is right.  To my delight, the crotch and waist both snuggled right into place. No need to make crotch adjustments, however I could see VPL.  My first alteration was to release  the side seams 1/4″.  With Fit 02  the front looked really good. Below the knee? Excellent. Butt was OK. Below my butt was the normal mass of wrinkles.  I pinched back there as best I could. Felt like the full width of my thumb. Peggy says you can do this yourself but it is difficult to pinch and look over your shoulder into a mirror and decide if you’re helping or hurting. I placed a pin at the furthest protuberance of my rear so I would know where to take my 1/2″ tuck. That was Fit 03.

I’m going to show all the pics of the back right now, but keep in mind Fit 01 (out of the envelope) is not pictured  and  still to share is Fit  3 and 4.

Fit 03, (2nd from the left and the 1/2″ dart across hip)  looked so good that I immediately pinched at the top of the inseam which also looked like a 1/2″ tuck was needed. When sewing I was reminded of a horse shoe and I’m calling it the horse shoe dart.  I started this dart at the front side seam gradually increased from 0 to 1/2″ by the inseam; continued stitching across the back decreasing to 0 by the time I stopped at the back side-seam.  I did this on only 1 leg, the right leg, Fit 04 (3rd from left, 2nd from right).  Fit 04 looked really good but not as clean as Peggy achieved. I pinched some more at the hip and again and the inseam but looking in the mirror, I just couldn’t tell. The only solution seemed to be repeat those darts increasing the depth.  Fit 05, I increased the hip dart to 3/4″. That’s it. I’d wear that leg (pic on the right).

Peggy recommends opening your muslin,making it flat and using that as your pattern. First off, you can see my muslin is still going to have wrinkles and bubbles. More important to me, my storage spaces already over flow. I prefer to have a very thin pattern to store vs that spongy, space-hogging, knit.  I transfer the changes back to the tissue. At that time I also trimmed the front, side, seam-allowance from 1″ to 3/4″; walked seams and filled in any gaps that occurred when the inseam was darted.  I’m thinking I can use this pattern for a stable knit and even a stretch woven. It might also be used on something like a ponte and slinky by taking in the side and waist seams.  I do want to share the differences to the pattern once it is fit. First will be the original. 2nd the fitted pattern.

FRONT:

BACK:

I’m amazed at how much the angles changed.

A note about time involved, roughly 8 hours. It could have been less. Pinching fabric and looking over my shoulder was an insecure event. I may have spent too much time with my back side turned towards the mirror.   I always followed the mirror sessions with pics because that’s the only way I can really tell if I’m making a difference. A good difference, preferably. Every time I take pics, I run upstairs to look at them on the computer. I always seem to have short conversations with DH and just take a quick peek at what they’re doing on SG. I’ll admit that I might cut hours off the fitting time if I’d stay in the sewing/stash rooms but I enjoy the other 2 activities as well.

I’m really pleased with both Otto’s draft and Peggy’s fitting instructions. I had to see her in action several times.  I think it was the Aug 08, 2016 broadcast where she fit 4 different ladies, 4 different patterns; the entire time discussing what she was doing and why.  The notes helped me when I got into the sewing room.  I think that my knit fabric could have made fitting easier, however, Peggy did fit at least one of the ladies in a non-stretch woven.  I’m hopeful this is a process that I could use in the future.

 

*********SUMMARY TISSUE CHANGES

1/4″ SA except front side seam 3/4; back side seam 1″

3/4″ tuck above knee

3/4″ dart at hip back only

1/2″ horse shoe dart at top of inseam