sdBev's Pants!

One of the issues with knock knees is the greater length needed to go over the knee .  J Sterns and a few others recommend slashing and spreading just under the crotch as in this diagram from cationdesigns

I have a problem with this particular alteration because it looks too much like the plus-size, problem patterns I’ve had to deal with.  It’s as though when drafting for plus sizes, the drafter assumes that the frame, my bones, spread further apart as I get fatter. My legs do not get further apart. Those hip sockets are fixed. If anything, the thigh gap gets smaller and closer together.  Also when I look at my legs the leg from crotch to knee doesn’t seem to angle outwards. To me my thigh area angles and the calf portion angles outward. But I’ve seen alterations work really well and they didn’t seem logical to me, so I’m keeping this alteration in mind for future investigation.   What I’m working with now is an alteration I refer to as the knee-spread. As shown by SewStashSew 

I like this alteration for a couple of reasons.  I agree that the knock knee needs more length. Over the years, I’ve noticed that my inseam will slowly shrink until it’s at least 3/4″ shorter than the side seam. Doesn’t matter whether I made the pants or purchased RTW. The inseam and side seam start level. With each laundry, the inseam becomes a little shorter.  For years I blamed the pattern companies’ and RTW’s habit of making the inseam shorter between crotch and knee. (I’m rethinking that.  )

I also like this alteration because it makes the change where the change is needed.  When Gale Grigg Hazen  was traveling and giving lectures, she always emphasized that the change needs to be made where it corresponds to the body. For example, she was not in favor of shortening the hem at the side seam to adapt for a full bust. If you needed more length over the bust, she wanted you to put the length over the bust even if that meant changing the style lines.  She had a point and I’ve never forgotten her lecture. I do think the more weight I carry the more her theories fit my personal clothing construction alterations.  So when I see something like the knit spread that puts length at the knee where the length is needed, I’m more favorably impressed. More likely to make this alteration that seems logical, reasonable to me. The one thing that bothers me about this alteration is the change of the grain line.  Usually pant pattern are drafted with the grain line vertical to and bisecting the hem. That way the leg hangs straight.  Following these instructions, the grain line is shifted.  No longer perpendicular to the hem and no longer is the grain running straight down the leg.  I’ve learned the hard way to respect the grain. Yet I understand that we are adapting for a physical deviation, however minor’ and we need to do something different if I’m to get different results.

Finally, I like this alteration because it creates a pattern that follows my own structure:


You did not think I was going to post pictures of my naked leg, did you?  I took several pictures but I wanted to focus on the essence of my leg shape between crotch and ankle. So I selected the best pictures and made a composite.  My technical knowledge petered out so I used pen and vellum to trace my legs.  Then scanned the tracing.  From it (the tracing) I think we can see my leg shape well enough.  Note that the knee is touching in both front and back views. Even then I still have thigh gap. My thighs never meet. This is not typical for knock knees. In fact the definitions I’ve read specify that the thighs will be pressed together. Note, I’m not standing with one leg in front of the other. My lower legs  are naturally forced apart, just as described in the definition of knock knees.  My knock knees are less prominent the less I weigh. Right now I have goodly fat bulges on both knees and very obvious knock knees..  An interesting point you can not see in the tracing but is visible in the photos, my right leg twists just slightly between knee and ankle.  It’s most obvious from the back.  Normally I stand with one leg in front of the other and none of this is noticed.

I also traced the prominent skeletal lines:

As we look at the pic, that’s front on the left  and back on the right, just as in the pic above. I marked a horizontal from outside to outside of the body at the crotch line, knee and ankle.  Then I made a little tick mid way of each leg, knee and ankle.  When I joined the ticks with a vertical the lines and possibly my legs look fairly straight.  My bones look straight. It’s when flesh is apparent that I think ‘knock knee’.

I decided to try this knee spread alteration. I still have questions as to whether I am truly knock kneed.  I admit to having some features of the knock kneed and maybe that’s enough to require corresponding alterations.

I traced my Jalie pattern using the “Near Perfect” version.  It’s possible I might need a combination of alterations. But I didn’t think the Knee Slide helped in the least.  It didn’t the first time I used it.  It didn’t work last time. Why incorporate it now?  I made the knee spread alteration 5/8″ on both front and back pattern pieces.  I chose 5/8″ because most of my inseams shrink to be 3/4″ shorter than the side seam. But not always.  It depends entirely on the fabric.  I can never be sure how much a fabric will shrinkt two years down the road.  So I chose an in between number i.e. in between the least amount of shrinkage (1/2″) and the most common (3/4″). I will not be making the faux fly or messing with pockets.  This is a test which may end up a disaster. I am using the back yoke.  I have to use a different elastic for the waistband. Up to now, I’ve made all Eleanors with the same elastic. But it’s all gone. I’ll use my favorite which Louise Cutting sells at Cutting Line Designs. I’d rather not be dealing with the elastic variable, but it is what it is. LC’s elastic is 1.25″ wide instead of the 1″ called for but it will still fit inside the waistband.  This is elastic is also softer and stretches further.  For starters I have chosen to use 1″ less length than I did with the previous elastic.

My fabric chose me. All the sorting and stacking I did last week produced not a single stretch fabric for pants. But I have somehow manged to get 2 cuts of exactly the same turquoise RPL.  It has 50% stretch . I think the Near Perfect Jalies had 40% stretch.  If so, I will need to tweak the fit.

One of the things I do love about the Eleanor is how quickly it sews together.  I serged yokes to backs and then serged inseams. Also nailed the elastic into place with a triple zig-zag. But I BASTED together everything else . Expecting at least some fitting adjustments , I used water-soluble thread with a 3mm stitch length.


Fitting Pics tomorrow.


I’ve decided, I really do have knock knees. I’ve always seen knock knees described as the knee turning inward or the leg rotating inward. My knee is pretty straight on. As far as rotating, that’s what the earth does, right? Neither leg nor knee look like they are rotating to me. So for years I’ve said I’m NOT knock kneed.  There is a distinctive pad of fat on my inner knee.  I thought that might cause the same fitting issues as a knock knee but continued to deny I was actually knock kneed. Here recently I took pictures of my bare leg between hip and ankle. No, I’m no posting those pics. In those pics I see my  thigh bone curves/bows outward creating thigh gap no matter how much I weight (or don’t weigh) but at the same time my legs angle towards the knees.  Like an inverted triangle with the tip at my knees.  My lower legs cannot come together unless I shift a leg forward (or back) and they splay outward from knee to ankle but straight, no bowing.

Interestingly I seem to have bowed, knock knees after all.  I think it may not always be obvious because I generally stand with one leg in front of the other rather than spread apart shoulder-width or side by side.

That’s really food for future thought and maybe alterations because I’d already decided I wanted to try a knock knee alteration.  Nearly every pant I make has some hint of drag lines around the knee like these (from the Near Perfect Eleanor)

So I copied the last pattern and added a 1″ Knock Knee Alteration to both back and front. 1″ is pretty substantial. Jennifer Sterns Knock Knee Alteration recommends making the alteration 1/4″ at a time.   But I’ve been this route before.  At the time, I stopped at a 3/4″ alteration because that was the recommended maximum.  I decided there was no point in repeating in quarter-inch increments since my previous attempts had no effect upon these drag lines. I decided to go for 1″ and adjust from there.

I made a wadder. Actually it was a beautiful pair of Eleanors sewn from a cotton/lycra twill.  Gorgeous fabric but without the required 20% stretch.  I could not pull them up over my hips.  Had no idea about the effect of the knock knee alteration.  How could I have possibly made such a goof?  Well I didn’t measure the stretch of the fabric. I pulled. It stretched.  I felt kind of dumb when I couldn’t pull the pants up.

So I selected another fabric and this time I measured the stretch.  A good yank on this poly knit fabric creates a 50% stretch.  Boy can you tell it.  Stretch measured to just before the fabric is obviously stretched is 30%.   Eleanor requires 20% stretch so I should be good to go.  I also used Louise’s elastic this time because I was out of the elastic used previously. I do prefer Louise’s elastic. It is softer and a little more stretchy but I wanted to be consistent.  I cut both pieces of elastic 1″ shorter.  My pattern has 5/8 side seam-allowances so I can adapt ease for the various fabrics.  I know from experience that the same fabric from different bolts will behave slightly differently. I want the option to add a bit of ease.  I serged this together with 1/4″ seam allowances pretty much without stopping. I figured if there was too much ease, I would make a seam on the sewing machine 5/8″ or whatever needed to reduce ease.  In retrospect, I need to mark this version as needing 50% stretch.  The result is just a little tighter than I like.

Pic 2: One foot in front of the other i.e Typical Bank Line Pose

Fortunately, my blouses/tops will cover those wazy hips. They won’t cover the back of leg and knee wrinkles which get worse depending upon how I stand:

Pic 3: Feet shoulder-width apart

The good news is that these are a deep, dark brown, I guess they would be black-brown or brown-black.  In the bank line you see:

which is no wrinkles at all. Don’t forget, I’ll probably be standing with one leg in front of the other (as in Pic2) which decreases the leg wrinkles.

Back to the Knock Knee Alteration….. I ‘m not sure it improved the drag lines at the knee.  Comparing side-by-side  with the ‘Almost Perfect Eleanor”

I think there are more back-of-leg and knee wrinkles on this version. Is that because there is less stretch?  Percentage of stretch is definitely a factor.  Compare with the first Eleanor which has negative ease butd did not have J. Sterns diagonal overlap:


When it comes to the knee drag lines, I”m just not sure how much of an improvement we’re looking at.

The 2-1/4 yards of fabric felt hefty when I pulled it off the shelf and did my stretch test. However I began to doubt its winter-cold weather applicability whilst serging. The finished garment tells me it’s a spring/summer/fall garment instead of the winter garment I desired.  I love the Jalie Eleanor and will continue to work at reducing the wrinkles. I’ve kept this garment but wonder if I’ll ever wear it because I’ll probably improve the fit before weather permits its wear.

As for the alterations, I need to think some more.

Winter is slowly taking over. Day by day. Temperature drop by temperature drop.  I am testing out my winter wardrobe by wearing a new set every day. OK not necessarily new to me garments, but garments that I carefully cleaned, pressed and hung in my closet as ‘ready’ for winter. It took no time at all to start noticing I didn’t have enough brown pants.  Most of what I have is blue. I need to rectify that and chose to make a nice pair of trousers in brown twill suiting.

This is a 100% polyester fabric and proves my point that polyester can be high quality.  This has wonderful weight and drape.  Pressing did require a few extra seconds to allow the heat and steam to persuade seams to lie flat and pressed either open or to one side.  I opted to use the last well fitted version of the pattern and for something different moved the closure from zipper to open pocket.  This is easy to do and great to use when you don’t have a matching zipper or are in a hurry.  It is not apparent to the viewer that there even is a closure:

The closure is hidden in the pocket and created by leaving the pocket bag partially unstitched

Essentially you are making inseam pockets.  4 pocket bags are cut.  The right side is stitched together like making an inseam pocket. The right side is a little trickier. The inside ‘seam’ is finished before attaching the bags to the front and back side seams.  The side seam is stitched from hem, up to about 2″ into the pocket. Turn the work so you can stitch back down that 2″ and around the bottom of the pocket bag and up the side leaving 6″ open.  The waistband needs to be extended by the width of the top of the pocket bag.  The front pocket is folded in and secured to the front pant. The back pocket is left free. The waistband is applied along this long waistband which becomes the correct length after the button, snap or hooks are sewn into place.  Clear as mud?  Sorry. This is one that is easier to do than describe and step by steps would be boringly long.

I see the pic at the top of the page, as being me in the bank line.  I lightened that pic for a better view:

To me, this is totally acceptable. I made trousers. They have a 20″ hem. They are supposed to be loose; easy wearing, comfortable.  What’s more, because pp113 is a TNT pattern and the closure was so easy, these pants took only 4 hours to make from start to finish which included 1 fitting session.  However when I lifted my shirt to take photos of the waist, I shifted my weight and twisted the pants because this :


would suggest that I need to work on the pattern some more.  I don’t think so. I think I twisted my body see how my left leg looks about 2/3’s the size of my right leg. I think I’m standing funny and the bank line pictures are right.

Anyway, 1 pair of brown pants in the closet and ready to be worn.


I know I left yesterday’s post on a down note but today I’d like to move past my personal fitting issues and talk about the style and construction features of Jalie’s Eleanor.


First THUMBS UP for the speed with which this can be sewn together. I traced, cut and serged the first pair in under 3 hours.  I think more like 2.

It is  a pull-on jean. Although I think it is more of a Yoga pant with jean styling or maybe a jean with yoga pant styling. But in my mind it is not clearly one or the other but borrows elements from both. I happen to like the styling and would give it a THUMBS UP.

It has a faux-fly which I didn’t stitch until I made Pant #6 (the near-perfect).  I was surprised at how  a nice detail that became.  The fly pieces are cut on  the pant (not separate pieces to be attached adding time to the sewing) and then fold to one side which gives a nice heft and a guide line for stitching.  I stitched from the inside.  The fly looks real, even though there isn’t a zipper. The fly stitching lines are slimming — something I always appreciate having but especially over my tummy. I give Jalie a THUMBS UP for the faux fly

I also didn’t stitch the faux front pockets.  I hate the ‘real’ pockets on my DG2 jeans. They are so shallow they are unusable.  In fact they are an ugly distraction. When I get a new pair of DG2’s,  I try them on, take pictures and then stitch the pockets closed before cutting off the bag. Much better; much, much better that Jalie recognized these should just be for show. However, it’s a bit fiddly to sew and I did not make them during the tissue alteration and fitting process. Nor will I make these pockets when “it’s for reals”.  I plan to face the ‘pocket opening’ with bias tape and applique to a pocket back. I know this will be easier than trying to line up the two sharply curved pieces for stitching and then top-stitching.  I give Jalie a THUMBS UP for the faux pocket but prefer my own application method.

I do love the slim leg.  I’ve been trying for years to find a pattern with a slim leg that is not figure revealing — as in “counting hairs” revealing.  Yes I would not be praising this pattern had I not also used Jennifer Stern’s fitting procedure. Bottom line, this is the leg I’m looking for but you may not like what I’ve created.  I created my leg by going up two sizes and adding ease along the inseam. The drafted leg is much slimmer than what I’ve created. Keep that in mind if you decide to make this pattern yourself.  I give Jalie  a PUSH on this because I’m not using the leg as they drafted but  I like the leg I’m using.

I did not use the back pocket either. I wanted to; the fabrics I used did not. I don’t care for the scant 1″ hem.  In my experience with beefy fabrics,  the turn-of-cloth will create either a smaller pocket or smaller hem.  With the fabrics I was using, the hem kept becoming 1/2″ which was objectionable to me.  The real reason I didn’t use pockets this time was that the fabric would not form nice crisp edges and corners. Regrettably my mind was focused on other details and not until I hung the final pair on hanger did I realize I could have fused interfacing to the entire pocket and solved all my issues.  Definitely MY BAD. I’m experienced enough that I should have solved this issue early on. I’ll give Jalie a THUMBS UP for the pockets because they are important for jeans styling.

I can’t give Jalie an unqulified rating on the drafting. Mostly the pieces seemed to fit together well but I had some discrepancies most notably the length of the back and front inseam. I have not been exhaustive in discovering the source of the discrepancy and freely admit that I could be it. At the same time, I can’t remember a time that I made a half inch tracing error without noticing it.  I routinely notice and correct 1/16″ discrepancies. How could I have missed something so much larger? I just don’t know.  I’m noting the discrepancy here and admitting it’s presently unsolved but likely to be me.

I saved the waistband evaluation till now because the WB is truly noteworthy.

  • The waistband  is drafted in two pieces  to add additional shaping.  The curved shapes remove ease at the waist while retaining the same ease as the upper hip.  Very ingenious. I like this draft better than Pamela’s instructions for creating a Yoga pant using PP113 as the basis
  •  Jalie really nails that elastic in place. It is not going to roll or shift and if Jalie’s instructions are followed, no one is even going to know  it is even there. That’s because the elastic  is stitched to the inside and  private side of the waistband.
  • THUMBS DOWN for lumpy waistband side seams. The waistband is two pieces and folded in half (total 4 layers). The elastic is two pieces (and match the length of the waistband at its narrowest). Creating 6  layers in the WB side seam.   Very thick and lumpy.
  • THUMBS DOWN  There is no adjusting the elastic once it’s sewn.  I’m  not replacing it either if it permanently stretches out of shape before the garment dies.  Too many stitches to remove and replace. Not doing it. No. Nuh. Nah nah.  <head shake>
  • I also prefer to fold the WB in half WST and baste the cut edges together.  That keeps them from flapping around and not being caught in the permanent stitching.  Very important if -like me- you tend to use narrow seam allowances. (I like 1/4 and 3/8″ SAs.)  I didn’t see an instruction to baste the cut edges together.  Maybe I just missed it. So I’m not rating this merely stating my preference.
  • For the fitting process, I stitched the WB side seams; folded the WB in half and pressed. Then I  joined the elastic in a circle. Marked both WB and elastic in quarters before snuggling the elastic inside the WB.  I stitched through both layers of WB twice; once just below the elastic and a second time 1/4″ above the cut edges. Totally looks like a normal Yoga Waistband.
    • In this configuration, the elastic will have a tendency to move (rotate, roll etc).  Because of that I top stitched CB, CF and both side seams.
    • Worked well during the fitting process.
      • Allowed me to adjust the elastic during fitting.
        • I both increased and decreased the length
        • Will need to be able to adapt for other elastics as well.
      • I admit that for actual garments I prefer to emulate the invisible elastic application and don’t have a solution yet
  • Overall, I like the look of Jalie’s Elastic Application when finished and will be seeking an application that produces the same effect.

So despite yesterday’s sour note, I like this pattern. I like the style and with Jen’s help, I like the fit.  I’m not quite ready to award it TNT status but I am ready to make it a permanent addition to my pants wardrobe.

Grab your coffee (tea or whatever); find a good chair and make yourself comfortable. This is going to be a long post with several photos. I’m not dividing it into multi-posts. I been involved in a  two-week project which resulted in near-perfect pair of pants:

(I promise I will lighten the rest of the photos so you can really see the fit.)

Several weeks ago I was intrigued by Jalie’s new pants pattern the Eleanor


It was Dawn’s post (Two On Two Off) that alerted me to the arrival of this new pattern. It comes with a cute back story here ; and is described as “pull on jeans… fitted through waist and hips, straight from the knee down. Very easy to turn into skinny jeans!”

OK jeans, so not trousers. Not loose at all. But I like a good fitting pair of jeans. Just not skinny jeans (although I do have one pair of skinny jeans). I hesitated to buy largely because of the international purchasing hassles I can run into, but also because I’ve recently struggled with several patterns and wasn’t sure I wanted to get involved in the pants fitting process.  Pants fitting is usually a multi-muslin process which is also time-consuming. It is rare to be able to fit a pant pattern to myself with only tweaking fit. That’s why I loved Pamela’s 113 so much. My first 113 was wearable and subsequent versions have tweaked the fit but mostly been fun changes.  When Pattern Review started carrying the Eleanor , I bought…..and started sewing and sewing and sewing.  I have sewn 6 pairs of Eleanors in the last 2 weeks:

first ———————— through ———————— last


Insane? Thing is, every pair I made,  I kept thinking I just needed to change one thing to have a good pair of pants and great pattern. The first pair (grey far left),   I chose to use the recommended size (based on hip girth)  and knit fabric with 20% stretch (the recommended minimum). I didn’t believe that this would publically wearable. I was thinking a pair of PJ’s to test the pattern. But it is skin-tight. Not a sexy come hither look either. More like “Why is she punishing me?” . I was expecting fitted (Butterick Ease chart) but this was almost negative ease.  These are tighter than my actual, real tights.  The first thing I did was mark the hip, thigh and knee position on my body with pins. I looked in the mirror and said “yep that’s were my rear sticks out the furtherest” and put a pin in it.  Did the same for knee (Yep that’s the middle of my knee) and thigh.   Took the PJ’s off, measured the location of the pins and marked the corresponding point on the pattern. (The pattern has knee notches, but lets you guess where the hip and thigh were plotted.) Now I could measure the pattern and chose a size based upon measurements (shades of Peggy Sagers. Eh?)  To my surprise, the recommend size had 1/4″ of ease. That’s barely positive ease. Close doesn’t adequately describe it for me.  I measured 5 sizes on the pattern sheet before having a brain flash and measuring my favorite DG2 jeans too.  I went up two sizes over the recommended.  Will you need to do the same?  Not necessarily. I’m at the top end of the recommended size. I almost selected the next size up to start with because I know that I prefer a little more ease than RTW; but decided to trust Jalie because their stretch jeans are so wonderful (but come to think of it, I make my Jalie jeans one size larger.)

I made the second pair, also intended to be PJ’s, two sizes larger than the recommended size and using a firm rib knit which I suspect is 100% polyester.  They are the light olive-green, 2nd from the left in my ‘Pantheon’ above.  You’re seeing the unscooped version. When I scooped the back crotch nearly all the back leg wrinkles disappeared — also the slight front camel toe disappeared. Just from a 1/2″ scoop!

I thought: ” I’ve got it. These are going to be great.”   I made the 3rd pair (3rd from the left) using a really good cotton/lycra twill after scooping the pattern’s back crotch  1/2″. Holy cow,  these in the good fabric had more wrinkles than the 2nd pair in the crappy fabric.

Pair #4 in a light olive Ponte (4th from the left and 3rd from the right) I decided to incorporate Jennifer Sterns diagonal overlap alteration.  These pants were slightly better. Jen’s alteration definitely improved the back wrinkles so I posted a question at Craftsy asking if there was a maximum the diagonal could be over lapped.

Side Note: I’m enrolled and have now completed Jennifer Sterns Craftsy Course  “the Perfect Jeans”. This is a commercial class which is relatively inexpensive if bought on sale.  I’m reluctant to quote her exact method because it may be copyrighted.  However, Ann’s Pearls of Wisdom at Stitcher’s Guild, contains a very similar alteration in the Flat Seat Adjustment thread which can be viewed for free.  There are differences between the two methods.  Jen is very specific about where the change needs to be made and how deep; both of which are body dependent and highly individualized. You have to discover the depth and location on your own body. Which may be the reason why Jen’s method worked for me, but Ann’s Flat Seat Adjustment left me protesting that I don’t have a flat butt as evidenced here  and no need for the FSA. This adjustment is something you have to work with.  It’s unlikely that any set of directions will be spot on the first time. If you have the same back wrinkles as I do, I recommend trying Ann’s free method. If that doesn’t work or is not entirely satisfactory, then pay for Jen’s class.

Jen answered within 24 hours which made me happy.  Her answer was to try scooping. Apparently while there is not an exact number at which you have to stop (2″, 3″ ?”of overlap) you want to minimize pattern distortion. I almost posted pictures at Craftsy but decided if I was going to take her time, I would follow all her directions.  Kind of like going to the doctor. Why are you paying him, taking his time, if you won’t tell him the whole truth or follow all his instructions?   Hence pair #5 – 2nd from the right.

I carefully measured and followed every one of Jen’s directions.  The 5th pair incorporates only three tissue changes. I added 3/4″ to the side at the back hip,  folded 2″ length out of the leg above the knee; and added 3/4″ width along the entire back inseam . The length between butt and knee is an area that Jen specifies measuring.  Her explanation was not entirely clear to me  but I think she says the incorrect length from crotch to knee can create wrinkles because the fabric cannot move freely where it needs to move.  I added the 3/4″ to the back inseam because I used to be able to fit Burda pants patterns with the same alteration and it was the key to the easy fit of Pamela’s Patterns #113.  On all the previous versions, I could see the stress wrinkles Jen was saying means add length to the crotch; also I knew sooner or later I was going to do something about my knock knees.  This is a known, a tried and proven solution for both of my issues. Why not do it now?

To my shock Pair #5 was fairly close to fitting at the first try-on. During basting I noticed that I was stretching the front inseam to match the back. Huh? I thought the inseams should be equal in length or sometimes a designer would make the back inseam shorter, not longer as it obviously was.  Could I have traced incorrectly?  Sure, but I’ve never made a half-inch tracing error without realizing it.  When I place notches and dots, the misalignment becomes obvious.  I had “taped like I meant it” so there was not much checking I could do without destroying my working copy.  I did compare my back and front tissues and discovered that my front inseam was definitely shorter than the back. I still had my very first two-sizes-two-small tissue which had not been altered in any way and I compared them to each other and to the original pattern. Sure enough, I’m coming up with the back inseam is longer than the front. Why did no one else using this pattern notice or say anything?  Well, it could still be my error.  I tend to repeat my errors and need a second person to draw my attention to where I’m making my mistake. But also, this pair and this pair alone was made from Bengaline and was cut crossgrain. That means I had width wise stretch but not vertical.  Most knits would easily disguise that 1/2″ difference.  This unyielding Bengaline wouldn’t.   I scooped the crotch on pair #5 and called it wearable before proceeding to …

Pair #6, the near perfect pair.  My fabric is “stretch Silhouette Double Knit” 98% polyester 2% lycra.  I’d buy a warehouse full of this fabric.  It is spongy and thick. Reminds me of Slinky but doesn’t have quite the same amount of droop. I know people who hung their Slinky for 24 hours before cutting and another 24 before hemming just because they loved everything about Slinky except it’s tendency to grow length-wise during wear.  I, myself, threw away my first slinky T-shirt because the crew neck line of the morning, turned into bosom-baring by lunch.   But back to the Silhouette Double Knit, I’m looking for more because while it does bend and flex and yes grow a little, but over all  it is the Slinky I always really wanted.

Pair #6, has the 3/4″ added to the hip back side seam; 3/4″ added to the entire back inseam;  and the 2″ fold above the knee — all as in pair #5 and as discovered during Jen’s measuring process. Additionally  I  folded a 1/4″ tuck above the knee ( back only). This removes total of 1/2″ length from the back between butt and knee. I did not make a corresponding change to the front because when I walked the side seams I found the 1/4″ tuck made them even. Apparently my back had been longer than the front (and I’m still claiming responsibility for the difference). I added a 1/2″ length at the back crotch. I felt (rather being able to see) the center back dipping while standing.  Another good Craftsy class is Plus Size Pant Fitting by Kathleen Cheetham. I’m not quite a plus size but I have issue that I haven’t been able to solve with normal-sized-people directions so I looked elsewhere.  I finished Kathleen’s course too and was most impressed by the short lesson for the girl with the full seat.  Kathleen is again very specific about adding more crotch height by slashing at the hip line.  When that is taped into place, she points out the divot at the side seam.  I’ve always done the slash where ever I wanted and ignored the  divot.  Kathleen makes this into an opportunity to add width right where the full-seated need it.  This is a great lesson to view, if you need it, and worth the cost of the entire course to me.  I easily added another 1/4″ (total now of 1″) right where I need it.  I’ve got to tell you, that I’m ecstatic about this.  I know from my bodice fitting that I need more ease across the back at the hip.  It doesn’t work, not on my body, to split the addition between front and back.  What I end up with is a flaring front and a back that hugs my butt. Placing the ease where I need it, over my full seat, allows the bodice to drape beautifully and the side seams hang vertically evenly dividing front and back.

Then and only then when all other tried, tested and found-to-be-true alterations were complete, did I do Jen’s 1.5″ Diagonal Overlap. I had pinched this out on Pant #5. So I knew where and about how much.  When slashed, overlapped and taped into place the side seam is shortened.  I removed 1.5″ length on the side seam, now I had to add 1.5″ height at the top of the side seam and re-draw the line between side seam and center back. Again, I followed Peggy Sagger’s lead.  I aligned my curve with the original top-of-back-leg line and then pivoted to meet the new height.  I also had a weird side seam between hip and knee. I used my curve to redraw the side seam which added a little ease to the thigh. The inseam was sharpely peaked outward entirely due to the amount of the overlap.  It’s part of the distortion Jen was trying to warn me about.  I used my curve to smooth out the inseam which removed ease almost exactly across from where  added when I smoothed the side seam.   Finally, the crotch had been pinched where it was slashed and pulled down that 1.5″ to form the overlap.  I used my curve but instead of trying to align with the previous crotch curve, I rotated until I had a nice looking curve.  I stepped back and said “Hey, that’s the same curve as TJ906”.  Makes me wonder if Trudy Jansen discovered and kept to herself the fact a number of us need less length over the back thigh.

I serged the first version (first and far left in the pantheon above) but like the succeeding versions, I basted Pair #6 together using a 3mm stitch and water-soluble thread. I was stunned at the first try on. Just stunned. I had a few bubbles along the back side seam and that was the worst fitting element. Every way I turned and then in the pics was flowing smooth fabric.

Apparently, I did not need to add the full 1.5″ height at the side seam which caused the side bubbles.  I ripped open seams. Having used WST was a simple matter of spritzing a little water, grabbing the bobbin thread and giving it a yank.  I trimmed 3/4″ from the top of the back leg at the side seam and redrew that line for a second time. I needed to scoop the back crotch just a bit and in so doing smoothed the entire curve which skimmed just a little from the front crotch as well.  I serged the whole kit and caboodle together. Serged. Done. OK I lied. I stitched the waistband to the pant at the sewing machine because I wanted to offset the waistband.  Front, back and sides  just felt a little ‘tall’ above the crotch.  I suspect this is a fabric issue because I didn’t have this impression with the first try-on or any of the other versions.  And now what everyone really wants to know,,,,,,, ta ta ta dah!!!!!! The FINAL FIT:

Pics are much lightened; about 80%

Keep in mind, this is still a close fitting garment.  I’m aiming for the same amount of ease as in my beloved DG2’s. Initially, I experienced a little camel toe in the front. Not sure, but there still could be a hint.    I experienced the same issue with the Ascona (which I did not finish fitting).  I have rolls; rolls of flesh and fat.  My slim tom-boy shape has been eroded by the years, the kid, the computer…. I’m pleased with this pic because only one roll is really evident and even it, like the others, are  smoothed over.

If I could, this is the only view anyone would ever see  and I say that despite the speck that my camera seems to have picked up. The pant looks low in the front but is entirely comfortable.  If it were higher, I would feel my lower lungs being constricted and I would  be picking at it (pulling down, folding over, pull and release etc etc).  I’ve come to accept that my waist is tilted or more accurately, roller coaster shaped.  The side seam is pretty straight, just leaning like the Tower of Pisa.  I could but may not bother working at fixing the tilted side seam. For now, I’m just going to admire the smooth flow of fabric from waist, dropping until it breaks – like it should – at the front of the foot. Very shapely. Nice. Especially for a woman of my age, weight and personal shape.

And the picture you really wanted to see, My Butt:

Sorry. I just couldn’t resist 5th grade humour.  Must be because I’ve been so long at the computer writing, editing this post…..

The leg wrinkles change with how I stand or as in the pic at the far left (wb too low) or far right (wb too high) , exactly where the waistband sits on my body.  I may have cut the elastic too long.  The most obvious constant to me is the wrinkles at the knee.  This is the first area I will tweak  in the future.  I could do a knock knee adjustment. But I think shortening the back inseam with an 1/8 or 1/4″ dart (at the inseam, zero at the side seam) should be first.  I really don’t know of jean draft that doesn’t make the back inseam shorter than the front. The theory is a shorter back inseam causes the fabric to tuck under your seat giving you a trimmer appearance.  Well I could certainly use that. I’m also aware that the butt isn’t exactly what I want.  I scooped this time but did not transfer that to the tissue.  My crotch is oddly peaked due to the Diagonal Overlap.  Instead of correcting the shape after stitching, I really want to smooth that out so that when I the crotch is smoothly shaped. I think I’m looking at two little tweaks, but dang every version I’ve said “I just need to do this one little thing.”

Despite all that I’ve written and shared, I really don’t consider the first 4 versions significant when evaluating the pattern.  I feel the final fit resulted not from the draft   but from using Jen’s fitting instructions. I expect some strong push back on that statement. Numerous people have used this pattern and posted glowing reviews.  But I was on the verge of tossing the pattern at Pant #4. Four fabrics, four bad fits.  How many bad fitting muslins do you make before deciding the draft doesn’t work?



Summary Tissue Changes:

  • two sizes larger than recommended
  • +3/4″ to side seam from hip to waist
  • +3/4″ to entire back inseam
  • +1/2″ to back crotch
    • slash and spread at hip line
    • +1/4″ smooth divot at side seam total 1″ added to side seam hip still 3/4″ at waist
  • -2″ above knee back and front
  • -1/1″ (1/4″ tuck) above knee on back only
  • 1.5″ Diagonal Overlap
    • causing +3.4″ side seam height back only
    • Smoothing side seam, inseam and crotch curve

Proposed Changes

  • Smooth crotch curve
    • pin front to back along inseam and side seam then smooth the curve
  • 1/4″ dart at back inseam (zero at side seam) above knee
  • Knock Knee alteration
  • Possible front crotch scoop for camel toe
  • Possible back crotch scoop
  • In: 906
  • Comments Off on For the Summer Collection TJ906

Minor change to the pattern.  I’ve noticed a lot of excess ease over the back thigh.  Just to check, I pinched out a 1/8″ wide dart starting at the back inseam, crossing and terminating at the side seam.

My fabric is a denim purchased in the last few years either from or It was prewashed with a can of coke because I can tell coke softens cotton fabrics. I’ve been calling the color ginger because it reminds me of the plant root. However, I think it was named golden wheat or something like that.  It’s a very neutral color in my closet.  In fact I was planning to top stitching with the same blue as the trousers  in my  Late Summer Early Autumn Collection. At the last-minute I decided to top stitch with matching thread because that keeps the pant neutral and usable with every color I wear.

Sometimes I think fabric is everything. In this case, these pants were too large at the try-on.  I increased the side seams but I think the back and side views still look a little loose, for jeans that is.  The front crotch suddenly looks too short. Well I threw these on and took quick pics.  I noticed that they seemed a little high at the waist, but made no attempt to adjust. I’m guessing, I tightened the belt one notch to many, which pulled the pants up too far in the front. Fortunately, they look much better when worn with the YED top:

and the whole collection is beginning to come together:

  • In: PP113
  • Comments Off on PP113-Embroidered

I used my last modified copy of Pamela’s Pattern #113. The one where I changed the inseam to be straight. Also, I tried slimming the hem.  Previously, I’ve not been able to slim the leg by much. Somehow slimming the leg causes the X-wrinkles in back. Since these wrinkles are mostly between butt and knee, I made darts in the leg between knee and ankle.  Well, 2″ below the knee to the ankle.  I removed a lot of flare turning this 20″ hem into a 17″.  I used the Euro Waistband with a zip front just to be doing something different. But I think fabric once again played the biggest role.  Suddenly my 1/2″ side seams reduced the ease.

and the Xwrinkles started showing:

I did let out the side seams as far as possible which removed the VPL. However the Xwrinkles didn't go away.  This fabric was an issue for another reason: it exploded. Well that's what I thought when I couldn't match the side and inseams. Once cut those bias edges grew in size.  I spent time at the ironing board shrinking down to the cut length. I thought about slapping the pattern back on top and recutting, but the pattern wouldn't fit. 

.I love these pants because for the first time, I was able to embroider the legs

I’ve often wanted to add embroidery at the hem. But you must be sure the pants will fit because the side seam is sewn first. Fortunately, I was able to open the side seam above the embroidery to gain the additional ease I needed. The embroidery isn’t really clear in the picture, so I exported a copy from Embird:



I started with the sample from Bella’s Bridal Collection at  It’s all a matter of splitting, mirroring and rotating to create the design wanted.



Posted on: July 29, 2015

Version 4 of the Ascona

I made changes. What’s the point of doing the same thing if it was wrong the last time? Right? But I felt the changes were a bit minor.  I traced the XL because L just didn’t have enough ease.  Then I added the PBA. Which for some reason was difficult this time.  I made the PBA and thought the back looked about the same. So I measured the pattern and measured my tissue. Yep somehow I had split the tissue, inserted tissue, folded  and taped it back together  just about the same size as it was when first traced. So I untaped my back pattern piece and started over. This time I drew a horizontal and vertical axis. Marked a 1″ square around the axis and then carefully spread the sections taping them into place 1″ apart. When done, I measured to ensure I had added an inch in height and width. Next, I took my TJ906 back crotch template and ignoring grain lines, angled it around until it fit nicely on the back pattern piece. I traced the TJ906 back crotch onto the back tissue and trimmed the excess tissue. Finally I added 1.25″ length to the top of both front and back pieces so that my tissue would have the fold-over waistband and sit at my natural waist.

I chose another sacrificial fabric: a rayon “light twill suiting”.

I cut my fabric and marked the center back before serge finishing all the edges. I basted side and inseams before putting one leg into the other and basting the crotch.  I like this sewing procedure because of how it feels when worn. I basted the folded over waist band and tried my pants on. Much to my surprise, they were pretty large:

It’s hard to describe their fit. Burlap bag comes to mind.  Certainly not the elegant view on Loes pattern envelope.My first thought was to shorten the front crotch because which was draping down about knee level. OK not that bad. I pinched out two inches and subsequently modified at the waist to take out the same.  This however, made more issues than it fixed. Taking up the front made the back look pretty bad,  I decided to try the suggestion of adding the same amount at the back as I took out at the front. I ripped out the waist stitching and discovered that I had mismarked my fabric. I had marked the front instead of the back. I was trying to make the back fit my front. Oy Vey. So I put everything back to “tissue” phase i.e. no fabric alterations and tried again.

Once again the front, the real front, was too long, but only by half as much i.e. 1 inch instead of 2.  I folded the waistband to remove 1″ in front; added a piece to the back so that I could add 1″ to the back.

This was NOT an improvement over the original bag look.

I worked through the fitting process scooping front and back; adjusting seam allowances and depth of waistband but in the end the best I could achieve:

Was disappointing and never better than the initial “burlap sack “.

I can blame fabric. This is a rayon fabric with lots of nice drape. Exactly what the pattern designer suggests. I remember some really good advice from some time ago “never attempt to make pants out of a fabric that you wouldn’t find in RTW pants”. (I think that’s from Pamela’s Patterns).  I have to admit that fabric to pattern could indeed be mismatched and my fault. Even though the vendor had marketed it as “suiting” I had earmarked it for a winter blouse. Perhaps I should have followed through on  my initial reaction to this fabric.

I certainly can blame the crotch.  The drafted crotch absolutely did not fit me. I don’t really blame the designer because most pant crotch shapes don’t work for me. I tried copying a favorite crotch right onto the pattern. But when it came time to stitch the crotch, I faced this:

I don’t think anybody has a crotch like that. Nor did I want that peak in the middle of my crotch.  I tried to draw ( and then stitch) a new crotch that would smooth out that peak while maintaining a shape I know I need.   It didn’t work; and once cut the fabric cannot be reattached. You can only cut more.  Should I have also copied the front crotch?  There sure didn’t seem to be much difference between the front of TJ906 and the front of 1008 (Ascona).  Could it have been a minor but an important difference?

In addition to the peak, I also found that the front as a whole was too large. I eventually offset the side seams making the front 5/8″ and the back 1/4″. But that created a front camel toe which needed to be removed by scooping.

I measured this crotch and also the crotches of 3 different pairs of my favorite (in rotation on a regular basis)  pants.  To my surprise, this crotch is much longer than anything else. Did it stretch out of shape? Due to so much handling?

I also have to wonder about the PBA.  I was concerned at how the back crotch bent where the PBA was inserted. I smoothed it out a little. Did I do too much? Too little?  Is the PBA just a bad idea?

I don’t want say this pattern is drafted badly. The only other reviewer that I could find, had issues but was able recover and create 2 nice pairs of nice pants. I’ve done everything I can think of and I’m not even close to having a pair I would wear let alone be proud of.

I have ideas:

  • Copy both front and back crotch from TJ906
  • Trace the L front and the XL back
  • Shorten front crotch while adding same amount to back.
  • Buy pants fabric from the designer.


I’ve discovered that my favorite RTW jeans have 25% stretch and I have 4 denim fabrics with 25-30%. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing one of my denim fabrics because it came out of the dryer with white crease marks.  I could make a pattern from my RTW jeans……


Am I done with the Ascona?



Ascona V3

Posted on: July 20, 2015

Let’s talk fabric first.  I’m having real problems find a muslin fabric in my stash.  I want something that is light in color because darks can hide a lot figure and fit issues.  I’ve made peace with my figure issues. I want to see the fit issues so I can persuade my fabrics to flatter my figure as is. (My Spanx?  Worn only when my back hurts during cold weather.) I’m really “digging into the bottom of the barrel” and using some fabrics I don’t think are ideal for pants.  Loes recommends:

Drapey fabric, microfiber, rayon, silk, light weight wool, and light weight linen blend.

In my stash I found a rayon “suiting” that definitely is drapey but I questioned it’s use for pants.  Heck I question that it is suiting. I’ve heard people say they were done with Fabricmart and this fabric is one of the reasons that occurs. IMO it might make a nice blouse or big ol’ Lagenlook pants like I wore 20 years ago. But a jacket or vest?  Not without layers and layers of stabilizers , underlinings and linings. To me this is not suiting, therefore, it was perfect for the next muslin. I won’t feel any regret if Ascona V3 is a flop and this fabric promptly deposited in the trash.

I traced a new copy of 1008-Ascona in the recommended size. I considered carefully. The only thing I know for certain, is that I need to add 1.25″ to the top at the waist if I want the cut-on facing/waistband.  The pattern is drafted  to sit about an inch below the natural waistline.  Unfortunately, I have this overwhelming compulsion to jerk my pants upward until they sit at the natural waistline. I’m not sure why it’s such a compulsion.  I don’t pull up my RTW DG2 jeans or self-sewn TJ906 jeans. Maybe it’s the jeans fit that makes me comfortable with the below waistline WB.  Anyway, I’ve decided not to fight this battle right now. I’d much rather work towards making the backside look and feel great.  So I added the 1.25″ immediately.

I also scooped 1/2″ from the front crotch. Not in the curve but above the curve. Essentially I moved the upright towards the side seam 1/2″.   In my previous Ascona Versions, every pic had an oddly placed camel toe until I scooped out the front curve. I’m not fighting that battle again either.

Then I looked at the back. I worked with backs from the Straight Inseam PP113 and TJ906 the source of the straight inseam and crotch.  Couldn’t make it work.  I used all 6 of my colored felt tip pens trying different ideas.  When I ran out of colors, I switched to dashed lines. I even tried the knee slide again but placed about 2″ below the crotch.  I reached the point of not being able to make out the individual lines.  So of course, I traced another copy of the back leg.  I also took a bathroom break and tried some liquid refreshment.  Afterwards, I thought I’m working too hard. I’m trying to change the crotch and the inseam at the same time. I’m doing too much at the same time. So I opted to copy only the crotch from TJ906.  Even working with only the crotch, I really couldn’t line it up. I spied my flexible ruler and wondered if it would help.  Using the flexible ruler I measured the TJ906 curve plus yoke plus waistband.  Added in 1.25″ for the Ascona faced WB arriving at 18.5″.  I persuaded the flexible ruler to line up along the CB seam, curve and then stop at the crotch point.  The flexible ruler dipped over an inch below the curve of the Ascona. Which gave me a “Huh?” moment.  I had scooped the Ascona rear crotch. I nearly always need a little scooping and the 1/4″ used with the earlier Ascona Versions was enough to make the crotch feel and look good. But had no effect upon the back X wrinkles. Would it make a difference now?

I wanted to add 1″ ease to the back pattern piece. Why? I’m routinely adding 1″ to the back. Added the same 1″ to the back of all the blouses I’ve fit recently.  On both PP113 and the MSS  I removed 1″ from the front and added it to the back.  It’s a net 0 change but makes both the front and back of those pants look better. No matter what Peggy says, it is apparent my hip circumference is not evenly divided between back and front. So I wanted to add 1″ ease to the back torso but not to the legs.  I want those 16.5″ legs.  That’s the whole purpose of my purchasing and working with this pattern.  For 18″ legs, I can use Tj906 or MSS.   So I hung the pattern pieces on the wall and took the time to think about it. Eventually, I remembered the PBA (Protruding Butt Alteration).  It was the PBA which helped me create the 20″ hems on PP113.  Let’s shorten this story. I added a 3/4″ PBA and the flexible-ruler curve to the Ascona’s back.

When I cut fabric, I added 1/4″ at the side seams, both front and back.  Loes and I both love the 3/8″ SA however I like to be able to tweak the fit according to the fabric. So while I will make my other SA’s 3/8″, I want 5/8″ on the side seams.

After cutting fabric, I stitched the pants together using the 5/8″ side seams. Ripped that out and used 3/8″.  Good thing I added that 1/4″ because my final is at 1/4″ and I could use just a bit more room. Good news is the back looks pretty good:

It took 3 pics to catch the back looking this good (?).  It’s all about the fabric. I pull the waistband out let it snap into place and take a pic. Nope hung up on the right. Smooth the back and WB; take another pic. Nope hanging up a different way. At least this view shows one good and  one nearly-perfect back leg.  IMO the back would look better if I had added the darts. I didn’t because I’m more concerned about how the leg looks.

 Side view is also not bad. I am concerned at what appears to be rouching along the back side seam.  In all previous fittings, (6 total. I’m not detailing them) it was the front which rouched along the side seam.  I offset the front 1/2″ and the back rouches? Sometimes you can’t win.

The front looks a bit weird. It feels bad.  The front is binding along my things and the crotch is rubbing my inner thigh. Both issues were relived by turning down the front WB but then the pant looks bad front, side and back. Just to verify, I ripped out the front WB (I used WST on side seams, hems and WB) and pulled it down 2.5″ allowing the turned down portion to smoothly return to a 1.25″ depth at the back. This feels fairly good, but looks like crap:

I realize that by folding down in the front, I’m also exerting some stress on the back crotch. The back then starts displaying more pull lines. Even though the fabric turned smoothly, I have drapes beneath the front waistband and VPL everywhere.   Apparently, this is something I’m going to have to work at in the tissue stage. I considered finishing because the Bank Line View isn’t bad at all:

But I’m annoyed at how this supposed “suiting” can move about and look bad between one pic and the next. One thought that occurred to me over and over, is that it might be just fine if I’d used a fabric with 10-15% stretch. For me, that was the clincher with the Madagascar Tank. Using a knit I mean. Using a knit turned a bad-for-me pattern into a TNT. It’s all about the fabric.

Right now, Ascona V3 is on a hanger and I’m off thinking about V4.

So for my guinea pig muslin fabric I choose a brown seersucker that has recently arrived.  Technology has gotten really good. Fabric color on the net seems to nearly always match the color of the fabric which arrives at my home.  The most notable differences are when I see on-line what I want to see rather than what is really there.  This fabric is that type situation.  I wanted a brown seersucker for summer pants and I planned to use PP113.  This fabric has a much darker tone than I remember/envisioned.  I know cause I looked it up on-line just to check.  But it’s tone now is a PLUS because I easily look at the stash and think “this one”.  Seersucker will provide a little stretch.  It’s the nature of the fabric.  I rarely adapt my pattern for that stretch and seldom fit-it-out either.

I serged side and inseams as well as the crotch. Turned up the hems and top stitched them too.  Either this pant is going to be wearable or I’m going to be happy to discard it. I did allow for the possible need to adjust the crotch depth  when I turned the waist band/facing  down and stitched it with water-soluble thread (for easy removal).  I threaded elastic through basted waistband but pinned it together. I have several different elastics in my stash. Each has their own best length.


The front is pretty good.  Not surprising, I need to pull the waistband up at the sides.  But there is no suggestion of camel toe, underwear or any of the other gotcha’s I look for.

The side view reinforced the need to lift the front at the waist.  But this really isn’t a bad side view. A little tweaking. Isn’t that what we expect to do at fitting?

So the back is very interesting to me.  It’s not the ugly X wrinkles of the  Ascona; and those aren’t exactly X wrinkles.  It’s more like the back is buckling between butt and knee. Like it really is too long as previously suggested by my readers.  Interestingly, I see a slight bit of that in my TJ906 jeans.  So far I’ve assumed the culprit to be a need to increase the curve right under the rear.  Now I’m thinking it would be a good idea to just make that area shorter.

An interesting note I want to make, is that I have not needed to make the next alterations on PP113 until I straightened the curve of the back inseam. Did altering the inseam curve cause or reveal these issues?

First thing I did was lift the side to get rid of the front and side wrinkles under the WB.  I wanted to raise it a full inch but the fabric would not turn smoothly. That’s because of the uneven amount that’s being turned i.e. 1.25″ CF and CB 2.25″ side seams. Some changes have to be done at the tissue phase and this appears to be one.   I ended up folding the waist down  2″ at the side seams  (instead of the planned 1.25″ for the facing) and smoothing it out best as possible along the fold.


While there is still more room for improvement and the back isn’t sitting smoothly (fire my stylist), I was satisfied with most of the wrinkles being removed and finished the waistband.

Then I started trying to slim the leg. I was not surprised that the finished circumference is 22″. I used 1/4″ side seams instead of my usual 5/8″ side seams which allow for  tweak according to the fabric. By using the 1/4″ SS, I’ve added 1.5″ to the hem circumference.  Wanting to see if I could trim the leg and some of the visible ease, I basted using water-soluble thread at 5/8″. Took pictures, ripped , basted at 3/8″. Took a second set of pictures. Absolutely not possible to increase the back  side-seam allowance even to 3/8″. Any change and my flanks show (as well as VPL and some girlie parts).

SS 5/8″ —- 3/8″


However the fronts fared much better and I could take a little out.  Seems to me this is what I did with the Ascona as well.  Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t trace one size smaller front and one size larger back. ie. pattern says I’m L trace S front and XL back.  Too late now, but for the next iteration, I will make a 1/8″ vertical fold and remove that much ease from the front and slash and spread the back to add 1/4″ ease. It’s a net zero change but puts ease where I need it and takes it away where I don’t.

With my attempt at slimming from waist to hem at the side seams failed, I started trying to slim the just the lower leg and hem. I stitch  at the side seam starting under the hip (30″) all the way to the hem increasing the SA from 1/4″ to 5/8″ right at the knee.  I ripped that out made my adjustment from 24″ to the hem.  Then finally at 22 to the hem.  Oddly to me, any adjustment to the side seams causes the X wrinkles to reappear.  (No photo posted. Trust me, it was bad.)  I say “oddly to me” because I see and feel ease from waist to hem. Why can’t it be removed?  Even 1/8″?  I can pinch 2″ at the hip but can’t remove a smidge?

To decrease the hem circumference, I could have taken one step further and made darts in the leg beneath the knee. I didn’t because I’d already fused the hem in place and then top stitched it.   Besides I envision my seersucker pants as being loose; allowing for greater air circulation. I know I’ve said this before,  I burn easily.  If I want to be out in the sun, I need to cover up. But I don’t want to suffer heat stroke. Loose, light weight garments are the answer for me.

After three days of working on these pants, I had marked, stitched and ripped with such abandon that the pants were wrinkled and slightly soiled. I washed the pants and hung them in my closet.  I’m not sure I’m going to wear them.  They might become pj’s this winter. Their dark tone has me wondering what coordinates other than white which I can’t keep clean more than 15 minutes.  Funny, I prefer my  black, a solid brown and navy blue pants -all colors on the dark side- to these striped.  I do like stripes. I do try to choose muted stripes for my bottoms.  I don’t understand why I dislike this fabric so much.  But there it is.

I found one possible top to wear:

A RTW which hasn’t benefited from any of my fitting. But, maybe together these pants aren’t so bad?



  • Straighten back inseam
  • Add 1.25″ to top for WB facing
    • 1″ elastic
    • 1/8″ edge stitching at top
  • Add 1/4″ ease to back leg
    • both SS now 5/8″
  • Remove 1/4″ from front leg
  • Fisheye dart across side seam
    • brings side seam up removing U’s
    • also helps with the front WB wanting to sit above natural waist
    • CF 0
    • SS 1″
    • CB 0