sdBev's Pants!

Wanting to tweak the fit of my Eleanor shorts, I made another pair. I did not mess with pockets. Even cut off the faux zipper that I always like. But remembering the issues of the previous pair I made a series of minor changes to the tissue:

  • 1/2″ ease added front and back pieces
  • 1/2″ wedge across leg top
  • 3/4″ crotch scoop
  • 1/4″ added at top of crotch
  • shorten legs 1″

I picked another fabric and made sure it had the right amount of stretch. I went all the way back to the pattern directions. It shows 3″ stretched to 3-5/8″. That’s about 17% stretch.  My fabric has 20% stretch.

I’ve always loved how quickly this pant sews together. So I put the waistband together. Set it aside. Stitched yoke to back leg and serge finished seams. Serge finished front seams. Stitch the crotches together. Pressed lightly and stopped in my tracks. To my shock the crotch had developed an incredibly high peak at the inseam:

I’m not bothered by a little nub. That folds over or trims off.  This is about 1-1.5″ high. I got my curve and tried to elegantly join back to front crotch.  That’s the purple line you see in the pic above. I trimmed it away and said Nuh Huh.

I had this incredibly long crotch (above).

I thought I may as well finish and try these on. If nothing else it would tell me if I’ve added sufficient ease and if the length is now proportional to my tops. I stitched the sides together. Hemmed the legs; added the waistband to the top of the legs.  A poof of steam and then some pics.

I’m really socked that adding 2″ of ease didn’t take care of the fit issue; and stunned by the bubble along the yoke.  Yoke was not touched. I add ease and it  bubbles? I’m getting VPL and  I think the front crotch needs a little reshaping.  It’s just on the verge of camel toe.  I’m rather stunned. I expected between the additional ease and crotch reshaping that it would be better than the previous:

Above Previous Pair of Eleanor Shorts.

Not hardly.

The only things I’ve god right is the length and proportion:

Because I never wear my blouses tucked, my shorts are wearable around the house. It’s just that I was hoping to make shorts wearable in public.

I’m not sure what I will do next. I’m working with a copy of the pattern fit using Peggy Sagers procedure. Those pants fit when I made them but after wearing for a few months they developed X wrinkles in the back. It’s not just the Eleanors either. All my pants patterns (except TJ906 which fit without going through Peggy’s process) developed the X wrinkles after a few months of wear.  I have no more 20% stretch fabrics in the ‘shorts stack’.  I need shorts right now which means I’ll probably switch to 906 and make shorts. Which will give me time to think about the fitting problem.

 

 

I need more shorts. Yep 5 pair just ain’t gettin’ it for me. I’m down there in the laundry about every 3 days sorting thru and making sure the summer shorts get cleaned. Once fitting is done, my pants aren’t exciting garments. I keep my pants basic;  plain and usually one of 3 colors: midnight black, chocolate-brown or navy blue. Well, I do like to embroidery the pocket, so maybe not perfectly plain.

I  rarely buy fabric for shorts. The remnants from other projects are collected and shorted by length. Those about one-and-a-quarter yards long are shorts candidates. So for the Summer Shorts Projects, the first thing I did was sort through the remnants designated “shorts candidates”.  I donated some of them. I’m just not wearing 100% wool shorts. Hoping Goodwill can find someone with an idea for a small cut of a good quality wool. Once pressed and carefully measured, some of the other candidates were of insufficient length. I really need just over a yard. 7/8 will not do.  I carefully stacked the remainder and finished cleaning the stash room. I planned to start shorts sewing in the morning. Overnight my creative side offered me options for a blue jean remnant and a silver sage corduroy. (It’s interesting that I pull out corduroy in early November and pack it away early May because it’s too warm to wear. However I promptly pull out the corduroy remnants and wear the resulting shorts.  I even wore corduroy shorts in the Grand Canyon. In August. And I was comfortable.)

The Silver Sage Corduroy had  good stretch. Not sure how much. I  grasped two edges and yanked apart. I was quite pleased with how far it could be yanked. Obviously, not 100% cotton as it must contain a substantial amount of Lycra to stretch like that. Point is: stretch determined pattern.  Over night and in my mind, I’d been turning over pattern choices.  I didn’t want to do a lot of pattern work and had settled upon 906 for non-stretch fabrics and Jalie’s Eleanor for stretch fabrics; both patterns I thought already fit. I will be using this shorts pattern several times this summer and decided to make a shorts version. Very easy to do. I traced my existing TNT from waist to knee line i.e. lengthen/shorten line about midway on the leg. This should be longer than I prefer shorts but a good place to start.  I reread my notes which said I had made a 3/4″ crotch scoop. Well the back pattern didn’t look like it had been scooped. But I wrote that down. So did I scoop the fabric but not the pattern? Can’t remember. I think the safest plan is starting as  the pattern is now  knowing I will probably make more tweaks.

“More tweaks?” Yes and on all my pants patterns except  my 906 .  See last year I gleefully refit all my pants patterns after I discovered I could indeed achieve a near perfect fit by following Peggy Sagers’ fitting procedure. At the end of winter, I took pictures of all the pants I’d made and fit. I was dismayed to see the X wrinkles had formed in the back. They were not there when I fit the pants. 4-6 months later, the back of my pants even freshly washed, lightly starched and pressed fell into X wrinkles.  I know I will be tweaking pants patterns including the Eleanor pattern. Looking at it now, I’m anticipating an extra tweaking.

My 1-7/8 yard, silver sage fabric had flaws and two  8X10″ rectangles missing from the corners. That and its unusual color is probably why it was still sitting in the stash instead of part of my winter wardrobe.  I’ve noted before that the Eleanor is very fabric conserving. Proved again by my cutting 2 pairs of shorts all the while maintaining grain direction and avoiding the fabric flaws.  I cut one set of back pockets and fired up the embroidery machine.  Yep I’m back to machine embroidery. I’d say “like a fiend”  but it feels more like with glee. I love machine embroidery. (I’ll share the details in a separate post). When the embroidery finished I stitched up this pair of shorts. OMG I love this pattern. It is so easy to put together. Seriously fast.  Well, I didn’t stop for fitting so maybe that helped.

Before I share pics, let me say none of last winter’s Eleanors looked this bad. But I’m reluctant to change circumference as I didn’t measure the fabric’s  stretch. This could be a fabric issue and not a pattern issue.

 

The wrinkles visible beneath the waistband on the front are even more visible on the sides. It is typical for me to remove a 1/2″ wedge above my hip bone. That wedge (dart) always extends onto the back pattern piece. It really looks like I need to make that change but again I don’t know if I have a circumference issue, a length issue.  a fabric issue or a pattern issue.  I jumped into sewing without checking the fabric stretch.

When I start seeing the curve of my cheeks, I know I have to do something now. I’m annoyed that the CB is obviously dipped. Did or did not my Eleanor’s fit last winter?  Or did I make fitting changes but not transfer to the pattern.  I made a 3/8″ scoop immediately and took a second pic of the back side:

Not much improvement. I’m especially displeased by all the excess fabric over the back thigh.    I absolutely loved this pattern for its fit. From the get go, this fit nicely.

I scooped again, because I could still feel the back pulling on my coccyx.  I broke mine back in 2000.  Slid down a flight of stairs on it.  It looks fine but when I fit pants I can tell something has changed.

OK still not a huge improvement. Thing is, when I’m fully decked out, I look good:

Those bank line views need only a smile to be perfect. So I’m not doing anything further to this pair of shorts.

Tissue Changes to make:

  1. Scoop crotch 3/4″
  2. Add 1/2″ CB length just under the yoke.
  3. Side Fish eye darts from front dart to back dart 1/2″ deep.

Sally 2

Posted on: May 24, 2017

As I was making the changes for Fit03, I realized there wasn’t much more I could change.  I’d already let out the seam allowances to the max. I wouldn’t be taking those suckers in.  I might scoop the crotch but so far the crotch looked fine. It was ease across the butt that concerned me. I might fold the waistband casing a little differently, but not much. So why was I basting?  I switched out the WST bobbin and finished the pants in total.

I did let out the back crotch that barely 1/8″.

Please note the two colors of lines.  The orange line is the original 3/8″ stitching line which goes all the way around the curve.  I let out above the curve stitching on the purple line just across from the fullest part of my butt.  The crotch curve itself was unchanged which is especially important.  Nearly all the time time I must scoop the bottom of the crotch.  Depending upon fabric and on occasion, even my beloved TJ906 will need scoping. I have not scooped Sally although I admit that might be a possibility if in the future I try again to remove some ease over the back crotch.

I also folded the cut edge of the waist down 1.25″ at CF and CB. At the side seams the fold is 2″. After stitching at 1.25″ from the folded edge I trimmed the waist SA to be an even 1/4″.  I did press. I put the pants on and walked about for 3 or 4 minutes before taking pics.  I wanted them to settle into place. Truthfully, I expected my pants to look a little better.

yet, I’m not entirely unhappy.  I won’t be able to wear these over another pair of pants and I will depend upon a 3rd layer to cover my tush. At least there isn’t any VPL and the diagonals are significantly reduced.  Bottom line, these are hanging in my closet for possible wear.  Compared side by side or as the processors may rearrange First Fitting above 3rd

First Fitting

3rd Fittiing

The 3rd fitting does look better.

I’m not sure what to think about the underlining.  I don’t recall an underlining changing size. I don’t remember needing additional ease for underlining or even sewing at a 1/2″ instead of 5/8″ SA. But I know my Sally I looked (to me) like it fit in the butt while Sally 2 looks too tight.

An interesting note is that I intended to attempt reducing the excess ease over the thigh. However, after releasing the side seams and adding ease from waist to hem, I didn’t notice the excess ease.  Is this because of the added ease?  The difference in fabrics?  The difference in fibers?  A result of underlining?  All I know is that I dont feel like I’m grabbing or experiencing excess ease over the thigh.

I’ve added 3/4″ ease to the back pattern piece.  I did so by splitting along the SOG, inserting new tissue and taping back together.  This does mean I’ve added 3/4″ at the waist, the complained about thigh and hem.  This is not what I want for a year round trouser. Not even for the summer trouser. For the summer trouser, I will add another inch of ease, shared between front and back. For the fall/winter? I’m still thinking.

 

I’m getting ready to make those loose summer pants I said I needed at the end of my summer wardrobe evaluation.

Should be easy, right? Just pull out one of TNTs and start sewing?  But I made a grave error last year. I got so excited wih the very idea that I even could fit pants using Peggy Sagers procedures that I tossed all my pant TNTs. All except TJ906 because it’s a jean and it doesn’t ever need fitting. When I was evaluating pants for spring and summer, I was shocked to see all those pants I fit using Peggy’s procedure had developed X wrinkles.   I don’t think this is Peggy’s fault or that her procedure is at fault.  I think I’m missing some critical piece of information.  I need the answer to exactly why are my pants distorted through wear? (Remember they were beautiful when first fit and in pictures taken in the next few weeks).  I need exacts that I can translate into pattern alterations.  In the mean time, I still need pants to wear. Specifically, I want loose pants for summer.  “Loose” so on those days that start nice but get windy and cool, I don’t need to change pants. Just pull these loose pants over whatever I’m already wearing. Or on those blistering, hot days, those days I know I must cover up my legs or cope with 2nd degree sunburn, I can slip these loose pant on- without shorts beneath- and be protected from the sun but not overheated as I would be with in a good pair of jeans. I’m continuing to work with Sally’s Pant because I  think the majority of my fit issues are already solved whereas with my other pants patterns I need to start from scratch..

To use this pattern year round, I’d want to reduce the hem circumference and reduce the excess ease over the back thigh. Well, for summer loose pants, I don’t need to worry at all about the hem circumference. I may even want a little more. But I do think I’d like to take away at least some of that thigh ease. I carefully looked at the inseams of the tissue.  I shortened the legs by folding out 3.5″ at the knee level then trued the inseam and side seam with my curve and ruler. Especially after watching Suzy Furrer draft a pants sloper, I’m wondering if I could draw the inseam different. I saw her plot a few points and then freehand draw in the crotch.  With the inseam, she shifted a hip curve, not the french curve, up and down until she found a curve she liked. Those two important curves were determined not by body shape but by whim. Is that how all pattern makers draft pants? I’m thinking I should be looking more intently and adjusting that curve to correspond with my body. So the next pair is going to be another test/muslin garment but I’m crossing my fingers hoping I can make a wearable.

Even so, I chose fabric from the stash pile.  It’s a 56″ wide cotton/poly with aqua, white and peach stripes. It’s a nice fabric except that aqua color has never matched or been in the same hue range as any other blue I’ve ever purchased. It is also transparent/semi-transparent. Do I really want to make pants that show my polka-dot panties?  I have several similar fabrics I’ve purchased over the years with which I wanted to make light weight pants.  The fabrics looked fine in the store (or the online pic with description), but  single layer in my hands look far too transparent. I’ve  decided to work on solutions for the opaqueness with the promise that if I can’t find easy solutions, all those fabrics will go in the muslin stash.  I mean, I don’t want to keep pulling fabrics out and putting them away because they don’t meet my transparency requirements.  Neither do I want to donate a box of beautiful fabrics.  I’ve got one idea to try: underlining with another transparent fabric.  Because it is summer, I don’t want to use any of my poly fabrics. Don’t want to use any of the crinkle fabrics. Don’t want to use patterned fabrics that would grin through. After rejecting my way through the stash, I finally ordered a 100% cotton voile.  I like the weight, the transparency. Don’t like the shrinkage (2 yards became 1-3/4). Don’t like the wrinkle.  But I’m using it for this pair of pants. If it works, I plan to order more.

I have a clear view of what I want my summer pants to look like. Long legs, yes. But because these are a “quick change garment” and to minimize the bulk when wearing 2 pairs of pants (at the same time) I want to make pull-on pants with a 1″ wide elastic waistband. That’s nobody’s favorite look and certainly not flattering to me. It is possible to achieve this style with a separate waistband. However, I decided to make a cut on waistband to again minimize bulk but especially because it makes sewing time so much shorter. No zipper. No waistband. That much less sewing. But I extended  2-3/4″ upward from the waist.  This edge will be folded down 1.5″ and stitched at 3/8″ before inserting the elastic. I didn’t  alter the pattern piece. I chalked it on the fabric and wrote down details for future reference.  The downside to the cut-on waistband is that I definitely have to have 2-1/4″ yards of fabric. A separate waistband is fabric conserving. A cut-on is not.

One more note before we get going. Peggy is absolutely right that neither serge finishing nor underlining are not faster than lining a garment. I cut fabric, underlining and then serged around all 4 sides of all 4 pieces. Whatever time I saved by skipping the zipper and separate waistband was more than consumed by the underlining.  Still, I prefer to either serge-finish or underline.  Once the serging is done (I realize I could have basted the sides instead of serging), I’m no longer dealing with 8 pieces but 4.  At that point, making a single garment instead 0f 2 which much be joined.  Also, an underlined garment  is easier for me to iron.  A lining always drives me nuts at the ironing board. I just can’t seem to manipulate the lining and fashion fabric equally.  Usually I settle for making the fashion fabric look good and console myself with the idea that the lining won’t show. IOW no one will know my lining is wrinkled is because I couldn’t iron it.

The first fitting :

 

 

Let’s be honest, it could have been a lot worse. Instead I noted that the butt was tighter than expected.  Did the wool of Muslin 1 really adapt that much or is it that the 2 layers  (fashion fabric + underlining) were much less… um…. forgiving? I noted that the X wrinkles are beginning to form at my knees. The front and sides seem to be most affected by extra length between waist and hip (diagonal drag lines from waist to high hip). Is that because I chalked in the waistband or again the change in fabric?   Or because I made an on-the-fly adaptation? I had planned to fold down 1.5″ and stitch 3/8″ from the cut edge.  The elastic wouldn’t feed through so restitched at 1/4″ from the edge.  I think the pants could have gained about 1/4″ length at the waist.

For fitting #2, I folded the waistband at the side seams 1-3/4″ (instead of the 1.5″ planned) and restitched the WB 1.25″ from the folded edge  vs the cut edge.   I  restitched the legs with a 1/4″ seam allowance .

 

The butt is still too tight and  there’s not much more I can do. Both side and inseams are stitched with 1/4″. seam allowances I can’t let them out any more. I can let the back crotch out 1/8″ which will add total 1/4″ ease across. An interesting point on both Fit 01 and 02 is that the side seams appear to be perpendicular to the floor. The front now has too much ease. It is larger and looser than what I would normally prefer. The butt still too tight. Why isn’t the side seam pulling towards the back?  I know that has happened to me in the past. Shirley Adams clearly illustrated this in her series. But  it seems as though it doesn’t happen anymore to my pants. The back does not take the ease it needs from side and front. Why not?  What has changed?

I’m pleased with that most of the diagonal lines have disappeared beneath the waist.  Maybe a little more adjustment is needed?

For fit 3 I’m making 2 changes: 1) release the back crotch seam 1/8″; 2) shorten the side seam another 1/4″ ie. fold down 2″ stitch at 1.25″

 

 to be continued

 

I purchased this pattern sometime ago, I think late 2016.  I dwaddled and delayed when it came to using and fitting because my previous experiences with Silhouette Patterns have not been wonderful. I finally decided I wanted to do this now. I have a number of woven, non-stretch fabrics I’d like to use as pants.   I want a narrower leg then my other patterns produce. Not a skinny. But a slim leg 16-17″ in circumference at most 18″.  I am unable to tweak the leg of any of my patterns down to that circumference. I have tried. When I do, my pants develop really awful X wrinkles in the back. I’m hoping the key to success is starting with a pattern that has been drafted for the mature figure and for the smaller circumference.

I used Peggy’s sitting measurement method i.e. I draped the tape measure around my hips and  sat down.  Knowing that I like semi-fitted to semi-loose clothing, I allowed the tape measure to slip just a bit more and noted that number. Then I compared the regular and the W sizing. I fit Peggy’s description of the small woman who has added padding. I looked at the W and the regular back and  opted to use the W.  Let me share a pic of the crotch

The regular does not have that nice long ledge called a crotch extension.  The regular would probably be suitable for the typical 65-year-old who complains they have no butt.  I have the issue of being as deep as I am broad and I need that ledge.  I compared it with my fitted PP113

PP113 is the pattern on top with all the red, yellow, cut and pasting.  The new 3400 back just barely peeks out beneath the crotch extension, on the inseam and up at the waist side-seam. While there are differences, the two backs are a lot alike which gave me hope.  The truth is, my shape is my shape. Any pattern which is going to fit me, is going to fit my shape and is probably going to look a lot like other patterns which fit my shape.

For the record, I chose size 24W. (In retrospect, I might have been able to go down 1 size.)

I’m really having problems choosing test fabric.  Although I’ve added several more to the muslin stack, I never seem to have good test-fabrics.   I used a balanced weave poly/cotton fabric. Quite old.  I’m sure I bought this fabric years ago. I’m also sure I bought pants and blouses made from this fabric. (Back when I didn’t have time to sew, I bought whether it fit or not.) It is a light weight fabric and looks crappy just sitting on the ironing board. No amount of starch improved its looks. But it was good enough to diagnose major wrinkles.

I cut my fabric with an extra 1″ seam allowance along the side and in- seams. I trimmed the hems off with a pinking blade.  I had no desire to pin up or stitch hems but I didn’t want the excess length to contribute extra wrinkles. I basted everything together with water-soluble thread in the bobbin. That includes adding the waistband.  Peggy fits without the waistband attached. It’s one of those personal experience things.  My experience is that I start with a waistband that fits or I redo all the fitting when I finally attach the waistband. YMMV. Peggy certainly does not agree.

As much as possible, I intended to follow Peggy’s fitting procedure, but I couldn’t resist looking at the fresh-from-the-envelope fit:

I’ve had worse. The first fitting at least felt comfortable; the back X wasn’t prominent; nor was the keyhole front.

I settled the crotch into position.  The back crotch looked OK . So instead of an even tuck I made a 1/2″ dart across the front which narrowed to 1/4″ at the side seams and continued across the back terminating just under the dart next to the back crotch.  I could not resist at this point taking a little ease from the front and made a 1/4″ vertical tuck.  It is entirely usual for me to make a vertical tuck of 1/2″ on the front then spread the back vertically 1″ thereby transferring ease from front to back. I know what Peggy says about circumference. My body, my sewing for my body repeatedly suggests taking ease from the front and putting it in the back.  Peggy’s directions make sense (circumference is circumference) and I’ve wondered why my garments don’t just use the ease on the front. Why don’t they just pull what they need from the front with the only indication of error being a side seam curving?  I don’t know. But you can clearly see that the front above looks too large; while the front below looks fine.

Still some issues with the back.  So I made a 1/2″  hip line dart as Peggy advises:

Well photos could be better. As I said before, the fabric did not respond to starch. Also since I had WST in the bobbin I was spraying carefully to avoid seams and ironing with a dry iron. I was especially pleased that the back leg is falling relatively nicely. There aren’t any X wrinkles. The front crotch hints at an issue, but it’s not bad enough for me to fix right now. It could after all be the crappy fabric.  I did make a few other tweaks in a few other fittings.  I tried to pinch out a little ease along the side seam, but then I got VPL.  Reset the waistband up and down 1/8-1/4″ but decided that wasn’t helping either. I also extended the crotch depth adjustments completely across the back (earlier I had terminated it under the darts)…

…which seemed to help. But I decided overall the changes I was making weren’t improving the fit. So it was time for a decent fabric. When I started transferring the alterations to the tissue,  I realized I had inadvertently add 3/4″ to the hem circumference (shouldn’t that be mostly offset by the 1/2″ ease I removed from the front?). When cutting, I had added 1″ fit insurance to the side and in seams.  The side seams were stitched at 1-3/8″ (Peggy uses a 3/8″ SA). But I stitched the inseams at 1″ which added 3/8″ ease to hems and crotch.  I took a few minutes to correct that error and regretted it as soon as I saw the pics:

I think that’s especially interesting when you look back up at the tissue pictures and see how similar the crotches are.

My tissue alterations became:

  • Leg Length -3.5″
  • Front and back crotch extensions+3/8″
  • Crotch length 1/4″ tuck (evenly across front, side,back)
  • Crotch Depth
    • Front 1/8″
    • Back 3/8″
  • Hem Allowance 1.25″
  • Seam Allowances
    • waist no change (3/8″
    • crotch no change (3/8″)
    • Side seam 1/2″
    • Inseam 1/4″
  • Waistband
    • copied from PP113 with side seams and belt loops marked

I also made an inseam pocket pattern piece.

I must have chosen, ironed and put away 10 fabrics when trying to choose for a ‘real’ pant. I wasn’t wild about the final fit of the test pair. Even knowing that fabric was wrong and old couldn’t alleviate the unease I was feeling. My final choice was a herringbone-weave, tropical-weight wool. In days gone by, I would have shopped long and hard for such a fabric.  Tropical weight wool could be worn most of the year excepting the very hottest weeks in summer. I knew a few women who wore it even then.  Tropical weight wool seemed wrinkle resistant; would give almost like denim. Was long wearing. Weight gain seemed to be its greatest enemy.  But my life is more casual now. Fabrics perfect for the office have become dress-up items . I wanted to make casual pants. I opted to make the dressier tropical-weight wool because if this bombed, I probably wouldn’t mind.  I stitched with poly thread in both the bobbin and needle as well as the serger.  I serged the inseams as well as finishing all the other raw edges with the serger.  I did baste the waistband in place for the first fitting. But I hadn’t needed to. After examining those pics, I went back down stairs and finished the pants.

Despite the pic on the index page, I’m not loving these pants. I find it odd that the back of the pants in fitting looked better than the finished pair.

Fitting       ———————– Finished

What’s with that?  The change is hemming the legs and nailing down the waistband. Yet the finished back looks worse than the fitting.

Again hemming and stitching the waistband produced a front with a keyhole

Really? I will admit that I saw hints of the keyhole all the way back to Fit01 of Muslin 1.  It just wasn’t this prominent.  Good news though, when I get dressed “It” is covered.

Never underestimate the value of styling and accessories!

There’s  a predictable series of question that need answering.  Things we dressmakers are always have  interest. but I won’t answer them in PR Order. I already indicated size and fabric choices and a laundry list of changes I made. I didn’t follow the pattern instructions.  I followed the instructions that Peggy sprinkles through-out her YouTube videos. For anyone that is a visual learner, I’d recommend self-immersion in the videos. You’ll see her process over and over with many different types of bodies.

Would you recommend it to others? Yes, absolutely.  Peggy’s drafting is above reproach.  My changes result from my fitting issues. Other than my fitting issues, I had no problems with the pattern.  The final pair, I cut, stitched, did Fit 01 and finished in about 2 hours time.  It doesn’t get better than that for me.

Would you sew it again? YES. In fact I’m planning 2 pairs with some style changes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Let me start with LIKES  

That was probably the easiest choosing size process I’ve ever used.  I didn’t measure the pattern in multiple places. Didn’t check crotch length/depth. Just let the tape measure go limp.

Despite the length and verbiage of this post, that’s the fastest I think I’ve fit pants since I was a kid. Definitely beats the 9 month I spent in 2003/4.  I did follow Peggy’s steps.  Because I’m fitting alone it takes me a little longer that the 5-7 minutes she shows in the videos. Peggy pins, visually checks and asks her model.  I pinch, then baste,  take pics. Repeat. I make one change at a time. When Peggy is fitting, she pins one area at a time then continues the next.  Her model’s pants baste the 3-4 changes needed in one trip to the sewing machine.  Even with the extra time I need for taking pics, trotting upstairs and processing photos, I was able to fit this pattern in about 6 hours including choosing size, fabric and cutting said fabric.

DISLIKES

Just one: Leg and Hem circumference. I put these two together because one affects the other. I knew from the very first try-on that the back leg had too much ease. I didn’t complain because I thought I would fit it out.

All this ease makes for a big, elephant-leg appearance which I could not remove.  Unfortunately my butt needs the circumference. I can’t just tuck from waist to hem and remove the ease. I know I added to the problem when I inadvertently added 3/8″ to the crotch points.  I couldn’t remove those either. I tried. When I took in the inseam the crotch cut into both front and back as well as inseams rippling, pulling upward and general ugliness. I need the crotch length.

I am really unhappy with the hem circumference. My leg finished at 21-3/4″. Without my error, it would have been 21″.  Why do I care? Because the back of the envelope said

Scan from back of pattern envelope.

21″ is a long way from the 17″ I was promised.   I bought this pattern this pattern because it advertised  a 17″ hem circumference. 17.5″ would be close. 21 is not. I’m very unhappy with hem circumference and I DO NOT THINK THE GARMENT LOOKS LIKE THE ENVELOPE.  (Sorry,  Wordpress only gives me  so many tool to emphasize a point).  The leg on the envelope looks much, much slimmer than the leg in my pics.

So what’s in my future for this pattern? I’m wanting a couple of very casual summer pants. I envision them with 22-24″ hems, in light weight, flowing fabrics. While my standard hem is 1.25″ I think this is a place for a deeper hem 2″ at least maybe 3″.  Depends upon how much fabric I have because hem’s are a place where fabric can be conserved or consumed. The 21″ hem will be easy to adapt for my desired 22-24″.  I will scoop the front crotch a little. I already tried adjusting the crotch depth and length as well as messing the waistband. I’m convinced now that the curve is wrong in relation to my body.  It could be just fine for you.  Beyond that, I’m just not sure.  I could try regular instead of women’s sizing. I could curve the inseam more and revisit the correction I made when removing leg length. (Just a note, I removed leg length at about the knee level so I could leave the 17″ hem intact.) Frankly, I could do a lot of work trying to reach a 20″ hem, but I already have 2 patterns that do. I have no hope of turning the 21″ circumference into 17. None.

It may be time to admit that my body needs either  jeans draft (TJ906), a stretch pant/jean (DG2) or a women’s trouser (PP113, Eureka) with a 19-20″ hem. It may be time to let go of the woven-pant-with-17″-hem dream. I’ve certainly thrown enough patterns, fabric and time at that dream. Maybe it’s better to pursue something else?

  • In: 906
  • Comments Off on Something to share

I’m noticing that I dress in black nearly every day. My favorite neutral is Blue. 2nd fav Brown. Black is a safe option. It’s abundant both in RTW and fabrics.  I don’t eschew black, but in my mind it’s not my primary neutral. What’s up with the daily parade of black outfits?

I examined the pants hanging in my wardrobe. At the beginning of winter I had a wide range of colors and weights. As winter has worn on, I’ve discarded a few. Here and there. I found I absolutely do not like the now popular lantern leg. Just. Don’t. Like. To wear.  Think it looks lovely on others and Ok on me. But they feel awkward when worn. Out went the 3-4 pair of lantern leg pants. Also out, thankfully there weren’t many of these, pants with too much ease at the waist. They were a result of sewing pants that had to have enough ease to pull up over my hips and then snuggled at the waist with elastic. Two solutions, 1) don’t make non-stretch fabrics into pull-on pants; and (2) make stretch pants just big enough to stretch up over my bum. Nice to have solutions, but I’m down 3 pairs of pants. Not that I would be nekid tomorrow. I have far too many clothes because I love to sew clothes.  I did encounter a third issue resulting from my excitement at Peggy Sager’s pants fitting procedure. The procedure absolutely works, except that some of my pants have become restrictive across my front thigh. There’s enough ease. But when I move it binds across the front thigh.   I carried the horseshoe dart completely across the front from inseam to side seam. I suspect that from my figure it should have terminated on the inside third of the front leg. Something I can fix in the future, but another 2 pants were removed from my wardrobe because I can’t stand for my pants to bind … anywhere.

So what’s left?  Mostly black pants and mostly Diane Gillman Super Stretch. I need more pants. I can’t live my life exclusively in jeans. I don’t even try.

So I want a few pairs of pants quickly. TNT’s to the rescue. Uh Oh. I was so excited about Peggy Sagers fitting procedure I vowed to refit all my pants using her method.  The one’s I’ve fit so far are going to need tweaking and to my horror, previous fit pants tissues no longer exist. I threw them all away.  How can anyone be so dumb as to discard perfectly fitting pants patterns!

Which brings me to today’s post.  I wanted dark blue or dark brown pants. Preferably blue. Dark colors because the crap they put on the snow has a tendency to mix with oils and crap on the roads; be thrown up onto cars and passersby. This mixture absolutely ruins lighter colored clothing. Dark colors are better at hiding the winter spots.  I look through my stash for winter weight fabrics and discover I’ve been very good at acquiring stretch fabrics.  I chose a chocolate-brown sueded brown fabric because it has the least stretch, 10% but still is a good winter weight.

I traced a new copy of Trudy Jansen’s 906 which I selected according to rear size although that tummy of mine is beginning to warrant consideration. I shortened the leg 3″; trimmed the center back leg and  inseams to 1/4″. Trimmed the crotch to 3/8″ but otherwise cut the pattern as drafted. I serge finished side seam and crotches; installed the zipper and front pockets. Serged the back leg seam; applied pockets…

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Embroidered the pockets in dark brown while I was working on zipper and front pockets.

…and the inseam before basting the pant together.

The first fitting told me, this pattern was a right as ever! I scooped the back crotch 1/2″ and offset the back leg and yoke 1/2″ to remove the excess length.  That makes the front side seam too long so I trimmed a 1/2″ wedge from side seam to pocket opening at waist.

I find there’s only so much I can do to the fabric then I have to alter the pattern and start again.  Pattern Alterations
Two 1/8″ tuck along waist band

Trim 1/8″ from side seams at waist

Upper leg shorten 1/2″

Wedge 0 directly under front pocket;  1/4″ at side seam; 0 1/3 into back leg

Scoop

back crotch 1/4 curving upward to

front crotch 1/8  — I was beginning to see a little camel toe. Easiest fix scoop the front for a little more room.

 

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So this pair is not 100%. More like 97%. I know people who would kill for this good. I see the front needs to be picked up a little bit more. Promise, almost all those wrinkles I’ve marked in orange will disappear.
x_resizedscn7438_exposure_resizeAnd the X wrinkles will go away with just a bit more scooping, maybe a little deeper tuck across the hip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truth is, these pants are so dark, no one but me (who lightened the pics 100%) is going to notice:

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  • In: 2016/5-11
  • Comments Off on Otto #11 Long Pants

I love my Otto #11 5/2016 pants. Except for the lantern leg part. Now that I’ve got all my winter pants out, I discovered that I have 5 pairs with a lantern leg variation. I don’t like to wear them. They are too casual.  Too much like sweat pants. So why do I love to see this style on other ladies?  I don’t know. But I do like the fit of these #11’s and want to make them the right length without the lantern part.

I pull out the pattern and after some self-debate add 4″ length to the leg at the bottom. I continue the inseam and side seams at the same angle so it may add a little circumference at the hem. A little, I can offset later. I walk the seams because I’ve found every alteration is a built-in opportunity for error.

Then I choose a fabric.  Not too sure about this fabric. It’s a firm Ponte which should be good for pants but seems a little light for pants, especially winter pants. Still it will make a decent muslin even if the black photos poorly. It’s already fit, right? So the question should be: have I created the right leg length for me and maybe does adding leg length have an effect on drape.

I cut the fabric and start the relatively quick sew. It fits, right? So I continue confidently as if I making a 4th pair. I top stitch a faux-fly because I like the look and also top stitch a faux front-pocket.  I like the look of these details but don’t want to spend much time.  The more I handle this fabric the more I think it’s not a good choice for pants but maybe OK for a muslin and even winter long johns.  I should add that it has 25% stretch. My previous fabric had 20 and 30%. Being right in the middle of that stretch range, I expect the pants to feel nice. They don’t.

Even after scooping the crotch, they look weird:

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I think it’s safe to say they are too tight and that the crotch, even double scooped, is too short. This is just an ugly pair of pants complete with camel toe.  To my disgust the hem circumference is about 20″.  I’m continually seeking that pattern with a slim leg of about 16-18″. I can do better with PP113 and the Eureka’s  The only redeeming feature in this pair I see is that I may have added the right length for the leg.   Now stitched up, I truly hate this fabric. Don’t even want to wear it as long johns.  I’m wondering how I can avoid a future purchase. Part of me says, I really should finish this pair of pants. Learn what it takes to correct the pattern.  Another part of me says, be done with it. Quit ruining fabric. Go back to the TNT’s and work them.  I made this post just so in the future I can remind myself why I quit using the pattern 1) don’t like sweat suit type pants; and 2) the last version (this one) sucks.

I’m so excited about Peggy Sagers fitting process. I’ve decided to re-fit all my favorite pants patterns using that process. However this isn’t

going according to plan.

I can’t post photos.  I’m using a black woven, non-stretch fabric with a leopard flocked print.  It’s gorgeous in person but photos poorly. Very poorly.

I started by tossing my previous fitted pattern and tracing a new copy from the master pattern. I made a muslin. I was not being overconfident. I made a muslin which I also cannot show.  Rats! My pants fabrics even the designed pants muslin do not photo well.  But I followed procedure. I settled the crotch into position then pinched the dart at the hip.  Baste and check. Pinch in the horseshoe dart around the upper leg. Baste and check. Then check the leg length and adjust. Looks good, or at least I thought it did. My only complaint, the only thing I could see in the muslin was that the crotch would need scooping.  I transferred my changes back to the tissue and cut my fabric. I finished the waistband. With this pattern that has been a given. Once I knew the length of the elastic my concern was stitching front waistband piece to back waistband piece without creating a hump at the join.  I’ve avoided the hump though changing the instructions slightly. I serge the side seams together before adding the elastic in the back. Then serge the long bottom edge both finishing that edge and securing the pieces together.  I continued by serge finishing the crotch and side seams. Serged the inseam. Then using a 4mm long stitch, stitched the crotch, side seams and the waistband to pant leg. Again, didn’t look bad at picture time so I proceeded to scoop the crotch 1/2″.  I wasn’t sure that was enough depth. After all, the hip dart I pinched removed 1″ in length from the back crotch length. I decided to wear the pants and see how they felt.

Well it was terrible. The center back pulled down and the whole back seemed to want to creep under my butt and forward.  I cut a slit on the inside of the waistband and removed length from the elastic. I was hoping to snug the pant back to my body back. Improved but not totally the answer. Still wants to sag at the center back while creeping under and forward. I think “that crotch length needs to be fully restored”.  I was good with the total length on previous pairs.  So I scoop the back crotch another 1/2″.

It does feel more comfortable but it still sags and wants to creep under and forward. I decide that the issue could be the elastic. It’s a soft elastic and is placed only in the back.  When I ‘fix’ RTW, I add elastic that goes all the way around front back and back to front. I cut a full 34″ of elastic and tack it into place along the front and back crotch and side seams. Now the pants stay in place at my waist but OMG they look terrible. I have a ‘keyhole’ front (thank you Martina for that term).  OK I’ll try to post pics:

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A baggy, draggy back

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even the side looks weird:

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Definitely a WTF  experience.  Lesson learned: I should not expect Peggy’s process to work with every pattern and secondly, I should fit the muslin to perfection before cutting the good fabric. Even if it takes a 2nd muslin. I will take a sec to defend Peggy. She says repeatedly that her instructions are designed to help you fit her Silhouette patterns.  Her instructions are based upon her draft.  Clearly someone else’s draft may not work the same. Even though there are pattern-drafting standards, there are also many deviations from the standards. It would be unfair, even obnoxious for me to blame her for this failure.

The real downer here is that I destroyed the tissue which did fit. If I want to use this exact pattern again, I need to go through the fitting process all over.  Whoops, I just realized this pattern never fit me!! Looking way back into my archive I see that I did not ever have a great fitting pattern. So that calls for a new direction. I think instead of fitting the Talia, I’ll borrow the waistband and use it with PP113.

 

Hmm (muttering to self) wonder if I can recover enough of the fabric for use in different pair of 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):

slide1_resizewpp113_4_resize

 

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.