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
- Allowed me to adjust the elastic during fitting.
- 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:
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:
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
- 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 Fabricmartfabrics.com or FashionFabricsClub.com 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 Secretsof.com. It’s all a matter of splitting, mirroring and rotating to create the design wanted.
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?
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).
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?
SUMMARY CHANGES TO THE STRAIGHT INSEAM PP113
- 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
I’m not done with the Ascona pant, but I am stymied. I waited for your comments (thank you) and began following through on some of the suggestions. One of the things I’ve done is to review the pants fitting videos which Peggy Sagers posted. Now, I like Peggy. I make it a point to watch the broadcasts live or as soon as possible. But I don’t always agree with her. Sometimes, my experience says she is wrong. Sometimes, I don’t always understand what she is saying (my fault probably). Sometimes I think she is making a broad generic statement when she should be referencing a more narrow criteria i.e. this applies to all my (Peggy Sagers) patterns rather than this works on all necklines (all being all inclusive meaning every pattern line, every shape). But I like her and listen carefully albeit critically. During one of her pants broadcasts there is no more than 30 seconds in which she states that once the hip and crotch is fit, you can add any leg. Just take the hip of the fit pattern and place the new leg below. Blend the side and inseam. Done. That gave me a ??Huh?? moment and started me working again.
First off, here’s what I like and want to copy from the Asocna pant: the hem finishes with a 16.5″ circumference. That’s all. The waistband treatment is given by several others including Pamela Patterns and Louise Cutting. I’ve used it several times and with a couple of tweaks. If you haven’t noticed I love Pamela’s Pant PP113 . I use it frequently and plan to keep using it. PP113 as currently fitted to me is wonderful when I want a 22″ hem circumference or lopped off below the knee for shorts. My problem with PP113 is that when I try to slim the leg, my pants develop X wrinkles. I don’t like the X wrinkles. I want my pants to either hug my leg smoothly (more lack slacks than leggings) or drop freely from the hip to a 20″ hem circumference. I don’t give high marks (Ok but not high) to everything in between.
I thought about Peggy’s advice to just put the desired leg onto the hip that fits. But I don’t want the Ascona leg as is. I think those X wrinkles are ugly. I don’t want to attach a badly fitting leg to a nicely fitting hip. Nor do I currently how to fix the wrinkles which go all up and down the inseam. However, I do have a pant pattern that fits closely and like the leg very much: Trudy Jansen’s Designer Jean (TJ906). It however does finish with an 18″ circumference while I’m lusting after that 16.5″ of the Ascona; and it is a 2-piece back-leg pattern while I’m desiring a single-piece leg. Nonetheless, I decided to compare TJ906 with PP113 because I’m using two known patterns which fit rather than one who’s fit I like and one I hate. I’m comparing PP113 with TJ906 similarly to my previous comparison of 1008 (Ascona) with PP113.
The fronts of TJ906 and PP113 are amazingly similar. I didn’t expect this similarity between a jean and a trouser pattern.
I made a bit of effort before and during taking pics so that when shared the pics would be an easier to understand. TJ906 is traced with a dark dark blue, large magic-marker. PP113 is also traced with a large magic-marker but in orange ink.
TJ906 is a jean pattern, as such it is drafted with a separate contour waist band to sit at or just below the natural waist when sewn. PP113 is a trouser drafted with the pants waist to sit at the natural waist. I’ve added another 1.25″ to PP113 so it will have a self-faced waistband like the Ascona. When finished both TJ906 and PP113 will sit about at my waist. I’ve aligned the pattern with crotch tip and straight of grains parallel. Tj906 looks a little longer in the leg, while the PP113 has a little more ease. Crotch curves are slightly different but both sit well on my body. Oh and both legs are the right length on my body.
The backs are a little more difficult to compare
TJ906 is a 2 piece leg. Three if the yoke is counted. I’ve been tweaking the fit for my figure so what started as modest shaping has become very curvy. As noted on I can’t put both leg pieces on top (or beneath) the PP113 to line them up. There are either huge gaps or large overlaps. I did line up the back center leg at the crotch point with SOG’s parallel. When I look at the back crotch, I think the PP113 needs to be scooped but it works with the 22″ hem circumference. From this pic, I can’t tell if the backs have the same amount of ease. TJ906 does looks shorter from crotch to waist (it isn’t; that’s the waistband effect again) while longer in the leg.
I think I can use the front PP113 and work on narrowing the hem to 18″ (although I lust for the 16.5). But I’m not sure what I can do with the back legs. I shift the pattern pieces back and forth. Add the other other half of TJ906’s back leg and shift all again. Suddenly I realize that a really big difference is how the inseam is shaped.
TJ906 inseam comes almost straight down from the crotch point. Said crotch point is another significant difference. It has curved upward into a shape I generally call the “fish hook crotch”. I decide to copy the inseam of TJ906 onto PP113. That adds at most another 1″ ease to the leg, less in most places. I don’t think need more leg ease. In fact I was pleased to add the fish hook crotch because it shortened the width of the thigh. Look close. By poking upward the crotch curve is the same length, but that distance underneath the curve from side seam to inseam is at least 1.5″ less. I don’t need the extra ease further down the leg so I measure in several places and take the same amount away along the side seam as was added to the inseam. It makes for a straighter inseam and a curvier side seam.
Then I need a guinea pig. And another post. Once again I’ve talked way too much for a single blog post.
For the next fabric I chose another polyester which illustrates the great difference in quality polys can have. While the previous felt nasty and snagged badly, this has the quality of a high-end suiting. It has weight but is not winter heavy. It has drape without cling. Right and wrong sides are very similar but can be differentiated. Just to extra sure, I again made a mark on the wrong side. I stitched the darts this time, because this fabric deserves the nicer fit the back dart will provide. I serged, yes I did, I serged side seams, inseams and crotch. I never serge side seams until the garment’s first fitting. But I serged. I also didn’t use water-soluble thread. I stitched the elastic and waistband into place. Pressed carefully after a spritz of starch and took photos. The wonderful things about this is the pant was ready to be worn in about an hour (not counting pattern alterations.) The results:
let’s say, less than desired. The first thing that popped into my mind is “I’m deformed”. Who has a camel toe 4″ below their belly button? Then I realized the back is unable to come up over my behind and settle at the waist where it should be. That’s further shown by the side view, where the waistline is tilted upward and the pant buckles at the back knee. Again on the front you see Jodhpur styling which is the back pushing forward because it can’t go lower or higher but it can come to the side. Supposedly, this pant is drafted with a scooped back crotch. Obviously not enough for me. I return to the SM, scoop the crotch 3/8″ and also stitch the side seams 1/8″ deeper before taking the next picture:
So now, the waistline sits level and the Jodhpur no longer appears. But the X wrinkles in back are horrendous and the camel toe only slightly lower on my body (still not placed anatomically correct). Also a mere 1/8 increase in side seams has revealed my underwear (see VPL in side view).
Back to the SM. Let out the side seam. Scoop the front crotch because the Fashion Incubator says that camel toe develops because we try to add width in the crotch space instead of at the side seam where it is needed. More pictures (it takes 3 views and 3- 6 photos to make a composite.)
If all I was able to look at was the front and side, I’d be out the door thinking I was stylin’. However the back is clearly filled with X wrinkles all emanating from my knees. That 3/8″ knee wedge was supposed to at least alleviate this issue, not make it worse. Looking closely I also see that the front is still rouching along the side seam. I shortened the pant at the top 1/2″. Apparently that’s not enough. I can ignore the side seam for now, even the front twisting at the ankle but that back?
A big issue is that there are only so many thing you can do once the fabric is cut. You can increase or decrease seam allowances. They’ve been adjusted as much as possible without negatively affecting the pant. You can scoop the crotch. Done. Front and back D-O-N-E. This is the voice of experience speaking. If you scoop too much the crotch length becomes too long. Then you have to remove the waistband and set it lower on the pant which usually also involves adjusting the darts and side seams to fit the new position on your body. This crotch feels wonderfully comfortable as well as looking nice. I’m not scooping any further. My issue at the moment is not the crotch but the X wrinkles.
The other things I know that might fix the X wrinkles, can be pinned now but not made now.
On the left, I pinned out a 3/4″ deep wedge under the bum as suggested by my commenter. The wedge does have a good effect but didn’t completely remove the wrinkles. J Sterns recommends pinning that wedge at an angle up and over the bum (instead of under the bum). She (Sterns) says that the horizontal tuck won’t work when it is trasferred to the tissue. It’s still not enough to completely remove the X wrinkles. Both leave questions in my mind, now that I’ve shortened the back side seam, what do I do? If I do nothing, my front side seam is going to be 1.5″ longer than the back. The front is already too long. That’s why I have those diagonal lines between waist and side seam above the hip crease. Also, I can’t take out any more ease across my bum. Just increase the side seams 1/8″ caused VPL. If I make J Sterns alteration, how do I offset the loss of ease across my butt.
I’d also like to know what the net result is. Are we changing the grain in relation to the leg? Are we changing the way the leg joins the torso? What’s happening here? I want to know why because if I understand why, I can do it again. I mean I can look at a blouse pattern and say I need an NSA (narrow shoulder adjustment). Because I know my shoulder is shorter. I can measure my shoulder, measure the pattern and determine how much I’m shorter than the pattern. Same think with the back waist length adjustment. I can measure my back and compare it to the tissue. I can determine how much my back is shorter than the pattern.
While the tucks above could help, I’ve had the horrible experience of pinning now, transferring to the tissue; making a new pair and still having the X wrinkles. I need to give it a rest. Just contemplate the issue for a few days. This pair? Well I made shorts:
Cut off 21 inches and all the leg issues just disappear.
Thanks for following along. I’m always open to suggestions. Someday, I’ll find the “why” answer. That’s the answer that will make it possible for me to use any pant pattern instead of the few patterns that by an accident in drafting avoided the issue.
I ripped the elastic out of my muslin, tossed it and began, not quite anew. I walked the side seams and found that the front is 1/2″ longer than the back. Is this something I did? I’ve learned to tape my tissue in place while tracing and immediately mark the straight of grain and knee so that I can keep the tissue and original aligned. Even so, the tissue can bubble slightly. So yes it could be something I did. I’m just surprised that I didn’t notice a 1/2″ gain. Even more surprised that my care in aligning failed to avoid this error. I trued the length (removing 1/2″ from top of the front) then added the 1″ I need so the waistband will sit at my waist and I won’t be unconsciously yanking the pant up into an ugly view. Then I carefully considered the 3 possible alterations to address the knee wrinkles.
TUCK ON THE SIDE SEAM. I’m not sure how much or where to the tuck on the side seam. I understand it does not extend all the way to the inseam, so maybe it’s more of a dart/wedge than a tuck.
FISH EYE DART under the bum as described by Peggy Saggers. I’ve used the fisheye dart before without success and don’t have high hopes that shifting the position of the eye is the solution. While I like Peggy and watch all here broadcast, my attemps with 2 of her patterns have been, lets say less than stellar. Often she explains something but I don’t understand her explanation and she downright says many things that contradict my personal experience. I think I’d rather try something that would makes sense to me and is different from what I’ve tried before. Which brings me to:
INSEAM LENGTH AT THE KNEE. An alteration I haven’t tried but find weird. Interestingly, all my pants, RTW and self-sewn seem to shrink about 1/2 along the inseam. I mean when I’m folding or pressing my pants, the inseam takes a position 1/2″ shorter than the side seam at the hem. I know the hems match when purchased or first sewn, but with only a few wearings, they shrink. At one time, I thought it might be the result of drafting patterns with inseams shorter in the back than the front. I’ve intentionally altered the inseams to be the same exact length. Guess what? After a few wearings, the inseam takes a position higher/shorter than the side seam. At a minimum, trying the knseam length would be worthwhile to see if it would help either issue (shrink and wrinkle). But I tell you this alteration just goes against my grain. Picture in your mind, the typical knock kneed individual. To me her legs angle inward from hip to knee. The knee is turns inward, and then her lower leg splays outward slightly. The whole appearance of her leg is governed by that turned in knee. My knee does not turn sharply inward.
No one looks at me and says “bow legs”. They look and say “yeah, kind of knock knee by not exactly. ” Take a close look at the angle of my leg above. Then consider how the inseam alteration would change the angle of a pant’s leg:
I’m not Photoshop literate and my drawing skills are rudimentary. I’m hoping you can see an outline of a typical pant. The “right” labeled leg represents the unaltered pattern. The “left” labeled leg has had a wedge added at the knee. That’s the recommended alteration to add inseam length along the knee. It might work if I was severally knock kneed. I’m not so sure it will work for me now. The leg’s of my pants already twist forward just a bit, will changing the fabric grain on the lower half of my leg help or hurt? Sigh, it’s still the alteration I’m most hopeful about so:
SUMMARY of TISSUE ALTERATIONS:
- Leg length
- -1/4″ to create my preferred 1.25″ hem
- +1/2″ along back side seam
- -1/2″ through 1/4″ front, vertical tuck
- net change to tissue = 0
- Inseam length
- +1/2″ wedge at knee both front and back
- +1″ to top for cut on waist band