sdBev's Pants!


Posted on: April 30, 2015

I’m really very pleased with this pattern.  For this version, I added a 3rd dart to the back pattern and increased the vertical tuck in the front piece to remove a full 1″ of ease.

I wasn’t sure about my choice of fabric. This is a cotton. I want to call it ticking but the fabric is not tightly woven. It’d never keep a single feather within a pillow! In fact the fabric is a bit light and I’m not sure pant worthy.  But I just couldn’t help myself. I can absolutely imagine walking along some beach dressed thusly:

I think the front is getting near perfect….

…although I will tweak the fit for each fabric.

Adding the 3rd dart on the back was an error. At fitting time, I released the back dart and stitched a 2nd dart in the front returning the pattern to its original configuration of 2 darts in front and 2 darts in back. This is the first time with this pattern that  I’ve added a 2nd dart to the front of this pattern.

I do see the slight diagonals forming below the waist; kind of over the pocket. Usually, I will finally tweak these away by taking more length off the at the side seam.  I’m putting off that tweak because the diagonals are not as bad as they are on most pants and truthfully could be caused because there isn’t sufficient ease in the back.  I mean, they could just go away once the total ease is correctly divided between front and back according to what my body needs.

When I put in the slant pockets, I taped the slant-edge. It’s under-stitched and turned creating a surprising amount of bulk right at the side seam.  My presser foot did not ride smoothly over that edge when stitching the side seam.  I had to stop, rip stitches and re-do a time or two. So while the side seam at the pocket join looks tight, I’m not sure it’s a lack of front ease causing the diagonals or inflexibility and denseness at that point.

The back clearly needs a smidge more room. Sigh, my scales report that I have indeed added padding even while the tape measure records the same inches.   I can let the side seams out another 1/4″.   Which having seen these “final’ pics I will do.   I’m always amazed at how an improved fit feels so much better and looks great in the mirror BTW that I think it’s perfect but then the pics tell me it’s not.

Summary of pattern changes:

  1. Less 4″ leg length
  2. Crotch depth
    1. Back: 1/4″ evenly tucked  (total 1/2″ removed from back crotch depth)
    2. Front:  3/8″  Wedge at the center front decreasing to  1/4″ at the side seam
  3. Ease
    1. Front: Vertical 1/2″ tuck  (removes 1″ ease per leg)
    2. Back Slash and spread 1″ (adds 1″ ease per leg)
    3. Net ease change =Zero

I look at the net changes and think, “I really didn’t alter the original draft much”.  It’s taken 3  versions to get to this point because I’m cautious and analytical.  Also I’ve learned that in fitting, it’s better to make one change at a time because every change changes something else.

Future change

  1. Ease
    1. Front: Vertical 5/8″ tuck  (removes 1.25″ ease per leg total 2.5″ from the front)
    2. Back Slash and spread 1.25″ (adds 1.25″ ease per leg total 2.5″ added to the back)
    3. Net ease change =Zero

Yeah, I’m just moving ease from the front to the back. But at the same time, each of my versions are very wearable and each version is allowing me to play with other features such as pockets.

I’m liking this pattern so much that I’ve purged my pant pattern-stash.  I’ve kept The Eureka pant, CLD’s MSS pant and  Pants Perfected (today’s pattern PP113). Pants are so difficult for me to fit, that I’d rather spend time adding details than fitting pattern after pattern.  Even PP113, a pattern  I’ve already used multiple times, has taken 3 tries to get very close to perfect.  Of course, another version will be coming up.


  • In: PP113
  • Comments Off on Tweaking PP113

So pleased with the narrow back (and the smaller 20″ hem circumference) but it’s not enough to just transfer draping changes back to the pattern. They need to be tested. So I started this next version by

  1. Vertically slashing the back along the grain line and adding an even 1″ ease.
  2. To compensate for that I made a vertical 1/8″ tuck on front (removes 1/4″ ease per leg). I wanted to be bold and take the full 1″ away from the front (just added to the back) but just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
  3. I also increased the dart depth on the back by 1/4″ on each dart. There are two darts so that means I removing a total of 1″ ease at the waistline in the back.

I’m doing a slight bit of rearrangement to the sewing stash and have separated fabric that I think would make good pants. Well, they are fabrics that I’ve seen in RTW pants.  Pamela of Pamela’s Patterns, says as a guideline ask yourself if you would buy a RTW pant made up in this fabric. “Buy” is critical. Because even RTW makes mistakes. I quit buying RTW pants several years ago (the DG2’s are very recent).  RTW pants fit the waist or the bum. They may look and feel great, then I turn around and find that the crotch is way up in there; my lady parts identifiable and in short I don’t buy RTW pants.  So I had to think back to when I was younger and thinner.  Fabrics have changed a lot.  From my stash emerged a beautiful spring green cotton/lycra that I recognized as a perennial favorite.  It is not an “old” fabric. It’s only been in my stash about 2 years.  I’ve delayed using it because I wanted to be sure the resulting garment would be worthy of the fabric. No more. I’m using whatever fabric appeals to me. If I ruin it, Oh well that’s another fabric my son won’t have to deal with when I die.

This has about 10% stretch. 12% if I pull really hard. In and of itself, that adds a new dimension to tweaking this pattern.  I found that I needed to increase my seam allowances. I ended up with a 1-1/8″ SA when a 1/2″ was planned. At final stitching I increased just a bit more which is almost enough on the front:

But too much on the back:

.I also found that increasing the dart depth is not the best answer. The darts became,,, weird. Fortunately,  my tops will cover the worst of it. I added front patch pockets. I like patch pockets because they don’t interfere with any fitting. It seems like I always need to tweak for the effects of fabric.  I love the MSS pocket, but find it awkward to fit when using that pocket. It’s like, I have to be satisfied with the fit no matter what, if I’m going to use the MSS pocket.  If I have any inkling that fit my need adjusting, choose another pocket.

I see the one diagonal on the back which on the first pair I attributed to my stance. Some time ago, it was suggested that one of my hips may be slightly lower than the other. That’s quite common amongst women.  We tend to carry weight (children, groceries, etc) more on one side of our body than the other. Our posture suffers for it.  I notice the effects especially at my shoulders. Clearly to me, one of my shoulder is lower than the other.  I’m not mentally ready to address this phenom either at the shoulder or butt. Except that I also note that the diagonals at the front and side

are usually the result of an uneven waistline. This too is common.  My waistline is not level.  Actually, it’s more like the track of a roller coaster ride.  Usually, I clear up most of those diagonals by offsetting the side seam 1/4″ above the waistband and letting the waist evenly fall back into place along the waistband. But when I did that on this pant, it developed camel toe and crotch creep.; and did so despite the bubble’s beneath the waistband that indicate the crotch is too long. No thanks. I’d rather have a few diagonals.

Despite my criticisms, I’m not unhappy in the least with this pant. Once I quit posing, my pants are going to develop drag lines.  It will be hard to tell which lines are from fit issues and which are from my body in motion.  I will increase the front, vertical tuck to a full 1/2″ removing a net of 1″ ease from the front and add a 3rd back dart.  I’m not sure about correcting for the side diagonals. I got the back too tight. Those under-waistband bubbles could be forming because the pant is snuggling upwards trying to pull more fabric over the widest point. Which BTW could also be contributing to the diagonals. Because this is a cotton/lycra, the bubbles and diagonals may largely disappear after I’ve worn the garment a time or two and permanently stretch out the seating area.   The one thing that’s really out of kilter, is the color/fabric combination.  This lovely green was matched with a full-bodied fabric.  This fabric is more suitable for late fall, early spring or with tights, dead winter. Generally I avoid the lighter colors until summer. There’s a practical reason behind my behavior.  I’ve ruined many pants because winter snows create a muddy oily crud that can’t be washed out. Spring and fall are not nearly as bad, but the same does happen. For that reason and the fact it exists for 3 seasons of the year, you generally see me in dark blue, dark brown and black pants.

I anticipate this pant will have limited wear which is too bad. There this phenom that occurs with fit.  Every time it gets a little better, I hate the previous versions and can barely stand to wear them.  Already I notice that this pair, the previous and the black pair from last winter are incredibly more comfortable than my all my other pants excepting the DG2’s. I can’t wait to make more.




I want a slack type fit. Smooth over waist and hip. Trim down the leg to the ankle. Not flowing. Nor like a body hugging jean. PP113 fits wonderfully as long as I want a loose trouser pattern.  As soon as I start trying to achieve a “slack” i.e.  reduce the hem circumference and trim away some of the ease over the back hip, the dreaded X wrinkle returns.  Admittedly, this happens to my Eureka and MSS pattern as well; and the wrong fabric can ruin any pattern.  As I pondered this, I decided to view the fitting DVD (which accompanied the pattern) a second time. After all, it’s been over a year since I viewed the DVD.  I’ve played with this pattern multiple times. Traced and fit at least 3 times.  I was surprised when Pam recommended one of the models switch to the narrow back. Huh? That woman’s rear didn’t look particularly flat to me, but the tissue pattern clearly puffed out over her back thigh–exactly what I see on myself.  So nothing would do  but I try the narrow back for myself.

I traced both front and back. Just for fun I traced both the narrow back (in pink) and the wide back (in green).


I was expecting that the green outline, would have a longer crotch extension and be over all wider.  I was not expecting that the red line would have a higher upright, the extension is dropped (green arrows) and almost as long and most notably both inseam and side seam are definitely shaped (purple arrows) . Oh and the narrow back is at least 1/2″ narrower at the hem. There are clearly two different drafts.

I almost stopped here. I knew I didn’t need the longer crotch upright; and the dropped extension is a bit shorter. Also my body seems to always appreciate a pant with a little more length going between the legs.  But I do end up scooping the crotch just a bit (I need more of a J hook) and I really like the look of the shaping of the side and inseams.  So I decided, What the heck. I’ve wasted so much material on pants, one more cut wouldn’t matter.

With every pattern I make a series of tweaks.  For starters, I’m shorter than the “average” figure.  I will require at least a length alteration. I’m also lazy and like to serge and be done. So when a pattern fits, I reduce all  seam widths except the side-seam. That way I can serge most of the garment and still be able to tweak fit for individual fabrics.  I’ve been recording changes on my patterns but as recorded they tell me where I am now as opposed to how I got here. IOW I know that I’m going to serge the inseam at 1/4″ but I don’t know how if I removed 3/8″ or 3/4″ to finally arrive at my 1/4″ serging seam allowance.   Since this is a pattern I use over and over, I decided to record changes in a different way.  I have two pages in my sewing journal. One is labeled “front”. The other “back”.  I’m recording the net changes as I go along.  For instances I know that I need to shorten the leg.  I started with 3″. Compared it with my existing pattern and increased that by 1/2″.  In my book on both the Front page and Back page, I’ve noted “shorten leg 3.5″.  It was 3″ and then changed to 3.5″ when I realized I needed to shorten an extra .5″.   Since I’m really not sure how I arrived at the last pattern, I’ve started with 4 pattern alterations

  1. Less 3.5″ leg length
  2. 1/4″ evenly tucked across back crotch depth (total 1/2″ removed from back crotch upright)
  3. A wedge  3/8″ at the center front, 1/4″ at the side seam on the front pattern piece.
  4. Eliminate 1 dart from front pattern piece.

I can see this alterations on my previous pattern which fits pretty good with most fabrics,excellent with some fabrics and is a total waste of some fabrics. I’m pretty confident with that pattern, but still holding my breath on this one.

I chose a light weight but firm suiting. It’s labeled “mixed fibers” which made me wonder if I should even purchase it. However, that makes it more than suitable for a muslin. It’s a bit scratchy.  Could be nylon. Could be wool. It doesn’t shrink so I don’t think wool.  I serged the edges immediately because I wasn’t sure how much handling it would get and how badly it would ravel. I was immediately thankful for that choice, because just carrying it to the serger caused minor raveling.

Let’s get right to fit.  Each of the next 3 photos shows the fit (from left to right : 1) out of the envelope 5/8″ standard seam allowances , 2) decreasing side seams to 3/8″ 3) offsetting  side seams 1/4″ back, 3/4″ front.

It’s important to me to note, that the only thing I have done is adjust the inherent ease. By offsetting the seams, I’m removing ease from the front and adding it to the back. The back goes from being obviously too tight, to almost perfect.  I could stand another 1/4″ (on both side seams) but I don’t have any left. On the back, I don’t have any left. 1/4″ is as narrow as seam as I will use and even then I can get into trouble.

I’d look at the front

and  ask “is this OK”.  Front he front view I wasn’t sure if I had an issue. But the side

Clearly shows that there is more front room than back room.  This is a clear example of what Gale Greig-Hazen (and I think KatherineF) teach:  you have to put fabric where fabric is needed.   Because the final pant

is dang near perfect. I tend to shift my weight from one leg to another which accounts for the one back drag line. It was not visible at the final fitting (last pic on the right of all 3 above). I added pockets and embroidered them.

I’m hoping this “muslin” is wearable for several years. I think it’s going to be cool for summer and of course warmer spring and fall days.

Pattern alterations:

Started with

  1. Less 3.5″ leg length
  2. 1/4″ evenly tucked across back crotch depth (total 1/2″ removed from back crotch upright)
  3. A wedge  3/8″ at the center front, 1/4″ at the side seam on the front pattern piece.
  4. Eliminate 1 dart from front pattern piece.


  1. Vertical 1/8″ tuck on front (removes 1/4″ ease per leg)
  2. Slash and spread 1″ on back (adds 1″ ease per leg)
  3. Increase back dart width or add 1 additional back dart.


I have to say, this sounds a lot like what I did with Eureka, MSS and several of the Burda pant patterns that I fit.  I’m tempted to immediately add 1″ to the back and remove 1″ from the front because that’s exactly what I did to the Eureka, MSS and Burda patterns. But I like to progress carefully and while I know I need to remove some from the front, I’m not sure exactly how much. I’d rather have a little roomy front, than too tight.  Right now, I’m pretty pleased. Surprised that the narrow back works for me and pleased with how well it looks especially with so little effort on my part.

  • In: 906
  • Comments Off on Golden Olive 906

It’s easier to see how badly this went by looking at a much enlightened picture:

My intent was to make the nearly the same pant as the last and work on trimming ease from the back of the leg.  I made one change between this version and that was trimming the pattern along the seam between back yoke and back leg to 1/4″.  This meant I could serge that seam and be done.  Possibly I was way too confident because I stitched the entire garment together although I continued to use 5/8 SA everywhere except the now 1/4″ yoke to pant leg and 3/8 SA along both sides of the waistband and the crotch.  The sewing difference between this version and the last was only that the back yoke was serged to the leg with a 1/4″ SA. I just don’t believe that small change created the butt and camel toe issues above.   The fabric is again 100% cotton (no stretch) corduroy. It may be marginally heavier than the previous pair. Something that I feel as touching the fabric but have no way of calculating. Visually the fabrics are the same. So maybe the “feel different” is all in my head.

I had seen hints of the camel toe issue in earlier versions. It wasn’t bad and I was pretty sure that the issue was the angular shape of the front crotch. It is barely curved whereas I know from long experience I need kind of a hook.  I made an attempt to fix the crotch issues (both back and front) by scooping and forming the crotch shape as it should be to fit me.  Basically that means scooping down a quarter of an inch forming almost a U down at the bottom. Except that my U is higher in the front than in the back. (FFRP devotes one short paragraph a mere sentence to this condition and calls it  an anomaly.)  That aside, my “fix” fixed it worse than before.  Possibly this is a fabric issue. maybe I didn’t press well enough or there were minor errors in the cutting or or or

Not sure exactly what was wrong or how to fix it; and total ticked off that this should happen after several pretty successful versions of 906, I finished the dang thing and put it in the donate box.


Posted on: March 11, 2015

Fit, permanently stitched and modeled:

Pics lightened 100%

The final fit is about what I expect.  The pattern size which seems to fit waist and hips is too generous in the legs. My point with this pair was testing the accumulated changes.  The last change made on the pattern was removing 3/4″  from the side length, in the upper torso.  I used a wedge or dart to fold out 3/4″ along the seam.  This removes  nearly all the folds in front and rouching along the side seams without causing issues in other places.  I tried making this alteration to the previous pair of pants, but it is an alteration that needs to be made at the tissue stage. I have proof if you need to see it.

When I make this pattern again, I will be removing ease from the back leg.  I have some interesting references.  Corecouture folds out length below the bum and then adds it at the hem. Net change to the leg length is zero. What she is doing essentially creates narrower shaping just below the crotch. 3 Hours Past (read to the end of the post) both reshapes her crotch and changes the shape of the inseam.  Since my pattern has a seam in the center back of the leg, that is the first place I will be reshaping. I happen to like this crotch and don’t want to change it. In fact, I have often copied this crotch to other patterns.

In the end analysis, this pair of pants fits reasonably well. I never expect perfect pants although I have sewn a few.  A perfect pant results from the marriage of pattern and fabric and my particular fitting standards.  I’ve made more pattern and fabric mistakes than I care to think about; and my standards have become more stringent as I learn how to fit.  Sometimes I define fit by what is not there. Such as my lady parts should not be clearly identifiable. Hinted at. Known to exist. But not perfectly obvious.  This pair is good enough and to my surprise, many of my colors will work with its olive tones.

I’ve had an incredibly frustrating  couple of weeks.  Having easily finished the black Velvet-Like Corduroy  pants to the point of near perfection, I turned my attention to creating a pair from the same pattern in a dark brown.  I’ll take the time to point out I had also used the same pattern to create my pants for my Spring 6PAC.  Then this happened

Photo lightened 100%

Same pattern. Incredibly different results.Why?

I wondered about measurement changes. I had just slipped the tape measure around me in several places when I attempted drafting the week before last. A quick check revealed that my numbers hadn’t changed at all between then and now. I wondered if I had otherwise overly trimmed the pattern pieces .  To my relief, my copies were reasonably close to the original pattern sheets.  So then I checked the envelope to see if I had traced the correct size.  Size correct.  I searched my blog to see when I’d last fit this pattern and what changes I’ve been making along the way.  As near as I can tell  the real problem is my aging body and the differing amount of stretch between fabrics. This fabric had a mere 11% stretch vs the 50% of the yoga pants and 25 % of the corduroy pants.

I wasn’t sure of all the changes I’d made to this  version. I have been tweaking and playing with it for quite some time.  I opted to trace the same size, because according to my hip measurement, that was the right size.  I was a bit over-confident. I trimmed the inseams, crotch and waist seam allowances to 1/4″. Figuring with 5/8″ allowance in two other seams (side and center back leg), I would have enough ease to adapt to my figure.  I chose another fabric a 100% cotton i.e. no-stretch.  I wanted to create a base pattern that I could adapt to fabrics of varying stretch. I want to correctly establish correct length and style at the pattern stage and the adapt for stretch during fit.  And then this happened:

Oh and that was  the 2nd fitting after I had let out the seams as far as possible.

Back to the original pattern to trace  the next size up.  Slightly humbled, I didn’t trim a single seam allowance. I  did shorten the leg at the hem 3″. I’m short. The leg needs to be shortened. I chose a new fabric. I depleted the supply of non-stretch dark browns, which is what I wanted to add to my wardrobe, and decided to work with what was called a dark olive.  It’s not black. Even though it is named dark olive, it is lighter in value than the 2 previous fabrics.  It is a soft soft, 100% cotton, corduroy. If I remember correctly I purchased this from the fabric store in Mitchell. I remember loving the feel of the fabric but hesitating over the color.  Sure enough, this fabric has sat in my stash at least 3 years. It just doesn’t look good to me next to most of my other colors.  I reasoned now was the time. If this version of 906 didn’t work either, I wouldn’t have wasted a truly admired fabric.

I spent 9 fittings trying to get this to fit me.   Nine. 09. N_I_N_E

Photos Lightened 100%

Here’s the problem. #1, the fabric is too soft. It just collapses. It shows VPL even when I can pinch an inch of fabric directly over that area. It  wants to stick and cling despite multiple applications static spray.  It doesn’t stretch which I wanted.  But fabric isn’t the only problem. The other problem is that some alterations must be made at the tissue level. Trying to correct later only creates other issues. Same applies to trying to make too many changes or really big changes. They accumulate and cause other issues. I finished this pair by ripping out most of the fitting changes (the other two were binned). From this version I took   two style and 1 fitting change.

  1. Folded out 3/4″ crotch depth on all 3 leg pieces.
    1. I really want the wider waistband  created by using a 3/8″ SA along both edges of the waistband. But then I have to compensate for the additional crotch length.
  2. Trimmed leg width 1/4″ by the inseam and 1/2″ by the side seam between hem and 2″ below knee.
    1. I like a baby bell but not the 23″ hem circumference included in this pattern
    2.  Because of my knee shape taking out more ease on the inseam size causes the leg to pull at the knee.
    3. Taking out more ease around the knee also causes drag lines emanating from the knee.
  3. Fitting change:  added 3/8 ease to the CB seam of the leg.
    1. Just in case the VPL was not solely due to the softness of the fabric.

I decided to choose another fabric from the olive/khaki stack. I’ve accumulated these fabrics because they look differently in the store or on-line than at home  in the natural light.  I’ve now officially designated olive/khaki as “muslin” and am proceeding to whittle their numbers down.  The next fabric was called “suiting”. It too is a 100% cotton.  If I was making a suit, I would completely interface this fabric. It is beefy but lacks body. It wouldn’t make a good suit without help from interfacing. 3rd fitting and nearly done:

Yeah you can’t see much until the pictures are lightened 100%

I haven’t secured the pockets. I like to place the pockets when the jean is flat. So the back does look a little off.  I added an even 3/8″ to the CB leg.  Then decided that I needed to add at least half of that to the back yoke so that I could ease instead of gather the leg and yoke. The yoke is then eased to the back of the waist band. In actuality, I need the ease just over the curve of my bottom.   When I make permanent stitching, I’ll take the ease out of the yoke and curve the top of the CB leg to eliminate the 3/8.  Kind of like changing a C cup for the previous B or an FBA directly over the rear.  What I”m most concerned about now, is that the back of the leg of this pattern has always fit beautifully. It’s what I love about the pattern. I feel like the leg has gotten too big. Which if I compare with the measurement chart is correct. According to the measurement chart I need to use two sizes smaller.  But you saw how that fit second picture from the top).  I’m not retracing. I want to get the pattern to fit, not to figure out fit theory. Besides I’m happy with the side view. I will scoop the front crotch just a bit. It looks like the beginning of camel toe. I know from experience that the front crotch has to be a little more curved than drafted.  A little spay starch and a good pressing and this pair is wearable.

So to the next version (there must be a next version because I”m not entirely satisfied with this one)

  1. (Style Change) Folded out 3/4″ crotch depth on all 3 leg pieces
  2. (Style Change) Trimmed leg width 1/4″ by the inseam and 1/2″ by the side seam between hem and 2″ below knee.
  3. (Fitting change):  added 3/8 ease to the CB seam of the leg (curved above and below the bump).
  4. (Fitting change): 3/4″  wedge removed at side seam extending from side back belt loop to side front belt loop

Stay tuned, another version is coming up soon.

  • In: 906
  • Comments Off on 906 Velvet Like Corduroy

After working diligently on T-shirt fit issues, I truly needed a breather.  At the same time I keep wanting to wear blouses and tops are best paired with  black or brown pants. So I decided on  a quick time out.  I chose TJ906,  as  fit with the tent fabric and a lovely winter fabric corduroy. Except this corduroy is luxurious.  The wales are so fine that once trimmed it appears to be velvet until you get up close — really close. The fabric is soft and has 25% horizontal stretch. Absolutely no vertical stretch, not even a twinge.  I did nothing unusual either cutting or stitching. Even my basting was limited to attaching the facing and waist band.  I used my cover stitch to create the belt loops, but my sewing machine for the blind stitch hem. Total circumference at the hem is 20″.

The fit is difficult to see. I have lightened the pic below 100%.;

These pants feel perfect and DH says they look beautiful.  I think I might should scoop the crotch a little or perhaps make sure that my multiple uses have not trimmed the crotch length.  Also I should admit that while the tape measure still gives me the same reading, I feel like my tummy is bigger.  (When you have to bend over further to read the bathroom scale, either  your tummy has grown or your eye sight has gotten worse. I just got new glasses).

During sewing I a noticed that I had to ease the waistband and yoke quite a bit. I’m not sure what is going on there and not sure I’m going to knock myself out fixing it. I do know that’s not new. But I’ve become so engrossed it fit that it jumps out at me.

Another interesting drag line is the one  from inner knee to the outside of the foot.  It is not always apparent, but I do see that drag line frequently in previous versions.  I think the pant is too long which I do deliberately    I repeatedly find that I’m discarding jeans and other pants because they become too short for my tastes. I like to start with my pants just above the floor about 1/2″.  I never peg my hems, but maybe I should.

That’s it for today. I consider this another successful pair.

I wasn’t sure about these, until I took “dressed” pics:

Fix the back of my hair, and I look fine in the bank line. Well at least as good as anyone else.

To the previous pant pattern (where I merged the yoke with the pant leg)  I took a 1/8″ tuck in the front and back pieces. This takes out 1/4″ ease per piece and 1″ total from the pattern. I also put a 1/2″ dart in the side seams.  I always seem to be adjusting the side seam to take out little bulges and frown lines  in the front. I also made my Yoga Pant Waistband. Really no big deal except I wasn’t sure how long.  I easily calculated 5″ would be a good width. But how long?  If my fabric were non-stretch, I’d want the waistband to be slightly longer than my hip circumference. You know, just big enough to pull up over my hips.  But with stretch, I just wasn’t sure. I started with my hip circumference and to make adjustments easy, I made two pieces instead of the usual 1 piece yoga waistband.

I’m using a wonderous stretch corduroy purchased from FabricMartFabrics about this time last year.  It is cotton + Lycra and has a 40% stretch.  Due to the stretch factor I used 3/4 CM SA instead of my usual 3/8″

Mistake. First fitting was way too tight. I  thought a 40% stretch fabric would fit like a glove even if you made the pattern 40% smaller. So not true. I liked the leg, but eventually restitched all the seams with a 1/4″ SA. I also pondered over the rouching that I see on the front side seams.  Because this happened with the previous pair, I thought The pattern pieces must not be the same length.  I walked the pattern pieces and sure enough, the front was longer. Longer by maybe 1/16″.  I couldn’t believe that account for the rouching/gathering I see taking place between front leg and back leg on the side seam.  I offset the seams first by 1/4, then 1/2 and finally 3/4″.  The gathering occurs from knee to waist so that’s where I made the offset creating bunny ears at the top of the side seam. I don’t fully understand why this is happening.  I walked the side seams after making my pattern alterations. I know the side seams are the same length. It has to be on my body. Is the front of my body shorter than the back? Did I need both side seam darts (see para 1) or only a dart on the front side seam? This is pretty consistent and usually easy to correct at the first fitting. I’m just kind of tired of making the same garment alteration all the time. I’d like to take care of it at the pattern stage.  Truth is, I as age I need more alterations.  Patterns never have and never will fit me as originally drafted. During my teen years, I had narrow shoulders, short back-waist length and tilting waist.  To those 3 standard/personal alterations, I need a few more. No big deal, when I know what they are.

I’m  ready to put in the final stitching i.e. you’re not likely to see updated pics, because these are good and enough. See Pic above.  But at that time I will make a few other changes.

I’m not concerned about the winkles at the waistband itself. The waistband length ended up being equal to my waist. The elastic is 4″ less than my waist. That’s what it takes to hold the pant up and on my body. I’m using Louise’s elastic which I dearly love.  I’m waiting for her new pattern at which time I will be ordering 10 more yards. Of each color. This elastic is soft and comfortable and does not ride up.  Here, I’m wearing it without the additional stitching the MSS would use.

This pant, this fabric is wonderfully comfortable. So it surprises me to see any issues at all.  I could have used the 1″ ease I removed from the pattern. Fortunately, my blouses will always cover up that fact.  An interesting fact is that the X wrinkles above developed only as I added enough ease to remove the VPL.  I think I understand why some of young ladies have decided to quit wearing panties. Of course, the VPL would not be visible were I also in shapewear. Shapewear helps with my back pain. It also smooths the curves and lumps.  It does not make anyone, including me a size smaller.  I don’t always wear it.  Only when I know that I will be doing something that requires a little more support for my back. (I’ve wondered is it supporting the back, or relieve the back from the stress of carrying my tummy?)

I’m going to add cording to the leg seams and see if that eliminates the X wrinkles. This is again a soft fabric. I’m thinking that since the taped seams helped the back of the previous pants, it will probably help here.  My concern is not  eliminating the stretch.  That’s why I’m thinking of  yarn/cording instead of tape and top stitch.

Sometimes it is just hard to figure out what to do.  1/2″ offset left gathering on the front of the side seam. 3/4″ offset has gathers on the back. Fortunately, all the seams are stitched with water-soluble thread. I can easily rip the thread and put the final seam in with a 5/8″ offset.

Still a few frown lines which fortunately will be covered by my blouses.   I’m loving the final 17″ hem circumference.  A really big accomplishment! I’ve been able to slim this leg from it’s default 20″ (for my size) to 19 easily. But any more than that seemed to create those back leg X wrinkles. In one of the previous iterations (not my yoga pant series), I marked the “knee box”.  That’s the topmost and bottom most of my knee. I did my hem circumference  alterations from the bottom of the knee box.


How Fit08 looks in the bank line.

Since I called the first no-yoke version of Tj906 done, I’ve made 5 more fittings. Each time I change something just slightly.  I realized I had not addressed the front bubbles.

Sometimes called frowns, on me they are the result of the front side seam being too long.  I opened the waistband and lifted the side seam 1/2″. That reduced both front and back side seam by 1/2″. I hoped that might help the back as well, but no.

Then an odd thing started happening. This pair of pants shrank. If you told me your polyester pants shrank, I would laugh and say “no way”.  But I’m telling you today that I’ve now let out all of the ease I took in after the first fitting. The pants shrink and continue to shrink with each pressing.  Which happens each time I restitch a seam.  I have a sister fabric, i.e. the same type fabric purchased at the same time in a different color.  I was thinking about using the sister fabric to test my changes. But I’ve decided that fabric needs to go into a generously sized PP113 so I can wear it a few times before it gets too small.  I’m really surprised by the fabric. Purchased from Hancocks last fall, October I think. It was not cheap and not on sale. But it had been several months since I found myself in company with good fabric. Anytime I can find bottom weight i.e. pants fabrics, I buy.

I decided to do some testing of seam finishes. I question if the body of denim is what makes this pattern fit so well. 906 has always given me perfect or near perfect jeans But I’ve also always used it with denim, twill or canvas. Oh yes and tarp one time.   At one time I purchased Trudy Jansens trouser pattern but could never get it to fit me well.  I tried several times, several sizes. 902 just didn’t work. Which perplexed me but at the same time I had other well-fitting trousers and simply lost interest. My question applies to trousers as well. Is the solution to good fit stiff fabrics? Can this be achieved with seam finishes?  So I made 4 samples (and may make more),

  1. Serged 4 thread seam.
    1. This is what I want to do. Just zoom and be done at the serger!
    2. Very flexible seam
    3. Hardly any body added
  2. Serged 4 thread seam Plus 2.5MM straight stitch at sewing machine.
    1. More work but usually what I do because it corrects ease discovered at  the first fitting.
    2. Little body added to the seam. I wouldn’t have noticed except I was looking and comparing with my serged only seam
  3. Serged 4 thread seam, pressed to one side and top stitched.
    1. This gives the look of a flat felled seam and afterwards will be referred to as the FFS Faux Felled Seam.
    2. So much more work than the previous two, but the look is worth it.
    3. Slightly more body to the seam.
  4. One side Taped,FFS.
    1. Definitely tape before and not after seaming.  Fit 08, seen above is the result of seam 2 followed by taping one side of the seam, pressing the seam to one side and then top stitching.  I did only the center-back leg seam on both sides. It’s difficult both at the ironing board while taping and again at the SM while trying to sew a leg that’s already sewn.
    2. Most definitely adds body.  This is almost like boning.
  5. Both sides taped, FFS
    1. May try this.
  6. Stitched and Boned
    1. Probably won’t try this.  I can’t imagine sitting on boned seams would be comfortable.
  7. A Faux Boning?
    1. Would be possible to serge over yarn or twine or cording of some kind and add more firmness to the seam without affecting comfort or mobility?
    2. Wish I’d thought of this before trying to tape the seam. Zig zagging over a cording would have been easier than fusing and top stitching a finished leg. Or at least, irritating during 1 process instead of two.


First Fit – Last Fit

I do think the last fit is much better than the first; and I do think that the taped seam is a major contributor to lessening the back leg wrinkles.

I think I’m done with this particular pant. Mostly because it keeps shrinking every time I press the seams. But I’m not done with the idea of beefing up the seams.

I’ve decided to morph my favorite fitting pant into a yoga pant. I expect some hiccups along the way because, Trudy Jansen 906 was developed as a jean draft for denim fabrics. Furthermore that would be a non-stretch denim.  But it has much of the shape I want.  It is semi fitted around the torso and thighs.  For me that means it doesn’t reveal my every curve but skims over them without using lots of ease.  This is one of the first patterns I worked with that also had a great crotch shape — for — ME.  I often transfer at least the bottom curve of this pant to other patterns.  I don’t understand why, I only know that the J shape which is lower in the back than the front crotch snugs up nicely over my nether regions.  I want to do this morph slowly so that I know what causes any hiccups.

For this first iteration, I divided the back yoke and attached it to the back leg pieces. (TJ906 is the two-piece back leg pattern.) I eliminated the front and back pockets.  I installed the zipper, serged the side and inseams and stitched the crotch before adding the curved waistband, belt loops and facings.  Sigh, most of the time I don’t realize I’ve aged. But this is one of those experiences which tells me, I’m just not a spring chicken any more. I forgot that the seam allowances are all 3/8″. Worse, I forgot that the “1” stamped on the sewing machine throat plate is not 3/8 but 1 cm and that the serger was set for a scant 1/4″ SA. The result is a weirdly fitting pant:


Not the near perfection I was expecting.  Once I realized the SA problem, most of the issues above just disappeared or at least relaxed into not bad. I also spent a few minutes decreased the flare.  That’s something I’ve been intending to do.  I still like a “baby flare” but for the most part I would prefer slim or semi-fitted cigarette legs.  To me, this amount of flare just adds weight to the below waist portions of my figure.

After corrections:

I think I’m back to wearable status, especially with the true colors instead of the highly lightened photos above:

I hadn’t worked with this pattern in a while (other than the wadder attempt to merge the two back pieces into a single leg.) I’d forgotten some things.

Ok there was the issue of the seam allowances.  I’ve now marked the SA’s so I won’t do that again.

I also need to make the waist band a little less long and more snug.  Even a belt won’t always hold my pants into place. The waistband is a continuing problem for me because my waist can be one size in the morning a different at lunch and change again before or after dinner. I need an adjustable waistband.  An elastic waistband or insert always works well.  A belt usually but not always helps.

I need to shorten the front side length. See  the little waves/drag lines about 4″ down from the waistband. Oddly, shortening the side length between the hip and waist takes care of those (both side and front view).

I also need to mark my front pattern piece to show exactly where the fold should be.  This time I made it a full 1 CM.  It was already nailed into place before I realized my mistake. Fortunately most of my tops will disguise the issue. But it’s better if I prevent those drag lines come from the tummy by stitching the center front where it should be.  I’m always surprised that such a small amount makes such a big difference.  By using 1CM, I took in the front a scant 1/4″. S-c-a-n-t.  But that’s enough to go from near perfect into too tight.

I like the current leg width, but still would like something narrower.  I’ve transferred the changes to the pattern pieces in such a manner that I can go back to this width. Also concerning me is that just the little bit difference makes the leg pull at the knee.

My last issue is with the fabric. .  This is a microfiber twill. Has a napped face and satin back. Not really a beefy fabric, but definitely not a light weight. Also it is 100% polyester and in my experience warm. I think it works best in a trouser draft.  Was hoping it would also be a great choice for a dressy yoga pant.  I’m wondering if firming up the seams would help.  Like with knit tops I always use fusible bias tape on the shoulders.  That keeps the shoulders smooth and hanging nicely throughout the life of the top.  I sometimes put the fusible tape on the neckline especially if it is a V or deep neckline.  I’m really wondering if firming up the seams a little bit would help the look of my pants?  Any thoughts? Has anyone done something similar?