sdBev's Pants!

  • In: PP113
  • Comments Off on Denim Shorts

Notice, I did not call these jeans:

 

Sorry for hanger shot.  They are a very dark blue denim with slight stretch (10%).  I used PP113. I cut 4 different pairs of shorts at the same time. Completion of this pair welcomes  the 3rd to my closet which now gives me a total of 6 pairs of shorts.  I used the “shorts” version (traced from PP113 trouser with legs trimmed to shorts level). I folded out the fly so these will have a fly front; cut a straight waistband and cut front pockets. No back pockets.  There are 4 darts in back, 2 in front and a front curved pocket. Hems were finished with two rows of top stitching.  Can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I was too lazy to thread the cover-stitch just to hem the legs.

 

I used a button & hole closure which I think further gives more of a denim-shorts than denim-jeans vibe.  They’re a little plain, but I love them already.

 

I cut 4 pairs of shorts at once. I knew that I wanted more shorts for summer. More importantly, I’m cleaning out the Under 2’s — those remnants of fabrics that are too big to throw away but not large enough all projects.  The next pair I cut was from a white with brown stripe, stretch twill.  Stretch factor is about 15%.

The cuton waist band was already pinned to the my shorts version of PP113.  To make this pair different, I opted for inseam pockets, a fly front and Euro waistband.  (WB  is cut on and darts are stitched through the WB.)

I serge finished inseams and, crotch and the WB edge.  Added the the inseam pocket at the same time as serge finishing the side seam. Then I stitched darts, zipper and serged the inseams.  I stitched the crotch seams and pressed them open but used water soluble thread to stitch the side seams and tack the waistband into place.

I realized that the previous fabric with it’s 100% stretch would be “roomy’ and increased the seam allowances.  I thought this fabric with 15% stretch would act very much like a woven.  This stretch amount is intended to provide movement ease not style or minimal ease.  I was surprised that the pant was obviously tight across my bum (and thankful for my 5/8″ side seams.)  At the same time, it was not tight enough at the waist.  I let the side seams out 1/8″ and made the darts 1/8″ deeper. With 4 darts, that took the waist in sufficiently.    The first try-on made me think the shorts were just a bit longer than my preferred length. I finished the hem at 2″ instead of my usual 1.25″.

All in all this was reasonably quick to sew.  In fact, this is what I expect of a TNT.  I expect that the lengths will be correct and that ease may need to be adjusted for the nuances of the individual fabric.    My ideal is stitching zipper and darts permanently. Basting the rest together. One try-on from which minor adjustments can be made and then permanent finishes for an excellent garment.  Today’s shorts fit that bill.

 

  • In: PP113
  • Comments Off on Summer Shorts: Knit Pull On

I know. I know. We all hate hanger shots.  But there really isn’t too much to say about these.

I used my TNT Pamela’s Pattern 113.   Drew a line where I thought shorts should end and then traced a copy only from waist to the shorts hem line.  At cutting time, I added the fold over waistband drafted for the Dress Blue Pants.  I folded the zipper fly aside because these are to be Pull-On i.e. no zipper, no zipper fly and quick.

My fabric is a cotton/poly knit with a bark like appearance but very soft. So soft that during construction I increased all seam allowances.  These are almost entirely serged. The hems were cover stitched and the fold over waistband was cover stitched into place except for 2″ which I left open for inserting elastic. After the elastic was inserted and joined, I closed that seam with two rows of top-stitching .    Unless you look really close, you can’t tell where the cover stitching ends.  Just because I hate elastic that rolls and folds down, I adjusted the fabric evenly along the elastic and then  stitched-in-the-ditch along  each crotch and side seam.  I’ve heard of and used non-rolling elastic but I’ve found they lie. So I don’t trust the advertising and take steps to ensure my elastic will stay upright.

I need these for summer. I started with 3 pairs of shorts, which is certainly enough for home use. Gracious, I can launder every day if I’m so inclined.  I’ve already worn these and I’m not over the top loving them.  Not the pattern’s fault at all.  The fabric is stretchier than I thought.  By the end of the day, the bottom is bagging slightly (just enough to tell but who wants that look?); and the front crotch stretches up somewhat.  I’m really glad I didn’t add pockets. Which I skipped because I wanted these shorts done so I could work with 5620. Had I taken time for pockets, I would have had even more weight on the side and waist seams which I’m sure would have caused these to look bad long before the day is done.

I am happy with them.  I have a pair of shorts that coordinates with a number of my summer tops.  Additionally I did confirm the waistband fold over width and test the hemmed length.   For the next pair, because although I can launder every day I don’t want to, I will make the hem higher. Just a bit.

 

Knee Slide

Posted on: June 17, 2015

I have two pants patterns that fit really well. My jean pattern TJ906 and my trouser pattern PP113.  I’ve been trying to slim the leg of PP113. It’s fine for a trouser. I don’t want a jegging. I just want a little less fabric floating over my back thigh and a narrower hem (16″ instead of 20″). When I try to slim the leg, I start getting the X wrinkles.  I’ve had several pants patterns that fit nicely as long as I was content with a 20-24″ hem circumference. So while I was hoping for success with PP113, I wasn’t surprised when the last pair that was slimmed by a mere 1/4″ starting showing the X wrinkles.

Recently there was discussion on SG about Jill Stearns Knock Knee Alteration. So I clicked the link (which I’ve now lost) and read with interest.  She uses the typical Knock Knee Alteration of slicing horizontally at the knee, moving the lower portion of the pattern towards the inseam and then truing  the seams. When truing, some fabric is added between crotch and knee along the inseams and the same amount is removed from the side seam. Sort of like this:

I’ve done this before. Lena at IconicPatterns has an excellent tutorial which I followed. I moved the leg 1/2″ as recommended.   It did nothing. If anything, the X wrinkles looked worse.  I discard the alteration as not the solution for me. Until Jill Stearns blog post discussed needing to more the leg a full 1.5″ for a particular customer. I thought, maybe I needed to slide the knee more than 1/2″.  So I did. I thought about making the move incrementally 1/2″ at a time but decided I wanted to see the full effect immediately.

I’m using a stretch twill. It has 40% stretch. It takes 30% before I can even see the twill moving.  I removed a 1/8″ tuck from the front and back when I made the black pants (stretch denim) shown above. . Oh and I’m making shorts. Shorts won’t show the full effect of the alteration, but there should be some indication.

I was just stunned when this fabric with more stretch than the previous, looked so much tighter across my bum. But I’m seeing a reduced amount of ease over the back thigh (yeah).

 

My side view shows the same tightness and angles toward the back  at my hip-joint but the reduced fullness over the thigh itself looks close to what I’m wanting.

It is the front view which blew my mind

As well as being too tight, there are wads of fabric between my legs. Uncomfortable wads.

I made three more alterations changing the side seams to the minimum possible (1/4″)  While offsetting the front and back inseam trying to remove the excess fabric between my front legs without effecting the back.

The nice thing about shorts, I’m usually working with remnants. After 3 alterations I could not add enough ease to erase the VPL and had only slightly reduced the frontal wads. I tossed it in the garbage. I’m not sure if I’m onto something because the back did look nicer or “barking up the wrong tree” because the front was so hideous. Also, I can’t ignore the fact that this fabric with more ease was tighter on my body than the previous. The lack of ease is itself causing issues.

Now here’s my problem, my knees don’t actually rotate inward or at least noticeably.  No one ever looks at me and says “you’re knock kneed”.  What I have is a pad of fat on the inner knee mostly situated towards the back.  It (the fat) does give an appearance of the thigh angling towards center front especially since my thighs never touch. Yes I have thigh gap at my weight. Thigh gap is not an indication of thinness. I keep trying different alterations because nowhere have I seen my exact issue.  I see something close and then attempt the correction that was made for them… and I document them all on this blog.  Just like today’s mistake.

  • In: PP113
  • Comments Off on PP113 w/Jean Styling

I need to complete my planned black jeans for my Summer 6PAC’s but I’m excited about working with Connie Crawford’s patterns and not at all wanting to work on pants. Nonetheless it’s time to get it done. I’d already picked out the fabric, a light weight black denim with white stripes.  It has a Lycra content which provides about 15% stretch. I had in mind making a Faux Jean complete with front and back pockets, faux yoke and faux contour waistband using PP113. I do love this pattern and have been pleased with my ability to add styling–so far.

I refit this pattern April 2015 and for the first time used the narrow back. Since then every version I’ve made has been with non-stretch fabrics and retained the 18-20″ leg-hem circumference.  I’m going for jean styling which to me also includes a bit of jean fit.  I don’t want to use my TNT and then take huge seam allowances to compensate for the stretch alter my TNT so it isn’t usable as a trouser/slack.   Also my TNT has been through lots of changes. It looks more like a well-used road-map then a recent garment pattern.  I opted to cut a new copy. Just placed my TNT underneath blank tracing paper and rotary cut a new copy.  Adding notches, grain lines and other needed pattern marks after the tissue was cut.  I wanted to preempt the stretch factor.  I folded the new tissue along the grain line from waist to hem. Took it to the sewing machine and basted in a 1/8″ tuck on both front and back.

I wanted the look of the contoured waistband without all the work and without further altering my basic pattern. I know a way to do this.  I made a 2.75″ wide facing for the waist. I used  Swedish tracing paper to trace the front and back as is including the darts.  I trimmed the excess paper and stitched darts and side seams; pressed them open and added belt loop positions.

Onto the pockets. I stole the back pocket from another pattern I’m not using. Done!  Front pocket however had to be copied and drafted with the idea that it must extend all the way to the usual waist. That’s right, I’m not trimming the pant waist down. It stays as is including darts.  I started with the pocket bag that I’ve been using and copied it. Since this is a front jean-pocket, I made it not as deep, trimming  about 2″. Then I cut a copy of my new pocket bag and added the curved hand opening. Trick is that curve must be deeper. The usual jean-pocket as a narrow scoop. Mine is 2.5″ deep

Since this is a summer pant, in a summer weight fabric I prefer the legs to be ankle length. No problemo. I measured up 1.25″ from the hem and drew a line on front and back leg pieces. I folded the pattern up on this line.

I cut my fabric.  Stitched a faux yoke on the back.  That’s really easy. I measured the yoke and contour waistband of my exiting jeans and drew a line on the back pieces with chalk; loaded up the Cover Stitcher with black thread and stitch along the chalked line.

It’s one of those things that people need to get up close to see something is different. Even then most won’t realize that I should have had a separate piece. I know. I’ve done this before.

I stitched darts; prepared my pockets and fused them to the pant back before stitching the pockets permanently in place.  I deliberately chose to cut the back pockets with horizontal stripes. A decision I regretted at the first fitting. Considering that the pockets are fused and double stitched. They are not being changed.

I stitched the front darts and then added the pocket facing. I trimmed out the curve of the facing and wondered why I had bother to stitch darts. Then I added the pocket back and realized I was going to have fitting issues. Without the front darts, the pant front is sure to have too much ease. But I was moving right along and rapidly completed the zipper, inseams, and crotch before basting the side seams.

Then I started on the waistband. In theory, and this has worked for me in the past, the facing is sewn right side to the wrong side of the pant. It is then flipped up and over; the free edge is turned under and top stitched. That looks and fits just like a contour waistband but is only a facing turned to the public side. I did say this worked for me in the past?  I couldn’t get it to flip up and over. It would roll wonky with some of the wrong side showing in some places and the right side rolling to the back in others. For this to appear to be a contour waistband, the facing must turn crisply at the waist and turn under evenly at the bottom free edge. I made two facings. Choosing different interfacing. I forgot to mention that I also added belt loops because to me that’s an important part of the jeans look. The only good thing about this experience was that it was easy to rip out and toss because I had water-soluble thread in the bobbin. I struggled with the facing for more than an hour before deciding to use my straight waistband.

The straight waistband turned out to be a real gift. I was able to immediately see and fix the fit errors caused by sewing the front pocket.

So despite my frustration, pants look good

I had forgotten how I hate that curved pocket. The deeper the curve the harder it is to keep the facing neatly inside. I don’t want to stitch it down because I like working pockets.

Undoubtedly you’ll note that they aren’t even close to jean fit

Even taking out as little as 1/2″ ease, with a fabric that as 15% stretch caused the legs to pull at my knee.  For the final fit (above) I stitched the side seams at 3/8″ instead of 1/2″. I can still see a slight pull at the knee. This is what happens to me every time I try to get a closer fit.  Thankfully I have a link to Jill Sterns instructions regarding knock-knee fitting. I have tried this same alteration previously but I only offset the legs 1/2″.  In Jill’s instructions she says to offset as much as 1-1/2″. I’ll try on the next pair. This one is done.

Apologies for hanger shots. My back just would not cooperate.

I’m again using PP113 because I made another tissue change.  I added 1/4″ ease/circumference to the back only.  Summary of tissue changes is now:

  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 5/8″ tuck  (removes 1.25″ ease per leg total 2.5″ from the front)
    2. Back Slash and spread 1.50″ (adds 1.50″ ease per leg total 3.00″ added to the back)
    3. Net ease change = +.5″

I wanted to do something different. Anything. I chose to use a waistband similar to Loes Hinse Euro. It is a simple pattern adjustment already half done with the shorts in the previous post.  A straight waistband is drafted for the front and back pattern pieces. It is 3.5″ wide (my preference and includes 3/8 SA on each length-wise edge) plus 1/4″ for anticipated top stitching along the folded length-wise edge. The waistband pieces are pinned to the top of the front and back leg at the waist and overlapping the seam allowance of the pant and the waistband. This is just like the elastic waistband of the shorts. The first difference is that the darts are extended up through the waistband. They aren’t tapered as the rest of the dart. Starting at where the dart legs end at the waist, the legs are extended equal distance from each other all the way across the pinned on waistband.  Hmm a picture would be handy, but I didn’t make one.  Next change is preparing the tissue for a zipper insertion. Since I prefer the front zipper, I unfolded the front extension (as originally drafted). When stitching, the darts are  stitched from point through the cut-on waistband.

Euro Waistband

I used the MSS pocket again. I want pockets especially when I’m out and about in a more business like setting.  It’s surprising at how often, even with a purse somewhat handy, that a pocket is the most elegant solution to tucking something away while still having it handy.  I would tend to avoid the MSS pocket on more dressy garments. I used it here because I thought the fabric design would conceal the pockets’ top stitching.

I’ve used my fabric before. It’s a Walmart purchase and I believe a cotton/nylon blend. It is 66″ wide which makes me think it wasn’t intended for garment construction. But it works very well for summer pants.  It is light weight but firm. It tends to resist and then shed wrinkles. However, like all cotton garments, it can be a hot mess especially if I dozed off or wore them for 18 hours straight. It is a stripe of navy blue, white and a royal blue. I prefer stripes as a casual pant, or as an alternative dress pant. It will be my primary dress pant because I simply don’t have another similar fabric. I have pant fabric suitable for casual pants, jeans, transition and winter wear. Light weight  fabrics that work well for summer pants and are also navy blue are in short supply.  Not only does the pocket lie flat, flat, flat (one of the reasons I love the MSS pocket), the top stitching is nearly invisible due to the fabric’s stripes. The Euro Waistband is very flat. Between the two, this loose pant is actually slimming.

The two designs choices MSS pocket and Euro waistband added considerably to the sewing time. Nearing the end I realized why I don’t use this waistband treatment often.  For me it requires an inner button tab. The tab conceals the little gap that occurs when the zipper is nearly at the top.  I happened to set my zipper about 1/4″ down from the very top edge which can result in a large gap.  The tab pulls the top together and makes the closure a little more secure.

 

As my planning posts  were being published,  I was able to return to my sewing room. Finally I’ve healed enough to navigate the stairs. I knew what I wanted to sew: summer weight, brown shorts, black jeans, and blue dress slacks.  My machines were threaded with brown. It was a no brainer to sew the brown summer shorts first.

I looked for brown fabrics in my “Under 2’s Stash”  That’s the cuts that have been reduced to under 2 yards. Too big to throw away but not big enough for  every imaginable garment.  I find cuts that are about 1 yard up to 2 yards long are excellent for summer clothing and crafts.  I keep these segregated so that I can find them easily and use them up. Otherwise these small cuts frustrate me. I can’t find them when I want them. When I don’t want them, they’re all I can pull out of the stash.  Lo and behold, there is 1-5/8 yard of brown corduroy in the Under 2’s. It’s the only brown fabric in the Under 2’s. I looked over my brown stash, because I really didn’t want to sew corduroy for summer. But the brown stash didn’t contain any light weight pant fabrics. I scoured the blue and black stashes and found that I  didn’t have much that will work as light weight pants.   I Placed an order through Fashion Fabrics Club but they won’t be here for another week to 10 days.   I  look again at the brown  remnant in the Under 2’s.  I purchased 2 cuts of this particular corduroy.  It was labeled as Baby Corduroy. It is a fine pin wale and heavenly soft.  So soft that it made poor looking pants.  I was always rumpled looking. Like I had just leaped out of bed. Those pants didn’t stay in my closet long.  The remnant sat in the stash for 2 years or better. I decided for the sake of getting things started, I  would use this soft corduroy which would be fine for all but the highest temperatures South Dakota can throw at me.

I also didn’t want to spend a lot of time fitting. Since the latest PP113 is near perfect, I opted to use it by folding the leg up-and-out-of-the-way  about 6″ about the knee line. I also wanted a quick sew. I opted to draft a cut on waist band. Which is  very simple to do.  My straight waistband is 3.5″ wide. I wanted and elastic waistband which looks best if it is folded in half lengthwise and edge stitched along the fold. I added 1/4″ to allow for top stitching 1/8″ away from the fold. I cut tissue 3.75″ wide and the entire length of front waist. Cut a second the entire length of the back waist. I pinned the tissue to my existing pattern along my waistband stitching line.

I also opted to use the MSS pocket.  This pocket is an extension on the back which is placed beneath the side front and to stitched. The front pocket must be finished before hand. I’m not giving the whole secret of the pocket away because I feel the MSS pant by Louise Cutting has several neat tricks that are well worth paying for. The pocket is just one.  Creating this pocket entails a change in my normal construction order. Not a big deal.  The real draw back is that you don’t want to try to adapt for fit after the pocket is sewn. In fact the instructions for the pocket say that it is assumed you have already fit a muslin and need no fitting adjustments.   When I choose to use the MSS pocket, I know I have to be will to accept the final fit whatever it is.

I had my tissue changes made, fabric cut and pants sewn in about 4 hours. I did not stop for fitting. Because of the pocket, either the fit works for me or the final garment is donated.  This really is a winning version of PP113. Easy sew; the pocket is flat against the body. There is some gathering at the waist due to no darts and the elasticized waistband.

My photos are from the point of adjusting the elastic. Every elastic seems slightly different.  The only way to be sure that the elastic is tight enough without being too tight is by trying it on. After these pictures, I removed 2″ length making my Walmart 1″ elastic 32″ long.  Then I butted the edges together on top of a 1″ bias tape remanent and stitched the edges to the bias tape. This gives me a flat, very flat, elastic join.  After that I stretched and snapped the elastic several times rearranging the distribution of the waistband over the elastic. I make a point of telling this, because the final short hangs a bit differently from the pics. Also, the pics have been lighted 55%. The corduroy is a nice deep chestnut-brown which photos as well as black.

So not the best looking pants in the closet. As far as fit goes, I mean. I like the details. See how the pocket opening is practically invisible? I do think I want to shorten the pants just a little more. This is not the best length for me. Overall, I’m happy with my new shorts. Especially happy because they now complete my Basic Brown Summer Collection:

PP113

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.

Adding

  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.