originally published 3/22/2010
I think I have a good answer for avoiding starting with a pattern that is too large. During todays sewing I have ripped and twiddled nearly every seam. I say nearly because I left the pockets (front and back), the back yoke and the front zipper alone. I’m at fitting number 5. I’ve been logcially progressing through the fitting and need to stop and think a bit. Writing helps me think.
Once again, I wanted another stab at fitting Kwik Sew 3315. Kwik Sew blouses, dresses, jackets all fit me with a few standard adjustments. Because I know the needed alterations, a Kwik Sew pattern is quick for me to trace, alter and produce a wearable garment except for the pants patterns. I tried fitting this pattern in September 2009, but quit because I could never resolve the points and lines on the pant back. After my experience with JSM trousers and Jalie 2908 stretch jeans,I thought that the problems with kwik Sew 3315 might have resulted from the pattern alterations. I decided to start again, but start with the large size and alter it down to my measurements. I traced the pattern, with only 1 alteration, shortening the leg above the knee by 1″.
After cutting and sewing together a light weight blue twill I took these pictures;
I must say I was surprised. I thought that the pattern would be too large all over. I stitched all seam allowances at 5/8″. My first impression was that it is too tight across the front hip, the side view shows the outseam bisecting my leg to the knee but then slowly drifting to the back half of the leg by the waist band. The back has a bubble in the center of the yoke. I asked myself if the crotch was too long in back (a rare happening for me) or if the yoke was trying to move to give more room to the front half of the pants.
I opted to fix the side seam first. I did so by ripping from knee to waist and offsetting the the back from the front so that the back used a 1/4″ seam allowance and the front uses a 3/8″ seam allowance. I did stop and take pictures, but the problem was still not solved. Not having anymore at the back sides to give, I opened the back crotched below the pockets to the waist and restitched the seam at 1/4″. The side is very close to fitting.
The front crotch is hanging. Perhaps not visible in this picture but I can feel it when walking and see it when sitting. The back legs seem to be hanging up on my calves. I’m not particularly athletic, but I do have a tendance to lock my knees. That would explain the diagonal wrinkles beginning at the knees, but what about higher. The back yoke really does seem too long. So the next fix was taking off about 1/2″ from the yoke at the top and letting out the inseam. Since the front looked relatively well, I offset the back from the front so that I again stitched the back with 1/4″ seams and the front with 3/8″ seams.
And now we get:
Whoa! Remember this:
I do believe that I am at the same stage as when I altered the size medium. Points and all.
I’m now convinced that there is something very different between my body and the Kwik Sew pant draft. I’ve only spent 4 hours on this new pair. Which is not nearly as much effort as the pair in September. In a way it is a disappointment. Having just had wonderful luck with Jalie 2908 and the JSM trouser pattern, I was hoping for better. I don’t plan to do anything further with this pattern, except discard it. I do realize that fitting non-stretch fabric pants is not going to be quick and easy for me. I may very well be limited to trouser type pants when wearing woven non-stretch fabrics.
ETA: I noticed again, that Myrna’s observation of her figure, maybe true for my own. Myrna finds that she needs one size larger for the back. I do seem to be ripping and allowing more on the backside, regardless of the pattern I’m working with.