originally published 6/26/10
I’m losing track of the sessions and the fit number sequences. But I did want to post an update. Fitting this pair of pants is probably taking entirely too long. However I’ve learned if I want near-perfect/perfect fit, I must spend my time: basting, ripping, thinking …. and repeat.
So here I am at the end of Fit #4. Let me summarize the differences between Fit 01 and Fit 04:
- Final side seam allowances are 3/4“. When I stitched the side seams this final time, I did not baste. I used a 3.0 stitch length and then serge finished the side seams.
- Side Seam Allowances are trimmed to 1/2″. I could let the SA’s out another 1/4″ on each side if needed.
- Darts were copied from the original pattern. In Fit 01 I cut 1-1/8″ from the top of the pants which cut 1-1/8″ from the length of the front crotch, same from the back crotch and incidentally from the top of each dart. Thereafter, I eased the pant to the waistband. It occurred to me that some of the wrinkles and ease above the hip might be controlled by using the darts as originally designed. Really it took hardly any time to mark and restitch the darts AND my thoughts were correct. Both the waistline area and fitting in the upper hip improved considerably.
- Using Back Crotch line 2010-06-115. This was tried in fitting 03 and retained. The back looks and feels so much better by using this crotch. I’m not sure if it is a requirement for my physical configuration or the chosen fabric or overall pant draft, but something seems to require this particular line in order to fit me well. Whatever, the truth is this draft, this fabric, my body, looks and feels better with the straighter back crotch.
- Pant legs width has been reduced 3″ at the hem by creating a 3/4″ dart from hem to knee on both inseam and outseam. I still prefer much less fabric in the pant legs, but overall the pant looks nice. I could wear these pants proudly just as they are. I would need to be selective about my tops and accessories. A wide leg pant needs careful balancing to be most flattering.
How about a peek before talking future plans:
Yes, yes, yes, I do see multiple wrinkles and drag lines. Please give the photos a little leeway. First off, I’m not a professional photographer. I’m hardly a rank beginner. Let me rephrase that. A rank beginner typically produces better pics than I. The pants have been worn for about 20 hours with brief pressings inbetween the rip-baste-think-repeat cycles. They were photoed at about 10PM. I’m tired. Maybe they are too. There is little or no permanent stitching. Believe me, completing the waistband with buttonhole and button, permanent hems and other seams along with a little starch and a good pressing will make a humongeous difference even without critical accessories such as shoes, belt and a slimmer.
So what am I going to do? Well I’ve already washed, lightly starched and lightly pressed the pants and tried them on again. I’m sure that surprised several people. Why wash pants before they are completed? I’ve known people who constructed their pants and wore the same several times before laundering. Wearing jeans “dry” is a well known practice amongst devotees who do not want the jean fit to change in the slightest. These people will put their jeans in the deep freezer between wearings to control odor. Dirt? Grim? General Soiling? Not a concern. But they’re not ME. I washed my pants before the final fitting. Why? Well I’m pretty insistent upon cleanliness. I wear clothing one time and launder the garment before the next wearing. I do have exceptions. Something I tried on for a few minutes and then swapped out for a different garment, goes back on the hanger with no further care. Something that I’ve worn for 20-30 minutes as well as jackets, vests and some outer garments are examined carefully and spot cleaned; lightly steamed or pressed before hanging back in the closet for the next wearing. So far during construction these pants have had 20 hours of wearing. Not continuous wearing. I wear them for 30 minutes up to 4 hours, while thinking ripping and basting. I press before the next trial wearing. Granted I’m wearing these in my sewing area where they are not likely to actually get dirty. But they still will be acquiring my bodily oils, aromas and perspiration with each wearing. AND the fabric will relax and stretch somewhat with each wearing, as evidenced by my knock-knees becoming more and more prominent. My knees are not getting worse; the pants are stretching to accomodate them and not returning to non-knock-knee state before the next wearing. Because of the wool content, I hesitated, but eventually selected the cool wash, rinse and timed dry. I mentioned I lightly starched and pressed? Well they need to be more firmly pressed before I make further changes. Oh and they have been hanging in the sewing closet for 3 days waiting for my renewed attention. I know that when I pick-up this project again, I will
- Give the pants a good firm pressing
- Replace basting of the crotch and waistband with permanent stitching.
- Permanently install the waistband to include the buttonhole and button.
- Hem at the 3″ mark.
- Construct and Install front pockets
- Construct and install belt loops
- The back pockets have an uncertain future. I may just ignore the possibility of back pockets. Especially since I haven’t the foggiest notions about embroidery. BTW, that’s my only justification for installing back pockets; the opportunity to machine embroider something intriguing is the sole allure for back pockets. IMHO.
These areas are complete. Finished. Perfected. From the waist/waistband to just below the bum, these pants are fitting the way I want.
The legs from low hip to ankle are still up for consideration. I haven’t decided whether to
- Take the inseams and side seams in some more
- Rip the inseams and side-seams out and use a different pattern to redesign the leg.
- OR complete the final stitching on all seams and wear them PROUDLY. They are good pants just as they are. If I wanted a wide-leg pant, these fit darn near perfectly. They look D@^^^ ^^ G00D on me!!!!! Part of me wants to copy the original pattern, apply adjustments and make a second pair exactly like these. A small part of me wants to “Go for the Gold”
and make slim legs as well. Whatever I decide, you’ll be the first to know. That’s right. I post on my blog and then copy to Stitcher’s Guild. If you really want to know what I decide to do, LOOK HERE first.