originally published 5/14/11
Fortunately the spring closet cleaning has revealed that in addition to the single pair of Bermuda shorts I also have 6 pairs of full length (like 1/2″ from the ground) but light weight pants. This is very good for me. I’m the one who gets 2nd degree burns from the sun. In our first year in SD, DH spent much of his time explaining that I would probably never get into any boat with any body, but would still manage to enjoy myself during fishing expeditions. Yes, hard for you to imagine too? But the truth is I burn to easily and too badly. While I would love to do somethings, I’m not will to pay the price in terms of pain, medications and hospital trips. I’d far rather wave bye bye to everyone else and find entertainment in the shade while covered by layers of sunblock or layers of light weight clothing. These long, light weight pants, are my saviors. But the point is, I don’t actually have to hurry to add shorts or other pants to my closet. So I turned my attention back to #143 and asked:
Why does size 46 in 100% polyester look well fitted (while feeling a little tight) while size 48 in 100% cotton looked like a rumpled bed but feel well fitted?
I started by comparing the patterns, size 46 and 48. They were very very similar. I had added almost 4″ of ease to the size 46. The size 48 starts with about 3.5″ of ease extra. I took it one step further and compared the traced patterns to the Burda Style magazine page they were copied from. The size 48 was spot on. It should have been. During tracing, I noticed that the front slipped and the back must have too because it was angled funny. I had tossed the first tracing and using repositionable tape secured the tracing paper to the magazine page to make the second tracing. I hadn’t done that with the Size 46. During sewing I noticed the the front side seam was 1/2″ longer than the back side seam. I expect the inseams to be different, not the side seams. I fixed that, on the fly. I took 1/4″ off from the side seam at the hem and eased the rest. Now comparing the tracing to the magazine page I realized there were a number of minor errors. Other than the 1/2″ off side seam, they shouldn’t have made a bit of difference. But the end result of the patterns bothered me. I decided to tape down the tracing paper and retrace the size 46. When done I walked the seams of both the size 46 and the size 48. Perfect. I expected no less, but it was comforting to know that the hash marks lined up and only the inseams were different. Even those were within expected differences (1/2″ shorter on the back inseam).
Given my previous experience of taking in and taking in and taking in the seams, all of them, I decided to add 1/2″ to the side seams and 3/8″ everywhere else.
I made a big hunt through the stash. I was sure I had purchased 2 fabrics together, at the same time, in the same section and used only one of those for the size 48’s. But I couldn’t find the 2nd fabric cut. I gave up looking for the 2nd fabric cut and starting looking for a comparable fabric. What a hoot. None of the 100% cottons measured up. They were either heavier–much; or lighter–considerably. Since I’m a dressmaker, not a quilter, my cottons are rarely 100% cotton. I much prefer a little synthetic mixed in to control cotton. You know a little polyester takes care of wrinkles; a little Lycra takes care of figure flaws. Finding a 100% cotton in the same weight, same weave in my stash proved un-do-able. I settled upon a plain weave, close to the same weight and nearly the same drape but 100% rayon. I could only hope I made the right decision.
I ditched the pockets entirely. I’m only interested in finding out why the patterns which were nearly the same fit differently. I was hoping that fabric selection was the reason. At the same time I’m hoping to prove the fabric was the deciding factor, I was afraid that not having the same fabric wouldn’t prove cr—!
Fortunately this was a quick sewing project. Equally fortunately the 100% rayon is acting very much like that 100% cotton. The results are in. The ankle length, 100% rayon version of size 46:
OK these are not hemmed. I’m using 3/8 seams everywhere. The waistband is not only basted in place but I used a water soluble thread for easiest removal. I plan to nail down the waistband, add a buttonhole and button in the waistband and make a 1-1/4″ hem. Otherwise, these are done. There are no X wrinkles ( my biggest and most consistent issue). The crotch is fine. There might be a little pantie revelation, but that’s due to the fabric. Overall these are amazing!
My future plan is to make 3 pairs of knee length 143’s and 2 pairs of the Bermuda shorts. I’ve made note of the minimal pattern alterations and I will tackle another pair of Burda pants. In fact, I’m seriously considering purchasing back issues of Burda Plus Magazine. Got any that need a new home?