O pant

O Pant:Burn Test & First Fit

originally published 5/27/11


I was curious about the fiber of this fabric  and performed a  burn test on my own.  Usually I do these with DH, because my nose doesn’t always work well.  I have allergic rhinitis, which produces a post nasal drip. So my olfactorys are nearly always coated and can’t smell a thing.  But today I wanted to know what this fiber was.  My test results:

First off there was no flame other than my lighter. The fabric seemed to shrivel away from the flame, scorch a little and the edge turn brownish-black. The edge is hard.  Which would tend to indicate that this is a man-made fiber.  I couldn’t smell anything, which is a disadvantage as that could make a difference determining the fiber type.   I’m going to guess this is nylon.  Polyester would have burned and smoked like the Iraq fires in 1991. So absent a smell, a flame and a large bead, I think the answer is nylon. But I’m telling you it feels and looks just like some silk I have in the stash. (The silk ravels differently).


I’ve fit pants before using this procedure.  The objective is to define your crotch lengths and depths. You don’t stitch in darts.  A length of elastic is tied around the waist and the basted pant edge is then pulled up under the elastic.  Settle the pants comfortably, and then mark just below the bottom of the elastic edge.


Yes Sandra Betzina!  I remembered.  Sandra Betzina drafted a pant similar to Louise Cuttings One-Seams.  It was a pull-on pant with elastic waist.  Once the waist was marked,  measure up 2.5 inches and cut off the excess. BTW it was an excellent and quick fit. I used that pattern for many years, always grading upwards.  When it was time to grade downwards, I decided to use the “real” One-Seams.  Unfortunately, with the different fitting routine, I never finished my real One-Seams.


This first fit is very rough.  The darts are unstitched.  The pant legs are turned up about 6″ and pinned.  I want the legs out of the want and not creating drag lines.  I had to serge the edges immediately; they raveled down  just hanging on a hanger.  The seams are basted at 5/8″ with water-soluble thread (WST).  I do love the basting stitch on my HV Ruby.  I especially love it with the WST.  Ruby makes a fast basting seam which is very quick for ripping out, but with WST I need only high steam to make the “thread” disintegrate.  Which means that for pressing, I could use very limited steam and these are there not well pressed. I’ll get to that later.


To my surprise, the front (at least during the first fitting) will need lowering only about 1/4″. The sides are fine and the back (not surprising) will need to be scooped to give me enough room and take care of the center back pulling down.  My first darts will be about 1/2″ deep in the back, less in the front. I may make small tucks/pleats in the front.  These are a trouser draft and pleats are fine for this draft.


I’m already seeing X wrinkles (look at the knee), which displeases me to no end. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good front shot. But judging by the perpendicular, side seam shot, I think letting out both front and back side seams would be a good start. Oh the white patches?  That’s my masking tape marking the right side.  I suppose that can be removed now.


I do see some other possible issues, but I think for now the best thing is to

  1. add back darts
  2. attach waistband
  3. take more pictures


I’ll be back.