Autumn 2011 6PAC: LH 5001

originally published8/17/11


IF you didn’t read the previous post, you missed my method of altering this pattern for me.  Rather than duplicating those paragraphs here, I suggest reading the previous post.


I intended to follow Loes Hinse’s instructions to construct these pants.  I’m really a Loes Hinse fan.  Every one of LH’s patterns that I’ve made (I do have 1 or 2 still uncut) have been fantastic.  A lot of the success of the garments results from slogging through all words and then executing her instructions.  But I deviated from her plan at the get go when I opted to modify my Ciggie Pants to include her fitted, elastic waistband. When I read through the instructions, I realized I wasn’t doing her zipper routine either.  OK, maybe it’s really, really good. But I can insert a faux fly-zipper in 7 minutes.  Sorry, but I don’t want struggle through someone else’s zipper instructions which may or may NOT produce an equally attractive zipper application; and may or may NOT be any easier than what I myself am already doing.  Sorry. So sorry, but NO.


So I read Loes instructions, but then constructed the pants up to the waistband using my normal proceedure. There’s a real advantage to this.  I cut the pants yesterday and with about 30 minutes of sewing, I’ve arrived at the interesting point of Loes’ waistband application.   BTW that 30 minutes, includes hemming the pants with SAS. (Once I’m sure the pants fit to my satisfaction I will supplement the SAS with blind stitching.)


But I couldn’t completely follow her instructions here either.  She recommends 27″ of elastic for my size, assuming my size is Large.  I couldn’t find the chart to tell me what size I should be choosing.  Highly unusual for both me and Loes.  I have the feeling the size chart is just in someplace I’m not accustomed to looking into.  But the XL, and XXL elastic recommendations weren’t much longer.  I’m thinking that Loes has access to different elastic than I do.  I normally cut 34″, overlap 1″ for a circular elastic waistband.  So I started with 34″.


However, I’m entirely unsure of this elastic application.  Yes it sounds so elegant and simple that it must be right. But I’m just not sure.  I used that 27″ recommendation on the first aborted pair of LH5001’s.  I don’t want another wadder.  I want an interesting, flattering, new sewing technique, waistband.  I believe that the instructions were written from the point of view that the home sewist would find exactly the right fabric and exactly the right elastic; and will need to do no alterations or adjustments to achieve a perfect fit and beautiful garment.  Since I can’t be sure I’ve got either the perfect fabric or the right elastic, I want to leave myself some room to manoeuvre.  Which means, that I BIG SIGH also deviated from her waistband procedure as well.  I serge finished the waistband and put a big thread tack at the top for a zipper stop.  Then I cut my elastic to my standard 34″ and marked quarters.  As Loes instructs, I placed the elastic on the wrong side of the waistband but, I placed it 1/4″ down from the edge i.e. even with the line of serging and I matched my quartering marks (Loes has the center back of the elastic offset from the center back of the pant).  I then tacked my elastic to the waistband area at the center front, center back and side seams.  After that I turned the waistband down 1-1/4″; swapped the bobbin thread for water soluble thread in the bobbin; and stitched the waistband from the wrong side along the edge of the waistband.


Whew, time to try it on:


OK This is an elastic and therefor gathered waistband.  I’m terribly pleased with the smooth front (although the front rather resembles a loose pair of sweat pants)




and not totally surprised or upset with the appearance of gathering along the back at the waistband.



I think in future versions I will increase the width and depth of the back darts to make the trunk between hip and waist a smoother fit. I did think since I was using my Ciggie Pants which fit me smoothly in the same area, I would have smooth upper hip in this version too.  It could be the fabric or it could be the cut-on waistband.  I’m surprised to see that it appears slightly tight right across the bum. The pant feels loose, not tight anywhere.  Is that just an effect of the camera? I’m totally surprised at the X wrinkles at the back.  One of my biggest reasons for devotion to JSM pants patterns has been, the X wrinkles are never an issue. So why now?  Is it the fabric? The different waistband?  The fit? (i.e. it feels comfortable but  in this color and fabric looks a whole lot like sweat pants.) My whole reason for ditching all my other pant patterns was the inability to eliminate the X wrinkles. I thought I had that solved in this pattern.  What’s going on with the recurrence of X wrinkles?


In the side view,



the side seam is no longer perpendicular to the floor.  How did this happen?  Oddly, I see a little pooch of fabric at the same time that the fabric right across the bum looks a little tight (as in the back view).


I’ve made 3 pairs of Ciggie Pants. None — do you hear me — NONE have any of the issues I’m describing and this is an appalling development.  I also notice that despite the fact I removed an additional 1/2″ from the front crotch length, the waistband is still tilted upwards. Just slightly, but visible in the pic above.


Lets go back to the front



well frankly the front looks too big. What’ with that? My 3 other versions drop smoothly from the waistband without any apparent excess ease.  I can assure you I haven’t lost weight, much though I wish I had. No indeed due to a faulty bathroom scale both me and DH have packed on a few pounds an are now seriously planning a diet in the very near future (like yesterday). I do believe that the fabric itself is the biggest contributor to the difference in behavior of the pattern. But I will allow that the elastic, cut-on waistband, has had an effect as well. I just can’t clearly define and articulate the exact effect.  So currently I need to evaluate these pants and decide what to do.


First off, I do like the elasticated cut-on waistband.  Definitely, very definitely do I want to include this technique and sewing option for future pants. As I’m tweaking the fit, I keep track of how the waistband shifts and changes. Since this is new to me, I may not have a definitive procedure for a few months.


My first correction will be to make the waistband sit snugly at the waist.  I’ll remove another 2″ from the elastic (changing it from 34″ to 32″) and decrease the front crotch another 1/2″.  Because I deliberately basted or at least stitched with longer stitch lengths, it shouldn’t be too hard to remove the front stitching at the waistband and fold it down an additional 1/2″ tapering back to 0 at the side seams.  Then restitching the waistband to secure it in place.  I believe I’ll use water soluble thread in the bobbin until I”m sure I like the changes.


My second correction will be directed at returning the side seam to be perpendicular to the floor.  I’ll mark the center front of each leg and stitch a narrow 1/8″ seam exactly at center front.  Then to the side, I’ll add 2 lines of stitching (on the inside) creating a tiny 1/8″ tuck from hip to hem.  After that I can try the pants on a second time and  change these internal tucks to darts which will be sufficient to control the excess ease in the front. I’m thinking I’ll have two odd, very odd, fish eye darts on each leg front that will remove the excess ease and bring that side seam back into alignment.  Can’t be sure until I’ve got it done, but this does sound like a good plan.