originally published 8/22/11
In a way, I’m annoyed with myself for taking this on. Why not just add a little ease to the patterns which fit me well, since I know the problem is that I’ve added a few pounds. I also suspect that my form is changing some as I age. But no I am pursuing this new-to-me alteration with enthusiasm. In fact as I look back at the numerous pant patterns that I’ve fitting in the last two years, I’d say it’s an obsession. Today:
I searched my stash for more fabric similar to the one used in the first CBA i.e. no stretch, nice drape. I found numerous pieces that will fill the bill. But I have no muslin type fabric that will work – they’re all stretch fabrics.
I moved the CBA down 1″ and out 1/2″ (not using the standard method which would be to cut downward about 1″ from the end of the crotch; creating hinge and swing the crotch tip outward the desired distance.) My change affected the crotch curve, and so I used my french curve to blend both the back crotch and the back inseam. This is a much cleaner method of adding length to the back crotch and as I moved to the side the 1/2″ I also added a little more much needed ease:
I removed 3″ in leg length above the knee. The CBA Ver 1was hemmed 4.5 inches, but I didn’t want to short myself on hem length. Since there was so much to remove and all above the knee, I drew 3 lines across the pant leg about 2″ apart and then folded 1″ out at each line. That did leave a jagged edge so I used the french curve to smooth the seams. The side seam of the back has an unusual curve outwards which is normally very smooth. I’m not going to do anything about that right now because I really think I need the extra room at the hip and I really prefer the narrower trouser leg. So as long as it doesn’t look odd on me, I’m leaving the back pattern like this:
I checked my notes again. It’s odd at how much I’ve forgotten. The waist SA is 1/2″ but I’ve always sewn that at 3/8″. It adds only 1/8″ length to the back and front crotch, but I thought I should disclose this fact just so it will be easier to find. The other SA’s are 5/8″ but I’ve been sewing the crotch at 3/8″ this adds 1/2″ ease on the front and again at the back and probably takes away from the depth of the crotch. Although it feels comfortable, I wonder if I shouldn’t add some more the the crotch lengths. I mean if I’m going to continue sewing at the 3/8″ seam line, should I adjust for the loss of the crotch depth?
CBA Ver 2 uses a polyester twill, definitely a WFO fabric. It’s been the standard pant fabric for years which everyone loves to hate. At this time of the year, it is far too hot to wear for more than fitting sessions. We love it because however uncomfortable and despite the pills and snags, this is the fabric that wears like iron and has you looking as good at 5PM as you did at 8AM. I thought it was poly, then I thought maybe it was wool. The right side is a fine twill and it has the hand of wool. It also pressed like a dream. I did have the same issue with tunneling during serging which results in little puckers which steaming almost removed. I’m not sure why 2 garments in a row had that problem. I changed needles 3 times. Changed the tensions several times. Kept checking to see if something was keeping the serger threads from flowing smoothly. Nada. The only help was much more time at the ironing board, with clouds of steam. In the end, there is still some puckering. I did give it the burn test, just because I thought it might have some wool content. But no, the oily black thread of smoke along with the shrinking melting swatch told me my first guess was the right one.
OK how about fit. Well lets take a look at the front first:
The waistband is basted on and pined into place for fitting. The legs are trouser legs, no surprise there; and there appears to be more than enough ease throughout the front until you get to my high hip bone. No camel toe, but it’s not quite hanging as smoothly as I would like.
I don’t have side views so lets go straight to the back
CBA 1 versus CBA 2
There is almost enough ease across my backside. Almost. Although I don’t have the bu!!vortex, there are still numerous drag lines pointing in that direction. I do not however see the infamous X wrinkles that have plagued me forever. In fact normally dressed, I’m satisfied with this “walking away” view:
I think I need a larger size pattern but I don’t want to buy it because already I’m losing weight. I’m down 2 pounds in 2 weeks. This is very good. I’m tremendously pleased and it gives me impetus to continue dieting. But I can never be sure how the dieting will go and I believe in sewing for and fitting the body and lifestyle you have now. (Exception if you’re trying for a promotion, you really should dress like the level above you.) I also realize that everything I learn about fitting can be used to refit when I’m a smaller size.
The question for me is what’s the next step? What to do for the next version? I have Trudy Jansen’s Pant Fitting Book.
I bought it just after I’d lucked into the JSM and TJ906 patterns which fit almost out of the envelope. In it she describes how to draft a pants pattern and then how to fit and alter for the different drafts. I didn’t follow through because I had 3 patterns that fit terrific. Oh and once you draft the basic pattern, guess what? You still have to trouble shoot the fit. She does have a specific solution to the drag lines on my back. It involves adding 4 cm (about 3/4 inch) to the the back crotch and inseam all the way to the hem. Then you subtract an equal amount from the side seam. OK not a good explanation and frankly I don’t have permission to reprint her instructions. If you’re interested you really do need to buy the book. Question for me is should I add the extra fabric to the inseam and subtract it from side seam or have I gotten as much imporvement as I can with what I’ve already done?
In the past, I’ve added 2 or more inches to the crotch tip (other patterns other times) in order to get rid of the bu!! vortex. I only moved this over 1/2″. Should I move it over a full inch?
I still have the issue of not enough ease. Would it be best to add more to the seam allowances? Split the pants vertically and add an even amount both front and back? Would that help the pulling at the inseam? Maybe I should just stick to knit and stretch fabrics after all, my shorts fit.
I need to think this through before I attempt another version.