I gave serious thought to the one-seams and decided: I need to pursue this pant style. It really is wonderful to have a pant pattern than can be whipped up in no time. Especially since 99.% of my bottom are pants. Having a nice pant pattern; one that is quick to sew and produces a flattering garment has got to be a joy to any dressmaker.
Which one-seam did I want to pursue? I thought about this nearly all day long. I wasn’t sure that the Betzina pant fit as well as I thought it did. I didn’t really want to purchase another pattern. I’m sure I could have found something in Burda Style. I’m equally sure that I would receive no assistance from Burda should I have problems. One of the Indy designers might have had something good and would have provided excellent support, if I didn’t mind surfing the net for a day or two to find what I wanted; and then waiting 7-10 days to receive my pattern. I had no desire to purchase any of the various draft-your-own systems. No thank you. I really wanted a classy, pull-on pant for which I could find help when/if I encountered fitting problems. So I was back to Louise Cuttings, famous One-Seam Pant pattern. I know it was disastrous the first time. But Louise assured me that my fabric choice on that pair was my biggest hurtle. I’d also completed a pair of EAC pants which were fairly decent.
So I pulled out the Louise’s One-Seam pattern instructions and began to read. I chose to trace a size large. My hip is 40.25 but my tummy is 42″. Louise specifically says that these pants need to be pulled up over the largest part of your body and you should use that measurement as your “hip”. I was a little confused about the crotch measurement. I used 1″ wide elastic pinned around my waist and measured from center back to center front. But then I wondered was I supposed to measure from the top edge of the elastic? or bottom edge? or center? As I checked the charts I realized that the large size hips and crotch came closest to my own. So with some reservation, that’s what I traced. I did read the instructions for altering for a tilted waist (definitely me) also the instructions for changing the leg length (also one of my problems). But I knew that Louise had made some alterations to the pattern already and I wasn’t sure I had the correct crotch measurement.. So I decided to wait on those 2 alterations until after the first fitting. I did alter the hem depth. Louise seems to favor those 2″ hems. I long ago settled upon a 1-1/4″ hem depth for just about everything except coats. I also didn’t want to go near a 2″ wide waistband. I’m short waisted. Having a wide waistband just about kills me. OK not really, but it does seem like the waistband of my pants is struggling with my bra band for room on my body. If the waistband is right at my waistline, I’m happiest with a 1″ wide waistband. I changed the 4-1/2 waistband to 2-1/2″
I cut my first muslin from a 100% polyester. Wait, polyester quality is all over the map and this is actually a nice woven fabric. I purchased it about 15 years ago to make a spring pant-suit. Had I followed through and made the pant-suit then, I would have had a charming, feminine, business-like garment. Years later, it’s more of a muslin fabric than a suiting fabric. I laid out my pattern, cut my fabric and then using a fine point sharpie marked on the fabric: the grain line, the waist line, the hip line and the hem line. I did that to both pieces. I then serged the perimeter of both pieces. Yep all the way round. I anticipated handling the fabric excessively and wanted it to survive. BTW this is a great time to use up bits and bobs of left over spools of thread. The more the thread contrasts with your fabric the easier it is for you. I sort of followed Louise’s instructions. I basted the legs together and then basted the hems. Next I put one leg inside the other and basted the crotch. I followed that up by carefully measuring and turning the waistband down, basting it into place and finally threading my elastic through the casing. I actually was one step ahead of the game this time because I already knew that 27″ of 1″ wide elastic is the right width and length for me.
Once everything was basted into place, I gave the pants a quick press and tried them on. I did take pictures, but I’m not sharing. Well, I’m not sharing the first 3 sets pics. It took me 3 adjustments to get the crotch right. First, the crotch seemed too long both front and back. So I turned the waistband down another 1/4″ which when you measure 1/4″ turns into 1/2″. Don’t ask me to explain. You need to read the instructions and follow Louise’s logic. She is right. That gave me some weird pull lines, but I wasn’t really interested. I know from experience, I have to get the waistband the right length first. When that is right, I need to get the crotch depth correct. I was concentrating on getting the crotch depth correct. The third try, I left the front turned down the extra 1/4″ but made the back at it’s original depth. As this was the third try, I was also tired of stepping on the pants legs and decided to take a 1″ tuck on the “shorten/lengthen here” line. WOWZER!
Keep in mind that this is a pull on pant, with elasticized waistband, tapered legs but 18″ hem circumference. It’s going to have the 80’s pull on pant appearance BUT I don’t think the fit is going to get much better:
Honestly, I’m not sure what to tweak. They look a little small in the butt and large in the tummy. Maybe I could adjust some gathers towards the rear. I’d rather have the legs slightly slimmer, but I don’t want to tweak that until I have the waistline, crotch and hip perfected. I do wish there was slightly less fullness at the waist and I note that Louise has provided templates for pleats or darts which I will make use of in future versions. Sigh for now, I’ve decided to transfer the alterations to a new copy of the pattern and make up a nice fabric. Hope to read your suggestions for improvement.