2012JSM: The Plus Size Option

originally published 3/29/12


I’m using a cotton/lycra woven fabric. I do mean lycra.  Man you could almost use this for a slimmer.  A big yank stretches it easily.  I kinda of like it.  I know some people just abhor this type of fabric.  It’s difficult to work with.  It wanted to stretch away as I’m cutting.  To my horror I cut both front and back twice.  I cut it. Stated marking darts. Lifted the tissue. Said OH YUK. Took the cut pieces to the ironing board and smoothed them out.  Then put the tissue back on top and trimmed to the correct size.  It stitched easily at both the serger and sewing machine.  I was generous with the SteamASeam during the zipper application.  This fabric can and will stretch out the fronts as you’re stitching down the zipper.  You end up with two different length zippers and a bunch of bubbles.  Hence generous application of SAS, gluing all stitching lines before stitching.


JSM includes a nice card showing the finished measurements.  I chose the plus size versions because the regular size version wouldn’t have had any ease.  Of course it looks like the plus size version will have too much ease, but that’s life.  In addition to the ease JSM added, I also added 3/8 at the side seams (1.5 total) and 3/8 at the top (adding length to the pattern pieces).  I expect this to be a bit too big. I am not disappointed

I took pictures to check the side seam and crotches.  But already I was wondering about the brown plaid in these pants:


I added 1/2″ to the waistband to make it comfortable to wear.  I’ve added 1/4″ to the green waistband and it definitely too large. The crotch lengths are the same, but the brown pair felt too short. I expected the extra 3/8 (3/4) total, to make these more comfortable. Instead, I feel like they are dragging along my knees. My mind starts wondering if the plaid fabric shrunk while being ironed?  I’m really really generous with the steam.


So let’s take a look at the rest of the pics. Front:


It looks too large but about the right length.  Happily, there are no smile lines.



I need to be making two extra guide lines on the waistband.  I need to know where to line up the side seams.  I did by guess and by golly this time and I think I’m OK.  Again Mostly I see too much ease and a correct leg length.


Interesting the back doesn’t look all that much too large.  I’m thinking the crotch is fine. There may be a bit too much ease across the back thigh (as usual).  I do see the folds of fabric on the lower leg.  I think those are due to the leg length I’ve chosen.  If I was making a narrower leg, I would also raise the hem.


But this is all just speculation this time around, because the first thing I will do is tighten up that waistband. I know from experience that as soon as the waistband fits correctly, everything else will change and this analyses will be proven to be a waste of time..