SFD SurekFitDesigns

SFD Day 3

originally published3/17/12


I think I’ve figured out why I’m so obsessed with pants fitting.  Pants fitting is like a puzzle and I am an puzzle lover.  Pants are just another puzzle for me to put together.


But onto Day 3 with the Sure Fit Designs Pants Kit. I don’t have any way to obtain assistance at least for the next few days.  I’m reluctant to start another project and still have no idea what I’m going to do with the Silk Matka Jacket. My thoughts last night and most of this morning were more about why this pattern could have taken such an abrupt change in Draft #3 (the front inseam is 4″ longer than the back inseam) .  My measurements are about 2″ larger overall (except for the crotch measurement) but I would think that alone would not cause the inseams to be unbalanced.  The crotch lengths were different as well. I had used the actual crotch measurements which resulted from using the Crotch-O-Meter.  I wondered if the big difference could result from the unequal crotch lengths.


So I made Draft #4 with  the correct body  measurements but using SFD front/back crotch length calculation. I’m really going through the tissue paper here. But it’s a puzzle I can’t leave alone.  I finish everything. Measure the total crotch length and make a 1/4″ correction.  Measure the side seams and correct the pants length.  Would you believe that Draft 4 has the same issue as Draft 3?  Yes the inseams are unbalanced.


So now I”m really puzzled.  I recheck measurements. I walk seams again. Finally I realize that the way I’m shortening the legs is the reason why the inseams are unbalanced.  I’m going to quote the instruction 6.c. Pants Length “…measure from side waist point to hem level by walking the tape measure by standing the tape on edge as you measure around the hip curve to the desired hem level. Mark level. Then shift vellum up or down until your personal hem level line up with the Master Pattern.”


Those instructions might work well if I had no curves or less padding.What happens when walking around the hip curve is that a lot of distance is measured on my back pattern up in the waist-to-hip area. Much more than is measured on my front pattern. You may have to think about that to understand.  What I did, was attach some more tissue at the bottom; draw the pant leg without regard to my pant length; and then just chop 2″ off the bottom of both front and back leg.  Inseams are now balanced!


But the side seams are CRAP!  Not only that, but I remember that’s why I didn’t trust Draft #1.  With Draft #1 I was having problems with the tissue sliding around and I assumed that the error was entirely my own and resulting from the tissue-slip.  SFD does address this under 8 “Difference Between Front and Back Crotch Lengths.” The procedure given is intended to “basically splitting the difference between the highest and lowest…” There is a lot of difference between my pattern pieces.  I’m really stunned and spend considerable time trying to decide how to balance these two pieces.  Eventually I draw in on the front a wedge 1-3/4″ high at the side seam tapering to nothing towards the center front.  I’ve never ever made another such alteration. I can only hope it works.


Fortunately, the muslin fabric I’m working with I can afford to trash.  It’s a polyester twill at least 20 years old.  The stores and my wardrobe used to be filled with pants made from this stuff.  It was wonderful to wear and nothing to launder.  It’s biggest issues, 20 years ago, was that it pilled and snagged badly.  Oh and I forgot stains.  They say you can’t dye polyester, but man oh man the stains it would take.  The piece I’m working with has several stains and 1 not-to-bad snag. It’s good for muslins.   I also sacrificed a zipper.  It’s just easier to fit with a zipper instead of trying to put pins in the front.


But the real question is how does it fit?  First off the waist was 2″ too large.  That could be from the waistline balancing I had to do except that I added 2 1″ darts to the back pants pattern and the balancing was all done to the front.  Not sure what I should think about that.

Well the wedge seems to be too high and all I did was make the front meet the back.  I also see the side seam pulling towards the back at the hip which surprises me greatly.  The hip area feels comfortable. I can pinch almost 2 inches which means there must be 3″ of ease right there.  I also see the side seam angling towards the front at the hem.


And then we can look at the front:…

…. which looks too big just about everywhere- except at my pantie line– and the legs bow.  I’m not bow legged.  If anything, I’m knock kneed.


Lets proceed to the back:

It’s now obvious that the waistband is traveling upwards at the sides. That needs to be corrected.  The pant looks too small across my hip.  I’m not sure about the crotch.  I think if I fix the front crotch, the back is going to be too short.  There is absolutely too much ease in the legs.  Funny enough I feel the inseam rubbing on my inner thigh.  The dreaded X wrinkles are forming.  I see them clearly though you might have a bit of problem.  What a hoot, I definitely look bow-legged from the back and see the inseams pull up from the hem.


What you can’t see, is that the hem circumference is nearly 22″.  This is not a good width for me and frankly I’m displeased.  These are described as a slim leg.


I’m not going to continue working on this Draft which is actually #5.  I’m going to work on Draft 4 (the draft created using the CrotchOMeter COM).  The biggest reason being that I know the crotch on this draft is wrong. I can easily see that in the way the crotch is pulling the inseam upward all the way from the hem. I’m pretty sure if I pulled the sides up, yes up futher, and trimmed them off at the top the bow-leg look would go away.  I think the bow-leg is actually occuring because the sides are too long caused  by my adding the front wedge.  That in turn in pushing the leg downward. So I have a crotch pulling upward in the center because it is too short and the sides pushing downward from the top because they are too long.  I also think some of the back leg wrinkles will need a knock knee alteration.  Usually, I prefer to correct the waistline first, but since I know the crotch is going to have to be corrected, I changing to the next draft.

So what am I going to do next?  Then I’m going to look hard at the 2 drafts I did today.  This draft obviously doesn’t fit in the crotch.  (This draft was  created by using the divide in half -1, +1 instructions).  My pants that fit all have front and back crotches more like the crotch created with SFD’s Crotch-O-Meter.  Although I hate taking a step backwards, I’m going to start up with the CrotchOMeter draft, adding the wedge at the waistline and darts in the back.  Since this back is too small, I’ll be adding 1″ to the back side seams of the COM draft.  I think I’ll need  two more muslins to get the SFD pants to fit.  This one with the COM draft and then one with a knock-knee alteration.  But I won’t like the pants. I don’t like pant legs with 22″ circumferences. So eventually, I may address the issue of the wide leg (on this slim leg design).


I was hoping for a blue print with which to quickly alter other pants patterns. My hopes are sinking as I work through this and see what still needs to be done.