2012-12-148

Version 2 2012-12-148

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While the first pair were slightly disappointing, this second pair are bordering on excellent! First let me talk about the changes to the changes.  The first pair was cut using a size 46 tracing with a size 48 back inseam.During cutting, I add 1/2″ to the seam allowances.  Even with the tremendous stretch of the fabric, the waist of the first pair was tight.  I had to release the darts and cut a new waistband.  The pair was comfy, but developed the despised X-wrinkles in the back leg.   I have at least 5 Burda pants patterns that fit perfectly using the 46/48 tracing.  I wasn’t sure if the fabric created the problems or the larger seam allowances or if maybe this style just doesn’t work with my body.

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I also noted that the leg length of the first pair might seem a little long because the narrower leg did not allow the pant to slide down all the way.  The first change then was to add the hem vents.  I also hemmed this pair at 1.25″ instead of 1″.

I decided that I needed extra ease only between my tummy and my waist. On the pattern I slashed along the grain line from waist to hip level and spread 3/4″ at the waist.  I cut this second pair without any extra for the seam allowances.

My fabric for the 2nd pair is a baby corduroy purchased 2 years ago.  I think it said 27 wale which is so fine you think velvet, but so short and cottony you know it isn’t.  It boast 30% stretch and a good yank can make it stretch even further.  This is important because at sewing I decided to change from zipper front opening to just pull on pants.  I did not stitch any of the darts. The pant is entirely completed at the serger and coverstitch with one exception.  I like to be able to adjust the elastic and never serge it to the garment.  I create a casing and insert the elastic into the casing.  I find the easiest method for me is to create a buttonhole in the back of the waistband for elastic insertion.  So only the buttonhole and the elastic join were created at the sewing machine.

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The waistband was folded to the back, secured with Steam A Seam and then cover stitched on the front.  Which I pull these pants on the waistband will only stretch so much.  I’m not sure if that’s the Steam A Seam or the cover stitching.  I’ll find that out after the first laundering.  I’m making note to myself that I might want to do that stitching at the sewing machine as well.

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No pockets, no zipper and cover stitch finishing makes for very little sewing time. Or would have.  I made the mistake of sewing the back inseams together and the front inseams together.  Much that I hated to, I spent some time ripping out these seams so they could be correctly stitched to each other.  I had scooped out the back crotch pattern about as much as the final crotch on the first pair. When stitching the crotch it had an awkward convex bump.  I needed to smooth the crotch during  joining front and back.  I’m not sure how to copy this back to the pattern but am making note of it now so that I will at least consider this issue the next time I make the pants.

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Usually, I critique the pant from each view (front, side, back)  but I think we are seeing the same issues in each view.

1) The pants are hugging my knees.  The diagonal lines radiating from the knee suggest that the pant leg could be made slimmer.  I’m not sure I want it any slimmer.  I don’t wear jeggings.  I wear tights but under a skirt or pants not under a tunic or other top.  I’m of an age and mind where I want my clothes to say I’m still alive. Still Active. Still aware of the world and still participating NOT” I’ll spread my legs for you”.

2) The hem of this pair has a 13″ circumference.  Even with the vent they cannot slide down to the level I prefer which is 1/2″ above the floor. They’re trying but clearly they are stacked between shoe and knee. I’m thinking just because they are a slim fitting leg, they need to be shortened another 3/4-1″.

3) They are too long from crotch to waist.  I’m listing this next even though I see those other diagonal wrinkles, because this is clearly an issue not only in the pic’s but as I’m wearing.  The front crotch needs to be shortened another 1″. The back only about 1/2″.  It’s possible to remove this waistband, trim the top edge and replace the waistband, but not until the first laundry when the Steam A Seam has loosened it’s death grip.  I did have to trim the waist elastic twice.  I started with 35″. Overlapped it 2″. Then pulled it back out and trimmed another 2″. I’m guessing that this elastic, a 3/4″ non-rolling purchase from Walmart, stretches more than I’m accustomed and needs to be 30″ long–for me. Your Mileage WILL Vary.

4) Part of those diagonal wrinkles are from the excess torso length, but I’m looking at some and the way the side seam wants to swing forward just at the waist and I think maybe the front needs a bit more ease? Or could that be corrected by rearranging the fabric along the elastic?

On thing I have noticed is that most slim pants have more wrinkles.  More wrinkles than jeggings and more wrinkles than trousers.  I’m wondering if that’s just inherent to the slim pant or if we really can tweak out all those drag lines.

I’m really pleased with this pair.  The first pair is comfy and will get wear at least this year. But this pair are decent enough to be worn outside the house and still comfy.  After the first pair I was considering discarding this pattern. But now my faith in Burda has been renewed and I will be making more.

2012-12-148

Burda 2012-12-148

Oh I didn’t mean to drop the ball on this.  I’ve finished the first pair.  Yes, first because despite the problems, which I will describe, I like these. I added 1/2″ to the side seams for the first pair.  When I serged the sides together I didn’t trim any fabric.  Although I wondered if the darts were really necessary, I stitched them in but didn’t hem the legs or add a buttonhole/button to the waistband.  I took pictures of the first fitting despite the unsatisfactory result. With 2 inches added to the torso, the waistband was too tight.  I had to leave the waistband unsecure which I believed contributed to

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all the wrinkles in the back. Even the front

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had issues and from the side

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the drag lines from the waist are really visible.  However it did tell me that I had the length right, the crotch needed scooping a little (so what’s new?)  and I liked the feel of the pants themselves.  Lycra makes a difference. Oh yes it does.

So I took the time to rip the waistband and cut a new one.  I let out the darts in front.  When I replaced the waistband, I inserted elastic.  My waist circumference changes a lot, from day to day, sometimes hour to hour.  I’ve learned to live with it and having not planned nor cut belt loops, the elastic alternative is welcome. When I replaced the waistband, I also added a hook and eye closure and hemmed the pants.  In retrospect, I was a bit optimistic.  Front final fitting

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still shows some diagonals pointing to my rotund belly and wrinkles between knee and ankle.  I think the legs may be a bit long.  They are also hanging up on my socks. Corduroy is a little velcro-like and it’s showing here.  But then my knock-kneedness is being revealed by the closer fitting leg.  The hems finished at 14″ (that includes the extra added to side seams and back inseam).  The side

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confirms what we were seeing on front complete with diagonals pointing to tummy and knee buckling.  Again, perhaps the leg is too long and perhaps the tighter leg is revealing my knees and perhaps the corduroy tackiness is preventing this from being truly lovely. Then the back

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makes me grit my teeth.  Yes I scooped. I scooped twice.  At least my girly parts aren’t highlighted front, side or back.  The pants now feel comfortable at the waist.  They do highlight the divot on my side.  That’s me. My side kind of swoops in right there above the joint.  I think my tush itself looks good, but all those diagonal X wrinkles emanating from the knee,,, well GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. I spent so much time and effort. I finally thought I’d found the perfect answer (Burda size 46 with size 48 back inseam) and BLAMMMMO  they’re back.

So what to do.  Well sneak peak with top and vest

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they’re not so bad.  It even helps to stand naturally instead of all posed so that “things’ can hang. I’m leaving this pair like they are. For starters even with all the wrinkles I look better in these than 90% of the other people in the grocery line.  I need to do something about the length.  I don’t really want  shorter pants, so perhaps a hem vent (the pattern originally called for hem zippers).  I think the back crotch needs to be scooped, yet again.  The trouble with scooping is that it must be done in small amounts (1/4″ at a time) and the fabric itself can make a difference as to how much needs to be scooped. Scary part is you have to scoop and trim. This is not one that can be tested. You have to wade in on blind faith and scoop another 1/4″ until the crotch sits the way you want it.  Despite the inherent stretch of this fabric (about 40%), I needed a larger waist. 2″ was enough for the waist but I still need a bit more for the tummy and if I don’t want my hip divot to show, I need a bit more in that area BUT it all needs to taper away before the knee.  With the knock knee issue either you need lots of ease so the fabric skims past the knee or you need very little ease so the fabric hugs the knee tightly and refuses to migrate either up or down.  I think an easier solution will be adding a dart like wedge starting at the knee and widening at the waist to about 3/4”.   It’s one of those things I’ll just have to plink with until I get it right.

But this is one of the pant styles I really want in my wardrobe.  A slimmer leg looks much better with the billowing