I was looking forward to the latest Louise Cu tting pattern My Sw ing S et. The top looks interesting but it was the side seam pant that I was eager to try. With the designer’s help I fit the one-seams but I didn’t make them often because I wanted a slimmer leg and they are fabric hogs. I use 2-1/4 yard cuts for pants. I need 3 yards if I’m making one-seams. (BTW I know some tricks to conserve fabric and have made pants, for me, with 1.5 yards.) Even the widest width fabric won’t use less. In fact with very wide width fabrics, I’ll be left with an 18″ strip that’s approximately 3 yards long. So I was hoping for the same great fit, with a slimmer leg and less fabric yardage requirement.
Being me, making the new pattern was an unexpected challenge. First, I was over confident. In the past few days I’ve been fitting a different pattern and so felt I had a good handle on measurements and crotch tilt. I scanned the back of the envelope to check for my size. The first size I found said make a Med+.
Considering this was a C L D pattern, that sounded fine to me. I make shirts a size small in this line and could go down to the XS if using a stretchy material. So Med+ sounded fine. I traced the pattern. Looked at it carefully and thought “this looks too small.” Remember I’d been working in detail with another pattern. I’m pretty sure my butt has not gotten smaller over-night. So I look at the pattern and reach for my tape measure. There was no ease. I mean the hip line measure of the pattern exactly equaled my bodily measurement. So then I’m think “Zero ease? That can’t be right. Isn’t this supposed to be drafted for Linen”. I pull out the pattern and look at the back of the envelope again.
First recommended fabric is Linen. That means it was designed for use with linen. A stable knit is one of the last and least recommended fabrics.
So maybe I chose the wrong size?
The chart clearly shows that I fit in Med+ until I look 5 or 6 lines higher on the envelope where it shows me in BOLD TYPE that 44.5 is the finished measurement.
Well finished measures may be the new wave, but I prefer to use the system of recommended size to sew. I like that because this recommended size to sew includes the ease the designer intended for the design (You know the design that caught my eye and I want to make. That design.) So I look higher up the envelope. Ah there it is
For pants make size L. At 44.5 I’m in the middle of the L range. For the second time I trace all the pattern pieces in a size Large. After tracing I realize I could have retained the pocket and dart template from the first tracing. Oh well. They are only small pieces. Not much paper, not much time wasted. I won’t quote the instructions but the next step was to adjust the crotch depth. I measure my crotch. I measure the pattern crotch on the 5/8″ seam line. There is 3″ difference between the Large size pattern crotch and my own. According to the instructions “I read” I divided the difference (3″) by 2 and then split the pattern along the hip line and added 1.5″ depth to both front and back.
Then I tried figuring out the waist tilt. I overlapped the pattern side seams where and as instructed and then slashed from front crotch to 1/8″ away from the back crotch.
Now I’ve been working on amount of the crotch tilt for days. Eons it seems. But what’s important are the current measurements. 1″ was definitely too much tilt. The other pattern developed camel toe. 3/4″ was much, much better but not spot on. So I chose to make a 5/8″ front overlap. I cringed at not being able to add 5/8″ to the back crotch length but the designer was very specific. Stating that she’d used this same adjustment on hundreds of women and the bias of the back crotch length would adapt for as much as a 1.5″ front overlap. She’s not only the expert, she’s been right about me personally before. I trust her. Except the pattern looks weird. Really weird.
So I go back and read the instructions again. I think what is happened to me, is that there is too much information, some of which I read time and time again when fitting the one se@ms. Partly I’m overconfident and not paying enough attention. But partly you-guys have asked for so many numbers that my eyes glaze over and I go to sleep. I blame you. As I reread the instructions I realize that I was not supposed to measure the pattern crotch. I was supposed to compare my bodily crotch measurement with the chart. #1 I’ve added way too much to the crotch length. Also, I’m not supposed to make the size recommended on the back of the envelope but I’m supposed to choose the size from the chart on the instructions and piece #8. #2 And that size would be Large Plus.
So for a third time I trace all pieces in a size Large+. Yes I traced the pocket and dart template as well. Realizing that I was by now a little upset. I stopped for the evening.
The adventure continues.