sdBev's Pants!

The Orange Cotton/Rayon Version…

Posted on: March 12, 2013

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…begins.

Although you saw 4 pictures yesterday, I actually did about 6 sets which some changes not pictured. Pin fitting is not my favorite activity. I tend to lose pins in the floor which I find later by stepping on them. Pins don’t necessarily stay in place and they always manage to prick and scratch me.  I’m currently attempting to remove a blood stain from the vest worn yesterday. A blood stain caused by this very activity. Yet, there are times when it is better to pin-and-adjust, pin-and-adjust, repeat until whatever is being fit, is pretty good; and baste into place. Pictures usually follow. Sometimes as soon as I see the pictures, I realize that whatever I just did, needs to be fixed. At which time I try to figure out from the picture, where it is on the fabric and how much it is that I need to adjust. Point is, you saw 4 sets of fitting pictures I made several more fitting pictures and made even more fitting adjustments without taking pictures.  The 4 pictures represent 8-10 fitting sessions. Yes I am that an@l. Remember, I confessed to it yesterday.

A good night’s sleep on the what-to-do-next issue convinced me a new tissue was in order.  I made so many changes to the muslin, I was wondering where the true grain and therefore vertical balance lines would be located.  I wanted the first tracing to be my unaltered baseline. I don’t know why, maybe too many years in accounting and later information technologies has convinced me that baselines are essential. Whatever the reasoning of my psyche, I traced using the first tissue. I immediately lopped off 5 inches from the leg length.  It’s ridiculous to fight that battle again. I haven’t grown an inch and the tissue doesn’t shrink. I can always make a hem facing if I want pants longer. So excess leg length —gone!

I traced the waistband. Yep this time I traced the waistband.  As I’ve been fitting TJ906 I’ve made marks on the waistband for side seam, center front and 3 sets of belt loops. The exact position of each of these marks has changed at least twice.  I traced the new copy with only the adjusted marks from the last fitting session. I felt from looking at the pant, that the vertical balance line should be more towards the back by 1/2″. That also moved the side-back belt loops. During wear of the first two wearable TJ906 pants, I’d discovered that the front belt loops were a little too close to the center of the front leg. I moved them towards the zipper–the better to support the waistband. So I’m starting with the same length but tweaking the placement marks on the waistband.

I added two 5/8″ wedges at the waistline to the front pant. The 3/8″ wedges had not been enough so that the pant would completely skim my tummy.  Frankly I’d rather have a little extra ease across my tummy than to be displaying the tummy roll.

I made 4 slices with 3/8″-overlaps on the side back piece; and repeated that on the back yoke.  I’m not sure this is enough but I wanted to start addressing this repeating issue.  It’s obvious that I have more front waist than back waist. At least I’m shapely some place.

On the center-back pant-leg piece I slashed a vertical line and added  3/4″ the entire length of the inseam.  I don’t think the front crotch needs more length. As soon as I added 3/8″, camel toe developed. But the back crotch was still being drawn inward. Also the 3/4″ width  (added to the entire inseam length) had caused the pant legs to hang vertically instead of leaning towards the inside ankle.  It’s obvious that I need ease on the inside of the leg.  I measured the tissue pieces, but still uncomfortable about the changes made, so I added 3/8″ (bringing the SA total to 1″) but only to the back side seam. Probably negates part of the changes I did up by the waist, but it’s a chance I’ll take.

At this point I”m not sure what to do about the appearance of fine winkles along the front thigh inseam. It makes sense to me that I would have a more developed front thigh. Also the high, prominent rear end makes sense.  I traverse 2 flights of stairs, total 18 steps, daily, multiple times.  Our basement is fully finished and is an integral part of our living quarters.  That’s were the laundry is, our hobby rooms (including my sewing and stash) and extra storage. (It has our tornado shelter too.) With a week of moving here I realized that my but! and legs were firmer  The lower part of my body gets lots of good exercise.  It makes sense to me that my but! sits where it does and that my front thigh would appear to be fuller while the inner thigh is slim. Question is, what will fix the fine wrinkles along the inseam between crotch and knee?  I’m actually hoping that the 3/4″ added to the back will take care of the front. I reason that previous to this last shape change, I added about 3/8 along the back inseam by tracing the back inseam one-size larger than the rest of the pattern. That one change during tracing took care of multiple problems. I’m hoping that what I need is more than 3/8″ and that the 3/4″ incrase will work.  But, we’ll see….

I walked and trued seams as needed. I also trued the grain lines.  I wasn’t really sure of this, but the front crotch-balance line was 12″ from the leg balance line. So I drew a corresponding line on each of the back leg pieces, 12 ” above the leg balance line. If it’s even remotely in the same place, I have another reference point when adjusting the muslin.

My muslin this time is a Walmart find that’s better suited for blouses than pants. It’s a cotton blend. I think that’s rayon because of the shine, but I didn’t give a burn test. I noted it doesn’t stretch anymore than the cotton-sheeting used yesterday. But it’s a fabric I’m willing to sacrifice. At one time I bought 5 yards of any dollar fabric Walmart put on the table. Then I changed to 4 yards and finally purchased only the colors/fabrics I would want to wear. Lots of people denigrated the Walmart fabrics. Even one the clerks said there was always something wrong with these fabrics. Well here’s what really happened. Manufacturing went overseas. That left warehouses in the US full to the brim without any buyers. It cost more to ship the fabrics overseas than it did to manufacture the same fabric right there. Overseas. Walmart went around and convinced the fabric owners (which was sometimes the wharehouse owners), that they would be money ahead to sell the fabrics at a deep discount to Walmart than to continue paying storage for an industry they were positive would not return to the US. Yes Walmart  bought some crap. It was especially regarded as crap by quilters wanting 100% Egyptian cotton i.e. the finest quality cotton.  But if you like rayons, silks, dressmaking cottons and upholstery fabrics, there were lots of good choices.  Many of the fabrics were in past-trend colors. i.e. colors that were popular 10 years ago and which the fashionistas wouldn’t be caught dead wearing.  I however had my colors done long ago and routinely looked for the colors that are flattering to me, fashionistas be d@mned. I still wear shoulder pads too.  I wear what is flattering to me. This light orange would be very flattering to me. I have almost 2 yards left and will make it into a lovely blouse this summer.  In my stash are at least 50 other similarly colored fabrics. I won’t miss this one.  Want to know the sad thing?  These days, I breeze right passed the fabric department. Don’t even slow down.  First, Walmart intended to eliminate the department and they didn’t stock or they really did stock crap for sale. They also raised their prices considerably.  I can’t find the notions I need.  I can’t stand their crappy elastic. The zipper and thread selection is pitiful.  I’m not even sure that is a button collection. The end result is Walmart’s lack of interest in my hobby, encouraged my online shopping. For online shopping I buy in bulk. I own the Gutterman Thread cabinet and replenish it monthly though CreateForLess.  I buy fabric at 3 different on-line stores and seldom pay more than $4/yard. (Excepting Gorgeous Fabrics. I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuve her fabrics and am willing to pay for them.) In fact, I wouldn’t even be shopping at Walmart if my local grocery store stocked a few more items. Walmart is 90 miles away from me. There is a savings on everything we buy which just about equals the cost of driving to Walmart. If not for the items I can’tt buy locally, Walmart wouldn’t even be on my shopping radar. Now I understand Walmart is hurting for $$$ and they’ve started restocking the fabric department. Problem is, I’m no longer interested. I get my fabric fix in the mail.

I guess the real question is why be particular with this pattern?  Why not let the balance lines skew as they will, as long as the pant (especially when made with a stretch fabric) fits decently? Well I would be tempted, if the crotch didn’t pull so badly. I usually wear longer tops, at least hip length, on the outside of my pants. Those issues at the waist and tummy and back-waist are never visible. I could trim the excess between waistband and pant top and no one including me, would ever know they’d happened.  Made in a stretch fabric and a 2-sizes too small the denim wrinkles look more like body position, moving, sitting, wrinkles rather than fit issues. Yes, I could just quit now and never sew with non-stretch fabric.  So why?  Well I really was impressed with how much better the pants looked and felt  when using Lena’s balance lines and measurements. I’m also very curious.  I’m engaged by seeing how a thing works.  I was excited (yes excited) as I trued the seams and straightened the grain lines to realize that some of the issues I was seeing on the previous muslin were reflected in changing grain lines and lengths of the new pattern tissue.

OK that’s it for today. I covered the changes:

pattern altertions

balance lines

fabric selection

I’ll be back tomorrow after some serious sewing.

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