Fitting 2013-02-143 for Shorts

I’m perplexed and need a moment to think.  I expected these shorts to be easy to fit.  I transferred the changes made to the long legged version back to the pattern, and reduced the seam allowances to 1/4″. When it came time to cut the fabric, I added 1/4″ to the side seams giving me 1/2 inch of fitting room.  My fabric is a stretch cotton sateen. Not a big stretch, just 1% Lycra.  Normally that little bit of Lycra is just enough so that the pants will recover their shape whenever the body moves around.

But from the first try on and through 6 sessions of ripping and stitching,  these have defeated me. The first time I slipped them up to my waist and clipped the waistband together in front, the pants fell to my crotch. Obviously, the waist was too large. The whole pant felt too large.  I took in the side seams twice for a total of 3/4″ and took a big dart in the center back waistband just to get these to stay up. That’s when I took my first pics. To my horror, while the pants actually felt comfortable they looked pretty bad. I had removed  too much ease.

So side seams get ripped out and returned to the 1/4″ seam allowance. I left the center back dart because the waist band gaped pretty badly.  Next I made two alterations ripping out side seam from top of waistband to about 4″ down. I’d resew  with ever deeper seam allowances trying to narrow the waist enough to keep my pants up.  I had just finished my yet another ripping session when dinner was announced.  Sometimes I return to sewing after dinner. This was one of those not times. Which was a good thing. Over night I realized that I probably had two issues. First, when I transferred  my fitting changes of the long legged (LL) version, to the tissue the front waistband did not look as I expected. I rechecked my calculations. They seemed correct so I left the front waistband as altered and continued with this shorts version. A second hint that the front waistband was incorrect, occurred as I stitched the shorts waistband to the top of the shorts.  I should have been able to ease the two with the waistband being the shorter piece. Instead they were equal. So the front waistband was too long to being with

The second issue occurred way back while I was still trying to fit the LL version. There were diagonal lines beneath the waistband on front and back, but most prominently on the front. I assumed part of the issue was that the pants were drooping slightly due to the several alterations in the area and that possibly the side seams were too long.  I was attempting to work on this particular issue, when the seam between waistband and pant frayed practically beyond redemption and I was forced to call those done.

Now there was  3rd issues as well: the fabric itself. Generally, I don’t like to work with stretch fabrics early in the basic fitting process. By basic, I mean a standard set of sleeved blouse, sleeveless blouse, slacks and jeans. I’m pretty far along that list, having already fit or close to fitting all 4. Still I hadn’t resolved the issues of this particular pattern and probably should not have introduced the stretch factor. So here’s what I’m facing. Each picture shows the first, 2nd and 3rd fittings which correspond to sides seams, side waist fitting and 3rd altering the front waistband.

I’m astonished that throughout the fittings, what feels good, actually looks too tight across the rear. In fittings 1 and 2, my panty line is at least faintly visible.   With the 3rd fitting, the dipping back waistband would suggest that the back crotch is too short. however, those diagonal lines above only disappear when the pant back can be further hiked up or shortened. Below the waistband and above the hip are the diagonal wrinkles which I started trying to eliminate in the LL version.

Moving to the fronts, I actually like the first and 2nd fittings slightly better. It’s possible that pressing the front would make the 3rd look a little better. But the front is eased to the waistband on the 3rd version, instead of the 1:1 ratio previous.  It’ eased close to the gathering point. I’m not sure that pressing is going to help that issue. During the first and 2nd alterations, the front crotch had felt too long. On the 3rd alteration I offset the waistband/pant seam which had the effect of shortening the front crotch 1/4″. Obviously, not the answer I was looking for.

Onto the side. The side seam remains fairly upright through each alteration.  Many of the side wrinkles have disappeared, yet there are still diagonal lines above the hip and beneath the waistband, the same wrinkles discussed previously.

Oddly, these shorts sit lower, much lower than the LL version. Burda describes these as sitting 1CM below the natural waist. That is my preferred position, i.e. a mere 1/4 to 3/8″ below my waist. It is possible that I’m creating the diagonal wrinkles through unconsciously pulling the sides up, or maybe the sides travel upward on their own???

At this point, I’m just not sure how to fix my various issues.  That’s why I decided to write this post and upload these pics.  I’m hoping some insight will occur.