2010/5-20, Yoga


Similar to franken- pattern, Otto 5/2010 #20 has become a yoga pant frankenstein or yogastein.  I wanted to pursue fitting this pattern and during a recent shopping trip purchased two fabrics I thought would work well.  One is a ponte de roma with purple plaid on the face side. It is a nice fabric, but with that plaid I well understand why it was in the sell aisle at Hancocks for $2/yard.  The other fabric is a royal blue 100% polyester ponte.  I start with the ponte de roma thinking “muslin’ but then realize that I can use the inside as the public side. The inside is dark grey with darker grey lines appearing opposite of the plaid on the face.

As I was pretreating the fabrics, I realized I’m unnecessarily torturing myself with the fit process.   I have 4 pants patterns that fit perfectly or at least really well.  Each pattern required 2-3 muslins to achieve the fit I like. Each has almost exactly the same crotch curve and the same minimal ease.  Does it really make sense to start from square one, yet again?

Is there a way to jump start the fitting process of pants?  I think so. I was told that your crotch curve is your crotch curve.  Which makes sense. It’s quite likely that a body  of a particular shape and size is going to need the same curve and minimal ease with every garment. Oh sure, if I change styles drastically as from ski-slacks to a sarouel  this wouldn’t be true. But I wear typical American trousers, slacks and jeans.  The curve is much the same. Ease differs and grain lines change, but the curve is much the same.  I started by looking at the MSS short pattern. I think I’ve made a pair every other week.  After the first 3 pairs, I played with length and pockets but essentially it was the same short over and over. I faced the fact I would not be making or wearing shorts again until sometime in 2014.   To work with this pattern now, my yoga shorts must change to yoga pants. I wasn’t sure though if I had transferred all the changes from the shorts back to the long-legged pants version.   I pulled out the MSS tissues and compared them. The long legged version, required another 1/4″ scoop from the back crotch.   I don’t really want to mess up this pattern i.e. I don’t want to be chopping it apart, so I put fresh tissue beneath the front and back and using the rotary cutter, created a new working version.   Now I compared the MSS (working version) with the Yoga pant (OYP) tissue that I’d already traced and created an unsatisfactory version.  To my surprise the crotch curve, extensions and uprights were identical. The greatest difference is how the crotch of the OYP is slanted. Indeed the whole top portion (between hip line and waist). juts off at an angle.   I’m going to share two pictures.  The first shows the the two patterns with the grain lines aligned and the OYP on top.

The next one the OYP is still on top, but the crotch curves are aligned

I remember fighting with Kwik Sew patterns and never being able to eliminate the back leg wrinkles. KS has  the same angle as the OYP.  At the time someone kindly told me that they too were never able to sew successfully with KS pants patterns and felt that the issue was the angle of the crotch.  I really don’t feel like fighting any longer with this:

I aligned the pattern pieces by grain and trimmed the MSS to the same height as the OYP. Then I put the leg pieces of the OYP aside (and later threw them in the trash).

I cut my fabric and basted the pieces together.  There was no question in my mind that I would be ripping and resewing seams. I used water soluble thread (WST) in the bobbin to make that process as painless as possible.  I plinked with fitting the pant but couldn’t really figure out what was wrong until I realized the pant wasn’t wrong; I was wanting a narrower waistband piece.  Otto’s design is an 8″ piece, cut two, fold in half and attach to the top of the pant.  There is nothing wrong with this process. Having two pieces gives you two seams to tweak the fit for the waist.  When I realized it was my esthetics that were the issue, I quickly trimmed the waistband piece to my desired length.  I still needed to remove 1/2″ from the top of the legs starting on the front about 2″ from the side seam, completely traversing the back and then onto the other front for about 2″.  This did wonders for the wrinkles on the back, upper leg, but of course meant the crotch was now too short.  I scooped the crotch and also tweaked the front just a tiny bit by removing another 1/4″ from the top at the side seams. The MSS leg is wider than I want with a yoga pant.  Since I’ve changed just about everything else, I decided to remove 1″ from the side seams (total 4″ ease) below the hip.  I was taking pictures at this point when DH happened by and assured me that these pants were perfect.  Apparently he looked only between waist and crotch and pronounced perfection upon seeing:


LOL but they really are pretty good.  I’ve lightened the photos to the max so you can see what I’m seeing. I do think the front is perfect, or will be when I get those legs hemmed.  This is what I expect of a Yoga pant, something comfortable which doesn’t restrict movement but also does not have a lot of ease. (Big floppy pants can also restrict movement.) As far as I’m concerned nothing to dislike about the front.

I’m not sharing a side view, but  it was wrong. I need to remove 1″ ease from the front and add it to the back. It’s possible I might even need a little more ease than that for my rear. My issue is giving my rear enough ease without adding too much over the back-thigh.   I see the wrinkles on the left just under the waistband, I think I don’t have the pant sitting correctly.  Close fitting, knit fabric wants to grab a spot and stay there. So I’m not going to worry about it. It’s possible I should add a little more ease across the butt and take more from the back of the leg especially over the thigh. I do see the vertical line on the left thigh but it’s not mirrored on the right. Instead the right leg has horizontal wrinkles on the back of the knee. I’m inclined to believe that it may be the way I’m standing. Certainly the back of this pant looks nothing like the light blue version above. This is entirely wearable. That blue version was not.   

Will I make these again?  Yes but not right away.  There are a few other garments I really want to make first.  I have high hopes the next time I make these, I can make them even better.