I finished my first pair of Eureka pants using a very good fabric. This is the kind of fabric you want to wear. It is a nylon/poly/lycra blend woven with a subtle vertical stripe. The fabric has a fabulous drape and would have been perfect for One-Seams. After my last fiasco (counting the muslin and first trial of the Eureka pant), someone suggested that I use 10″ instead of 4″ when calculating stretch. With the 4″ sample, this fabric had 25% stretch i.e. it stretched from 4 to 5 inches. With the 10″ sample it has 15% stretch i.e. it stretched from 10 to 11.5 inches. I know for a fact that the larger the data sample, the more accurate your final database and program will be. I’m assuming that’s true here and will adopt a 10″ sample standard.
I apologize for the quality of the photos. My camera is acting up again. I’ve decided to replace it and ordered new but until the new one arrives, the pictures are what they are.
I traced the pattern a second time. This time I carefully compared the pattern with the MSS pattern. At the first tracing I looked carefully at the crotch shapes (which I shared in the first post) but not compared the tissues as a whole. When looking from the bird’s-eye view, I could see that the fitted MSS is shorter at the top and bottom; the Eureka has the big back crotch; but otherwise both are very similar.
I decided to make one tissue alteration immediately. I trimmed a wedge across the top 2″ wide at CB extending across the sides and narrowing to 1″ at the front. I applied the wedge above the first HBL because that’s where I made the changes on the muslin which kept the HBL’s evenly horizontal. This is the biggest change I made to the first Eureka muslin and it is the obvious difference between the two patterns. I added 1″ to the side seams. I didn’t want to take a chance on forgetting to add the safety factor while cutting out the fabric as I’d done with the fabric that got me. I stitched two front and back darts, a total of 4 darts (one on each piece). Then I tried it on
The pictures I’m showing are finished shots i.e. these are being comfortably worn as is.
The fabric feels heavenly but as you can see the finished front does indicate a little of my belly flap- the result of child-bearing, weight gain/loss and Father Time or Granny Gravity. I suppose I could wear some slimming undergarments. I’m instead hoping that my blouses, which I never tuck, will disguise it for me. I hemmed at 1.5″, then 2.5″ and finally 3.5″. Funny, wasn’t that the amount I took off the hem of the first tracing? Yes it was. Maybe the fabric of the first muslin wasn’t the entire problem after all.
I didn’t notice this at the first fitting or photos, but the waistband seems to tilt up towards the CF in this photo. I’m not sure if it’s the photo though, because I felt like the front waist was coming up a little high. What I paid the most attention to was the side seam. It’s about as perpendicular as it can get. The leg just falls smoothly from waist to hem. Well it does from the side view.
There are so many good things to say about the back. Starting with the ease I added on a whim. Well not exactly a whim. The backs of the Eureka and MSS had about the same ease. I had noticed that my MSS consistently needs another 1″ of ease only on the back. I split the tissue of the Eureka along the grain line and added the 1″ in the middle of the back. This worked really well. When I basted the side seams I basted them at the same distance (1-5/8″) instead of trying to offset the back and front side seam. I do see the diagonal fold between hip and knee only on the right leg (left as you are looking into the picture.) That didn’t occur in the first fitting pictures. The biggest difference between these pictures and the first pictures of this version is the hem and serging the excess off the side seam. Oh and everything is nailed down instead of basted into place. Looking in the mirror I thought the pant looked a little loose overall but decided to leave it. There are fabrics, and this is one of them, that should have more ease. Some fabrics need more ease because they have no stretch. In that case more fabric is required so that the body can move and sit. This fabric needs more ease because it clings to the body. I refer you back to the picture of the front and visible tummy flap. That is the fabric clinging to body.
I also noted the twist between calve and hem. I didn’t try to correct it. After the pant was done I pulled out my notes from Kathy Rudy’s One Pattern Many Looks class. I untaped the wedge across the top and compared the leg as Kathy instructs. When I pinned the two inseams together, I found that the back inseam is shorter than the front. This is typical, but I don’t personally subscribe to the theory. That’s based on my personal experience. Please note that I do not have a model’s body; and my body is most certainly different from your own. But for my body and the fabrics I sew with, following that theory often creates ruching along the front inseam. I don’t completely understand why. I know that I have the dropped rear, my waist is tilted (shorter front crotch length than back) and that I am shorter than the standard. Not to mention the difference in body weight. I do know that other sewists and other real people don’t have the same experience. But I’m sewing for my body and my body needs the inseams to be the same length.
At the side seam, I started by pinning all the HBL’s together. From the top HBL to the knee HBL the pattern lays nice and flat. When I try to pin the waist together the front bows. When I try to pin the hem together, a diagonal forms between hem and calve just like it is on my back leg. When I pin so everything is flat, the back side seam at the waist is clearly 3/16″ shorter than the front and the back hem is 1/4″ longer on both inseam and side seam. Could I have traced these incorrectly? It’s possible the tissue slipped. I say possible knowing that I routinely use 4 pieces of tape to secure the original and then another 4 pieces to secure my tracing tissue. I also smooth my tissues twice before each taping and I keep checking to be sure the tissue is not shifting. But hey, I could have made a mistake. It wouldn’t be the first time. I trimmed the back leg 1/4″ at the hem and added 3/16″ at the top and then taped my 2″ horizontal fold back into place. I won’t say the pattern is wrong but I would recommend that you pin the pattern together starting with the HBL’s and check to be sure the lengths are even (excepting maybe the stretch at the top of the back inseam). Kathy Ruby clearly explains that it’s not enough to match hems and pin upward. In this case I would have thought there was a hair’s difference on the side seam and that the inseam was only stretched 1/2″. Matching HBL’s, which are commonly translated to notches on the pattern, revealed that the vertical seams had significantly different lengths.
I do think I still have some fitting tweaks to make.
- I’ve already corrected the leg lengths.
- I think I need to increase the wedge I made (at the top) another 1/4″ in the front (making the front crotch shorter, pulling the waistband down and more horizontally across my body).
- I want to reshape the front hip curve slightly. When I look I think at the pics, I see the front peaks on the side seam at the Hip HBL and a fold develops directly beneath. The back curves smoothly from waist to Hip.
- I want to remove a little more ease on the front between the top HBL and the hem.
- On the back, I only want to remove ease under the bum. I was excited about Kathy Rudy’s specific alteration for this. Most of my pants have excess ease right under the bum. I’ve not ignored it; but all the other alterations I’ve made have only added drag lines.
Final evaluation of this pattern: I’m really pleased. In all 3 versions (muslin, Gotcha Twill, and this lovely nylon) I have not touched the crotch curve and none of the pants have displayed a butt vortex or diagonals between hip and knee or any crotch related issues. The major alterations are the wedge which shortens the top of the torso between waist and the first HBL; and 1″ additional ease for the back. These were quick and simple changes making me wish Fit for Art would produce many more pant styles.