Sometimes I think I’m a glutton for punishment. I’m starting a new pattern, Dana Marie Design Co (formerly Purrfection Artistic Wearables) Terrific Trousers
I think I purchased it during a recent sale at Nancy’s Notions but the pattern is available in several places.
It is, I think, classic styling with several options.
There is the choice of sizes XS to 5XL all in the same envelope. I know it’s less confusing to have a single size within an envelope. But I like having all sizes because I change sizes. When I change sizes, I can copy the new size without the need to purchase a new pattern. This pattern also contains 3 leg styles, wide, boot cut and tapered. My JSM pattern contained boot cut with instructions for adapting to wide and tapered. Also, the pattern is styled for two basic figure types, the pear and the apple. That’s a lot of choices within one pattern plus it’s easy to use pockets from other patterns or change the leg length shorts->capri->floor.
I started my journey by reading the enclosed directions and checking the site for additional information. I’ve got to admit, that especially for the most difficult garment to fit and sew in a pattern that offers so many options, I think it is short on instructions. The one review at PatternReview.com is negative. Between the two I have more questions than answers. For one thing, do you know if you are apple or pear-shaped? I think I’m a pear in the back and apple in the front. Partially that’s due to some health issues. Today, for example, my apple front is very prominent. It’s larger than my rear. Often my “apple” (which is below my small bust) shrinks and becomes just “a bit of a tummy”. However, I never have a flat derriere. To make the MSS fit, I removed 2″ of ease from the front and transferred it to the back. I wouldn’t do that if I consistently had a flat derriere and a big tummy. Do the Terrific Trousers instruction have any information to help me determine which shape to use? No, just 2 cute line drawings neither of which represent me. You have to know your shape before tackling this pattern and that’s a whole ‘nother book.
The instructions quote the old and never reliable method of determining crotch depth by sitting on a hard chair. I don’t have a hard chair. Nope at my age I want everything soft and comfy. Yes I know public places I could go to that would have hard chairs, but I’m not going there. I absolutely am not doing any measuring and subsequent explaining in view of the general public. Don’t care if most of the general public would be friends, neighbors and relatives. There are some things I prefer to keep to myself. Since I’ve had lots of experience fitting pants patterns, my solution will be to use Louise Cuttings instructions (MSS pants) and add 1″ extra length at the top. I may not need that 1″ because the instructions state that the pattern is drafted for the tilted waist which usually adds 1″ height to the back crotch and reduces the front crotch height by 1″. I haven’t looked at the shape of the crotch yet, but I can tell you before unfolding the tissue if I’m not looking a a U shape (Burda, JSM) there is no way these pants will ever work. V shaped (Vogue, McCalls) or ski slopes (Kwik Sew and Ottobre Design) absolutely will not work for me. I’ve tried them. Many times. I must have a long enough crotch extension to fit me. While I continue to contemplate the instructions, I know this could be a show killer. If the crotch shape is wrong, this pattern is dead to me.
I also won’t be measuring my pant length according to her instructions. I’ll cheat. You bet. I’ve got 5 patterns that fit me. I’ll compare leg length with a pattern I know I like and use that length with a 2″ hem. I do like the instruction note which state that tapered pants are usually hemmed at ankle length while the others are longer. Still it is a personal preference, so I’ll use mine.
Next is a real gem of information. She advises cutting the size which most closely matches your own even if that means cutting between sizes or cutting different sizes for waist, hip and thigh. It’s the system I use with Burda Ottobre Design tops. It consistently produces patterns which need nothing more than fabric fitting. (Every fabric acts differently. Even the same fabric in a different color will behave differently. You always need to baste the side seams and tweak the fit according to how the fabric wants to hang. That’s a fabric fitting.)
I skipped by the fly instructions and breezed over the other construction details. Several years back I made an excruciating effort to find a zipper application which would work for me perfectly, every time. Since then, I don’t deviate. I don’t try someone else’s method. Don’t care if anyone thinks something else is easier, simpler or whatever. This works for me. After 30 years of sewing, I have a procedure that works for me. I’m sticking to it.
So I mostly skipped the construction and started reading the Fitting Solutions. OK I didn’t read these in detail either. I was looking for my exact issues that I always have to fight to solve. There may be some exceptionally good fitting information which I missed. I was looking for what to do when the diagonal wrinkles form between knee and derriere on the back of my pants. Sigh, Dana Marie has nothing to add about my problem. Either it is a complex issue which requires whole new set of instructions (like what shape are you, apple? pear?), or selecting the right shape and size to start with eliminates the issue later on.
So with that, I’m off to select my sizes, trace my pattern and find a muslin fabric. Oh and look at that crotch shape.