The last posts have been entirely too long. But I can’t seem to say what I want in fewer words. I thought well, I could make 2 posts for the next version. One of the preparation and a 2nd post for sewing and fitting observations.
I do like the Eureka pattern for trousers and slacks. I think jeans require a different draft and I will continue to use TJ906, Jalie 2908 and B5403 when making jeans. But for any style that can be derived from a basic pant pattern, the Eureka is going to be my starting point. Today I’m beginning the process to create a Yoga type pant. I bought my first Yoga’s roughly 30 years ago. It was a time of not impoverishment, but a period of my life in which every penny counted and needed to be stretched to its max. Accordingly a girlfriend and I would spend every Saturday following payday shopping garage sales. This particular occasion, her mother accompanied us. Typically, I didn’t purchase clothing at garage sales for myself. Even then I was an avid dressmaker and looked for fabric rather than garments. My friend however preferred RTW. At one house she was frantically trying on garments by walking around a dividing wall and changing clothes while others came and left the sale. Oh yes, it was a sight and subject for titillation. I was patient, a bit bored but patient because she would do the same for me. I couldn’t quite understand why she was so desperate to find dresses that would fit. Until her mother told me these were expensive designer clothes, some still with their $100, $200 tags still dangling. I was a bit startled when from behind someone wrapped a garment around my hips. It was the mother who urgently whispered in my ear “You need to buy these. They’re only a dollar.” We had a short discussion regarding sizing and I did make the purchase. These were my first Yoga pants. They came without a label but were of obvious quality. The very fabric was a dense knit I sometimes found in the “Couture” section of FabricLand (Reno Nv circa 1990 now out of business). She was right about those pants. They wore like iron for years. I donated them only because DH was concerned the seams were about to burst.
Unfortunately Yoga pants are not always popular. It’s even hard to find a pattern when they are out of style. I’m glad to see that they have returned to fashion and for some reason, they are more of a staple instead of a trend. I’m sure I’ve seen various versions of Yoga pants for at least the last 6 years. Trends come and go almost within the same season. I did make a pair of Yoga pants a few weeks back using a ponte de roma and a pattern mashup of Otto 5/2010 #20 and the MSS. I wear those pants just about weekly. They are comfortable,but I always thought the leg was a little roomy.
I know I know, I’m still fighting the excess ease in the Eureka, but I want to do this anyway. I want to use the Eureka pant and make a Yoga version. Despite yesterday’s experience with ITY fabrics, I also want to follow Kathy Ruddy’s suggestion and make a separate pattern for knit fabrics. I traced the front and back to new tissue, marking the darts, knee, crotch and hip HBL’s. Because of the changes I’ve made to the basic ease of the Eureka’s, I repositioned the grain line using Kathy Ruddy’s instructions. The front, didn’t move much, but the back moved about 3/4″. Kathy advises making a knit-muslin with this new pattern. I said “what did I just do with that ponte pant?” So instead of a completely new muslin, I adjusted the pattern based on what I experienced when the pant was first finished i.e. before being worn and stretched. I folded both pattern pieces along the grain line. On the back I stitched a scant 1/8″ from the folded edge. That removes 1/4″ ease from each back. The front I stitched a scan 1/4″ from the fold which removed 1/2″ from each front. Then I folded the pieces on the knee and hip HBL’s. At each fold on each piece, I stitched a scan 1/4″. Based on the soft brown ponte, that won’t be enough. But most of the stretch fabrics I use for pants are not that soft. At one time I would make pants from slinky. Pretty sure slinky would require a whole size smaller. My T-shirts do. But back to pants, I’m hoping this will be a nice compromise. Some stretch pants I will need to stitch the side seams a little deeper, but most will be OK.
Then because I want Yoga styling, I traced the pattern altered for knits between the waist and the crotch HBL. Same as I did for the Pull-on Pant except for Yoga stylistic changes. This time I developed a 3″ yoke separated from the leg of the pant on both front and back pieces. I didn’t use the yoke, although I did make the piece. I set that piece aside. The unique design of the Yoga pant calls for a rectangle of fabric to be used for the yoke rather than a curved yoke piece. My question was what size should the rectangle be? Could I just use the rectangle developed for the Yogastein pant? I wasn’t sure. The MSS was developed for non-stretch fabrics. While I kept the pieces, I know at fitting I made lots of changes. I made it work. The Yogastein is a great pant. I want a reliable pattern so I can repeat that success over and over. I decided upon a 6.5″ wide piece (twice the width of the yoke plus 2 1/4″ SA) the length of my hip.
I know I’m going to need to adjust the length of the yoke band. I’m also wanting to chip away at the excess thigh ease of the Eureka. I plan to establish the CLA using new points (Hip and Knee HBL and 1″ lower pivot) but not trim the leg. First I want to baste the legs together without the CLA and make sure the diagonal lines don’t exist. Then I’ll baste along the CLA. This may take a few sewing, photoing, ripping sessions. My fabric is a ponte knit with about 25% stretch. I measured the stretch over 4″ and know that I need to check the stretch factor. It’s a firm fabric not at all soft like the last pant fabric. I don’t particularly like this type ponte. I purchased a sample from FashionFabrics to see what it was they were selling as ponte. I bought enough to make a pair of pants. I figured if I don’t like the fabric, I could always use it to muslin pant patterns. The only real downside is that the fabric is darkest black. It will be difficult to see the shadows and wrinkles.
I’ve had an interesting and good life. I’ve had many friends of various faiths. Please allow me to sign off this post with the sincerest wishes for a Merry Christmas. Whatever your personal beliefs, I send you good wishes and hope you enjoy the season in your own way.