Crotch2010, Eureka Pant

A Stray Thought

I’ve resisted scooping the Eureka’s crotch.

So far, during fitting, I’ve gotten acceptable to excellent results (regarding how the back fits) without scooping the crotch. What I’ve noticed though, is that while taking pictures of blouses worn with Eureka’s pants, is that during wear the pants have developed flat-butt symptoms.

I share my side silhouette again:

This is  NOT a flat butt.  But during wear my Eureka pants are creating excess folds of fabric directly under the gluteals.  I actually loved Sandra Betzina when she said something to the effect (remember I was doing cold medicines at the times and my memory is a bit fuzzy) that just like boobs drop with age, so do seats. In her opinion when seats drop, they push against the crotch and push fabric under the seat creating the appearance of a flat butt.  The only solution, again in her opinion, is to scoop the crotch. (Thankfully she didn’t suggest some kind of push-up bra for the seat!)

I really want to try scooping the crotch just to see the effect upon the Eureka pattern. I’m reluctant because I think it means more rounds of fitting. I mean, the crotch is the perfect length and depth right now. When I change that, something else will have to be changed.  Also, I’ve got two Eureka patterns, now, one for knit and one for non-stretch fabrics. That’s 2 patterns that will need to be re-fit.

The other thing, is the years of pant-fitting lectures with instructors who adamantly declared “Don’t touch my drafted crotch. It fits everybody just as it is.  If you touch it you will ruin the fit”. OK first off, I know they’re lying. Every pattern is composed of averaged or some conflagration of added and divided measurements from a variety of people.  The sample might be limited to those of us who, uh, need mature-figure considerations. Or it might not. Regardless, any fool can see that the generous proportions of my crotch are going to sag and hang disgustingly on my trim DIL.  So I know the instructors probably mean well, but they are lying. I want to believe their lies. Well more accurately, I’m hoping that their sample of figures i.e. the variety of people their measured and based their calculations upon, I’m hoping that sample included a lot of people very,very, verrrrrry similar to me and finally I will have found the Holy Grail of pants patterns: (horns blaring TADA)  The ONE that fits with little if any change.

Sigh, that almost happened. The majority of the changes I made to the Eureka were length changes. Yeah, like most patterns they were drafted for the average 5’6″ figure. At 3″ shorter than the standard, I nearly always need to make length adjustments. Not having to adjust the crotch was a big deal. OTOH, I might need less fabric if I didn’t have to accommodate that big honking crotch.

What would you do?

Eureka Pant, SandraBetzina

A Velvet Eureka

I have this lovely fabric.  I know I purchased it thinking “jacket — velvetttttttt  jacket”.  However that purchase was made at least 15 years ago and a velvet jacket has yet to materialize. Nor is it likely.  Retirement brought many changes into my life, including how I dress. I don a jacket when I go outside and need extra warmth on my arms.  In the house, where I spend the majority of my time, I wear a vest or cardigan as my third layer.  Unless my life changes drastically again, I don’t expect to make or keep many jackets.  So why am I holding onto this velvet? I decided to use it for the pants that I do need.  To my surprise, this is not a typical velvet but more like a sweatshirt fabric.  Yes I was surprised. It has a plush feel and a rayon shine. The backing is clearly a cotton-jersey knit. It really would have made a nice hoody or other type jacket!  It handled really nice.  Did not ravel and despite its thickness, neither serger nor sewing machine balked.  I did use a universal point needle in the SM and selected the heavy-knit setting.

I’m still loving the Eureka pattern but tweaking the fit. I carefully walked the seams and marked the knee levels.  I thought I carefully marked the hip level but didn’t. It was obvious when I started sewing that I had marked the 3rd HBL on the back and the 2nd HBL on the front. Being that was the case, I pinned the legs together at the knee and carefully smoothed the rest of the seam into place –doing my very best not to stretch the fabric. Whew, it worked:

My seams are not only smooth but  not twisting.

The not twisting, could be due to another effort I made. I haven’t posted my review of Sandra Betzina’s Pants Fitting course on Craftsy.  I took the course when I was ill. I had a killer head cold that had me wanting to do no more than take a shower and go back to bed. Taking the course kept me up for at least a little bit each day.  I understand from a comment that Sandra made in the Questions and Answers that she taped this course when she herself was having some physical issues.  I had kind of a negative impression of the course but didn’t want to write about that until I can retake it with a clear and healthy mind.  Despite my current-hope-to-change attitude, I did take away something startling from her course. That was how she determines the grain line. Sandra says, and I agree, that when we make all the pattern changes that we need, the grain marked on the pattern is probably incorrect.  I followed her directions. Well, I watched the course again, stopping as needed so that I could write down the directions. I’ll say again, video is not my favorite learning medium. I don’t have a photographic memory.  I need something I can refer to when the knowledge is actually needed.  I’m good at taking notes. In fact, I’ve had the flattery of someone taking my notes and creating college-level computer classes. (Not saying the instructor didn’t add and make it better, just that he thought I had it 90% done and there was no need to re-invent the wheel just polish it to smoothness.)

So, I followed SB’s instructions for establishing the grain.  The front hardly changed at all. It’s maybe 1/16″ off from before.  I think I’ve said it before, but if the garment can’t stand that small of an error margin, I shouldn’t be the one making it. I’m good to go with the front. The back is a different animal.  The black horizontal lines mark the Crotch HBL and the Hem HBL. The RED line is the grain before applying Sandra’s instructions.  The GREEN line is the grain line established using Sandra’s instructions:

Yes, I think that’s enough difference to be significant and worth trying. Especially since Sandra says the “mystery wrinkle”, the wrinkle you can never get rid of or find its cause, is usually a result of the grain being off.  If the wrinkle is persistent i.e. every time you use this pattern you get this wrinkle, the pattern probably is mistaken or has become skewed due to alterations. Of course, I’m thinking of those diagonal lines between hip and knee that always occur on the back of my pants. Guess what?  This velvet pant made using the new grain line, doesn’t have those diagonal wrinkles:

But there’s a problem.  A problem with saying truing the grain-line fixed the diagonal drag line. I used my knit version of the Eureka pattern just as I did for that last Yoga Pant but I made changes to the pattern.  This is still a pull on pant, but not the wide yoga waistband. It is a narrow (1.5″) band which rests at my natural waist. I also removed the 1/4″ tuck from the lengthwise- center of the back pattern piece (i.e. added more ease).  Add to that, this fabric stretches much more than the Ponte used in the Yoga pant. Well, conclusion is, can’t really make a conclusion right now.  I did not do a fitting. I just seamed the pant together and tried it on when finished. Originally I used Louise Cuttings elastic but I removed and replaced it with the 1″ stiff stuff from Walmart. Louise’s soft elastic could not support the weight of the pant.  Even the stiff stuff is having a hard time holding the pant up to the waistline. You can clearly see that in the first pic I posted (the front view) because of all the excess fabric in the front at the knee. Unfortunately I can see that I will be altering this pant in the near future. I plan to take it in 1/4″ on the side seams and add belt loops so I can wear a belt and keep the waistline up at my waist.

OK maybe I can draw a few conclusions. First, I like this pant. I need to tweak it a bit (less ease, belt loops) but it’s good. Also changing the grain line according to Sandra Betzina’s instructions, did not hurt. It really could be the reason why the diagonal is gone.