Eureka Pant

Fitting the 3-piece Leg

Back in the sewing room the next day, I reread the Spring 2009 ASG article. Going by the diagram provided (I’m reluctant to post it because I’m pretty sure this is copyright protected), I basted a shallow 1″ curve between knee and the crotch HBL. This was not an improvement. (Pictures are coming).  The static cling was increasing. I pin fit the back curve. Just by feel. I was not confident that this would fit but I basted the new curve only on one side. Making any effort is an improvement over giving up. Right? Next I carefully pressed and sprayed both my body and the pant with Static Guard. OMGosh. How can these have gotten so bad???

So let me explain what you are seeing.  On the far left, is the pant with 3 piece leg but no tweaking of the leg. I remember smoothing and smoothing the pant to get it to look that good. The static cling was not good but I didn’t expect it to get worse.  In the middle view, I’ve made the first shallow curve as described in the ASG article.  The far right is the deep curve that I fit with pins.  OK I know that the static cling is having a real effect.  I can see it in the side and front views of the finished but not tweaked pant. But this is repulsive. I didn’t just get out of bed. I used a little spray starch, carefully pressed and sprayed with static guard.

This is the fit and finished version. No tweaking the back leg fit.

I’d rather wear the pant above (finished not tweaked)  then the same pant with it’s back leg fitted.  I would think that having the extra seam in back would give me a better fit. But increasing the curve of that seam just made for more and more drag lines.  I checked on Craftsy to see what other people were experiencing. I was hit immediately by reports that they couldn’t get the pattern to fit despite following the course instructions (Pant Fitting Techniques).  OK maybe you don’t hear from the people who are successful only those that are having problems. Still I expected after 8 hours of pants fitting videos I would see glowing results from at least somebody. That’s not what popped up on my screen.

I think that static cling is my biggest enemy in fitting these pants. But I will also admit that maybe I did not use  a pant-weight Ponte.  It’s too late to add interfacing. Sorry, I’m not one to rip out all the serging and stitching. IMO, interfacing has to be planned and done ahead of time not as an after thought.

So I’ve got another pair of pants to wear around the house. They are comfortable. I also have another 2-1/3 yards of the same Ponte.  At the moment I’m contemplating whether to use the medium weight interfacing in the stash or purchase the light weight tricot Pam recommends for knits.  I know it can be hard to recommend when you can’t feel my fabric, but still I’d like your opinion. Should I buy the light weight tricot?

Eureka Pant

3-Piece Leg Continues

Once I developed my pattern pieces, I turned my attention to fabric.  I was fairly sure that unless the serger ate the fabric or some other disaster befell, I would end up with a wearable pant. So no need to look for muslin but I did want to use a fabric light enough in color that I could see any drag lines.  Plus, this is winter. I want warm pants to cover my legs during these neg 0 days. I decided upon a ponte purchased from Hancocks last fall.  It is a good fabric. Not the cheap Ponte that I used for the Yoga muslin but not the excellent Ponte de Roma sitting in the stack of black fabrics.  I believe , many years ago, I had RTW pants in this same fabric. I loved it at the time. So comfortable to wear. Laundered beautifully.  I thought the fit was terrific, but that was before I started taking pictures to check fit. My one complaint was that they lasted little more than a year and then I couldn’t find equivalents.  I mean, I loved them enough to forgive the fact that 9 months of wearing once a week caused them to develop pills on the inner thigh. I would have gladly purchased them again and in several colors. After discussing fabric weights with my sewing angel, I was concerned if it would be heavy enough for pants. But I went ahead.  I had 62″ wide and 2-1/3 yards of fabric.  The 3 piece leg can be a fabric hog but I ended up with a 1/3 yard scrap. Didn’t need a crotch gusset (a fabric saving technique I often use.) Fortunately, this is the kind of stuff you can use for bindings.

I wanted a pocket. These pocket-less pants are driving me nuts especially on the days when I’m wearing a pocket-less vest. I have no way to carry my cell or a tissue. I’ve been avoiding pockets while tweaking the Eureka’s fit.  This time I chose to make a pocket very similar to the one Kathy’s Rudy uses in her One Pattern Many Looks class. I used a deeper scoop for the hand entry.  My experience with Ponte suggests treating it like a non-stretch fabric.  You’d think a knit would stretch and I can measure some stretch in the flat fabric stage. But during wear the Ponte’s I’ve owned seem to not “give” like an interlock or other knit fabric and definitely don’t grow like denim. But there’s a first time for everything. So considering there’s a possibility I might need to take in the side seams, I made the scoop a bit deeper so I wouldn’t loose my hand opening.  The back pocket piece is larger than Kathy uses.  I like a generous pocket.  If I’m carrying something, I want it to snuggle down and stay inside the pocket.  With shallow pockets, I tend to lose my possessions.  I had plenty of fabric, so both pocket back and the front pocket facing were cut from Ponte.

I interfaced the pocket facing and the waistband. Boy that was enlightening. I cut my leftover interfacing scraps into 1-1/4 and 3″ widths. I use those in hems, waistbands and  now this pocket facing. I’m fairly sure I was grabbing ProWeft Medium from Fashion Sewing Supply. I wondered what this pant would be like had I interfaced all the fabric. That would make it kind of pricey.  I did buy this Ponte on sale. Even then it was $10/yard.  Add the interfacing at $12/yard and I could be buying some expensive RTW (if it fit). I decided since this was still kind of an experiment with possibility of failure, I wouldn’t interface this time.

OK, so I stitched the pockets and front zipper with permanent stitching. Then I swapped the bobbin out for the water-soluble thread and basted all the pieces together.  Just lickety split and try on the pants. I’ve used this pattern many times. Just made good fitting pants 2 weeks ago. The scale says I’ve not added any pounds.  I’ve started Yoga, but don’t expect to see any results so quickly. I can pinch almost a full inch of ease on both sides. So how come, there is a faint visible panty line?   It may not be what you think. Static is killing us.  DH regularly shocks me.  I mean with static. Gives a little extra zing when lips meet. But back to the pants, the over all fit was still good just had evidence of static cling. Oh and maybe it would have been a good idea to interface the Ponte.  Any how, I finished the pant. Serged all the seams. Added the waistband and belt loops. Hemmed the legs. AND got called for dinner. Guess that’s enough for one day.

Eureka Pant, SandraBetzina

3 Piece Leg

I’ve been wanting to convert my Eureka pant pattern into a 3-piece leg i.e. 1 pattern piece for the front + 2 pattern pieces for the back.  At this point, the Eureka is almost perfect for me.  I’d like to remove a little excess ease over the back thigh. I also want to discover a way to keep the pant from drooping during wear.

I think the drooping can be handled the same way I do for all my pants patterns. That is, add belt loops and a belt. I’ve been adding those without thought to my other patterns because I also need a way to adapt the waistband for my fluctuating waist. One of the things that impressed me with Dave Page Coffin’s trouser book was that he addressed the fluctuating waist problem an offered several suggestions.  So I know I’m not the only one who continuously (not just at Thanksgiving) faces this problem.  The belt works on both waist and drooping issues for me. It can’t be more than a 10 minute sewing job.  So no brainer, start adding belt loops.

The 2-piece back leg is especially interesting to me because the first jean fit I found and loved was Trudy Jansen’s  #906 Designer Jean. Those jeans don’t droop and don’t have excess ease over the back thigh. I was never able to fit her 3-piece trouser, think that’s 902.  But I was able to adapt the Designer Jean.  It’s not an easy process. The yoke must be divided and added back to the upper portion of the leg.  Not easy, but I did it and then I changed sizes. Then last winter (2012) I changed shaped. So this year I’ve started refitting all my pants patterns but had not gotten around to migrating the two piece jean into a two piece slack. One additional feature I wanted, but was never able to develop was moving from the contour waist band to the straight waistband. Changing TJ906 to the straight waistband involves adding the yoke to the legs, then adding the contour waistband, then extending the pattern up to the waist and finally adding the waistband. Definitely complex and not achieved by me. I like a straight waistband. I know that’s old-fashioned, but it feels secure. The contour waistband always seems to stretch and then my pants slide downward. Yes I’ve interfaced front and back. Yes, I’ve tried twill tape.  Yes I’ve read and followed Trudy’s instructions for fitting the waistband. I’m telling you that during wear the fabric stretches slightly at the waistline and the pant won’t sit up there. Don’t forget, I’ve got kind of a humpty-dumpty figure usually politely referred to as a pear.  Anyway, I prefer the straight waistband which sits at my waist and I wanted a 3-piece leg because I wanted the beautiful fit of TJ906.   I’m hoping that starting with an almost perfectly fitting pattern, the Eureka, which already sits at my natural waist,  I can develop slacks with a  2-piece back leg and then tweak the fit over the back thigh.

I’m not going into this totally blind. I have notes from Kathy Rudy’s One Pattern Many looks course. She recommends splitting the pant along a vertical line dropped from the center of the dart to the hem; remove the dart (which forms the curve and waist fitting); and then add seam allowances. I also have a Spring 2009 ASG article which my sewing angel provided that sows how to fit a princess seam pant.  I’m kind of a chicken. I have already developed a stretch and non-stretch version of the Eureka pant pattern. I decided to work with the non-stretch because the tweaks between the two are pretty small and I always seem to be making final adjustments at the first fitting. I started by tracing the back leg of fitted Eureka pattern and comparing it with the back leg pieces of Sandra Betzina  7179.

It was a difficult compare.  Her pattern pieces are pretty straight up and down, while I’m curvy everywhere.  I finally decided to split the pattern nearly in half and parallel to the grain line(because in her Pant Fitting Technique class, Sandra says this seam must always be parallel to the grain).   I added 1/4″ seam allowance to both sides and began contemplating fabric.