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.