ETA 3/22/2014 for wearing experience
Here it is totally finished:
I scooped a slice about 5/8″ deep in the middle tapering to nothing at the side seams which effectively shortens the front crotch length. When you look at the side view, most but not all the wrinkles have been eliminated. I was unable to hem the pants at the desired 2″ because of the tapered leg. The hem became rumply and bumbly as the very edge of the pant has a smaller circumference than the leg at the stitching line. I prefer the too long leg to the rumply blumply. I also had some concern about the seams. I forget what it is called but I a small vertical separation occurred at the waist. The fabric pulled away from the stitching at that point. If it happens one place, it will happen at others. So I taped the side and crotch seams with fusible bias tape (could have used straight tape on the side seams) and then stitched again just outside the original seams. Even though it’s not much, maybe 1/16″, that does take in the seams and reduce the ease slightly. I finished the waistband using a man’s hook and eye I buy from WAWAK. I ruined the first set I tried and admit to a learning curve with the next half-dozen. Now I’m at the point, I’d rather use this 4 piece closure because I can have done with much less time and aggravation than a button and buttonhole.
Even though this is the best first or wearable muslin pant I’ve ever made, I can see room for improvement. There is a fold on my rear that somehow I pressed in but was unable to completely press-out. I’m not concerned about it, but I want you to know I see it and know what caused it. There are now faint upward diagonals on the back inseam and even a few on the front inseam. I didn’t measure the crotch length, something I shall remember to do in the future. I believe that the original crotch length was correct for me but distributed incorrectly (for me, you might be OK). I might need to return some length to the back crotch. This is a very unforgiving fabric. A fabric with a little stretch, the kind of fabric I usually like to make and wear, would adjust completely. I wonder if I’m being “old” because I look at the rear and think it is too tight right across my prominence. I think a younger lady would want the rear and thigh much tighter. Even though it shows my age, I plan to just add a smidge to the back. Even in this unforgiving fabric, the front clearly is too large. Also while most of the side wrinkles were removed when I shortened the center front, there are enough left that I think I should extend the alteration across the front instead of tapering.
Planned changes to the pattern for the next version:
- Shorten leg length another 1/2″
- Scoop the back crotch 1/4″ (This is normal for me. P&P call it an anomaly wherein the crotch doesn’t sit level or even to the ground but dips in the back. This change follows my physique and also will add the needed back crotch length)
- Remove 1/4″ ease from the front
- Shorten the entire front crotch length instead of tapering to the side seam, taper to back dart.
I’m really pleased with this pattern. I think Pam hit it out of the park! But I acknowledge that I have 2 TNT pants pattern with which to compare. I chose the full-back, shortened the leg and trimmed 3/4″ from the front inseam before even starting. I made those changes based on my TNT. Had I not, I would have needed several more fittings. I might even had needed to recut pieces (if I started with the regular back instead of full back.) I also think Louise Cutting is a step ahead of Pam, in that Louise recognizes that most mature women have a tilted waist. Louise adjusts the pattern for the tilted waist. Pam leaves it to you to discover and that’s the current issue I’m having with this version of PP113. I’ll have one remaining issue that I won’t begin until I’m completely satisfied. My hem circumference completed at 21″. For my height I prefer the hem to be no more than 20″. I’m forever looking for a slimmer leg. I have a few similar patterns that work for me until I try to reduce the hem circumference.
The pant was comfortable to wear. I find that every garment whether it be T-shirt or tights feels good during wear if the fit is good. I did have two problems.
First was the fabric. perhaps this is why Pam recommends against 100% cottons for your first pant. Would you realize that the draft is fine and the fabric is at fault? Well, I did because I often wear cotton canvas and linen for summer pants. Both will relax and stretch as my body warms the fabric. How much varies with each different fabric. These pants stretched at the waistline and hip enough to create a droop in back. I won’t be able to control the droop at the hip but I can add belt loops and a belt to keep the pants up at my waistline and thereby minimize the droop. As I said, I’m familiar with this fabric and satisfied with this solution.
My other issue is the hem circumference. I prefer a maximum hem circumference of 20″. Anything over that tends to overwhelm my figure making me look shorter and fatter. My Pamela’a Pattern pant finished at 21″. I’m sure that’s because of the 1″ added to the back inseam allowance. That “just in case’ fitting insurance Palmer and Pletch recommends and which I needed to make the back crotch comfortable and fit nicely. I’ll be working on removing that extra inch and maybe more. I’ve found on other pants patterns that trying to remove excess ease can cause other problems to develop most notably the diagonal lines under the butt. Why? I don’t know. I see the effect but really don’t understand how narrowing the hem creates diagonal lines under the butt.
After the Eureka pant I feel obligated to finish with a disclaimer. It works for me but that doesn’t mean it will work for anyone else. I’ve put lots of time and fabric into learning about fitting pants to my figure . I’m not confident I could help anyone else. I am short and overweight. I am as deep as I am wide and have very narrow shoulders. I am convinced that my crotch is tilted as well as my waist requiring both a shorter front crotch and a scoop in the back crotch. Even though I am short waisted, I prefer pants that sit right about my natural waist. I like “mom jeans”. Furthermore, I prefer more ease. Style Arc patterns do not work for me. (I bear no resemblance to Kate M. Never did.) There must be many women with figures similar to mine. Otherwise there would be no need for the Eureka, MSS or others which claim to be kind to the mature figure. I have no affiliation with Pamela’s Patterns. I’m receiving nothing for writing these reviews. I paid full price. Didn’t even have a code for a discount of any kind. Sigh, just saying, please don’t hate me if this pattern works for me but not you.