Dairy of a Failed PP113

When I wrote this post, I was so disappointed that I decided to keep it to myself.  I’m publishing it now, instead of keeping it private, because it leads into my next project and upcoming post.

I’m not making the pants I wanted to. I’m working an a rust and blue-aqua outfit that needs rust colored trousers. I wanted to use PP113 because of my last astounding success but I messed up my pattern.  I had altered my tissue per the changes in my last post about PP113. Then I realized, I didn’t want to make my alterations the way I did.    I was trying to shorten the crotch 1/2″ across the front  except the last 1″ (before the stitching line) would narrow from 1/2″ to zero. The tissue rebelled at being so contorted and developed bubbles.  I solved those by slashing through one of the darts all the way to the S/L line and allowing the tissue to fold over flat.  That made for a distinctive curve at the side seam and a loss of about 1.5″ at the front waist side; total 3″ front waist. Then I realized that wasn’t really going to work as I also needed to remove some the length from  the back to remove the bubble directly below the waistband. I tried undoing the alteration and making another. When I started walking the side seams, I became very confused.  This is one of the things that tells me I’m not a spring chicken any more.  I used to hold cutting sessions once every 6-8 weeks. I planned an entire outfit of 4-5 pieces and sewed it up over the following weeks.  I might mention, I sewed it up exactly as I planned it. Now, not more than a week after the first experience of PP113, I can’t remember what I did or did not do either the first time, the fitting or the alterations. I need Ginko. Lots of Ginko. In the end, I traced the size medium once again and made these changes to the tracing

  • Front inseam:  trim 3/4″
  • Front side seam:  trim 3/8″
  • Crotch height:  trim 1/2″ starting at CF and across front, narrowing to zero between back side seam and back darts.
  • Leg length: reduce 3″

I didn’t want to use my “real” fabric.  I did realize I might need to make a few more changes.  So I hunted through the stash looking for something light in color and pant weight.  I settled upon a light-grey, microfiber twill.  I used this same fabric in blue for a winter blouse.  While satisfactory, the blouse always feels a little heavy and despite the lovely drape,restrictive i.e. not really flexible.  I’m always thinking it would have made better pants than a blouse. So, voila the next microfiber twill  is going to be pants.   I realized that the previous PP113 I had removed 1/2″ ease from the pattern (not counting the inseam) whereas this time I was removing only 1/8″. I didn’t think 1/8″ ease would create problems

The first fitting was astounding and a bit ugly:

You’d never know these had been lightly spray starched and carefully pressed just before being worn for less than 5 minutes. They are too long. I’ve removed an extra 1/2″ length as my last fitting indicated and the legs are again dragging the floor. The back bubbles beneath the waistband. There is a bubble beneath each dart. I do not get bubbles at the end of my darts. I learned a long time ago to carefully mark darts and stitch all the way to the end.  I do not get dart bubbles. Now I’ve got 8. The side seam leans sharply back at the waist. The front is poofy just below my stomach. Reminds me of all the pants I had whose front crotches were way too long except this can’t be more than a 1/4″ too long. There are uncountable diagonal lines on all the seams making me wonder if I should have used a different sized needle (I am using a new needle) .

I sigh. I prefer to correct one issue at a time. So starting at the waist, I remove one 3/8″ front dart from each front; which should move the side seam to an upright position.  When I attempt to restitch the waistband, the pant is 3″ wider than the waistband. ???  I take in the side seam between the pocket and the waist 0 to 5/8″.  Could the waist have possibly grown that much?  I reattach the waistband but offset it 1/4″.  This will effectively shorten the depth all the way around the pant not just in the back where the 3 bubbles are.   I take new pictures:

I have to say I thought this softer fabric would benefit from a little more ease. but my impression is  over all excess ease. Did the whole pant stretch like the waist did? Should  I have made the smaller size.  I’m not a small. I really don’t think I’m even a medium. I buy Xlarge. I sew Large.  But this medium looks too big and I still have not removed enough length between waist and hip.  The dang pant is drooping every where.

Again prefer to make one change at a time, but I’m getting tired of this.  The pattern was near perfect the first time I made it. Why is this version  so contrary?  For the 3rd fitting, I stitch the side seams and waistband 1/4″ deeper.  Usually and with the very first version of PP113, I use a 1/4″ SA except for the crotch which uses a 3/8″ SA. I do this because then I stitch one time, serging, to sew seams.  I don’t have to stitch, trim and finish seam edges. I take pictures. Sigh. Sigh. Results of the 3rd set of garment tweaks.

The ease feels OK except the crotch now feels like it is cutting into me.  I have spray starched the fabric at least 4 times.  I have carefully pressed 4 times.  These look like I just got out of bed. They haven’t been worn at total 15 minutes.   I still have a poofy front, now paired with a tight rear. My underwear is shows. My rolls are showing. My cellulite is showing. Well at least the pants are now the right length.

I look at these and think about the lovely double knit blue pants which hang in my closet unworn.  I think I have once again mismatched garment type and fabric. I‘m going to finish these and put them along with the double knit pants into the Goodwill box. Hope somebody can get some kind of benefit from them.  It used to be that fibers could be recycled into rags, furniture padding, heat shields and a number of other things.  I don’t think that happens anymore.  I do hate to just throw things in the trash, but even donating to the Goodwill, I don’t think is a good solution for these. I put both the double knit pants and these unfinished microfiber twill pants into the trash. The thing I’m asking myself now, is

What should I take away from this experience:

Crotch depth – that distance between waistline and bottom of the crotch is still too long.

Front Bubble – In the first PP113 pair, the front looked roomy.  In this pair, I have a distinctive bubble on each side of the zipper that I can’t get rid of.

Fabric- I need to be careful when selecting fabrics for pants.  This microfiber twill should probably be banned from my stash (I have several more pieces).  I dislike it both in blouses and pants which are the two garments I wear.  There’s no point in keeping fabric in the stash which makes ugly garments.


2 thoughts on “Dairy of a Failed PP113”

  1. I appreciate you sharing your pant fitting experiences. I’m also on the perfect pant fitting journey, well as perfect as they can be on my imperfect old body. I have gained fitting knowledge reading about your journey. Thanks

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