3400 Silhouette Yoga, Yoga

3400: Round 1

Always curious, I ordered Silhouette Patterns Yoga Pant #3400. Well, it’s more than curiosity, although it is that too. I mean, don’t you want to try the patterns from new designers?  Don’t you want to test new delicious details?  But it is more than curiosity because I have a few patterns which fit me nicely but I still have issues.  I’m still wanting a pant with a slim leg.  The slim legs that I do have are either too slim (and thus reveal all that I would like to keep concealed) or have volumes of excess fabric each over the back thigh. I’ve made several attempts to slim down my favorite patterns, (Pp113, the Eureka, MSS…) I even took my favorite jean TJ906 and tried to put the pieces together to form a slim leg. No joy. In fact, slimming these pants beyond a certain point, causes them to develop diagonal back wrinkles.  As a result,  I’m always interested in seeing if a new draft can offer me a slim leg and nice fitting pant.

I chose to use size 16W.  Although hesitant, I also used the envelope instructions and wrapped my Ponti De Roma fabric around me and measured the fabric. I was perplexed that the envelope listed 16 and 16W as having the same measurements.  I emailed Peggy and then deciding that it was too late for her to answer that day, I decided to compare the two sizes. The 16W appeared to me to have a longer back crotch extension. My muslin plan had been to add 3/4″ to the side seams and 3/4 to the back inseam.  With the thought that the back inseam was already longer, I decided to use the 16W and add only the 3/4″ side seam insurance.   I also shortened the leg 3″. I always have to shorten the legs. I think it is difficult to see how the leg hangs when it is puddled on the floor.  So I shorten the leg immediately.  In summary just 2 changes, 1)add 3/4″ to side seams, 2) shorten legs 3″.

I basted all seams except for the crotch. Those I serged. Also I didn’t have 2″ elastic. The widest on hand was 1.5″. So I slipped that into my waistband and basted directly beneath the lower edge of the elastic before basting the waistband to the pant.

My first fitting was horrible.

The front and back were obviously too tight. Enormously too tight. I was so surprised at how tight it was that I rechecked pattern instructions, size recommendation and then whether I had copied the correct size.  (Copying the wrong size happens.)  With everything saying I had the right size, I decided to measure the pattern itself. I aligned front and back along the side seams but did not over lap. I measured at the hip line and it was nowhere near 43″.  I started sliding the tape measure down to find the widest point above the crotch which did measure 43″ but that includes the four 3/8″ seam allowances. I don’t calculate the seam allowances in the finished measurements. Had I known the SA was included I would have started with a larger size.

Well I still had my 3/4″ SA insurance. I let out the side seams as much as possible. In fact I changed all my seam allowances to 1/4″.  Doesn’t sound like much but it is adding 1/8″ per SA per side. Across the hip are 4 seams. So that would be 4 seams * 2( 2 pieces of fabric at each seam) * 1/8 (the amount being let out).  That alone adds 1″ ease.  Letting out the side seams added at least another 2 ” [2 (side seams) *2 (2 pieces of fabric) * 1/2″ (amount let out)]. I’ve added a total of 3″ ease. The pant should no longer have negative ease. It should have a total of 2.5″ ease.  And still looks like h@ll:

I’ve watched Peggy’s videos. She insists that taking a dart along the hip line will remove the diagonal below the leg.  This never worked for me before. But I haven’t tried this particular procedure in a while and thought it wouldn’t hurt.

Yeah, no joy .  (You can’t see the dart very well. I took it on the inside.).  I tried several other things pulling the sides up and down; pulled the CB up even higher.  Eventually I even scooped the back crotch. There was hardly any change to the appearance of the pants.

No joy for Bev with Silhouette 3400.

I’ve put the pattern away, for now.   I realize I have a contributing fabric issue.  This was purchased from Joanns bottom weight fabrics just last November. It is beefy, like I expect a bottom weight to be. It is Ponte Di Roma which includes a significant amount of rayon but also includes some poly. I don’t remember the exact percentages. Joanns is not known as a fine fabrics store, but I have found and sewn with better pant fabrics than this. In the end, I agree with the Clothingengineer: fabric can make the difference between a favorite and a wadder.

I might not be interested in this pattern at all except for the shaping in the legs. A lot of thought went into allowing room for hips, thighs, knees.  When I did my leg length alterations, I removed 1.5″ above the knee. I compared this pattern with my PP113 and aligned the knee.  Peggy has shaped side seam and inseam of both the back and front. This is meant to be a close-fitting or at least semi-fitted pant.  I would love to take advantage of the shaping. I always cringe when Peggy says that a hip dart will remove the back  diagonal wrinkles. Cringe again when it works on her models.  I’ve never had that work for me.  About 8 years ago, I also “did a round” with putting a dart on the back thigh just under the bum.  It would work beautifully on my muslin. Transfer to the pattern and make another copy and the diagonals were back again. What has worked for me, is sufficient fabric across the back, a nonclingy fabric, a  generous back crotch. The L and V-shaped crotches do not work for me, e-v-a-h. I need a nice deep J.  This crotch was not only kind of flat across the back extension like an L, but the upright rose at an angle.  I need the upright to be really upright.  I don’t understand why that makes a difference but it does for my body.

I’ve put this pattern  away to give myself time to think.   I’d like to use the side and inseam shaping. I just don’t know how at the moment.



BTW the hem circumference of this pant is 19″. That’s not a slim leg IMO.

Peggy responded much more quickly than I expected. Her advice was a it depends. She said the two, 16 and 16W were exactly the same (so why have 2). But if I felt I had a larger waist, go with the W.

Wrapping the fabric around me, is not the way for me to choose size. I can’t see what’s happening in back. Besides, I learned a long time ago that just because it goes around you doesn’t mean it fits.


8 thoughts on “3400: Round 1”

  1. Yes, I agree, too small. I have been reading this blog this am
    they are having a pant sew along – they listed some links to Colette pattern tutorials for fitting. I’ve not read them yet, but they look very informative. Thought I’d pass on the info. Also, in the yoga pant – I fit my hips then adjust the waist accordingly. I love that pattern, but I make mine in woven. I purchased the woven yoga pattern and it’s waaaay different shape. Have not fooled with it much.

    1. Thanks for the link. I ended up over at bygunbygolly.com who has almost exactly the same issues as myself. (She is taller, younger and thinner but still having the same issues.)

      I wondered about the woven yoga. Honestly though since this became PJ’s, I’m not sure I want to try another Silhouette pattern.

  2. If you choose to make this pattern again, I suggest you send Peggy these pictures to get her advice before you cut into any more fabric. Guess I’m fortunate, this pattern works pretty well for me and my sister. Sorry it didn’t work for you this time. As you have found, she responds to inquiries pretty quickly. I’ve sent her photos before for advice and got quick responses.

    1. I was really impressed with Peggy. I emailed late Friday. Did not expect a response until sometime Monday at the earliest, more likely Tuesday. To me, that’s just the work week. Everything takes time and you have to prioritize. She replied that evening within about a hour. That’s damn fine service.

      I know the fabric is part of the issue. In the last photos I have the same amount of ease as I use with the PP113 trousers. Yet it looks as though I have plumber’s bu!!. That’s fabric, not pattern. I’m convinced Joanns mismarked this fabric. It might be active wear or underwear but it cannot be a slacks fabric.

  3. I enjoyed the post as I just ordered the Silhoutte pattern. My go to pattern for dress slacks has been Kwik Sew 3115. I’ve made several pair from Ponte and they work very well. I thought I would make the Silhoute pants and compare. I’m in Sioux Falls and enjoy your shopping comments:).

    1. Hi
      I don’t know how I’ve missed your lovely comment. Yes, you sound like me. Pants fit beautifully in front but are a mess in the back. Silhouette patterns have worked well for thousands of people. It very well could be the answer for you.

      Sioux Falls? We’ve probably seen each other at Hancocks and Joanns. I don’t go in the winter, but starting along about May I will be attending the sewing club meetings at Heirloom Creations in Sioux Falls.

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