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My aging Body VS Pants

I’ve had an incredibly frustrating  couple of weeks.  Having easily finished the black Velvet-Like Corduroy  pants to the point of near perfection, I turned my attention to creating a pair from the same pattern in a dark brown.  I’ll take the time to point out I had also used the same pattern to create my pants for my Spring 6PAC.  Then this happened

Photo lightened 100%

Same pattern. Incredibly different results.Why?

I wondered about measurement changes. I had just slipped the tape measure around me in several places when I attempted drafting the week before last. A quick check revealed that my numbers hadn’t changed at all between then and now. I wondered if I had otherwise overly trimmed the pattern pieces .  To my relief, my copies were reasonably close to the original pattern sheets.  So then I checked the envelope to see if I had traced the correct size.  Size correct.  I searched my blog to see when I’d last fit this pattern and what changes I’ve been making along the way.  As near as I can tell  the real problem is my aging body and the differing amount of stretch between fabrics. This fabric had a mere 11% stretch vs the 50% of the yoga pants and 25 % of the corduroy pants.

I wasn’t sure of all the changes I’d made to this  version. I have been tweaking and playing with it for quite some time.  I opted to trace the same size, because according to my hip measurement, that was the right size.  I was a bit over-confident. I trimmed the inseams, crotch and waist seam allowances to 1/4″. Figuring with 5/8″ allowance in two other seams (side and center back leg), I would have enough ease to adapt to my figure.  I chose another fabric a 100% cotton i.e. no-stretch.  I wanted to create a base pattern that I could adapt to fabrics of varying stretch. I want to correctly establish correct length and style at the pattern stage and the adapt for stretch during fit.  And then this happened:

Oh and that was  the 2nd fitting after I had let out the seams as far as possible.

Back to the original pattern to trace  the next size up.  Slightly humbled, I didn’t trim a single seam allowance. I  did shorten the leg at the hem 3″. I’m short. The leg needs to be shortened. I chose a new fabric. I depleted the supply of non-stretch dark browns, which is what I wanted to add to my wardrobe, and decided to work with what was called a dark olive.  It’s not black. Even though it is named dark olive, it is lighter in value than the 2 previous fabrics.  It is a soft soft, 100% cotton, corduroy. If I remember correctly I purchased this from the fabric store in Mitchell. I remember loving the feel of the fabric but hesitating over the color.  Sure enough, this fabric has sat in my stash at least 3 years. It just doesn’t look good to me next to most of my other colors.  I reasoned now was the time. If this version of 906 didn’t work either, I wouldn’t have wasted a truly admired fabric.

I spent 9 fittings trying to get this to fit me.   Nine. 09. N_I_N_E

Photos Lightened 100%

Here’s the problem. #1, the fabric is too soft. It just collapses. It shows VPL even when I can pinch an inch of fabric directly over that area. It  wants to stick and cling despite multiple applications static spray.  It doesn’t stretch which I wanted.  But fabric isn’t the only problem. The other problem is that some alterations must be made at the tissue level. Trying to correct later only creates other issues. Same applies to trying to make too many changes or really big changes. They accumulate and cause other issues. I finished this pair by ripping out most of the fitting changes (the other two were binned). From this version I took   two style and 1 fitting change.

  1. Folded out 3/4″ crotch depth on all 3 leg pieces.
    1. I really want the wider waistband  created by using a 3/8″ SA along both edges of the waistband. But then I have to compensate for the additional crotch length.
  2. Trimmed leg width 1/4″ by the inseam and 1/2″ by the side seam between hem and 2″ below knee.
    1. I like a baby bell but not the 23″ hem circumference included in this pattern
    2.  Because of my knee shape taking out more ease on the inseam size causes the leg to pull at the knee.
    3. Taking out more ease around the knee also causes drag lines emanating from the knee.
  3. Fitting change:  added 3/8 ease to the CB seam of the leg.
    1. Just in case the VPL was not solely due to the softness of the fabric.

I decided to choose another fabric from the olive/khaki stack. I’ve accumulated these fabrics because they look differently in the store or on-line than at home  in the natural light.  I’ve now officially designated olive/khaki as “muslin” and am proceeding to whittle their numbers down.  The next fabric was called “suiting”. It too is a 100% cotton.  If I was making a suit, I would completely interface this fabric. It is beefy but lacks body. It wouldn’t make a good suit without help from interfacing. 3rd fitting and nearly done:

Yeah you can’t see much until the pictures are lightened 100%

I haven’t secured the pockets. I like to place the pockets when the jean is flat. So the back does look a little off.  I added an even 3/8″ to the CB leg.  Then decided that I needed to add at least half of that to the back yoke so that I could ease instead of gather the leg and yoke. The yoke is then eased to the back of the waist band. In actuality, I need the ease just over the curve of my bottom.   When I make permanent stitching, I’ll take the ease out of the yoke and curve the top of the CB leg to eliminate the 3/8.  Kind of like changing a C cup for the previous B or an FBA directly over the rear.  What I”m most concerned about now, is that the back of the leg of this pattern has always fit beautifully. It’s what I love about the pattern. I feel like the leg has gotten too big. Which if I compare with the measurement chart is correct. According to the measurement chart I need to use two sizes smaller.  But you saw how that fit second picture from the top).  I’m not retracing. I want to get the pattern to fit, not to figure out fit theory. Besides I’m happy with the side view. I will scoop the front crotch just a bit. It looks like the beginning of camel toe. I know from experience that the front crotch has to be a little more curved than drafted.  A little spay starch and a good pressing and this pair is wearable.

So to the next version (there must be a next version because I”m not entirely satisfied with this one)

  1. (Style Change) Folded out 3/4″ crotch depth on all 3 leg pieces
  2. (Style Change) Trimmed leg width 1/4″ by the inseam and 1/2″ by the side seam between hem and 2″ below knee.
  3. (Fitting change):  added 3/8 ease to the CB seam of the leg (curved above and below the bump).
  4. (Fitting change): 3/4″  wedge removed at side seam extending from side back belt loop to side front belt loop

Stay tuned, another version is coming up soon.


4 thoughts on “My aging Body VS Pants”

  1. Sorry things have been so frustrating lately. Unfortunately, that happens to all of us at some point in time. I even find myself at times questioning what I thought was a good fit depending what mood I’m in. Crazy, huh? Some days it just pays for me to stay out of the sewing room! lol

    1. Thanks Linda. It just came out of left field, so the speak. I made 3 really good pairs of pants and then bam the next was so bad I couldn’t believe I was using the same pattern! I do find that the longer I really pay attention to fit, the more particular I get about it. 10 years ago I was happy just to keep the crotch from riding up (KWIM?) . Now I want it all to fit smoothly everywhere. Sometimes, I’m the fitting problem.

  2. About 3 weeks ago I was having problems with tops and a pair of Lola SA pants. I just figured I was sewing for the homeless and have a big sack of items I finished but was NOT happy with!! So now I’ve turned to bra making again. Have made three – wearing them to see if I want any changes before I carry on!

    1. You finished the bad ones? The really bad ones I put in the trash. I finished the ones where I though my tops would cover up the worst of it and will donate them at the end of winter. Fortunately, I can buy bras that fit. I dislike sewing bras because they seem so fiddly. Little parts and all. Working on a new version of 906 that looks pretty good and want to try an idea LindaT shared about my sleeve wrinkle.

      So glad to hear from you.

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