sdBev's Pants!

Archive for April 2015

PP113

Posted on: April 30, 2015

I’m really very pleased with this pattern.  For this version, I added a 3rd dart to the back pattern and increased the vertical tuck in the front piece to remove a full 1″ of ease.

I wasn’t sure about my choice of fabric. This is a cotton. I want to call it ticking but the fabric is not tightly woven. It’d never keep a single feather within a pillow! In fact the fabric is a bit light and I’m not sure pant worthy.  But I just couldn’t help myself. I can absolutely imagine walking along some beach dressed thusly:

I think the front is getting near perfect….

…although I will tweak the fit for each fabric.

Adding the 3rd dart on the back was an error. At fitting time, I released the back dart and stitched a 2nd dart in the front returning the pattern to its original configuration of 2 darts in front and 2 darts in back. This is the first time with this pattern that  I’ve added a 2nd dart to the front of this pattern.

I do see the slight diagonals forming below the waist; kind of over the pocket. Usually, I will finally tweak these away by taking more length off the at the side seam.  I’m putting off that tweak because the diagonals are not as bad as they are on most pants and truthfully could be caused because there isn’t sufficient ease in the back.  I mean, they could just go away once the total ease is correctly divided between front and back according to what my body needs.

When I put in the slant pockets, I taped the slant-edge. It’s under-stitched and turned creating a surprising amount of bulk right at the side seam.  My presser foot did not ride smoothly over that edge when stitching the side seam.  I had to stop, rip stitches and re-do a time or two. So while the side seam at the pocket join looks tight, I’m not sure it’s a lack of front ease causing the diagonals or inflexibility and denseness at that point.

The back clearly needs a smidge more room. Sigh, my scales report that I have indeed added padding even while the tape measure records the same inches.   I can let the side seams out another 1/4″.   Which having seen these “final’ pics I will do.   I’m always amazed at how an improved fit feels so much better and looks great in the mirror BTW that I think it’s perfect but then the pics tell me it’s not.

Summary of pattern changes:

  1. Less 4″ leg length
  2. Crotch depth
    1. Back: 1/4″ evenly tucked  (total 1/2″ removed from back crotch depth)
    2. Front:  3/8″  Wedge at the center front decreasing to  1/4″ at the side seam
  3. Ease
    1. Front: Vertical 1/2″ tuck  (removes 1″ ease per leg)
    2. Back Slash and spread 1″ (adds 1″ ease per leg)
    3. Net ease change =Zero

I look at the net changes and think, “I really didn’t alter the original draft much”.  It’s taken 3  versions to get to this point because I’m cautious and analytical.  Also I’ve learned that in fitting, it’s better to make one change at a time because every change changes something else.

Future change

  1. Ease
    1. Front: Vertical 5/8″ tuck  (removes 1.25″ ease per leg total 2.5″ from the front)
    2. Back Slash and spread 1.25″ (adds 1.25″ ease per leg total 2.5″ added to the back)
    3. Net ease change =Zero

Yeah, I’m just moving ease from the front to the back. But at the same time, each of my versions are very wearable and each version is allowing me to play with other features such as pockets.

I’m liking this pattern so much that I’ve purged my pant pattern-stash.  I’ve kept The Eureka pant, CLD’s MSS pant and  Pants Perfected (today’s pattern PP113). Pants are so difficult for me to fit, that I’d rather spend time adding details than fitting pattern after pattern.  Even PP113, a pattern  I’ve already used multiple times, has taken 3 tries to get very close to perfect.  Of course, another version will be coming up.

 

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So pleased with the narrow back (and the smaller 20″ hem circumference) but it’s not enough to just transfer draping changes back to the pattern. They need to be tested. So I started this next version by

  1. Vertically slashing the back along the grain line and adding an even 1″ ease.
  2. To compensate for that I made a vertical 1/8″ tuck on front (removes 1/4″ ease per leg). I wanted to be bold and take the full 1″ away from the front (just added to the back) but just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
  3. I also increased the dart depth on the back by 1/4″ on each dart. There are two darts so that means I removing a total of 1″ ease at the waistline in the back.

I’m doing a slight bit of rearrangement to the sewing stash and have separated fabric that I think would make good pants. Well, they are fabrics that I’ve seen in RTW pants.  Pamela of Pamela’s Patterns, says as a guideline ask yourself if you would buy a RTW pant made up in this fabric. “Buy” is critical. Because even RTW makes mistakes. I quit buying RTW pants several years ago (the DG2’s are very recent).  RTW pants fit the waist or the bum. They may look and feel great, then I turn around and find that the crotch is way up in there; my lady parts identifiable and in short I don’t buy RTW pants.  So I had to think back to when I was younger and thinner.  Fabrics have changed a lot.  From my stash emerged a beautiful spring green cotton/lycra that I recognized as a perennial favorite.  It is not an “old” fabric. It’s only been in my stash about 2 years.  I’ve delayed using it because I wanted to be sure the resulting garment would be worthy of the fabric. No more. I’m using whatever fabric appeals to me. If I ruin it, Oh well that’s another fabric my son won’t have to deal with when I die.

This has about 10% stretch. 12% if I pull really hard. In and of itself, that adds a new dimension to tweaking this pattern.  I found that I needed to increase my seam allowances. I ended up with a 1-1/8″ SA when a 1/2″ was planned. At final stitching I increased just a bit more which is almost enough on the front:

But too much on the back:

.I also found that increasing the dart depth is not the best answer. The darts became,,, weird. Fortunately,  my tops will cover the worst of it. I added front patch pockets. I like patch pockets because they don’t interfere with any fitting. It seems like I always need to tweak for the effects of fabric.  I love the MSS pocket, but find it awkward to fit when using that pocket. It’s like, I have to be satisfied with the fit no matter what, if I’m going to use the MSS pocket.  If I have any inkling that fit my need adjusting, choose another pocket.

I see the one diagonal on the back which on the first pair I attributed to my stance. Some time ago, it was suggested that one of my hips may be slightly lower than the other. That’s quite common amongst women.  We tend to carry weight (children, groceries, etc) more on one side of our body than the other. Our posture suffers for it.  I notice the effects especially at my shoulders. Clearly to me, one of my shoulder is lower than the other.  I’m not mentally ready to address this phenom either at the shoulder or butt. Except that I also note that the diagonals at the front and side

are usually the result of an uneven waistline. This too is common.  My waistline is not level.  Actually, it’s more like the track of a roller coaster ride.  Usually, I clear up most of those diagonals by offsetting the side seam 1/4″ above the waistband and letting the waist evenly fall back into place along the waistband. But when I did that on this pant, it developed camel toe and crotch creep.; and did so despite the bubble’s beneath the waistband that indicate the crotch is too long. No thanks. I’d rather have a few diagonals.

Despite my criticisms, I’m not unhappy in the least with this pant. Once I quit posing, my pants are going to develop drag lines.  It will be hard to tell which lines are from fit issues and which are from my body in motion.  I will increase the front, vertical tuck to a full 1/2″ removing a net of 1″ ease from the front and add a 3rd back dart.  I’m not sure about correcting for the side diagonals. I got the back too tight. Those under-waistband bubbles could be forming because the pant is snuggling upwards trying to pull more fabric over the widest point. Which BTW could also be contributing to the diagonals. Because this is a cotton/lycra, the bubbles and diagonals may largely disappear after I’ve worn the garment a time or two and permanently stretch out the seating area.   The one thing that’s really out of kilter, is the color/fabric combination.  This lovely green was matched with a full-bodied fabric.  This fabric is more suitable for late fall, early spring or with tights, dead winter. Generally I avoid the lighter colors until summer. There’s a practical reason behind my behavior.  I’ve ruined many pants because winter snows create a muddy oily crud that can’t be washed out. Spring and fall are not nearly as bad, but the same does happen. For that reason and the fact it exists for 3 seasons of the year, you generally see me in dark blue, dark brown and black pants.

I anticipate this pant will have limited wear which is too bad. There this phenom that occurs with fit.  Every time it gets a little better, I hate the previous versions and can barely stand to wear them.  Already I notice that this pair, the previous and the black pair from last winter are incredibly more comfortable than my all my other pants excepting the DG2’s. I can’t wait to make more.

 

 

 

I want a slack type fit. Smooth over waist and hip. Trim down the leg to the ankle. Not flowing. Nor like a body hugging jean. PP113 fits wonderfully as long as I want a loose trouser pattern.  As soon as I start trying to achieve a “slack” i.e.  reduce the hem circumference and trim away some of the ease over the back hip, the dreaded X wrinkle returns.  Admittedly, this happens to my Eureka and MSS pattern as well; and the wrong fabric can ruin any pattern.  As I pondered this, I decided to view the fitting DVD (which accompanied the pattern) a second time. After all, it’s been over a year since I viewed the DVD.  I’ve played with this pattern multiple times. Traced and fit at least 3 times.  I was surprised when Pam recommended one of the models switch to the narrow back. Huh? That woman’s rear didn’t look particularly flat to me, but the tissue pattern clearly puffed out over her back thigh–exactly what I see on myself.  So nothing would do  but I try the narrow back for myself.

I traced both front and back. Just for fun I traced both the narrow back (in pink) and the wide back (in green).

 

I was expecting that the green outline, would have a longer crotch extension and be over all wider.  I was not expecting that the red line would have a higher upright, the extension is dropped (green arrows) and almost as long and most notably both inseam and side seam are definitely shaped (purple arrows) . Oh and the narrow back is at least 1/2″ narrower at the hem. There are clearly two different drafts.

I almost stopped here. I knew I didn’t need the longer crotch upright; and the dropped extension is a bit shorter. Also my body seems to always appreciate a pant with a little more length going between the legs.  But I do end up scooping the crotch just a bit (I need more of a J hook) and I really like the look of the shaping of the side and inseams.  So I decided, What the heck. I’ve wasted so much material on pants, one more cut wouldn’t matter.

With every pattern I make a series of tweaks.  For starters, I’m shorter than the “average” figure.  I will require at least a length alteration. I’m also lazy and like to serge and be done. So when a pattern fits, I reduce all  seam widths except the side-seam. That way I can serge most of the garment and still be able to tweak fit for individual fabrics.  I’ve been recording changes on my patterns but as recorded they tell me where I am now as opposed to how I got here. IOW I know that I’m going to serge the inseam at 1/4″ but I don’t know how if I removed 3/8″ or 3/4″ to finally arrive at my 1/4″ serging seam allowance.   Since this is a pattern I use over and over, I decided to record changes in a different way.  I have two pages in my sewing journal. One is labeled “front”. The other “back”.  I’m recording the net changes as I go along.  For instances I know that I need to shorten the leg.  I started with 3″. Compared it with my existing pattern and increased that by 1/2″.  In my book on both the Front page and Back page, I’ve noted “shorten leg 3.5″.  It was 3″ and then changed to 3.5″ when I realized I needed to shorten an extra .5”.   Since I’m really not sure how I arrived at the last pattern, I’ve started with 4 pattern alterations

  1. Less 3.5″ leg length
  2. 1/4″ evenly tucked across back crotch depth (total 1/2″ removed from back crotch upright)
  3. A wedge  3/8″ at the center front, 1/4″ at the side seam on the front pattern piece.
  4. Eliminate 1 dart from front pattern piece.

I can see this alterations on my previous pattern which fits pretty good with most fabrics,excellent with some fabrics and is a total waste of some fabrics. I’m pretty confident with that pattern, but still holding my breath on this one.

I chose a light weight but firm suiting. It’s labeled “mixed fibers” which made me wonder if I should even purchase it. However, that makes it more than suitable for a muslin. It’s a bit scratchy.  Could be nylon. Could be wool. It doesn’t shrink so I don’t think wool.  I serged the edges immediately because I wasn’t sure how much handling it would get and how badly it would ravel. I was immediately thankful for that choice, because just carrying it to the serger caused minor raveling.

Let’s get right to fit.  Each of the next 3 photos shows the fit (from left to right : 1) out of the envelope 5/8″ standard seam allowances , 2) decreasing side seams to 3/8″ 3) offsetting  side seams 1/4″ back, 3/4″ front.

It’s important to me to note, that the only thing I have done is adjust the inherent ease. By offsetting the seams, I’m removing ease from the front and adding it to the back. The back goes from being obviously too tight, to almost perfect.  I could stand another 1/4″ (on both side seams) but I don’t have any left. On the back, I don’t have any left. 1/4″ is as narrow as seam as I will use and even then I can get into trouble.

I’d look at the front

and  ask “is this OK”.  Front he front view I wasn’t sure if I had an issue. But the side

Clearly shows that there is more front room than back room.  This is a clear example of what Gale Greig-Hazen (and I think KatherineF) teach:  you have to put fabric where fabric is needed.   Because the final pant

is dang near perfect. I tend to shift my weight from one leg to another which accounts for the one back drag line. It was not visible at the final fitting (last pic on the right of all 3 above). I added pockets and embroidered them.

I’m hoping this “muslin” is wearable for several years. I think it’s going to be cool for summer and of course warmer spring and fall days.

Pattern alterations:

Started with

  1. Less 3.5″ leg length
  2. 1/4″ evenly tucked across back crotch depth (total 1/2″ removed from back crotch upright)
  3. A wedge  3/8″ at the center front, 1/4″ at the side seam on the front pattern piece.
  4. Eliminate 1 dart from front pattern piece.

Adding

  1. Vertical 1/8″ tuck on front (removes 1/4″ ease per leg)
  2. Slash and spread 1″ on back (adds 1″ ease per leg)
  3. Increase back dart width or add 1 additional back dart.

 

I have to say, this sounds a lot like what I did with Eureka, MSS and several of the Burda pant patterns that I fit.  I’m tempted to immediately add 1″ to the back and remove 1″ from the front because that’s exactly what I did to the Eureka, MSS and Burda patterns. But I like to progress carefully and while I know I need to remove some from the front, I’m not sure exactly how much. I’d rather have a little roomy front, than too tight.  Right now, I’m pretty pleased. Surprised that the narrow back works for me and pleased with how well it looks especially with so little effort on my part.