When first published, I was not really interested in Loes Hinse’s latest pant pattern, The Ascona .
Then I read the June 2015 issue of “the Look” . The comparison of the Oxford and the Ascona pant patterns was eye-opening. (Comparison starts on Page 4. Do scroll down inside the PDF. It is well worth your time.) Seeing how narrow the legs were when compared to the Oxford, well I had a sudden intense desire for this pattern. While I love my TNT’s, I cannot slim the legs to my desired hem circumference without the ugly X wrinkles appearing. I’ve watched several on-line courses, attended fitting classes, read books and I keep hearing the same dismissive, off-handed downright condescending instruction: just slim the leg. Most instruction focus on fitting the crotch and totally ignore the fact that there are other parts of the body like knees and thighs which affect a nice looking pant. I’m interested in the Ascona because it is drafted and tested for a slimmer leg without being a jegging/legging/tight.
I purchased the pattern at the on-line site, Casual Elegance. Paid with Paypal and had my pattern in less than a week. The pattern is printed on heavy weight paper and comes with 3 pages of legal sized, type-written instructions. I checked the envelope for the recommended size. Size large is just 1/2″ smaller than my own hip measurement. But I’ve not had luck with any pattern by choosing the smaller size. I end up making so many alterations, that the fitted pattern hardly resembles it’s source. Whereas choosing the next larger size, my additional alteration usually is making the side seams deeper (7/8 instead of 5/8). So I settled on what should be the too-big XL.
Then I read the instruction indicating that the pattern includes 1″ of hip ease and recommendation to measure the pattern before determining size. Well that was fun. Many pattern contain hip lines so you know where to measure and change length. The Ascona does not. There are no marking suggesting this is the hip. There are notches to suggest knee and dart but where to measure the hip is not indicated. I know that the horizontal measurement will change depending upon the point at which it is measured. I do have a rough idea of where the widest point of the hip occurs on a pant pattern, but a quarter-inch up or down could be significantly different. I know the hip is not the widest part of the pant pattern i.e. the hip measurement does not include the part of the crotch that goes between your legs. Add to this is that fact that my widest point is at 6.5″ down from the waist. Most people find that the place which sticks out the furtherest is 7-8″ down from the waist. I finally pulled out my TNT PP113 and measured approximately the same distance down on the Ascona as the hip line drawn on PP113 …
and started hunting up the page with the suggested fabrics. How the heck did I misplace that sheet? Well I did. After 15 minutes of searching for the sheet, I turned to the internet. Just my luck, today is my day to share the bad port. My community is replacing our infrastructure. We’re all going to be all fiber shortly after the 4th of July. In the meantime, we have failing cards which the company doesn’t want to replace because they are very expensive ($20K each) and will not be in use when we transfer to fiber. I went back to hunting for the missing slip of paper because my internet connection insisted that the DNS server didn’t recognize any URL’ss including the ones he just recognized eariler this morning. Knowing the recommended fabric was critical because if I measured at the right place, even the XXL has negative ease. I thought the pant was drafted for woven fabrics (which would require positive ease). I would not have purchased the pattern otherwise. Patterns drafted for stretch fabrics are typically too tight. On me, they’re all dancer’s tights no matter what the envelope calls them. I would have thought that an internet outage would have increased my sewing time but no…. Instead, I opted for running downtown and doing a few errands.
Hate running errands they eat up the whole day. When I returned internet was up and I promptly searched and found:
“Suggested fabric: Drapey fabric, microfiber, rayon, silk, light weight wool, and light weight linen blend.”
Not a word or hint about knits and stretch. Although it does appear a stiff or firm fabric wouldn’t give the best results. I was preplexed. How was I going to use this pattern if it had negative ease?
I pulled out PP113’s front and back, smoothed them out and laid on top of View A’s pattern pieces. The XXL and 113 fronts were nearly the same. 113’s back was around an inch wider than the Ascona. My 113 is generously eased. It’s not quite a trouser but it does have more ease than a slack. I’ve removed ease several times but I’m at the point that even removing 1/4″ causes VPL in the back. I’m hoping that the Ascona, drafted to be slim, will not have those wrinkles. There’s still the possibility that I have measured in the wrong spot. I’m guestimating and assuming. Everyone knows what assuming really means. I think about this for a few seconds and decide I’d rather start with a pattern I know has enough fabric to cover my rear. Instead of the XL, I’m making the XXL.
Ah just for fun, I thought I’d include the official description of this pattern:
“Description: Slim cut pant with tapered leg, back darts, lightly elasticized waist. Two pant lengths included.”
Since, I’m not choosing the closest size, or next up, I wonder how much my version will resemble the description.
of course, this story continues
PS found the pattern cover sheet. It was in the scanner to be added to my personal pattern directory. Oh the trials of continuing to mature (aging)