Version 4 of the Ascona

I made changes. What’s the point of doing the same thing if it was wrong the last time? Right? But I felt the changes were a bit minor.  I traced the XL because L just didn’t have enough ease.  Then I added the PBA. Which for some reason was difficult this time.  I made the PBA and thought the back looked about the same. So I measured the pattern and measured my tissue. Yep somehow I had split the tissue, inserted tissue, folded  and taped it back together  just about the same size as it was when first traced. So I untaped my back pattern piece and started over. This time I drew a horizontal and vertical axis. Marked a 1″ square around the axis and then carefully spread the sections taping them into place 1″ apart. When done, I measured to ensure I had added an inch in height and width. Next, I took my TJ906 back crotch template and ignoring grain lines, angled it around until it fit nicely on the back pattern piece. I traced the TJ906 back crotch onto the back tissue and trimmed the excess tissue. Finally I added 1.25″ length to the top of both front and back pieces so that my tissue would have the fold-over waistband and sit at my natural waist.

I chose another sacrificial fabric: a rayon “light twill suiting”.

I cut my fabric and marked the center back before serge finishing all the edges. I basted side and inseams before putting one leg into the other and basting the crotch.  I like this sewing procedure because of how it feels when worn. I basted the folded over waist band and tried my pants on. Much to my surprise, they were pretty large:

It’s hard to describe their fit. Burlap bag comes to mind.  Certainly not the elegant view on Loes pattern envelope.My first thought was to shorten the front crotch because which was draping down about knee level. OK not that bad. I pinched out two inches and subsequently modified at the waist to take out the same.  This however, made more issues than it fixed. Taking up the front made the back look pretty bad,  I decided to try the suggestion of adding the same amount at the back as I took out at the front. I ripped out the waist stitching and discovered that I had mismarked my fabric. I had marked the front instead of the back. I was trying to make the back fit my front. Oy Vey. So I put everything back to “tissue” phase i.e. no fabric alterations and tried again.

Once again the front, the real front, was too long, but only by half as much i.e. 1 inch instead of 2.  I folded the waistband to remove 1″ in front; added a piece to the back so that I could add 1″ to the back.

This was NOT an improvement over the original bag look.

I worked through the fitting process scooping front and back; adjusting seam allowances and depth of waistband but in the end the best I could achieve:

Was disappointing and never better than the initial “burlap sack “.

I can blame fabric. This is a rayon fabric with lots of nice drape. Exactly what the pattern designer suggests. I remember some really good advice from some time ago “never attempt to make pants out of a fabric that you wouldn’t find in RTW pants”. (I think that’s from Pamela’s Patterns).  I have to admit that fabric to pattern could indeed be mismatched and my fault. Even though the vendor had marketed it as “suiting” I had earmarked it for a winter blouse. Perhaps I should have followed through on  my initial reaction to this fabric.

I certainly can blame the crotch.  The drafted crotch absolutely did not fit me. I don’t really blame the designer because most pant crotch shapes don’t work for me. I tried copying a favorite crotch right onto the pattern. But when it came time to stitch the crotch, I faced this:

I don’t think anybody has a crotch like that. Nor did I want that peak in the middle of my crotch.  I tried to draw ( and then stitch) a new crotch that would smooth out that peak while maintaining a shape I know I need.   It didn’t work; and once cut the fabric cannot be reattached. You can only cut more.  Should I have also copied the front crotch?  There sure didn’t seem to be much difference between the front of TJ906 and the front of 1008 (Ascona).  Could it have been a minor but an important difference?

In addition to the peak, I also found that the front as a whole was too large. I eventually offset the side seams making the front 5/8″ and the back 1/4″. But that created a front camel toe which needed to be removed by scooping.

I measured this crotch and also the crotches of 3 different pairs of my favorite (in rotation on a regular basis)  pants.  To my surprise, this crotch is much longer than anything else. Did it stretch out of shape? Due to so much handling?

I also have to wonder about the PBA.  I was concerned at how the back crotch bent where the PBA was inserted. I smoothed it out a little. Did I do too much? Too little?  Is the PBA just a bad idea?

I don’t want say this pattern is drafted badly. The only other reviewer that I could find, had issues but was able recover and create 2 nice pairs of nice pants. I’ve done everything I can think of and I’m not even close to having a pair I would wear let alone be proud of.

I have ideas:

  • Copy both front and back crotch from TJ906
  • Trace the L front and the XL back
  • Shorten front crotch while adding same amount to back.
  • Buy pants fabric from the designer.


I’ve discovered that my favorite RTW jeans have 25% stretch and I have 4 denim fabrics with 25-30%. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing one of my denim fabrics because it came out of the dryer with white crease marks.  I could make a pattern from my RTW jeans……


Am I done with the Ascona?




4 thoughts on “V4”

  1. I admire you for not giving giving up. I keep trying to visualize what would work to fix the back. The only other suggestion is trying to pin the excess fabric out under the bottom curve. Or maybe it needs to be scooped out more.

  2. I think after four substantial efforts to make them right it may be wise to retire this one. Copying your favourite RTW jeans is probably going to be more rewarding. Good luck.

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