I’ve decided, I really do have knock knees. I’ve always seen knock knees described as the knee turning inward or the leg rotating inward. My knee is pretty straight on. As far as rotating, that’s what the earth does, right? Neither leg nor knee look like they are rotating to me. So for years I’ve said I’m NOT knock kneed. There is a distinctive pad of fat on my inner knee. I thought that might cause the same fitting issues as a knock knee but continued to deny I was actually knock kneed. Here recently I took pictures of my bare leg between hip and ankle. No, I’m no posting those pics. In those pics I see my thigh bone curves/bows outward creating thigh gap no matter how much I weight (or don’t weigh) but at the same time my legs angle towards the knees. Like an inverted triangle with the tip at my knees. My lower legs cannot come together unless I shift a leg forward (or back) and they splay outward from knee to ankle but straight, no bowing.
Interestingly I seem to have bowed, knock knees after all. I think it may not always be obvious because I generally stand with one leg in front of the other rather than spread apart shoulder-width or side by side.
That’s really food for future thought and maybe alterations because I’d already decided I wanted to try a knock knee alteration. Nearly every pant I make has some hint of drag lines around the knee like these (from the Near Perfect Eleanor)
So I copied the last pattern and added a 1″ Knock Knee Alteration to both back and front. 1″ is pretty substantial. Jennifer Sterns Knock Knee Alteration recommends making the alteration 1/4″ at a time. But I’ve been this route before. At the time, I stopped at a 3/4″ alteration because that was the recommended maximum. I decided there was no point in repeating in quarter-inch increments since my previous attempts had no effect upon these drag lines. I decided to go for 1″ and adjust from there.
I made a wadder. Actually it was a beautiful pair of Eleanors sewn from a cotton/lycra twill. Gorgeous fabric but without the required 20% stretch. I could not pull them up over my hips. Had no idea about the effect of the knock knee alteration. How could I have possibly made such a goof? Well I didn’t measure the stretch of the fabric. I pulled. It stretched. I felt kind of dumb when I couldn’t pull the pants up.
So I selected another fabric and this time I measured the stretch. A good yank on this poly knit fabric creates a 50% stretch. Boy can you tell it. Stretch measured to just before the fabric is obviously stretched is 30%. Eleanor requires 20% stretch so I should be good to go. I also used Louise’s elastic this time because I was out of the elastic used previously. I do prefer Louise’s elastic. It is softer and a little more stretchy but I wanted to be consistent. I cut both pieces of elastic 1″ shorter. My pattern has 5/8 side seam-allowances so I can adapt ease for the various fabrics. I know from experience that the same fabric from different bolts will behave slightly differently. I want the option to add a bit of ease. I serged this together with 1/4″ seam allowances pretty much without stopping. I figured if there was too much ease, I would make a seam on the sewing machine 5/8″ or whatever needed to reduce ease. In retrospect, I need to mark this version as needing 50% stretch. The result is just a little tighter than I like.
Fortunately, my blouses/tops will cover those wazy hips. They won’t cover the back of leg and knee wrinkles which get worse depending upon how I stand:
The good news is that these are a deep, dark brown, I guess they would be black-brown or brown-black. In the bank line you see:
which is no wrinkles at all. Don’t forget, I’ll probably be standing with one leg in front of the other (as in Pic2) which decreases the leg wrinkles.
Back to the Knock Knee Alteration….. I ‘m not sure it improved the drag lines at the knee. Comparing side-by-side with the ‘Almost Perfect Eleanor”
I think there are more back-of-leg and knee wrinkles on this version. Is that because there is less stretch? Percentage of stretch is definitely a factor. Compare with the first Eleanor which has negative ease butd did not have J. Sterns diagonal overlap:
When it comes to the knee drag lines, I”m just not sure how much of an improvement we’re looking at.
The 2-1/4 yards of fabric felt hefty when I pulled it off the shelf and did my stretch test. However I began to doubt its winter-cold weather applicability whilst serging. The finished garment tells me it’s a spring/summer/fall garment instead of the winter garment I desired. I love the Jalie Eleanor and will continue to work at reducing the wrinkles. I’ve kept this garment but wonder if I’ll ever wear it because I’ll probably improve the fit before weather permits its wear.
As for the alterations, I need to think some more.