My sewing angel gifted this pattern to me.
She was disappointed but assured me the pattern was well drafted. Her issue had been the close fit and the confusion with the pocket. OK, I love a new pant pattern. I’ll try it out.
This pant has multiple pieces. It is the ‘princess’ style for pants. Meaning that it has front, side front, back, side back and contoured waistband. It’s really a good fit idea. I first ran into this idea when I was doing a lot of machine knitting. From the custom knitters I learned that this type pattern was their first choice because it is possible to adapt the knitting to wearer with small adjustments while stitching. That’s as opposed to knitting, stitching together and then ripping it all out and of course knitting once again. Maybe knitting several times. Having those extra seams means that there are many places to make small adjustments. Cumulatively, those small adjustments equal big changes and a badly fitting sweater can morph into a beautiful, fit praise worthy, finished item. So I’m inclined to favorably view ‘princess lines’ in pants. I even have a pattern now, TJ906 which has princess lines only in the back leg. Combined with a contour waistband, it is the best fitting jean I’ve ever had. My point is, I’m starting this pattern in a favorable frame of mind.
Sizing was the first issue I struggled with. One size is 1/2″ too small at the hip. The size larger, 1″ too generous. My waist is shapely from behind, but nonexistent in front. I usually address that by leaving out the darts in front and adding or increased the depth of the darts in back. On this pattern I have the choice of 5″ too small at the waist or going up to the size waist which gives me 5″ too much at the hip. That might be OK for a trouser but I thought this draft was to be close-fitting. I chose a size in between and traced the size 16 which matches none of my measurements being both too big at the hip and too small at the waist.
As I traced I realized why my sewing angel may have found the pocket confusing. I didn’t find a single alignment notation for the pockets. I think you’re being left to wonder, ‘have I aligned this correctly?’ I walked the seams of back and front side pieces. Marked the point where the front side should terminate. Then aligned my pocket with the curves of the front side and center seams before adding my own alignment marks. You may think that is overkill. I had minor fit issues with the Jalie Jean until I marked and matched the pockets. Since then, I just don’t take the chance. I want to get the fit as good as possible the first time. I copy all notches and dots and I match them up when sewing. Myabe it’s just a security blanket type situation for me.
I also felt frustrated with two places where the various sized cutting lines joined creating a solid 1/4″ line.
Where does my size cross in that 1/4″? I’m disconcerted because I’ve definitely found that 1/4″ makes a difference in how clothing fits me. With this many seams, I’m concerned about even 1/16″. They add up, you know? I was a bit annoyed to be left guessing. I know my pattern was free to me, but I feel expensive Indy patterns should be very accurate. I need to feel like we’re getting something extra for the extra cost. Well lets move on.
After tracing La6017 in size 16, I compared with my well-fitting patterns PP113 and TJ906.
I like the nice deep U of LA6017
but in comparison with PP113, I find that the back extension isn’t long enough for me. YMMV
To be fair, I followed Pamela Patterns instructions and added 1″ along the seam allowances for the first fitting of PP113. While the 1″ was trimmed away from the other seams, I needed it along the back inseam . So maybe I just need to add 1″ along the back inseam of LA 6017.
Next I compared with the aforementioned TJ906. The front crotch curves are different.
On me, this curve creates ripples/whiskers/drag lines in front. I may be able to correct at the muslin stage by scooping the front crotch a little. I’m more concerned by the fact that TJ906 has a little more circumference at the front waist. Right where my tummy is. I have tweaked the TJ906 front crotch curve. I did not add circumference. Ever. It was there in the pattern
I looked at the back crotch and think it’s possible that just scooping could fix any issues I might have.
But I look at how different the pant is proportioned when grain lines are parallel and doubt.
I also compared waistbands. TJ906 has been tweaked to fit me. That means there is more front waistband than back and it is more curved.
Finished with my comparisons and onto initial conclusions and a sewing/fitting plan:
I’m not using a left and right waistband nor a right and left under waistband more commonly called a facing; only the left waistband. I didn’t even trace the zipper guards. These are neat details and I do look for them in expensive clothing. They also have practical applications. A facing is cut just slightly narrower than waistband. At the SM, the bottom edges of facing and waistband are aligned which causes the waistband to roll toward the inside. The facing will never be visible on the public side using this method. But, there are alternative sewing procedure I prefer to use. I cut these pieces the same size and stitch the upper edges together. I press that edge, flat, then open and finally press the SA’s toward the facing side. At the SM I use the triple zig zag to secure the SA’s to the facing. I smooth the facing inside and pressed carefully before stitching in the ditch from the pubic side. I’m not sure if it is more work or less. I am sure it feels easier and less fussy to me. Then end result is the same. You’ll never see a facing on the public side of my pants either.
As for zipper guards/shields/facings, the real purpose is protecting tender skin and– err– fur from being caught by zipper teeth. I use granny panties. No zipper will ever nip me or pull my fur. Granny panties require no additional sewing. I have therefore added a 1″ cut-on fly to the front pattern piece.
I traced the front stay, but won’t use it for the muslin. I’m afraid that I won’t see fit issues if the stay is acting as an old fashioned girdle or corset. I’d rather fit the pant carefully and use the stay for additional smoothing.
I’m also not making the pocket on the muslin. Instead I’ve pinned the pocket in place and will cut the muslin to include it.
My sewing angel shortened the pattern leg length which suits me just fine. Even though I personally didn’t shorten the pattern, I want to note a needed alteration.
I increased side seams to 1″ and the back inseam allowance to 1.5″. Just a little fit insurance. I will baste the muslin along the original-default stitching-lines because I’d really like to see how this draft works for my body. I’m always hopeful a new and however-slightly-different draft will make fitting magic. The straight of grain line is significantly different between LA6017 and TJ906. The crotch shape is significantly different. But I do feel encouraged. These could fit. Pigs can fly. They need the help of a tornado; but they can fly.