So I read that the seam allowances were 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. I also read that the suggested fabrics were “Cotton, Linen, Silk, Wool and blends”. Thankful to find a light-colored, non-stretch fabric in the muslin stash, I chose a cotton twill. I chose a size that was 1″ larger than my hip even though general knowledge is that patterns will fit from the stated-measurement-for-the-size up to the next-size-measurement. I knew that a) I like my clothes to fit a little more loosely that most women and that b) my waist was 3.5″ more than the waist of the size I selected but the size which fit my waist would be 5″ larger than my hip. I added fit insurance (increased side seams to 1″ and the back inseam to 1.5″). I wasn’t surprised at the very first try on that the waist didn’t fit comfortably. I was surprised it wouldn’t even close.
Usually, I can pick my size and at zip up the zipper but I can’t breathe. Can’t say this was an auspicious beginning. I released the center front- leg seams 6″ down from the waistband. Gradually restitching at an angle so that the seam would be 1/4″ at the top. Nope still couldn’t zip up the pants. I know that the padding around my waist is concentrated in front. I released the side seams 6″ down from the waistband and then offset front to back to make the side-front SA 1/2″ and the side-back would still be sewn at its default stitching line. Ah! At last I can pull the pants up; zip up and breathe.
Question? Have misread the pattern. Have I missed instructions? Because these are still horribly tight. I promise not to bite if I am in error. I just want to know the truth. I want to sew these as the drafter intended. Having added 3″ to the front waist, and chosen what some would say is a size too large:
Huh??? For a pant that was designed for a butt 1″ wider than mine??? These look like I chose a size 3 times too small. I’m not sure how accurate my critique is at this point, but initial impressions:
I was expecting the top of the waistband to sit higher on my frame. Closer to the natural waist. This pant is just topping my hip crest. Did anyone read any place that this is a low-rise pant? I prefer mid-rise and will work with high-rise until I get it low enough to suit me but I avoid any pant with the ‘low-rise’ designation. I don’t like how a low-rise feels and looks on me.
The back waistband is both gaping away from my spine and pulling down slightly at center back. The pulling down is not a surprise. I suspected that the crotch extension was not long enough and/or the crotch would need to be scooped just because that’s what I need to do on every pant. At the same time the crotch feels too short in back, there is a bubble immediately beneath the waistband and a ‘feather’/ drag line about 1″ above where the crotch curves to go under my body. These generally denote that my upright is too long. Too short or too long? I don’t trust this initial impression. At least my back door is not clearly outlined, a problem I often have which definitely says the crotch extension is too short.
At the same time the waist feels low and the crotch both too short and too long, over the back thigh is poufy indicating too much length between leg crease and knee or that the pant is not sliding up into correct position.
The side seam is leaning towards the back indicating that I need more ease for the back as does the VPL seen in both back and side views. It troubles me that the center back is gaping at the same time that the waist is still obviously too tight.
Sigh, let’s move on to the front. Once again, I thought this pant would sit at or just above the natural waist. It’s definitely not waist-high. Again I see puffiness but this time between tummy and crotch with whiskers/camel toe at the crotch front.
Let’s face it: Fit #2 is bad. Horribly bad. I wonder if this was drafted for stretch fabrics? No that’s not what the pattern envelope says.
I searched for other reviews. I could find only 3 reviews about Lori Ann patterns 1 thumbs down 2 up. The one complaint was that the finished garment didn’t look like the sketch. The one blog post I came across was like afterthought instructions from the pattern drafter herself. Basically saying ‘work those center seams’. Not much help when you’ve cut out a pant 3 times too small.. So after thinking about it overnight, I decided to let out the center leg seams both front and back to a scant 1/4″. That meant taking the waistband off to add 1/2″ more circumference in the back. When stitching the WB back to the pant, I opted to use a 3/8″ SA thus adding 1/4″ length hoping to bring the pant up to the waist level I was expecting.
Well Fit #3
People often express surprise at my persistence with fitting. While I don’t look grossly deformed, my body does not closely match any standard measurement chart. I also know that I must change one thing at a time and see how that affects the rest of the fit. It’s the surgical method rather than shotgun method of fitting.
I’m no longer sandwiched or shoe horned into this muslin. No more VPL. Replacing the 1/2″ seams with 1/4″ seams has added the ease I needed. Typically, I skim instructions looking for specifics (like seam allowance sizes) and concentrate on instructions for any unique details. I re-read the instructions paying attention to every word. There are 3 pages with the 4th saying “intentionally left blank”. Twice, in bold letters it is stated that all seams allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise specified. I didn’t see any alternate seam allowance specifications anywhere. In fact, this is least notated pattern I think I’ve ever used. The pockets don’t even have notches. I’d like to know what I did wrong. I’m willing to take responsibility.
For Fit 4, I did an ‘undo’. After Fit 01 I offset the side seams to add more ease to the front at the waistband. I hesitated to make more than one change, but I just don’t like where the waistband is sitting. Since I had to adjust the waistband, I also stitched it now with 1/4″ seam allowances both when attaching to the pant and to the facing. The result was these felt good. I felt uplifted. I felt like ‘OK now I can tweak and perfect the fit’.
Did anyone think ‘hold on there, Bev’?
VPL returned, not quite as bad but not good. While the WB is sitting better, maybe even right-for-me, it gapes CB. I’m torn between trying to add more ease to the back and scooping the crotch. The crotch has continually, every fitting pulled on my rear. It’s uncomfortable and while I should be more patient, I’m getting annoyed and anxious to fix it. I rather expected the waistband to gap at CB because from the back view, I have a waist; whereas from the front I do not. All my top patterns look slightly odd as the back side seam is curved at the waist and the front side seam is straight or convex. I’m the only person I know of why adds a notch at the waist side seam so I can be sure to ease the front and back waist together. It’s totally unnoticeable when I wearing the garment.
The best thing about the side view, is that the side seam is fairly perpendicular. So much so that I’m reluctant to make changes. My tripod does not hold my camera exactly right. I nearly always need to rotate my pics a few degrees. So I look and think ‘Is the side seam leaning forward or does the pic need a little rotating?’
Rarely does this happen, but the front is making me groan. I mean typically the pant front looks perfect, the side view is OK and the back has me gnashing teeth. I knew the front crotch curve was different from my fitted patterns, but I didn’t think it was this bad.
Fit 05. How can I be so patient? Well seeing progress helps. So does experience. My experience is I must make sure a garment fits at the hanging point (shoulders for blouses, waists for pants/skirts) before I can accurately fit lower down. If I try to fit both the hanging point and parts below, I’ll end up undoing those lower places. Whenever I make multiple fitting changes at the same time, I increase the total amount of time devoted to fitting. Patience is a necessity, not a luxury nor option.
It’s time to snug the waistband to my body. I added two 1/4″ darts in the waistband with the big end of the dart at the waist.) It’s also time to start removing the puffiness in front above the crotch. It’s like scooping but instead of the bottom of the back crotch, I’m placing the scoop at the front waist towards the sides. Despite my lecture above, I offset the side seams again. One-half inch, this time favoring the back.
The front is markedly improved! I’ll need to work on the crotch curve, but I think now that has to be done at the tissue phase.
I”m not unhappy with the side view. This pant has been off and on how many times? I’ve never done more than a quick press at the site of the correction. Once again, I think the angle of the camera may have more to do with the perpendicularly of the side seam than a fitting issue.
The little waist scoop I did in front? Needs to be extended to the back. That’s something I do frequently when fitting pants. Most of the VPL is gone. Ease is has become an odd issue. I can pinch the side seam nearly a full inch yet the fabric across my rear looks tight. Also there is excess ease of the back thigh and I’m seeing those detested diagonal pulls at the knee. I think it’s time to scoop
Fit 06. I went bold and scooped a full 1/2″. It’s recommended that scooping be done 1/4″ at time. From my TJ906 and PP113 patterns, I estimated that I would need at least a 1/2″ scoop. I usually scoop as the last possible option. When you scoop, you also have to trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Otherwise, the effect of the scoop is not seen. Or felt. Once you scoop, you can’t un-scoop. It’s done. It’s permanent. Which is why this is so sad:
I can’t go back to a previous fit; and this is still so bad. I have a tight rear end at the same time I can pinch over an inch ease at the side seam:
I have camel toe with pull lines everywhere.
Although it’s not all that late… I think I should take a break.
Some things, just need to be considered carefully.