Flo: Fabric 3

The third Fabric was purchased from Nancy’s Notions late last year (2015), the Denim Bare Knits Cotton Poly Interlock Knit .  Looked good in the pic but I was disappointed on arrival. This fabric distinctly reminds me of sweatshirt fabric without a fleece side. There are two knit sides. One is smooth the other a bit rougher.  It’s not a fabric that burned in my dreams and has sat forgotten until now when I looked for a very stretchy, pant-weight knit fabric I wouldn’t mind sacrificing in the interest of fitting a pattern.  This fabric easily has 40% stretch.  With a little effort I can make that 50% but again I wouldn’t want to wear something that tightly stretched. It recovers quickly but not 100% completely . More like 98% recovery, just enough I can tell the difference between stretched and unstretched.

Based on my experience with the 2nd fabric, I trimmed the 3/4″ length added at the top of the legs.  I was fairly certain I wouldn’t need to lengthen or shorten the crotch and that 3/4″ wouldn’t be needed.  I kept the 3/4″ side seam insurance. I’m really not sure that my ease requirements are the same as SA’s drafted ease. I want room to make it work.

I followed my own advice. Pressed the fabric. Laid out the pattern and cut the waistband first.  I stitched the side seams of the waistband at 3/8″. I could have used it as a hula hoop. So I kept increasing the side seams 3/8″ at a time until I could easily step into and pull up the waistband without having to tug  it over my hips.  Surprise, surprise, my stitching line was exactly on the line the drafter planned. Whoop. Whoop. Whoop. Fabric is the answer. Or stretch. The stretch of my Cotton Poly Interlock  is very close to what my Bengaline demonstrated. Still using water-soluble thread to baste everything together, I merrily stitched away until all the pieces were connected. One really nice thing about knits:  they don’t ravel. I realize a lot of work had been done for Fabrics 1 and 2, yet I was surprised to be taking the first fitting pics in about 45 minutes.

How does it fit? Well it’s still a little too body conscious for me to wear in public.  Very importantly,  a lot of the back of the thigh issues seemed solved.   Even though I shortened the legs above the knee by 2″, they were still far too long.  I’ve pinned the hems up at 3″ while the pattern calls for 1″. I think that may be a fabric issue rather than a pattern issue. This is a heavy fabric that stretches both ways. I feel  sure that the weight of the fabric is pulling the leg down but  if I were 16, I’d be in love with the body hugging crotch. If there’s too much weight for the legs making them longer, why isn’t the crotch droopy too?

For the 2nd Fitting  I re-basted at the side seams adding a scant 1/4″. Fit 2, was still not what I was looking for. From the envelope I thought this pant was designed to skim the body. I mean you can clearly see the pant fits closely at the waist to the hip and again at the calve. Below the hip and calve there is body space. The pant is not flush with the body in these places.

What I’m getting is very form revealing.  I’m fairly sure it’s not a fabric issue.  I think there isn’t enough ease at the hip  and even though the crotch is smooth, it might benefit from a little more ease.

For Fit 3 I released the side and in-seams another scant 1/4″.  Additionally, I can see those back drag lines over my thigh aren’t getting any better .

Fit 4, I offset the yoke and the back leg 1/2″.  Peggy Sagers says those wrinkles over the thigh initiate from the hip.  The yoke is a little higher than the hip dart would be placed, but if moving the excess length under the bottom of the yoke works, it would be a good fix.  Worth a try.

Two fittings later, after I had decreased the inseam allowance and created a 1/2″ hip curve along the side, I shrugged and said, “don’t think I can correct the rest of the problems in the fabric stage. ‘  Somethings need to be fixed at the tissue stage. Even knit fabrics can’t correct a draft that isn’t tweaked for your body.

I was glad to finish this pair.  Look, this fabric reminds me of sweat pants–just no fleece. While it would be comfortable at home during winter cold weather or even to sleep in, I’m not wearing it anywhere. I think a nice fitting pair of jeans (of which I have several) is a step up on the casual scale over sweatpants. Don’t mean to offend anyone. This is just my personal opinion.  So I serged off excess fabric at the seam allowances; added boning over the hip side seams to smooth out the dip at the leg joint and scooped the crotch 1/4”.  Only then did I hem the pants. BTW Flo has a nice U-shaped crotch.  I find I really do need the fish-hook type crotch so my scoop goes straight down along the back crotch then curves upward and meets the front at the inseam.

At the moment I’m debating on a 4th muslin. Jalie Eleanor is very similar to the Style Arc pattern and I’ve already made all the needed corrections including the knock knee alteration I haven’t even addressed with Flo.  I prefer Eleanor’s back and front waistband pieces to Flo’s single piece cut twice. That’s because I’m shapely in back but have no waist in the front.    I need a front and a back adapted to my body. I also like that the pocket pieces and faux fly is already drafted by Jalie. OK these wouldn’t be hard to do for the Flo.  I see now that to fit this pattern, I’m going to make J. Sterns diagonal tuck on the pattern. Also, I still need to wrestle with the obvious knock-knee wrinkles. It is possible that the next muslin would be perfect or at least really lovely but which fabric should I risk? I don’t want to waste any of my pant fabrics.  I have so few with 40% stretch.

But for anyone wanting to buy this pattern. I’d give the go ahead. I thought it was well drafted. Minimal pieces make it a quick sew after fitting. If your only issue is a flat bottom, even fitting could be a snap. I only took 1/2″ off the leg.  When I do J. Sterns tuck it’s more like 3″.  In the end I don’t think the forward seams enhanced or detracted from my figure –that’s partly because by the time I get myself styled you usually can’t see my butt anyway.  I do like being able to purchase in multi-sizes. Also, I do like buying off Amazon.  It’s really convenient for me.   If I buy another (I’m thinking of the Talia), I would buy the next size range.  I’m sure I added enough ease to the 16 to make it at least an 18– that’s with a 50% stretch fabric!  Even though SA said the 14 would fit my 43″ behind, my personal ease preferences put me in a larger pant.  YMMV.

Back of Bank Line Bev

Bank Line Bev

1 thought on “Flo: Fabric 3”

  1. Thanks for the update, very interesting. I do have a Style Arc pants pattern that I may try; based on that I may decide to try the Flo pattern.

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