I’ve fit 3 Otto pants patterns but it’s always a struggle. Needed several muslins and at least one of them looked dreadful on me even after fitting. (The Carrot Pant.) But this latest issue 2016/5, had an interesting looking leg. I’ve been looking for that slim leg which is not body conscious nor does it flare at the knee or ankle. I also prefer a waistband either at or just below my natural waist–no plumber’s butt for me. I’ve seen a few patterns that come close, but they’re always issued by companies whose draft I can never fit (Kwik Sew, McCalls etc). So when this Otto design posted:
I knew immediately I wanted to try it but I wasn’t using my normal methods. Burda and Otto seem to like a closer fit than me; and since I’m in between sizes, I chose one size larger (48) than the recommended. I located Sheet C, traced the pattern pieces and extended the leg pieces as instructed. I tried comparing the just traced pieces with Eleanor, a knit-fabric, yoga-pant, type pattern which fits me (it took 6 muslins). Looking at the pics…
…should tell you why I always have to fit from scratch. My crotch and legs never come close to looking like the new draft. I’ve found I can’t just transfer my crotch to the new draft. Found that out the hard way with lost time and precious fabric. Can’t just measure crotch depth, leg length or ease. I know there are people out there who always transfer “their crotch” and claim the pattern fits perfectly. I have 3 great fitting pants patterns to which I did little at all ( TJ906 The Eureka and Pamela Pattern 113). Each of the crotches are vastly different but each somehow fits. It is the “whole being much greater than the parts” type situation. I know a new pants pattern means I’m fitting from scratch and will need several muslins.
Otto recommends adding 5/8″ equivalent to all seam allowances. I think that’s a waste at the crotch and inseam. I added 1/4″ — enough for my serger seam– everywhere except the side seams. I added 1″ to both front and back side seams. Knowing that I’m 3″ shorter than the standard figure, I shortened the leg above the knee by making a 3/4″ tuck (total 1.5″ length removed).
Also very familiar with my elastics, I cut a 34″ length of 1″ elastic.
I chose a remnant for my first test garment. With 10.25% stretch, it just barely makes it into the moderate stretch zone. I can stretch 10″ to 11.5 if I pull really hard –but I don’t like to wear pants that are pulled really hard. I laid the parts out carefully and marked knee (both sides) and hip notches. Then I went to watch TV.
Not just any TV but Peggy Sagers 8/8/2016 broadcast on pants draping. I paused, replays can be the best, to take notes which I’m happy to share.
I didn’t write down everything she said. Some of her fixes don’t apply to me; others I don’t care about. Also Peggy doesn’t cover every fitting variation. I don’t recall a single mention of asymmetrical hips, front-back low anomaly, etc , etc. Pretty much she seems to think no matter the issue, fix it during musling.
So I cut my fabric; basted the pieces together, including inserting the elastic. I can’t tell how pants fit on my body until the waistband is right. To my delight, the crotch and waist both snuggled right into place. No need to make crotch adjustments, however I could see VPL. My first alteration was to release the side seams 1/4″. With Fit 02 the front looked really good. Below the knee? Excellent. Butt was OK. Below my butt was the normal mass of wrinkles. I pinched back there as best I could. Felt like the full width of my thumb. Peggy says you can do this yourself but it is difficult to pinch and look over your shoulder into a mirror and decide if you’re helping or hurting. I placed a pin at the furthest protuberance of my rear so I would know where to take my 1/2″ tuck. That was Fit 03.
I’m going to show all the pics of the back right now, but keep in mind Fit 01 (out of the envelope) is not pictured and still to share is Fit 3 and 4.
Fit 03, (2nd from the left and the 1/2″ dart across hip) looked so good that I immediately pinched at the top of the inseam which also looked like a 1/2″ tuck was needed. When sewing I was reminded of a horse shoe and I’m calling it the horse shoe dart. I started this dart at the front side seam gradually increased from 0 to 1/2″ by the inseam; continued stitching across the back decreasing to 0 by the time I stopped at the back side-seam. I did this on only 1 leg, the right leg, Fit 04 (3rd from left, 2nd from right). Fit 04 looked really good but not as clean as Peggy achieved. I pinched some more at the hip and again and the inseam but looking in the mirror, I just couldn’t tell. The only solution seemed to be repeat those darts increasing the depth. Fit 05, I increased the hip dart to 3/4″. That’s it. I’d wear that leg (pic on the right).
Peggy recommends opening your muslin,making it flat and using that as your pattern. First off, you can see my muslin is still going to have wrinkles and bubbles. More important to me, my storage spaces already over flow. I prefer to have a very thin pattern to store vs that spongy, space-hogging, knit. I transfer the changes back to the tissue. At that time I also trimmed the front, side, seam-allowance from 1″ to 3/4″; walked seams and filled in any gaps that occurred when the inseam was darted. I’m thinking I can use this pattern for a stable knit and even a stretch woven. It might also be used on something like a ponte and slinky by taking in the side and waist seams. I do want to share the differences to the pattern once it is fit. First will be the original. 2nd the fitted pattern.
I’m amazed at how much the angles changed.
A note about time involved, roughly 8 hours. It could have been less. Pinching fabric and looking over my shoulder was an insecure event. I may have spent too much time with my back side turned towards the mirror. I always followed the mirror sessions with pics because that’s the only way I can really tell if I’m making a difference. A good difference, preferably. Every time I take pics, I run upstairs to look at them on the computer. I always seem to have short conversations with DH and just take a quick peek at what they’re doing on SG. I’ll admit that I might cut hours off the fitting time if I’d stay in the sewing/stash rooms but I enjoy the other 2 activities as well.
I’m really pleased with both Otto’s draft and Peggy’s fitting instructions. I had to see her in action several times. I think it was the Aug 08, 2016 broadcast where she fit 4 different ladies, 4 different patterns; the entire time discussing what she was doing and why. The notes helped me when I got into the sewing room. I think that my knit fabric could have made fitting easier, however, Peggy did fit at least one of the ladies in a non-stretch woven. I’m hopeful this is a process that I could use in the future.
*********SUMMARY TISSUE CHANGES
1/4″ SA except front side seam 3/4; back side seam 1″
3/4″ tuck above knee
3/4″ dart at hip back only
1/2″ horse shoe dart at top of inseam