I’ve watched with interest as bloggers across the world tried and published their results with Jalie’s new pants pattern: Vanessa.
Yeah, “with interest”. Because Jalie pants have not been difficult for me to fit. I think Jalie Stretch Jeans were the very first jeans pattern I was able to fit. Their every pant pattern since then, takes a muslin, but eventually fits. (I have simply been unable to fit some pants patterns and others never fit nicely but are OK to wear while scrubbing floors). Jalie may have had a hand-up as they tend to specialize in patterns for stretch fabrics. Stretch fabrics have a built-in fudge factor when it comes to fitting. Vanessa is the first Jalie pant pattern (note all three words), that is drafted to fit pants in woven, non-stretch fabrics, that I’ve tried (IOW I’ve used patterns from other companies but never Jalie).. The pattern specifies that a drapey fabric must be used. So absolutely no bona-fide cotton denim. It has an interesting waistband which houses elastic and a tie. I don’t like those waist ties; and I think it makes any pant look like a sweat pant. So NO I will never be doing gromments and front waist tie. The leg is designed to be long enough to stack and fold at the hem. The leg is also tight enough to cause that stacking and folding. Most likely I will shorten the leg. To start with, I didn’t even trace the cuff. I traced the pocket pieces and the fly front but plan not to use either for the first fitting. I slipped the tape measure around my rear and sat down. That measurement is at least 2″ larger than my standing measurement causing me to use a CC for circumference. Oddly, at least to me, with Jalie pants I also need a size shorter. Not sure why just that it seems to give me the right crotch length. So I chose the BB length which is maybe a 1/2″ difference. For the first fitting I added 7/8″ to the side seams and then, following all my summer shorts sewing; being totally unsure of myself I added another 1/2″ to the back pattern piece. My fabric is a linen with I think some poly. I presses beautifully. Hangs with a little bit of body. But resists wrinkling. 100% linen does not resist wrinkling. I laid out, cut my pieces. Marked the public side because it was hard to tell private from public’ and serge finished all the edges. Yep, it ravels like a linen.
I was determined to follow the LCD process. Because it usually works. I don’t know what’s wrong we me and shorts this summer but LCD has been good to me all the rest of the year. I was pleased that L seemed immediately good. Mostly I was concerned with the L of the crotch. I did note that the leg notch marks fell 4″ below my knee cap. I didn’t want to take length away above the knee or even immediately below the knee. The leg is tapered and very close. I struggled to get my foot in and out. So I opened the side seam a bit; folded up the leg and continued with the fitting.
Next I worked on circumference. For the next 5 fittings I worked on circumference. I admit this was due to my timidity. I had stitched the seams as they would have been without my additions but the pant still looked too large in the mirror. So I took in the side seams 1/2cm at a time until it looked the way I wanted. During that time the knee and hem kept getting closer and closer. When I decided the circumference was right for the hip, it is not tight at knee and hem but feels a little restrictive when I move. Standing still, it is fine. Had this fabric possessed even 10% stretch, I think it would have been OK. I left it for now, an idea to play with in the future, because I was so delighted to have finally found a pant pattern that could be adjusted to my circumference and finish with a 14″ hem circumference. YEAH! I tell you, I’ve been looking for this pattern for so long. I couldn’t alter my other patterns to achieve a slim leg and narrow hem circumference. In theory, once a pattern fits you should be able to play with leg styling. But every time I did, I introduced errors. Let me do a few hand stands and come back.
Ah, but that left me with the always present depth issue:
the back of leg mess. Not shown here but I also developed a little of the front keyhole issue and because this is an elasticized waist, some draglines and pooching that can be eliminated by darting the waist to be just barely larger than the hip. Maybe I should have tended to the other issues first, but this is the pants killer for me and I went for it. I made 1/2″ hip line dart. Barely helped. Made a full 1″ dart, that is removing 2″ from the back crotch length. A crotch length that I might had has been wonderfully comfortable, but I’m not wearing a pant that looks like the above so 2″ GONE.
That did it:
Well, 99% but I’ll take 99%. I eagerly returned to my pattern and copied all the changes i.e. trim seam allowances and make the 1″ Hip Line Dart. I was eyeing the stash for a fabric to make a real pair, when I started wondering if I could recut the current fabric. Mostly the change shortened the back crotch length and set the back waist on an angle
But I also realized that the back crotch length probably needed restoring. While the waist was level while standing still in the pics, when I moved the back waist would slide down. Also I had not yet tackled the front keyhole issue:
Give how long I wear my tops, I could probably ignore the keyhole because it’s always covered up. So I decided to rip apart and recut after restoring at least part of the crotch length. I placed the front and back pattern pieces together overlapping along the side seam and traced the crotch curve onto a piece of graph paper
Then I slid the graph paper below the crotch for retracing and immediately had a big long discussion with myself. Part of me says always always always reshape the crotch 1/4″ at a time. Because it takes a commitment. You have to stitch and trim excess tissue. There is no Undo Button. But another part of me says I already know that crotch depth was comfortable and with the total depth there was only the slightest hint of the front keyhole. Bu the more timid me won out and I slid my crotch template a mere 1/2″ lower. I trimmed the tissue and then cut the fabric using the altered pattern piece. That means I also cut all the excess circumference from the side seams. However just as a 1/2″ hip line dart had not been enough, neither was the 1/2″ crotch length restore. Oh it felt more comfortable, but most of the back mess had returned:
Oh and the front keyhole was, if anything, worse
I continued ‘restoring the crotch length”, half-inch at a time, three more times until the back crotch length was now the same as the original pattern and the front was a big longer. This was immensely comfortable. Especially since along the way I hemmed the pants with a short vent on the side seam
I could now slip the pants on and off; and walk around with ease. I did still feel a little restriction at the knee (probably will work on that, but the back pant never looked as good as it did on Fitting 08
Sigh, not having any idea where to go from here, I replaced all basting with permanent stitching and added it to the closet. After all it looks better than RTW
and that was 12 frickin’ fittings. Enough is enough.