Following my experience with Butterick 6461 in that deep rich corduroy, I couldn’t wait to check my previous patterns and see if extending the crotch extension length (the stride) would be the final key in making pants fit my (clearing throat) maturing body. I’ve retrieved my first tracing of 3414 on which I made only the hip and inseam darts (Peggy’s standard for taking away the back leg wrinkles) and the side darts (I need because my sides are shorter in comparison to the crotch upright lengths). My title “1A” is because in my mind this is the 2nd time I’ve done this dance but is totally different from the V2-4 tissue copies.
I chose a nice fabric although 100% polyester. This is the type fabric that causes me to groan when people lump all polyesters into the ‘sticky, icky’ category. Poly has been researched, investigated, and developed into tremendously better fabrics although I can still find an icky sticky (usually on the $1 table). This one feels like a good wool flannel but it goes into the washer and dryer without any adverse effect. It is not entirely a dark brown and hard to read, because the 2nd thread in the herringbone weave is almost a golden brown.
My objective was to increase the length of the crotch extensions. I started by adding a largish tissue rectangle behind the crotch then made a tick mark 1/2″ beyond and level with the crotch tip. One of my challenges is all the excess ease over the back thigh which gets there due to fabric needed across my butt and in the crotch. Hoping to minimize the amount of fabric added, I fetched my curve and drew a new curve joining the inseam as quickly as possible. Repeat for the front.
Love this pattern. 3 pieces. Front, back and waistband. I cut and finished the waistband first with all permanent stitching. I cut the back and front and serged them together along the inseam. I serged finished the resulting large pieces but stitched the side seams and joined waistband to pant with water-soluble thread. I turned up the hem and fused it, all except for 4″ over the side seam. First try on had me asking “What the >>>???”
Camel Toe. Butt parts. Wrinkles and drag lines. This pattern used to fit pretty nice. I was working only on narrowing the hem circumference when I tucked it away. OK have to confess I did see an issue when I was sewing. I like to join the inseams and then sew the crotch seam in one long go. I like the way that feels when I wear my pants. However the new crotch formed a distinct peak. In order to smooth that uncomfortable thing, I stitched a smooth arc removing about3/8″ from the length of the extension. In effect, I added 1/2″ length but took some back. I should have been looking at the last version only slightly improved, not this.
I think it over and go back to the tissue where I added more Aisle Runner (can I start calling that AR?). I roughly traced the existing crotch then drew a new one which is a full 1/2″ longer but 1/2″ lower on the back and 1/4″ lower on the front. Huh? Well my sewing angel told me the best pants she’d ever had were altered by an expert by simply dropping the back crotch another 1/2″ and making kind of an L crotch but a bit lower. Since I’m feeling a bit of downward tug at the back, I decided a little more length to the upright was not a bad thing.
Back to the fabric again, lots of WST in this so no issue ripping that out of the some seams. Ripping out the serged seams a bit of pain. But eventually I was able to open the inseam and crotch seams enough that I could get in there and add a gusset. In this case, I serged an approximate 3×4″ rectangle to the crotches, serging off the excess and previous crotch extension. Then I put one leg in the other, pinned the front to the front and back to the back crotch; put the corresponding pattern piece on top and cut the new crotch. Repeat for the other side. Much faster to tell and share photos that it was to do. I tell you both the fabric and the pattern wanted to fight me. Probably because I wasn’t taking close as good enough. I made it as exact as I can. Sadly, my crotch still peaks
more than I’d like. A I thought the previous alteration would work perfectly. I thought surely dropping the points would eliminate all issues. Fortunately, it’s only about an extra 1/8″ that needed to be stitched on the body side of the crotch seam.
At the same time, I basted the side seam from about level with the crotch to the hem gradually until it was 1-1/2″ deep instead of the 1/2″ I drafted. I like the 24″ hem for summer pants. Love walking on the beach with my pant legs fluttering in the breeze. Also love the air circulation up the legs when I’m sweating like a ***** when the heat hits triple digits and I need long pants to protect me from the blistering, sun burning, orb in the sky. Anyway, I basted a 22″ hem making the change on the side seam only. I know the advice is to subtract evenly from both inseam and side seam. But when I looked at the first pics, I just did not want to take any more fabric from between my legs.
And the verdict is….
Well one side seam is not as smooth as the other. I’d say possibly I stretched the fabric or the fabric shifted during stitching. Because I’m seeing a few curves not previously visible, I also wonder if I started the seam too high. But the really important thing is the front and the back:
I think the front crotch is nearly perfect. I’m see a little pubis bump far above my own? Not sure what caused that. I’m also seeing diagonal drag lines from leg to side seam. They were there before in previous versions and I’m not sure why.
But the kicker is the back crotch and leg:
Oddly, I’m seeing VPL which can’t be because I’m wearing boy short and they rest at the waist. I mean there is no panty elastic or anything else where that horizontal line is. Honestly, I don’t think I know why that line is there. The crotch itself looks and feels good, but I still have upward diagonal lines that disappeared in 6461 when I added length to the crotch. I’ve added more length to 3414 1A than I did to 6461. What’s up with that?
I question what to do next. I’ve already made both the maximum hip and inseam darts Peggy recommends and there is a point where they cease to have an effect. Peggy herself has said that a dart can only affect so much effect. Do I make another gusset???
………………………………………………………Please come back. I”ll have more to say tomorrow.