3418: I officially quit

I give up on this pants pattern.  Before I get too far, let me say that even if successful,  I would not wear this pant.  It is too close-fitting for my taste and I started by tracing 2 sizes larger than my hips. I would not call this a yoga pant or even a skinny pant. It is to me in the same category as long johns and tights.  My Sewing Angel noted the same thing i.e. too tight to wear in public but easy to construct. The single review at PR said in effect she had no problems She was quite positive about her entire experience. However she did not provide a modeled shot. Only a front hanger pic. No back view. I will echo her comment that it was easy to sew. Pants nearly always are easy to sew, it’s the fitting which”bust my chops”. The PR reviewer made a size 14 in 1.5 yards of 60″ wide fabric.  For my first pair of size 24W I used 2.50 yards of 56″ fabric; 1-7/8 yards of 60″ of Ponte fabric.  This may not be quite the fabric hog I originally estimated. I may finish the two pairs I made to wear as PJ’s or even long johns but I will not wear them in public and I will not make any more. My copy of the pattern is on the way to the trash if I can’t get it back in the envelope to donate to Goodwill (they do accept uncut, complete patterns.)

My first fabric was Knit Ottoman with a unusual 40% cross and 70% lengthwise stretch.  Possibly I should have laid out the pattern cross grain as we do with Bengaline. The stretch factor always bothered me so before giving up I made a second pair of a nice RPL Ponte with the typical 20% stretch both ways. I started by basting together the pieces and situating the crotch so it was comfortable for me and marking where I wanted the waist. Things went down hill from there. I tried

  1. adding crotch length both front and back
  2. decreasing crotch length both front and back
  3. adding crotch extension (stride) length  both front and back
  4. decreasing crotch extension (stride) length both front and back
  5.  decreased the inseam depth
  6. increased the inseam depth
  7. crotch SA remained 3/8″ through out
  8. increasing side seam depth
  9. decreasing side seam depth
  10. increasing the center back seam depth
  11. decreasing the center back seam depth
  12. serging replacing basting.
  13. stitching with walking foot
  14. added  Peggy’s Hip line dart
    1.  transferred to the tissue for the 2nd pair made in Ponte
    2. removed from the Ottoman so I was working with original draft
  15. Added Peggy’s top of inseam dart,
    1. transferred to the tissue for 2nd pair made in Ponte
    2. removed from the Ottoman so I was working with original draft
  16. Shorten the side seam length
  17. ripped out the crotch seam 2″ on either side of the inseam and let it hang
  18. stitched that back together at 3/8″
  19. added a knock knee adjustment
  20. removed the knock knee adjustment
  21. scooped the back crotch 1/2″
  22. Repeat all for Ponte pair
  23. I made many of the adjustments in 1/4″ increments stopping and reversing the process around 2″ when I could start counting pubic hairs through the fabric.

I havent thrown either pant away–both are in time out. Winter is coming to an end and I wont need PJ’s before Nov 2018 so I’m in no hurry to nail all the seams/hems/elastic WB finished, add a knit top and  declare 2018 Winter PJ’s ready for use. So if you can suggest any changes not listed above, I’m willing  and have plenty of time to test anything I haven’t already tried.


Last fitting of Knit Ottoman Version

Ottoman Pics have been lightened 89% to better see drag lines/wrinkles.

1/2″ scoop was made and can’t be undone


Last fitting of RPL Ponte version

Ponte Pics lightened 20% to better see drag lines/wrinkles

Ponte tissue and therefore the pants themselves include the hip line and top of inseam darts

Scoop has been made and can’t be undone



3418: The Oddest Thing

I re-read my posts on Peggy’s other pants (the ones I’ve fit). Contemplated overnight what could be wrong. What could I do? What hadn’t I done? During the evening, I made a list of things to try.  I was preoccupied with my knitting machine and the TV, but the brain kept turning over and over. What the heck was wrong with 3418? Especially since I had previous fit 2, TWO different Silhouette Pant Patterns. This one should have been a breeze. It hit me with my morning coffee.

I carried my coffee into the big PC and looked at the back of my pants again, but from a different mental perspective

I had been thinking the reason for more wrinkles on the right leg than left was that the right leg  hanging up on my knee support. That’s something that happens. I ignore it. I need my knee support. If the knee support shows , well tuff. But with coffee flooding my veins and firing up my brain, I started asking was that really the problem?  Was the knee brace causing more wrinkles on the right? I was reminded of something I haven’t seen in a long while.  Know how aggregating it can be to top stitch the lapels of a tailored jacket?  You’ll have one side or even 2/3 of the top stitching just beautiful.  The rest will look great beneath the needle and even when you first look at it. But as the fabric relaxes, PUCKERS. Poop. A long, long time ago, think sometime in the 1980’s, I watched a girl in my college level textile classes struggle with a velvet pant. One leg was perfect. The other twisted. The instructor kept saying “try this…” and list a bunch of things. So seam ripper out and carefully remove stitching and just as carefully re-stitch because, in those days, you could ruin velvet just by stitching. Labs were 4 hours long. She was at it when I got there and still working when I left,  late as usual. She fixed it. At home.  In sheer desperation, she ripped both seams and stitched from the same direction same side i.e.  she stitched both seams with the front leg towards the feed dogs and from hem to waist. BTW, in those days we had little 7″ or less harps.  It was a big deal to get the fabric on the other side of the needle to perform this directional sewing. Not like my Dream Machine where I can roll up a king size quilt and shove it in the harp with room to spare.   Her directional stitching  worked! Twisting gone. Seams straight. Garment A+.

So I asked myself, could this be happening?  Did the action of stitching cause the seams to slip or rouche? If so, how could I know?  How could I test? At the big PC,  I pulled up the last pic of the back of the pants and looked carefully. Then, coffee splashing along the way, I trotted downstairs and laid my pants out on the cutting table and allowed them to relax. Umm, I did see a little rouching with the pant lying nearly flat.  All the trouble I had laying out this fabric at the beginning flashed through my mind. After all that effort, could I have shifted the fabric?  I’m one that listens to the fabric/ I do not pull threads or mark the grain.  I smooth the fabric until it is happy to lay smoothly. If it is skewed then, I dump it.  I’m not convinced I can un-skew a grain. Tried numerous times. First time through the wash, the garment is horribly skewed. Thing is, I did think I had carefully laid out the fabric and was disinclined to think my problem started before I even laid out the pattern pieces. Without thinking, I grabbed the right leg and popped the inseam and center back leg seam  in several places. It’s one of the unheralded advantages of WST .  WST will snap with a sudden exertion of force.  I was relaxing the tension of the seam. Can’t explain why my left brain suddenly took over and command my hands to pop those theads (he’s usually pretty retiring, shy, submissive”) but the result was:

Most of the wrinkles just dropped away!  I spent a whole day, well a whole sewing session of 4 hours working on those wrinkles!!!! Umm do I really need the inseam dart?

Without   ——————– With

Do I really need the hip line dart?

Without   ——————– With

I’m not really sure.  I see there are some more lines on the right leg. Possibly I need to pop the seam some more and release even more tension. But the left, looks only marginally better with the hip line dart (I never did an inseam dart on the left).

BTW, what’s happen on front?

WOW that front. Just WOW— in a negative way.  So what to do? Well the keyhole has to be corrected at the tissue level. A camel toe might be corrected in fabric by scooping the front crotch. Point is, I don’t think I can fix the front at this stage of the game.  Should I decide to finish the pant, I’d have to live with that look.

And the Back: I am not putting those darts back in. The fabric made it such a struggle and I didn’t place them nicely either. Mostly I am looking at the X wrinkle (orange) and the echo (pink) above it

So I serged 2 seams or 4 depending upon how you count them The center-back leg seams were serged at 1/4″ and then basted at 1/2 and 3/4″. I removed the basting. Put in a dozen pins while having the fabric lie flat on the cutting table and then serged at 3/4″.   I’ve decided to expand the stride length to the max possible with the fabric already cut so repeated similar for the inseams except serging at 1/4″.  Sounds quick, but oh those dozen pins.

Afterwards, I can’t say the back is better. In fact, I’m concerned that the sides are looking worse. I thought they’d  been falling smoothing since the very first try-on:

Sides At First Try-on

Well maybe not. Much as I hate to do it, back to a 1/2″ hip line dart because the 1″ tucked the crotch up between my cheeks and into my Hoo Hah. Also,  I re-stitched the front crotch with a bare 1/8″ seam allowance — a width that would NOT hold should I decide to wear the pants.


I was praying the change to the center front SA would help but not surprised when it was a waste of time.  Sadly, the sides don’t seem to look better than the last time, the back only marginally better. Compare the previous and current back


I am at the point of NO MORE. I’m just exhausted and feel like I’m beginning to run around in circles.  First of all, the fabric continues to spook me.  I have no idea whether my changes are applicable to other fabrics. I’d love to try this pattern again immediately but I don’t have a fabric with enough yardage. Like all good sewists, I’ve already  ordered some, just as soon as I realized I actually liked this pattern. It should be just a matter of adding tummy room and tweaking the crotch a little more to perfect or near perfect the pattern.  I hate this fabric, but maybe I didn’t give it a good chance. It was the only one on-hand with sufficient length and I was eager to test 3418. Knowing that handling that Knit Ottoman will require extra effort ahead of time, might make a difference in my feelings towards it and a finished garment. For now, I would have to find a particularly beautiful piece of Knit Ottoman to convince me to try it again and I would use a known pattern i.e. remove some of the variables.

I will make a few alterations  to the tissue while waiting shipment of my fabrics. I trimmed the 1″ length added to the top of the waist and to the hem.  I will add my 5/8″ wedge to the center-front waist (take care of that key hole problem). I will make a 3/4″ hip line dart on the tissue (a compromise between what did and did not make the cheeks prominent). I will also add the top of inseam dart on the tissue. Not trimming the inseam. That addition was helpful but I will be  trimming the tissue side seams to 1/2″, my preferred default. I added 1/2″ to the CB leg seam eventually stitching at 3/4″. The math is convoluted I want  a 1/4″ seam I can just zip through the serger. Debating on the side seams. To Peggy’s 3/8 I added 7/8. Why? I intended a full 1″ to play with and should have added 5/8″. Glad I kept notes. My side seams are at 1-1/8″ and with this 30% stretch fabric, there’s still plenty of circumference.  Would like to have my default 1/2″ on the side seams.

I’m still undecided about the elastic waistband. Not really sure I like the looks of it. BUT, it is tremendously comfortable. How much do I care about the looks when I’ll probably cover it up anyway.   I had the pant on and off, how many times??? Enough that if the elastic were to be a problem, I should have a hint. But it behaved perfectly. Every time. The elastic even wanted to flip inside. Sort of like it was saying “Here’s where I belong.”  I need to place an order with Wawak, so I’ll add white and black 2″ elastic.  I wonder how hard it would be to make this a Cover Stitch application ???

What’s the bottom line?  I’m liking the pattern, on the fence about the waistband and of course concerned about the amount of fabric required and not having solving all the back of leg wrinkles. I’m planning to make it again, at least once, to eliminate the fabric as a factor.  Can also say that, as always, Peggy’s draft is very good. Her instruction may need a little polish but her draft is just spot on. Once I adopted Peggy’s fitting routine, fitting has become so much simpler for me personally and I’ve become devoted to her patterns. Fabric.com, hurry up and send me my fabric.



3418, Elastic as Waistband, Silhouette Patterns

3418: Depth (darting) Issues

If I had been following Peggy’s Pants Fitting Procedure, at this point I would reach back there and pinch a dart across my rear to remove all the wrinkles and mess below the seat. That does work. It works for me.  I was so excited when I first discovered the effectiveness of a hip line dart, that I trashed all my fitted pants patterns and refit using Peggy’s LCD process. Trouble was, the hip line dart worked only for the first wearing or two. Then the pant, regardless of pattern used, would change and I’d find that mess again. By find, I mean I would be taking pics of back view of tops and see the wrinkles on my backside.  My first thought had been to increase the hip line dart.  At one time my dart was 2″ deep (4″ total removed from back crotch length).  The result is that the waistband no longer sits level at the back waist-it dips- and the cheeks are — well I may as well not have worn anything. That’s how well they were silhouetted. So I had to trim the crotch. I’d trim away 1/4″ at a time until my cheeks were no longer “ghosting through”.  The pants would look great!!!  Just wonderful —– for the first wearing or two. I’ve no doubt the hip line dart was helpful, but it wasn’t the full solution. With B5682, I chanced upon a longer crotch length. Initially I had expected to trim away some of the stride length.  To my surprise, the first B5682 looked much better than any of my other pants (excepting my RTW DG2’s). I added a little length. Holy cow!  Not only did the back wrinkles go away,  they didn’t return.  I’ve been carefully watching my first few makes of 5682 (first use Oct 2017) and the wrinkles don’t return. Ah ha! I’m onto something.

So when I trotted downstairs to work on the depth issues of 3418,  rather than pinch a hip-line dart I ripped open the inseam. I let  out the inseam 3/8 both front and back thereby adding length to the stride of the crotch. And more pics:

OK s there are still wrinkles but I had to ask, how does this compare with before I made the adjustment:


Before Adj ——————————————After Adj

I’m going to say that adding the 3/4″ length (3/8*2=3/4) improved the wrinkles but not that much. Did it affect the rest of the pant negatively:

Not much.  The right leg is still be affected by my knee support. Interestingly, the front crotch key hole is a little more pronounced.

The original keyhole has gotten larger and is now flanked by 2 ghosts.  The tummy area itself looks better

I’m rather surprised by this development. At least this time I did something to the crotch which could have caused a change. Hmmm in fact I did 2. All the previous day  I had felt like the crotch was still a little long. But took no further action.  Today I not only made it longer by adding length to the stride, but I also settled my waistband more comfortably and definitely lower than the day before. This action would have put more fabric into the waist to crotch area. Well, not more,  just compressed it into the area. Sort of like a corrugated tin roof. Before the tin is corrugated into little ripples it’s quite a bit longer and straighter. Next up, time to tweak the crotch length.  I’ve had this in the back of my mind since the first crotch length adjustment. Now it is time to do it

So I go downstairs and decide I need to take the WB off to adjust the crotch length.  Then I decide I may as well remove the 1″ added back at the tissue stage because I obviously didn’t need it and I projected I would be struggling with even more fabric than before.  Once I got the WB off and the extra I added trimmed away, another thought occurred to me.  Sort of like the TV ad where the guy has been hunting a car. A girl comes along and finds it in 2 secs. His sarcastic reaction “Well, let’s just do it your way.” Remember that?  It’s about the way I felt.  I’ve done my best to avoid this waistband because the way I read the instructions, I don’t like the process or final result. But as long as I’m back to Peggy’s draft, I may as well take a few minutes and “do it your way”.  Hey Peggy, this would be a good Thursday topic. Either I didn’t read the directions correctly or the waistband was not easy. I’ve already posted my experieence HERE. It’s important to note, that after apply Peggy’s WB, the crotch feels right and this is the final look:

Which sadly did not further improve the fit either front or back. If anything, front looks worse. So time to try the Hip Line dart and face the fact, this really is going to be a muslin.

Let’s speed through a bit. I made a 1″ deep hip line dart (removing total 2″ from back crotch).  Didn’t see an improvement with the fit, so I made a 1″ inseam dart. Well judge for yourself.

W WB  ————- Hip Line Dart———-Inseam Dart— original

I’m honestly stumped. None of my alterations has so far achieve a noticeable improvement in the fit of the back leg .  I would say that the hip-line dart actually looked better by itself than the subsequent addition of the Inseam Dart (taken at the top of the right inseam). All views are only slightly better, if at all since the first fit before I made any corrections. I am disappointed. I have fit Silhouette Pant Patterns 3200 Sally’s Pant  and 3414-Woven Yoga. Both had the huge leg associated with plus size patterns (finishing with 20-27″ hem circumference). They are not perfectly fit, but look far better than the any of the pics above. I’ve been adding a little at a time to the stride of the 3414 making the rest of the wrinkles disappear a little at a time.  I’m pretty happy with 3414 and keep making more pants with it. So what now?

I don’t know maybe it’s time to think a bit more.




3418: Length and Circumference Issues

OMG this fabric is horrid!  I recall it being 100% polyester, described as a ‘Knit Ottoman’ like ponte and suitable for pants. It may be all that, but I won’t buy it again unless it wears like iron. It has a 30% crosswise stretch and a 70% lengthwise stretch. 70%!  Just getting it to lay on the cutting table was a struggle. It retreated in front of the rotary blade. I had to put my left hand on the fabric and below the rotary cutter  while pulling on the fabric so that it would cut. But I got it cut.  I made my favorite Yoga WB first. I started top stitching along the top edge of the WB. What a struggle. The fabric wanted to crawl away from the needle.  Stopped to rip and redo some of the stitching when I found that the top-stitched edge was not straight and neatly tailored but had ruffles and ridges. Holy Crap!  Took the top stitching out.  Even serging was difficult.  I normally let the fabric rest in my lap while I guide it to the serger blade. Well that small gap of about 8″ between table and lap was enough to stretch the fabric and stretch it  unevenly.  The edges  did not want to feed together under the needle. They wanted to separate. I had to hold the fabric up while trying to feed and align edges with needles. More pins you say?  So did I.  They drop out. Just fall away.  Even using my 3″ swords pins and taking 2 bites, the pins free themselves from the fabric. What a PITA.

But I got the waistband finished and  I serged the center back-leg seam before basting that at 1/2″. I did the CB leg seam next so I wouldn’t get the side stitched to the center-leg seam. Impossible you say?  Not for me. I’ve done that before. Several times.  Anyway, basted everything else with water-soluble thread in the bobbin including joining the waistband and the legs.  Notwithstanding my fabric, pants really are easy to sew.  They’d be quick and easy if not for fitting (and horrid fabrics).

Alexa, Take a pic!

Umm you don’t get to see the very first try-on because the waistband ended up covering my bra band.  Surprised I looked down; and  asked “Why are there FRONT center leg seams?” Duh, I had put the pants on backwards. Don’t even try to tell me you’ve never made that mistake.  I know why RTW includes a tag in the back, always.

Next set of pics and time to start the LCD Fitting routine.

Yeah, you caught it. The crotch is too long.  All that fuss about the crotch being too short even before adding elastic to be folded down for WB. All that and the crotch might be the right length without my added waistband.  Thing is I am afraid to change the length on the pattern. The fabric’s 70% stretch factor has me spooked. The fabric is heavy, especially after I put 4 weights (Clover Clips) on the hem of each leg.  For now, I offset the top of the pant and the waist band 1″ full inch.

BTW, I lightened all the photos 80%.  I wanted a better look at drag lines and such.

So now I’m pretty happy with the length from waist to crotch.  Especially in front. Did you notice that my usual diagonal lines in the front are missing? And no keyhole?

I am astonished. I can’t remember a pair of pants I haven’t had to shorten the sides to remove those side drag lines. Keyholes around the front crotch have become a consistent issue. Has to do with my large tummy which requires more ease at the tummy but not there in the umm zone. Keyholes have to be corrected at the tissue. I only have a 3/8″ crotch seam. I don’t that’s enough to correct the issue.

Overall length looks good. I may need to tweak it later on but for now time to turn my attention to C: Circumference.

In the above pics I’m seeing a little too much ease and feeling a lot. That’s probably because I went up a size to get the crotch shape I wanted. I pinch the sides a little and decide to baste them 3/8″ deeper. I also turned the leg hems up 2″ instead of the 1.25″ planned and replaced the Clover Clips with big safety pins.  I thought I was zeroing in on a fitting the back leg and put a pin right under my cheek so I would know where to start increasing the CB leg seam. And the verdict is:

Hey this isn’t looking bad at all.  I may need to shorten the crotch length again. It just feels a little long. But the back and side do look good. I think maybe the back leg is ready for some tweaking, until I look at the front.

Oops! I’ve gone from a little keyhole to a camel toe. How can that happen when all I did was remove a little ease. So back to the SM where I change the now 1-3/8″ side seams to 1-1/8 and increased the CB-leg seam from 1/2″ to 3/4″. Alexa take a pic.

Nope, changing the circumference of the front made no difference to the camel toe. It really shouldn’t have.  That’s an issue historically corrected by changing the crotch shape. Oh crap!  I did not add a center front wedge which has been successful for me in correcting all bubbles at the front. I usually add a little wedge to the tissue, about 1/2″ wide at the waist tapering to nothing where the curve of the tummy starts curving beneath. Ach! I should have thought about this. It would have been easy to trim away if not needed, but adding now? Way to obvious. Well I wasn’t sure I’d want to wear these pants when I pulled the fabric out of the stash.

Right Side                 Left Side

Another strike against this particular fabric is that it hugs and reveals every little divot beneath.   The right side leg is getting hung-up on my knee support and may be responding to some issues in the back, but those aren’t reflected on the left side. I don’t think the left side could look any nicer. It is exactly what I love to see with any pant. I’m calling the side view good to go.

I am not sure why Alexa took such a grainy picture of the back side. I do like the back between waist and crotch.  Again, I might be able to shorten the crotch length a little.

A close up from knee to ankle…

showing that as usual for me this area is good. I might remove a little more circumference but I’m not  uncomfortable nor noticing the extra while I’m wearing it. Kinda of think, the knee-to-ankle area is good to go too.

But of course crotch-to knee is a mess.

A mess just removing a bit of ease is not likely to fix. Well it is not as bad as some of my pants have been but it’s not in the acceptable range either.

I think at this point, I’m calling the Length and Circumference issues SOLVED. I think I’ve made all the major corrections.  There may be minor tweaks still to be made especially that back leg in the crotch-to-knee area. Think it’s time to starting handling some depth issues.


See you tomorrow…



Elastic as Waistband, WaistBand Collection

3418 Elastic Waistband

My sewing angel and I have been talking back and forth about this very interesting waistband.  I have a couple of fitting posts, but I wanted to share this now so she could see my pics. Read quickly because if Peggy complains, this whole post is going in the trash so quickly you’ll wonder if I even typed it.

Peggy says this a simple waistband that you will just love.  When I settled in to really making it, I had to read a single instruction  (like a single sentence  and sometimes half a sentence)  and execute it and then read the next. I’m adding my pics (you’ll have to buy the pattern to see her pics because I’m very certain copyright covers her pics).  Here it goes

First part is easy, no page numbers but titled “Prepare Waistband” .

Cut elastic to the length you like, join it in a circle. 

OK, got that. Can do. Moving along through the assemble pant stuff and stop at “Attach Elastic Waistband”

With Right side of elastic waistband against Right Side of pant assembly, and with the elastic seam matched to center back of pants, pin band to pants aligning the pant top edge to the center of the 2″ wide elastic “

I read that and thought “God in heaven what does this mean?” So I grab my elastic; scratch my head, look ahead and decide we’re trying to aligning the top edge of the pant to the middle of the elastic.

Well I’ll never be able to keep that straight and attach to the pant, so I start by basting a line along the 1″ center of the elastic

Moving on:

Align the elastic seam at center back, then divide evenly to align elastic to center front of pant and then at side seams

Crap how am I going to keep that straight? Pinning comes soon but I’m never going to make the matches with pins or under the needle without some help. So I find the half way point of the elastic by folding in half with back on one fold and front on the other.  Chalk mark.  Refold the elastic to front and back match and now the folds indicate the quarter point side seam marchs. Chalk mark each. Here’s a sample of one of my chalk marks.

Can find those when needed, so onward!

Stretch elastic evenly to fit those sections. Pin in place before sewing.

Another instruction I understand and can do. Here’s what it looks like from the inside of the pant

ie pant aligned to the middle of the elastic and pinned in place; and here it is looking from the right side

Next instruction was  a duzy to me

Stitch through both layers of pant and elastic, stitch 3/8 inch from top of pant edge…

Holy cow. I look front side; back side. Scratch my head again and then align my SM’s foot with the edge of the pant edge and stitch. Looks like this on the pant inside

and here it is looking from the other side

BTW I’m using water-soluble thread in the bobbin because I’m thoroughly confused and thinking I may need to rip this out several times.  But I continue steadfastly

which will be 1-3/8″ from the top of the elastic band. 

I pull out my seam gauge and take a measure:

Hey! Checks out so I may be doing something right after all.

Flip top edge of elastic band to inside of the pant.

That’s an action shot. I can hardly give you decent still shots. In fact I apologize for the blurriness of some of my photos.  I took 2 or 3 each step of the way and shared the best.

The wrong side of the elastic will now be inside the pant and the seam of the pant will be in-between the elastic and the pant.

OK, flip the elastic and take a look.  Looks interesting, not sure I like this and about 90% sure I’ve done something wrong.

Do not secure the elastic with any additional stitching…. waistband will be held in place when on you body… Only 5/8 inch of the elastic will show from the right side of the pant.


Well hush my mouth. It does:

Full view

Instructions go on to say the elastic will stay in place without any further stitching. I have my doubts, but I will try it out. Also I’m like 99% disliking the look ..b-u-t… it won’t be visible when I wear it because I always wear my tops out not tucked.

I must admit  that returning the pant to the drafted crotch length was the right thing to do.  The crotch looks and feels about the right length both back and front. (Please ignore the upward/downward traversing of the waistband. My waist is like a roller coaster.)  Peggy always says to trust her and (hanging head) I really should have.





3418, Silhouette Patterns

SP 3418, Slim 4-Piece Yoga Pant

I bought the Silhouette Patterns  Spring Package  because every pattern had something I wanted. It made more sense to me to buy all 4 for $40 now than to pay each separately at $19.99 or buy 2 at a time for $19.99. (shipping extra). This yoga pant

particularly excited me with the center-back, leg seam. That seam is the 2nd biggest feature in my beloved TJ906 jean pattern which makes the 906 so easy to fit every time and most importantly helps me remove the excess ease below my butt and over my back thigh.   Peggy discussed all 4 patterns in her Spring Forecast Broadcast.   I don’t remember everything Peggy said, (of course, I’m old and could be getting senile.) I remember her talking about how simple 3418 was. Only 4 pieces front, back, side back and waistband. She was  particularly in love with the waistband. Calling it a Eileen Fisher creation, so simple to create, smooth, flattering, yada yada yada.  I mean Peggy was really taken with the waistband which of course made me even more interested in working with the pattern.

After the Spring Forecast  broadcast, I moved 3418  to NEXT in queue and started today.  I already have 2 of SP pants patterns fitting nicely. Not perfect, but nice and better  than most of my peers pants. The beauty of using SP patterns is that Peggy consistently bases all her patterns on about 6 basic drafts.Whatever you do to one, you should do to the others from the same base. So I could have chosen the same size and made the same adjustments — but I didn’t.

I realized recently that the last key to fitting pants for me is the stride length.  You know the bit of the crotch that goes between the legs. I did check the back of the envelope for size recommendations. For me that would be a 22W ( which is interesting because in RTW I take an 16P). Then I pulled out the front and back pattern piece from not my SP pants patterns but the pant pattern I think is darn near perfect:  Butterick 5682. I compared the length and shape of my fitted 5682 with the 3418  tissue starting with the 22W and moving upwards and backwards until I found the crotch that was  closest. That was a size 24W (long ways from 16).

I traced the 24W, put away the original tissues and started measuring.  The inseam was 29-1/4. That would be fine I didn’t need hems and seam allowances. The total crotch length was 24.5″ which is 2″ less than need not even counting seam allowances. Hip was generous as was waist.  I won’t quote them here but I knew  I wanted some finagling room even in test garment. To provide some ‘fit insurance’ I added

  • Waist : 1″ height
  • Hem: 1.25″
  • Side seams +7/8″
  • Crotch 0 no change I will sew it with 3/8″ SA

Had to stop and think for a few minutes to decide if that was all the changes I wanted to make.  Possibly, I won’t need the next changes

  • Inseam +7/8
  • CB seam +1/2″

but I wanted to be able to add a little more to the stride and I wanted to be able to add a little to the back if/when needed.  For every pants patterns, even the SP pants patterns that almost fit,  I tweak the final fit by removing 1″ circumference from the front and adding 1″ to the back. It’s a simple alteration. I fold the front in half vertically and stitch a 1/2″ tuck from waist to hem. For the back, I cut it in half vertically, slip in a little tissue paper and spread the 2 pieces apart 1″. The total circumference is the same, but where it is distributed makes a difference in how the pant feels and looks. Now, anyone who is a real fan of Peggy Sagers will tell me I’m not supposed to do this.  Peggy says over and over the the side seam doesn’t matter. Circumference is circumference and the side seam can be moved forward and back as  style dictates.  But for me personally, I know that every pant pattern I fit, looks too big in front and too small in back until I make these 2 alterations. So Peggy I love you and believe you but even on your pants patterns I was not satisfied before redistributing the ease between front and back. I consider it a personal issue.

So moving onto the waistband… I couldn’t find a waistband on either tissue (one tissue contains the regular sizes the other contains the womens sizes) . I thought “OK, there will be a note telling me to cut a rectangular strip of fabric…” yada yada. Nope. No such note. Neither the pattern pieces diagram, nor the fabric layouts indicate a waistband but every other instructional diagram suggests to me that there should be a  separate waistband.  When I slow down and read the instructions more carefully, I find that you are to cut 2″ wide elastic to the length you desire, join it in a circle and then attach one of the edges of the elastic to the top edge of the pant. The finished pant will be  folded down and inside where Peggy assures you it will rest snugly with no further stitches.

Bet Me.

I just can’t image that not rolling around, folding when it shouldn’t and being uncomfortable as well as a bit revealing. Next issue is that I measured the crotch lengths. As drafted, They are short about  what I think the waistband will add. But if I attach the elastic as directed the ‘waist’ will sit inches below my own. I don’t see that or find any reference to a low rider waist.  Sorry guys, I am not following the 3418 WB instructions.  You go for it. I’ll pass.  I measured the width of the waist of all 3 pieces (including the fit insurance). Then  drafted a 4.5″ wide waistband by that length (think it was 35″).

I know I need a test garment for this.  I quickly found in my stash a Fabricmartfabrics purchase. A ponte that I was unsure of the day it arrived.   It has about 30% stretch across grain but lots more (more than double)  on grain and that has me a bit concerned.   I’ve already preshrunk my fabric.   I lightly pressed to remove any wrinkles it might have acquired during the year it’s been in the stash; then laid it out on my cutting table and returned to the pattern instructions.  I haven’t seen this layout previously nor tried it. It’s not that big of a deal. I just haven’t  laid out my other 3-leg pants pattern this way.  The 2 back leg pieces are placed along either the fold or the selvedges and the front is placed between them staggered upwards on the cloth.  This I’m willing to try.  Carefully aligning with the grain, I layout the pattern pieces. Yeah I know, this is another one of those things Peggy says doesn’t matter. She says that knits don’t even have a grain. But I had a few disasters when I did not exercise care with grain or nap.  My personal belief is I’m better off to honor these things.

Ah time to snap off the lights and head upstairs. Sewing and fitting will commence, tomorrow.




5682 - Jeans

5682 Interesting Jeans

I started this sewing project back at the end of January. I’m trying to switch between tops and pants so that I don’t end up with lots of one and no enough of the other. Something I’ve run into during the coldest of winter. So I started by picking fabric and pattern. Since my fabric is a cotton twill similar to a heavy denim ( in a dark marine blue with a black print) jeans seemed like the right choice.  5681 is really a jeans pattern although I’m wont to use it for any and every woven fabric in my stash.  I pressed the fabric, laid it out and then pulled out my pattern. At that point, I hesitated. It’s been a while (for an old lady it’s been a while) since I used this pattern and I wasn’t sure where I was as far as fit goes.  So I took the time to look at my last pair and ask:What is right? What is wrong?

This had definitely been a learning experience.  It seemed to miss on the fit side, until I opened up the waistband and added 2 more inches of elastic. Then it relaxed back in place and I could see only 2 places I wanted to improve

There are some smile lines in front. Which is really odd. The front crotch actually seems a little long. Why would I be getting smile lines here?  Maybe they were coming from the sides? But I could pinch over an inch at the side which means I have 4″ positive ease.  Hmmm.

and then there’s the continuing appearance of excess ease over my back thigh which I’ve begun mentally saying has to be there unless (1) I am wearing spandex leggings or (2) I have a back seam, like my TJ906 pattern. So I’m not as concerned about these as I am about the waist.

Oh I almost forgot, there are still these side lines

which I think I corrected in the pattern but not in the fabric. They are the result of too much length at the side which is the result of needing length center front and back for my curvy tummy and tush. I just don’t need that much length when I get to the sides. But the size I’ve chosen to start with, has the length and circumference I need for tummy and tush.  So I actually have fewer alterations to make if I use that size. (I could provide more details but I think your eyes are glazing even now.)

At the end of my review, I asked myself, did I really want to change anything i.e. make more alterations to my pattern or did I want to see if my previous changes had done the trick?

Well of course I opted to make the pattern in its currently altered state.  For a bit of fun I decided to make both back and front pockets and get this, I am using the inside, the plain side, the wrong side for my pockets and waistband.

Oh I think I’m stylin’!  The contrast is more apparent in person except that the way I style myself, it’s also totally invisible

The back looks about like I expected i.e. no complaints here but there’s always room for improvement

and the front, which you’ve seen before, is really pretty good

I’m at the point of calling this TNT.  It’s good. Almost perfect. (I can always complain.)