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.
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.