Before starting this post, be sure you have your coffee/tea in hand and quite possibly a snack as this will be a long; laden with pictures. I will be discussing and comparing my experiences with 3 pants patterns
- Butterick B5682 a jeans pattern published by the Big 4 which has become my TNT. As I recall, it was amazingly easy to fit especially because it was published by the Big 4. It has been years, decades since I was able to fit and wear a Big 4 pant pattern. Their crotch just didn’t fit. I relied upon Kwik Sew for several years; then Burda. The only consistently reliable pant pattern for me has been Trudy Jansen‘s 906 Designer Jean. I was surprised and delighted to be able to fit this Butterick pattern and it has become my basis for many pant adaptaions. It is a jean pattern but more of a mom jean; not high fashion fit. It rests at the waist, with a narrow 1″ waistband extending just above. While it is a comfortable fit. I agree that some tweaks need to be made so it is attractive.
- Style Arc Airlie a recent and deep disappointment for me. It’s not the 2 muslins, expense and waiting time and the innumberable fittings, but rather the fact only a few years back Style Arc pant patterns were quick and easy for me to fit; and I mean I got a beautiful fit. Knowing it had been quite some time since I’d been able to fit Style Arc patterns, I definitely hesitated to purchase Airlie. I took the chance; ordered “all the way from Australia” and then felt deeply disappointed in myself with the repeated failures.
- The last pattern I will compare with is not actually a pattern, but rather my favorite RTW jean, the Diane Gilman 2, Baby Boot Cut Jean. I’ve loved this pant since the first time I slipped my legs into it. It just felt good; really good. Immediately, due to my personal fit preferences, I went up one size over recommended. After a year, I switched from petite sizing to women’s petite because I have developed a thick waist. PW sizing gave me more than enough ease at the waist. I’d love to be able to duplicate the fit. So after about 6 years, I have a DG2 that has shrunk lengthwise. I was about to shorten the leg and call it summer when I realized this could be the perfect opportunity to duplicate the fit. I spent a few quality evenings with a seam ripper and extracted the front, back, yoke and waistband.
I’ve carefully pressed but those crotch points make no sense at all. I also carefully measured the stretch in several places. Several because the pant is stretched out of shape much as we expect elderly clothes to do. I measure between 20 to 25% stretch which is pretty standard in the fabric I buy. It was a relief to know that it isn’t entirely the stretch which is making this fit so nicely. That means, I may indeed be able to duplicate.
I am not addressing other pant patterns that I use and love because I am looking for something specific in these pants/patterns and review. I am looking for a slacks fit i.e. slim, body skimming but not body revealing. My other patterns and pant styles have their place in my wardrobe and in my life but in this post I’m zeroing in on a semi-fitted standard adapted for my body.
I preped for this comparison by making sure the 3 patterns were distinctively different. I figured RTW jeans would be obvious and mostly photogenic. I especially wanted to distinguish between 5682 and Airlie in pics. Painting 5682 rust brown took a few minutes, plus drying time and did the trick.
I compared the 3rd version (Arlie 3) with 5682 first, placing
Arlie on top. The legs are very similar. 5682 front leg side seam may be a little narrower but I’m not concerned as much with that as I am the difference in crotch both as to the shape in the front curve and how Airlie3 angles out at the front waist. Both have had 1″ added at CF. 5682 should actually jut out there even further as it has an attached fly facing. The difference in front crotch length is due to the difference in waist band width.
The back surprised me. The legs look much alike. I’m stunned by the difference in the back crotch angel. That’s 1+” on the 5682. If youclick the back pic, also note how the back leg angels at the knee. OK, I should smooth out that curve, but I don’t think a mere smoothing will offset the 3/8″ more fabric at the knee the 5682 sports.
Reversing so that 5682 is on top:
is even more surprising. White interesting bits of Airlie peep out along the edge and crotch, ignore the extra at the top back; Airlie doesn’t need a back yoke 5682 does.
Moving onto DG2
Myabe not too much info there. DG2 seems to almost completely cover 5682. If I had been asked before this experiment, I would have guessed the stretch jeans to be much smaller than the pattern drafted for non-woven fabrics. To my surprise that’s not the significant difference. If you click the pics, it becomes obvious that wear has horribly stretched these out not only in the crotch but also along the waist. These are the P and not the larger waist PW jeans. I’m really wondering if I should have used this pair for pattern or comparison since it is both so old and so misshapen. In my defense, I didn’t realize the crotch would be so incredible. Look how the back crotch cannot be smoothed out to any semblance of flat. It must fold. How do I copy a crotch like that.
There’s actually more to learn by putting 5682 tissue on top of the DG2 jean
I did not get a really good full front pic so I cropped them down to the signifiant difference. The crotches are very differenely shaped. Although I’m not sharing a pic, the DG2 is much closer in shape to the Airlie crotch that my TNT 5682. I’m surprised to see additional ease along the front inseam of DG2. I love the way these fit (other than the P being too tight in the waist), whilst I’m always complaing about my self-sewn pants having to much ease over the back thigh which I always assummed the front also contributed. ???
I think it interesting that the DG2 back seems to be stretch out a bit just before the crotch curve. Is it stretch for my rear? Other than the wear-shaped crotches (which I find hard to evaluate), what I notice the most is having about an extra 1/2″ on each side of the leg over the knee. My DG2’s usually develop permanent horizontal stretch marks in back of the knee BUT not the diagonal drag lines I see on nearly all my self-sewn pants. Well heck, I see at least a little knee diagonal on all my pants including RTW that’s not a trouser. I’ve tried shifting the pant-leg over and a few other suggestions. Any leg is fitted, will have knee diagonals when I put it on. As long as they’re small and especially if they merge into horizontal knee wrinkles, I just ignore them. They’re on the back, so really not that hard to ignore.
This little exercise took me a couple of hours. I needed to prep 5692 the day before and press all the pattern/jeans pieces just before starting. I take multiple photos trying to get not only the stuff I want to show but show it without blurring or color shift. So I wasted/spent lots of time taking pics. That aside, I really do have lots of information to think about. Where the pants are different is interesting to me and sometimes unexpected; as were some of the places the pants/patterns were the same. It’s a great relief for me to know I don’t have to hunt down 40% stretch fabrics to use Airlie (if I ever fit Airlie). It may even be possible to use a non-stretch fabric with this pattern that specified a fabric with 40% stretch. The difference in the back crotch between 5682 and Airlie3 was totally unexpected. I believe the Airlie started very close to the same shape as 5682. That’s something to check and test; as is the angle change of the inseam which adds more ease by my knee. Ummm, much to think about. Very much.