Got to try this someday a curved waistband made from a straight piece of fabric
I’m not doing too well with 8268. I thought with my new found knowledge, I’d make a few changes at the tissue stage and drape the rest during fitting. So far, none of the places I think are critical are fitting. So I hit the pause button on 8268. I asked myself, again, what is it I want? Well I want a non-stretch slack and trouser pattern that I can adjust the leg width. I want versions of the same which can be used with 30% and 50% stretch fabrics. Then I want to be able to make small style changes i.e. the waistband, pockets, yokes etc. Oh and I want to sew these without making 8-10 muslins.
I pondered what I wanted and the fact that new patterns (no matter who is ecstatic about their fit) never easily work for me. And I thought back to my work with the FitNice master pant pattern. I almost had it fit last year. Just needed to adjust the front crotch fork length and then I heard and followed the jean siren song. I never picked up where I left off. Which is too bad because once the pattern is fit, the author, Judy Kessinger, offers adaptations to 5 different pant styles plus a host of small style changes. You really can get a lot of mileage out of the master pant pattern. Now I thought HMMMMMMmmmmmmm
First I found the instructions in the Fit Nice Workbook “Design It Yourself” –back there about page 363 or so. I find the book well worth the price (I got it half price during a sale) and am reluctant to share the copyrighted information. Much better if you get the full information from her instead of bits and pieces from me, so I won’t quote substantially. Reading through the changes needed sound pretty simplistic: a) fit the non-stretch master pant pattern b) increase seam allowances so much for 2-way stretch fabrics c) increase seam allowances so much for 4-way stretch fabrics. Could it really be that simple?
I have a nicely fitting non-stretch pant pattern, Jen Sterns Happy Pant which I decided to start with. I copied my fitted pattern. Found a 25% stretch, rayon/lycra fabric and got started. Notice, I have not changed the pattern. I am cutting this 25% stretch fabric the same size and shape as the non-stretch linen used in the last pair of Happy pants. When it came time to baste the pant together, I used a 7/8″ seam allowance on the inseam and the side seam. During fitting I found, I really needed just a bit more room right at my seat and changed that side seam SA to 3/4″ between waist and crotch.
I didn’t find it mentioned in Kessinger’s book, but I needed to shorten the crotch depth 3/8″ front, back and sides. I know that when I convert a non-stretch top pattern to use with stretch, I shorten 1/4″ across the armscye and again 1/4″ right above the tummy. So shortening the crotch depth (which I did by offsetting the waistband at the top of the pant) sounds right to me. That I didn’t find the instruction in the book could be my fault.
Note, I had a friend that quoted me essentially the same information from another source. That source increases the side and inseam allowances 1/4″ and shortens the crotch depth 1/2″
Finally, I spent some time narrowing the leg from knee to hem. The final hem is about 20″.
This is an experiment that turned out well. I do have some fabric issues. This rayon is very soft and drapable. It might have performed better as a Palazzo pant. Unfortunately I had my heart set on a slack fit. Because it doesn’t have a lot of body, pics taken seconds apart can be very different.
Swear pics were take seconds apart. I took pics with my T-shirt and wig. Removed same and took a 2nd set of pics. The fabric always wins.
I admit, I could also have some fit issues. In particular the front and back crotch appears to grow and shrink on a whim. Again, that might be fabric since the linen version was pretty stable.
The experience makes me eager to try the same idea (deeper seam allowances) with other stretch fabrics. I think I’m going to be playing with the Happy Pant for a while.
Lets review yesterday’s fitting
I could have given up at the last fitting but I did see changes that might improve the fit.
First off, I took a big honking seam allowance along the front and back inseam. It was 1.75″ deep right at the crotch tapering off to the 5/8″ SA about 9″ down.
Next thing I realized was that I had scooped the back crotch, compensated for that by adding to the side seam but when stitching the side seam I stitched along the original seam allowance. IOW, I didn’t add the ease I intended! So I ripped out the side seams down to the crotch; aligned and then stitched a 1/2″ Sa from waist to crotch.
Finally, I had adjusted the pant crotch to fit my own. With the deeper inseam, I lost total crotch length. I compensated by reversing the previous WB offset.
Nothing left to do but see if any of this helped.
I think it interesting that my left side continues to be too long. Possibly, I am developing an uneven hip but I think more likely my guesstimates of where to stitch the WB are not mirrored from one side to the other. Can’t correct this until I am ready to trim the excess length at the top.
Front has improved over yesterday. Instead of big folds of fabric I have something looking like camel toe. Front leg looks relatively nice as does the torso other than the camel toe area.
As with the front, this is improved. I scooped back, but I think I need to lower the crotch as well. It’s not just the wrinkles under the bum telling me this. The back crotch in pulling down.
Whew, at least I have a direction for the next fitting.
I scooped the bottom of the back crotch, a solution that has often worked in the past–but then again never when fitting Big 4 Patterns on my figure. Nonetheless, I thought it worth a try. When I smoothed the scoop to join the front crotch, I thought I worked on the camel toe a little.
So, I”m looking at it wondering how to tackle the issues (Front camel toe, back mess in back)…
… And I hit the pause button.
To tell the truth, I was thinking, I could just copy the front inseam and maybe a little of the crotch shape from the pant that fit nicely (Happy Pant). and …. and … and
So I pulled out the Happy Pant. Lined up grain lines and crotch lines and took a look.
It’s hard to see in the pics, so I outlined the 8268 in BLUE and the Happy Pant in ORANGE. I was expecting the pattern would be narrower all over. I mean this is drafter for 50% stretch. It doesn’t need all the ease all the fabric that a non-stretch fabric has to have. I was expecting to see the a different leg shape below the knee. Maybe minor differences elsewhere. That’s the front. The 8268 front inseam swings forward at least an inch. No wonder I have those venus lines!
Now I probably added to the issue when I straightened the inseam curve, but the real issue starts back at the 8268 draft which decided the inseam needed to swing out as it did. I’m wondering how much effect it had. It made the front crotch longer, too long. So when I shortened the front crotch, I shortened 2″ instead of the 1″ I expected. Interesting?
I would eventually scoop the 8268 front crotch to be the same as the Happy Pant, because that’s what my body needs and it is actually rather minor.
I also note that my Happy pant inseam is more vertical, while the 8268 curves towards the center. Not sure it that is because we are making the leg narrower? I know that when I tried to narrow the leg of the Happy Pant, in a non-stretch linen, the narrowing had to be done from the knee downward. I needed those few mm on the interior of my thigh for the Happy pant.
Looking at the back, remember BLUE is the jogger 8268; ORANGE the Happy Pant (HP). The difference is just astonishing. Oh yes 8268 is narrower as expected; and the leg is reshaped. But it’s all the other things. My HP has a much longer back crotch. And here I am shortening the back crotch of the 8268? Both pants were scoped 1″. But look where the HP crotch upright is in comparison to the 8268. Also note again, the inseam, another 1″ of excess in the thigh. Any surprise I think the thigh area of the 8268 is a bit roomy?
So I stare at the front and back patterns for a while.
If I stitch the inseams 1″ deeper, what will happen? Will I fix the Venus issues? Fix the Back thigh ease? Or create more issues? When the crotches forks are 1″ shorter, what needs to happen with the crotch uprights?
This doesn’t seem like an easy fix. Or am I missing something important?
I cut and basted the pants together and tried them on. Well not an out-of-the-envelope winner, but maybe I can work with this. I did take pics of the out-of-the-envelope version but knew immediately the front crotch and the side lengths needed to be adjusted. OK I knew that when I cut the fabric, but it was pretty obvious now. I pinned out the exces then offset the waistband 2″ lower in front, 1.5″ at the sides and 1/4″ at center back. Wore them for a few seconds then took the following FIT 01 PICs
Sides: not bad. Room for improvement but not ad
The left side may look a little small but I have an issue on the back you’ll see next. Both right and left look like there could be exces ease over the back thigh. The leg is a little long for a jogger. I’m guessing when I add the leg band, it will blouse and thereby shorten but I think for a jogger I’m going to need to take a few more inches off the length.
IDK how, but I didn’t get the back smooth under the waistband. I guestimated as I stitched the off-set WB and that may have made the issue. I think the solution is going to be take the WB off recut the top of the pant and then stitch the WB back in place. I’m reluctant to cut anything ATM because I think the back crotch needs to be shortened but I am not absolutely, dead-certain about any of my alterations. . When I take pics again, I will pull those sides down just to be sure that isn’t the issue with the back of thigh wrinkles .
On me, pant fronts usually look perfect without any alterations beyond crotch length, so when I see this, I’m a bit stunned. I think it is saying no matter what the back is doing, the tummy in front needs a tad bit more room even in this 50% stretch fabric. I’ve encountered those Venus lines before. At the time and to my surprise, they indicated that the front fork was too long. So maybe try stitching the front inseam a little deeper.
- Shorten back crotch 3.4″
- Pull sides down for pics
- Let front side seam out across tummy.
- Increase inseam depth on fronts.
which brings us to FIT 02
My first thought: “how do you make a series of changes without having any effect?” Well there is some minor improvement. I added 1″ ease across the tummy and that area is now much smoother. But taking in the front inseams didn’t improve the Venus lines. The issues that were there are basically still there.
One interesting side note: Pulling down the side seams once again smooths out some wrinkles under the bum, but it looks kind of roomy in the back leg.
Pic on right has side seams pulled down.
I want to pull the side seams up because that’s where they feel comfortable; secure. Otherwise I feel like they are falling down.
Also, see those little dimples down the left side? They are from the side seam being pulled down. To smooth them out, I have to pull the side seam up. I wonder what to do? Further shortening of the side seams makes them too short and they pull down on their own. Which causes me to grab and pull them up and create the diagonals on the back thigh. Making the side seams longer and I have the dimples and divots not just on the side seams, also occur front and back.
Sigh, I have a long way to go to fit this pattern. Am I up to it?
This year however, I once again have hope that my knowledge has expand and I might be able to fit pants. It’s always a mystery to me. Why can’t I figure out where my body differers from the ‘standard measurements’ and make pants fit. I can do it with jackets; blouses; knit tops, dresses but fitting pants always eludes me. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high, but Jen Sterns gave me new information and yes I am hopeful it is the information I need to solve my pants fitting deliminas.
First I start with the list of needed alterations for the Happy Pants
- Full Inner Thigh
- Crotch Height -at fitting
- Side Height – at fitting
- 1″ scoop
- Add 1″ ease across from scoop
- Restore the side seam shape
- Crotch Height -at fitting
- Side Height – at fitting
- Leg Rotation
- May not be needed
- Do on 2nd pair
Then I pull out 8268; check sizing and trace the XL. I won’t make all the alterations listed above. Only the changes which have to be made at the tissue stage. Using RED ink I straighten out the front’s inseam curve which adds the Full Inner Thigh Alteration; and for good measure I add 3/8″ to the side seam (making the side seam a full 1″ and giving me a little fitting discretion); and just because I know I want a 3/8″ crotch seam allowance, I mark that now.
Not going to do the crotch and side height alterations now I prefer to drape them in, but I do want to be sure the leg will be long enough. I use my Curve Runner and find the inseam is 27.5″. Fine when using the leg band, but if fitting is successful, I also want to make 8268 with a hem. I add 2.5″ to the bottom.
Then I turn my attention to the back. I mark the back crotch for 3/8″ SA, because that’s what I like; then add 3/8″ to the side seam to give me a 1″ side seam allowance; also add the 2.5″ to the bottom so, when desired, I can hem instead of using leg bands. Finally I turn my attention to the crotch and boldly mark a 1″ scoop. Umm then I realize it is only 5/8″ so I have to draw it a second time in PURPLE INK
What I will have left to do are the side and crotch heights. I’m not sure that I will need the leg rotation. We (Jen Sterns and I) did that when the torso became skewed off grain. So far, not skewed but that is a possible alteration. There is one other thing I’m concerned about. The pattern clearly states this is to sit 1″ below the natural waist. I do like jeans between natural waist and 1″ lower but I had specifically liked last years joggers because they were nailed at my waist. No matter how I squirmed, the waist held and my backside was never cold (I was sitting a lot in my lounge chair). I contemplate that a subsequent pair may require adding even more length at the top to make these waist high but for now, I start with how the pattern is drafted.
I check my stash for fabric. I am hopeful, but realistic. Too many times I have thought “I’ve got it!”. I’ve thought I finally understood and would be able to at least fit my pants even if I had to struggle with it a little. Too many times I’ve dumped expensive fabric into the garbage because I could not make the pattern work. I want this pattern not only for the jogger style, but also because it is drafted for the easy-care easy-wear knit fabrics I have been collecting. I need to make these fabrics into pants. I can no longer stand at the ironing board and steam woven fabrics into a beautiful appearance. I have to be able to pull the pants out of the dryer and think “Wearable!”I want this pattern to work, but I know it may not. The pattern clearly shows I need a 50% stretch fabric. As I check through my fabrics, there are none in the muslin pile that will work. That muslin pile continues to disappoint me. I think I may just box it all up and let the dog-blanket sewists have at it, I finally find a blue and white plaid Ponte.
No idea what I was thinking when I bought this. It is a nice fabric and it is clearly a pant weight fabric. Could be a jacket but I don’t make real jackets these days. The white plaid is bright. I mean to say, this isn’t the style of fabric I want to wear as pants. I tried dyeing the fabric. Twice. Once with a poly dye and once with a natural fabric dye. No dice. The fabric was not picking up any color. That happens sometimes. Oft times. But as I look at it now, I think it will be perfect as a muslin/test. Might even wear it as PJ’s with a solid blue top. Might. Just might.
I had intended this last linen version of J. Sterns Happy Pant to be a muslin.
A test that was used; ripped; and finally tossed. It was with surprise that I found it fitting nicely. Jen’s suggestions really worked! For this pattern, I should add. Feeling satisfied with the fit from waist to knee, I started playing with narrowing the leg. I found as long as I made my changes from the pattern knee line (my knee is actually 2″ higher), I was able to taper the leg without adverse affect. Now, normal rules apply, i.e. making the changes evenly, honoring the grain etc. I was looking at it. Feeling pretty chuffed with my efforts. When it hit me,, this could be another experiment too!
Huh, well due to age and chemo side effects, I now wear knee supports on both knees every day. My knees have become trick knees. I rarely experience pain or any discomfort. I’m just walking along and do a face plant. Not fun, but funny to look at and imagine. That’s along with my support hose. In the summer I wear shorts because it gets hot in South Dakota. It get so hot, they’re lucky I wear that much. But conversations always seem to turn to my knee supports. I tire of it, but don’t want to be rude. I’m not a lover of cropped pants. I feel like they shorten the leg. The wearer looks to have a disability of some kind, in my eyes. But I did wonder if crops could be an acceptable alternative for me.
I asked on SG what was the normal length and received various recommendations. Which I played with but every turning up the hem just a bit more. Finally I had a brain storm and looked at RTW to find the commonest cropped pant lengths. So my surprise, it ran from about 23 to 27″ 27″ is almost enough for long pants on my short frame. So I opted for something a little shorter, 25″. I have my support socks on so it is a little difficult for me to decide.
But I think, yes this will work just not in the highest of South Dakota heat. I will have to switch to shorts.
And probably talk about my knees.