Leopard Spots

I’ve wanted to make this leopard spots fabric into jean styled pants forever. OK that’s an exaggeration. I’ve only purchased had the fabric maybe 3 years ago from the Sioux Falls Hancocks (when it was still operational). I think this is poly/lycra blend,  Jacquard weave. Although warp and weft are  black, the fabric has  shiny and mat surfaces. The light bounces across the texture in the most interesting way. I knew I wanted pants immediately.  But I haven’t had a pattern I trusted.  I decided 5682 was close enough to finally use this fabric as I always envisioned.

I made 2 tissues changes before cutting fabric.  I added 1/4″ width at the side-seam hem of both front and back.  I’m always catching the hem of green jeans as I’m putting my foot in. Eventually, I’ll have to repair the hem.  I’m hoping another 1/2″ ease on the new pair will avoid the issue. Besides, I don’t really mind another 1/2″ at the hem. That brings the hem circumference  up to 16″. My ideal is closer to 18. It occurs to me that I may seem awfully picky about hem circumference.  I like neither the flowing huge pant nor the ankle hugging hem  Sigh, it is a case for mediocrity. What’s in the middle is the least dissatisfied if totally unexciting.

Oh the other change to the tissue. (I digressed as usual.) I made a 1″ hip line dart (1/2″ deep dart). I’m seeing the same wrinkles on 5682 as I did on SP3414, Jags Woven Yoga and on most pant patterns. They are the bane of my pants sewing.   I’m pretty sure the hip line dart is the right choice for eliminating these drag lines. I mean adding back-crotch length definitely was wrong as that added more mess under the butt.

2 tissue changes, then  cut fabric. I debated on a front pocket. Knew I didn’t want a back pocket — didn’t really want a pair of  jeans, just slim-fitting, interesting pants. Reluctantly, I decided I didn’t want use the pocket as I’m still fitting even if I’ve zeroed in on the last issues.

So  started sewing. I put the zipper in with permanent stitching as well as  the inseams and crotch . I basted the side seams and waistband but that’s typical for me even when I *think* the pattern fits. Every fabric is different. Besides I know that I use fabrics with different stretch factors.  What works well for this fabric, could need change for the next.  Anyway I started fitting. Did 5 fittings.  No big deal. I can say,  “No big deal really”  because the Amazon Look makes picture taking and fit checking so much easier. I don’t do any camera set up. Alexa sits patiently in the same spot always ready for the word from me. Then she delivers a pic to my cell phone and I preview the results of my last change. I love being able to make a small change. Check it. Make the next change or reverse the previous. I did have some issues I wanted to work on.  I was for example surprised at these drag lines below the waist and on the sides:

Honestly, I thought I had fixed this already.  On me this is a result of my roller-coaster waist line.  I need to change the length by various amounts in various places.  Invariable the side seams, front and back crotches need to be longer than these side front/back places.  Anyway, one of the first things I did was offset the waistband to the top of the waist removing length from the pant leg. It helped but, this is really something that needs to be done at the tissue stage.  Done now, I will be creating a visually awkward back yoke. I’m hoping my normal accouterments will cover the worst of these lines.

Let me take you back, for just a second, to the previous pair of 5682’s.  I added 1/2″ at the top of the back crotch which resulted in multiple divots down the crotch and more mess under the butt. Hence the increase of the hip line dart and removal of the 1/2″ crotch height mentioned above. It was mostly the right decision. Across the rear itself

is nicely smooth (those left side diagonals are part of the problem described in the previous paragraph).  Happily, the gross amount of mess under the butt was removed, but there are still 2 distinct diagonals on each leg

… I’ve not applied a inseam dart and this is a bad time to do it.  I did however baste a 1/2″ inseam dart into this pant and take pics.  It didn’t entirely solve the issues, but definitely  helped. Sigh, took it out and left this pant as is.

I did one other alteration that isn’t readily seen.  I offset the front and back side seams by 1/2″ which removed 1/2″ from each back leg. I’m very happy that this did not make my pant too tight and I think I’m at the point I need to carefully fit the back leg between knee and cheek.

I finished the pant i.e. all seams finished; hems nailed in place and a recent trick: elastic in a fitted waistband. Yeah, not too long ago I took apart one of my RTW jeans and discovered the secret of their waistline fit. It’s a 1.5″ wide soft elastic in the waistband.  No  wonder the DG2 jean always felt so comfortable no matter how much I ate.

It was definitely with a sigh of relief that I looked a the final pics. I plan to wear these with some of my holiday finery for they are fancy.  I’ve already previewed and expect admiring glances when I make my way to the women’s rest room at the Outback:


Psst.. I’ll have my hair professionally done, heeled boots and some shiny jewelry. Can’t beat that!



Planned Alterations:

1/2″ Inseam Dart

Back leg fitting.



3414 Jags Woven Yoga, Silhouette Patterns - Peggy Sagers

SP 3414, V2, Day 2

So I gave it some thought over night.  I decided to put it back on and make sure the pant was sitting where it was supposed to, ie not twisted in the back. This was more of a prayer than actual thought I would fix the drag lines.  Even doing this bothered me because I’m not sure every time I wear this pair of pants that I’m going to carefully position the center back seam. I probably won’t remember to do it.

Apologies, I seemed to be a step too close to Alexa in this pics and we can’t see all the way to the hem.

As you can see, it was a waste of effort, but sometimes you just have to try. So starts a series of fitting tweaks.  I scooped the crotch 1/2″.  Sooner or later I come to this solution. Even though I didn’t need it with 3200, I thought may as well give it a try.  My crotch is more of an L shape than the smoother curve SP drafted.

…and it wasn’t the answer I was looking for. No idea what to do next, so I started working on the leg circumference. I marked the mid knee, bottom of my butt cheek and my seat prominence with chalk. I transferred those measurements (From Hem  Knee 14.5″; Cheek 25.25″ and Seat 31″).  I marked 1″ in at the hem of the side seam; 1/2″ at the knee.  using the curve, I drew a line from check to knee; using the straight ruler from knee to hem.  Both sides and stitched.  Took a pic. Next I measured in 1/2″ at the hem and drew a line from knee to hem on the inseam; Stitched and took a pic. This takes my hem circumference from 25″ to 22.  Still too large for my tastes but considerably improved and no didn’t help with the back X wrinkle either..

Then I experienced a BF and hiked my pants up at CB waist.

Crapola, the real answer may be that the 1/2″ added didn’t help at all. But I’ve already scooped out the crotch. No going back which is why I usually wait until the very last to do a scoop.  I can offset it a bit (WB to CB) and maybe that will help. But you know what, if living color

You can’t see a dang thing.  I haven’t changed my pattern.  I’m going to copy my pattern and trim away the 3″ I’ve altered on the leg circumference and fold out the hip line dart and 1/2″. Then try again, next time I make pants.


3414 Jags Woven Yoga, Silhouette Patterns - Peggy Sagers

3414 V2

Sp093 stitched up so quickly, I was still test driving the first version of Jag’s Woven Yoga’s when I started the 2nd.  I added 1/2″ to the top of the back crotch and 1/4″ to the back side seam. The crotch just isn’t quite right and I’m not sure what I want to do about it.  There is also too much easy over the back thigh. If I add to the crotch extension, I will have even more ease back there. So I’m thinking scoop however that can affect how the tight the pant feels.  I’m hoping it will only take an easy tweak and then I can start reducing the leg circumference. While I don’t hate the 25″ circumference, it is not my fav.  To use this pattern over and over, I will want that circumference reduced to at least 20″.

My fabulous 100% polyester fabric is  purchased from Fabricmartfabrics.com. I love this fabric in pants and purchase it in every colorway.  It is at once weighty and drapey but not so weighty. It’s not the fabric I’d wear in a blizzard.  I’ve got snow pants for that. But it can be worn through the winter with tights and through all but the hottest of summer days.  Best of all, it is wash and drip dry.

Because I’d done the majority of the fitting previously, today I made two quick adjustments to the pattern and cut fabric.  I started sewing and had the first fitting pics in 1.5 hours. I love how the first are so dark you’d think they were perfect and ready to wear.

The waistband is completely finished and has the tag-in-the-back. Inseams are serged and the faux front fly is nailed into place.  All else was serge finished. The side seams are stitched and the hems turned up. Hems are kept them in place with steam-a-seam. The waistband  is stitched with water-soluble thread. So there are some easy areas to get into for the needed fixes.

Once again this is a dark fabric. It is a dark chocolate-brown for the pics lightened 80%. I’d say the sides are good.

I’m a little less enthusiastic about the front. Like the previous fabric, this one had fabric folds that had to be vigorously steamed to be released. I’d say I’m looking at that here but I also wonder about those vertical lines.  Did I pull up too vigorously? Or is something else awry? If that’s the only issue, (and so far it is), I always wear my tops out and will completely cover the problem.

and that back makes me groan.  I know it’s hard for you too see. It was hard for me. I lightened and zoomed in. OK the waist is going to have some vertical lines of fabric. What happens when the waist is big enough to slid up over your hips without stretch, is lots of excess  gathered with the elastic . From enlarging the pic, I can tell that I twisted the pant some when putting it on and that is causing some pulls as well. The 1/2″ added at the top of the back crotch was a good idea; and I can tell you that the X’s are not as prominent as the first pair, but they haven’t cleared up completely either.  I was hoping to work on leg circumference, but I think I need to take a step back to look at those diagonals.

Sigh for a pant that looked almost perfect this is most disappointing. The stretch is about the same, less than 10%. The fiber is the same. Just the texture and exact weight are different. The pattern has had the excess ease, which was mostly added  fitting insurance, all removed. And I’ve trimmed seam allowances to my favorite. Essentially, this was sewn together on the size 4 stitching lines. I need to think about it…


3414 Jags Woven Yoga, Silhouette Patterns - Peggy Sagers

3414: Finishing

So the plan was 3 changes (hemming, back crotch extension, offsetting WB) but when I got back downstairs (the next day), I did only 2.

As planned, I turned the hem up 2″ (originally it was 1.25″) .  But I skipped changes to the crotch and went straight to the sides and waistband. After I’d had time to think, I wondered if these:

weren’t just a continuation of these

Put together

it looks like a waterfall except it’s on my pants instead of a cardigan. So the 2nd alteration I made was to offset the WB to the pant at the side seam 1″ which in effect lifts the side. Then take pics for Fit 02. And compare them with the pics from Fit01.

Want to know my biggest take away? It was “Oh I do need to work on circumference!”  It was not that I skipped Peggy’s fitting steps. I did settle the crotch in place, check for length (hence the hem needing shortening); and I did look at circumference but I thought only that it was generous. I didn’t think I needed to adjust the circumference which had made me happy because despite all the fit insurance added,  I was stitching a  default Size 4.

Shortening the side length by 1″ (and hemming) was really a good idea. Most of the upper diagonals disappeared. And now I can see that yes the waistband, front and back crotch really are sitting as nicely as they feel.  With Fit03 I started a series of small tweaks to see what worked best on me. I took pics but didn’t share. My changes were small, the sewing quick and because of Alexa Look, I  could see immediately what I needed to do next. (Before the Look, I had to run upstairs, up load pics and edit to see the results of my fitting changes.)  I finished  the waistband changing out  the 2″ elastic for 1.5″; serged the raw edges together and did some little things to step up my garment just a little,

I edge stitched at the top of the waist band

and added a Tag In the Back

On Fit 03, I stitched the side seams 3/8″ deeper and lifted the side another 1/2″ (total 1.5: offset at the side seams). Fit 04 I stitched the inseams 1/4″ deeper. On Fit 05, I let out the inseams i.e. returned them to the Size 4  drafted stitching line. While the crotch looked good, it didn’t feel good and I had really started seeing the start of X wrinkles.  The X wrinkles were hinted at before, but now they were clear and there was a hint of pubis in front, so I did more than just let out the inseam, I let it out another 1/8″. Then I finished the pants. Couldn’t think of anything else that would improve the fit; and while the hem circumference finished at 25″ which is much more than I like,  it isn’t a fit issue and I didn’t want to work on it now. I didn’t want to change the basic draft more the needed to get a nice fit.

The sides and front look really wonderful. No complaints at all.  While I prefer a 18-20″ hem circumference, this looks good. I”m pleased, in fact terribly pleased that it didn’t take that much effort to fit.


I still have issues on the back, which I’m not sure if part of these are because of my final stitching.  When I thought my fitting was done, I serged off the excess; sprayed the WST with water and removed any basting. It is possible I didn’t serge in the right places.  But it is more likely that having removed all the excess seam allowances, the true fit is coming through

Couple of things happening here.  I still need to add a smidge of length at the CB waist. Also, I’m  pulling up on the sides which means the WB was not resting in a spot comfortable to me. This is a personal problem. I just am unconsciously uncomfortable with pants that sit below the waist. I pull up on the sides without noticing my behavior but I can see it in the pics.

There is too much ease over the back thigh. Not the butt. The butt and the tummy have  just enough ease. (What appears to be a horizontal pull line is a fabric fold I attempted to press 4 different times.  There were 5 of these folds. The others were removed by the pressings, this one will need a trip through the laundry).  So enough butt, ease, too much at the thigh but <sigh><big sigh>  the hint of the X wrinkles fanning out from the knee is apparent. Interestingly, changing position, changes the wrinkles position and severity:

And of course not lightened, which I do specifically so we can see these wrinkles, they’re hardly noticeable

During finishing I carefully measured and transferred changes to the pattern. I removed the excess tissue from side seams, inseams and the hem. 2″ makes a nice hem but I like the fabric conserving 1.25″ . To secure the elastic I stitched across the waistband in line with side seams.  It resembles a Stitch in the Ditch which is practically invisible. In fact the eye has a tendency to follow the line of the side seam and not realize there is visible stitching

1.75″ is the final amount I lifted the sides.  For the garment, I trimmed a wedge at the top of the pant leg

On the tissue I made a 7/8″ deep dart about 3″ below the waist

and then trued the side seam (cut off that little nubbin you see in the pic.)  I like that the dart changes the side length without change the waist shaping.

All in all, I’m really happy with the fitting journey.  No pant is going to fit me out of the envelope. Heck, some of the tights I’ve purchased didn’t fit. You’d think something that is practically sprayed on wouldn’t have a fit issue.  Net Pattern changes:

  • Fitting
    • Shorten back and front leg 2.75″
    • Add 1/2″ wedge to CF at waist
    • 1″ height added across front and back at waist
    • 1/2″ Hip line dart
    • 1/4″ Top of Inseam Dart
    • Side 7/8″ dart 3″ below waist
  • Sewing Preferences
    • Extend front waist and side seam to eliminate pocket
    • Inseams trimmed to 1/4″
    • Side seams trimmed to 1/2″

Future Changes:

Add 1/4″ top of CB crotch

Add 1/4″ to inseam or scoop.  I’ve got too much ease over the thigh now. Scooping won’t add any more, extending the crotch does.

Narrow the leg aka reduce leg circumference.





3414 Jags Woven Yoga, Silhouette Patterns - Peggy Sagers

3414: Cutting and Fitting

I stitched most of  the seams at the default stitching line. For example  I added 1″ to the inseams and I stitched the inseams at 1-3/8″. If you recall, I added 1.5″ to the back side seam (instead of the 1″ added everywhere else.)  But I want to point out that I added more than I took away because I’m expecting a hem circumference at 22″ or there abouts because that’s what the back of the envelope says.  My hem circumference is 26 “.  Even if I subtract the 1/2″ extra I added, the hem is 3.5″ bigger than the pattern advertises. This is truly annoying to be.  I expect this measurement to be in the ball park.  Think what it would have done to me had I been expecting the hip circumference of 48.5 but experience 52″?  I’d be pissed. Feel the same way about the hem. YMMV of course, but I am pissed. Well moving on

I stitched the waist to waistband at 1/4″ The pattern specifies 2″ elastic. Just prior to starting 3414,  I happened to be in a store and found 2″ elastic.  Normally I use whatever I have on hand. But I have the failed yoga pant memory haunting me. I wanted to do as much as possible just as Peggy suggested.  I wanted to give the pattern to be a success with me sewing it.  To my surprise the waistband folded in half does not allow for a 3/8″ seam allowance with  2″ wide elastic.  Which may not be that big of a deal because I really don’t like this 2” wide elastic either.

This pattern though exemplifies the phrase “just ran it up on the sewing machine.”  Yeah as a young girl I’d hear my aunts and mother speak in such terms.  What they really meant was they’d stay up late that night and sew like a demon.  But those were times when people took pride in understating their effort and were happier albeit still modest that you should praise the result, the accomplishment rather than the effort. Still the actual  sewing experience of 3414 made me think of that phrase.  Note, I did not of typical pre-work. None of the edges are serge finished, or even serged for that matter. The hem was folded up and light pressed before being clipped together for pics. Rather than “no effort was spared” it was like ‘every effort was avoided’.  Which is part of why the first fitting was such a pleasant surprise.

Of course there are some issues, some more interesting that others.

First I added 1″ at the top  waist. Well if I want my yoga pant to sit at the waist I’m fine. If I want it to sit below the waist, I’ve got to make a change.

The back is such a nice surprise, I want to talk about it next:

I do think I have enough ease.  The waist dips slightly at the CB. I’ll need to make a change one way or the other.  I need to length the CB if I want the WB  to sit where it is otherwise, I”m need to remove the inch of height I added to the tissue. I’ve got the back twisted in the photo and the light is striking the curve of my hip, but no VPL.  That’s really important to me.  The leg circumference is much more than I desire and the length is still a little more than I like for every day.  For now, I want to hem the pant another 3/4″ inch higher but ignore the circumference  I’m not sure if the leg is twisting or if I still have a crotch issue.  I did note that the crotch extension measured between 1 and 2.5″ shorter than the beloved #3200.  For now I will offset the front and back inseam thereby adding 1″ to the back extension. Unfortunately, it also added a little ease to the upper thigh.

The more I look at the first fitting pics, the better I like the way the waistband is sitting. I do think the WB is supposed to reside below the waist but … dang it!  They’re my pants.  My only criticism while looking at the front view, is the twisting inner leg.  For now, I work on the inseam as described for the back.

Side seams show an interesting development

Now I carefully walked the side seams. I added my own notches (Peggy has only the pocket pieces notched).  I transferred my marking after cutting the fabric and I matched my notches for sewing. Yet the front, both fronts appear to be rouching along the side seam  and they are drooping:

So 3 changes on Fit 01

Increase hem depth 3/4″ (total 2″); Offset back/front crotch at inseam 1/2″; offset WB to pant increase back crotch length  1/2″, decrease side seam 1/2″ leave CF unchanged.

3414 Jags Woven Yoga, Silhouette Patterns - Peggy Sagers

3414 Jags Woven Yoga

I checked the back of the envelope for recommended fabric and sizing. Both important considerations IMO.

Fabric because some of the stash fabrics I wanted to use for yoga pants aren’t specifically recommended. With those, I’m taking a chance the pattern cutter (Peggy Sagers) doesn’t recommend. But I do have several fabrics which should work beautifully. Unfortunately, none of them are in the muslins stack.  I think the aisle runner fabric I’ve recently used for muslins would not give me an accurate idea of fit. Do I take a chance or find something better suited for the pattern?

Sizing became a big glitch. # 3200, Peggy’s basic pant pattern and the basis (she says) of all her woven pants has 4-18 and  14w-24w sizing scale. 3414 is sized  1-4 and 5w-8w.  Is there an intersecting/translating point?  I looked at finished hip measurement. On #3200 I used size 24w because it had a finished 49″ hip. In my notes, I commented that I could have gone down a size.  I perused the 3414 sizing and discovered size 4 had a finished hip of 48.5. Hmm, could be a winner.  Next I compared the pant back of 3414 size 4 with 3200 size 24w.  I compared original tissues (not my fitted pattern which BTW I love my 3200 as a trouser pattern.)  I am a bit uneasy. No matter what size I choose with 3414, the back crotch extension will be between 1.5 and 3″ shorter than 3200.  Definitely I was wrong to assume that 3414 would be 3200 with yoga-pant style features.  Another sticking point for me is the crotch upright which is shorter by an inch (comparing 3414 to 3200).  But this is a yoga pant which I believe sits slightly below the waist while 3200, the trouser, sits at the waist. Even if that’s not the defining point, it is easy to add 1″ at the tissue stage.  In choosing Size 4, #3414 the final tipping point was seeing that the 4’s waist appeared to slant upward from side to CB/CF.  One of the alterations I do and have done for years, is if the crotch length is correct, the sides are too tall and must be shortened via a dart on the side in the tissue or lopping off the side waist of the fabric.

I decided to waste one, pretty-good, piece of fabric on the size 4 ( with some additional alterations to be discussed below).    I chose a nicely draping fabric from the green stack. It’s  a stack that gets added to occasionally but never used. Interestingly enough, although I don’t reach first for green fabric after they are made I keep them in regular rotation until they wear out or are otherwise ugly from wear.  Although the fabric is dark,  it is not a black-green.  I think I will be able to lighten to pics enough to see details.  I’ve lost the tag that describes the fiber content. I am concerned that it has slight stretch, 10% or a little less. Generally I like 10% stretch especially in blouse fabrics because the blouse will read as a crisp woven fabric but have enough give to be comfortable during wear.  I am concerned however that using and fitting for 10% stretch now could bite me in the future when I use a fabric with no stretch at all.

Having made my fabric and size selections, I traced the size 4 and began considering tissue alterations.  Well actually the first thing I considered was the dang front pocket. No matter how I lined it up,

it didn’t entirely align with the pant front pattern.  Please believe me, I rotated that pocket in tiny increments several times!!!

I’ve seen this misalignment several times from different companies.  Is this deliberate? I mean it’s not like a 1/16″ that I’d dismiss as stray pencil.  By the time I lined up the pocket as best possible and smoothed out the line with my hip curve, I added 3/8″ at the side seam.

Over a short distances (less than 3″) but still I changed the shape of the side seam, which BTW means that the pocket pieces won’t fit my front pattern piece.  I’ll have to draft my own pocket and facing, which is not a biggie.  I just wonder if this is misalignment  something the better drafters do.  I’ve had some exposure to drafting pants and they have never shown what I’m seeing.   Anyway first alteration was;

Extend the front waist and side seam to eliminate the pocket.

I followed that by measuring the inseam and folding out 2″ length. I’m short. Got to shorten the legs or they’ll drag the ground.

Still considering how much to do to the tissue before the test garment, I went upstairs for dinner. After dinner I trotted back down to add a 1/2″ wedge at center front.  This is sort of like my 5/8″ RBA.  If I don’t add it now, I will add it after I’ve ruined the first test garment. Always. I think it is time to accept that I have not only a rounded-back but a rounded tummy and both need adjustments at the tissue stage.

I gave it further tissue alterations more thought. Lots more. Like over night more. In the morning I decided to add the 1/2″ hip line and upper inseam darts. I thought and thought and thought. The need for these darts can vary depending upon fabric, pattern, drafter. But the only pant pattern to which I haven’t added them are the jeans which still don’t fit.   The question haunting me was should I take these alterations now or wait for the test garment to prove they are needed?  It’s a catch-22.  If I take it now and it isn’t needed I’ve got a wadder.  If I don’t make the alterations and they are needed, there is a chance I can make the change to the tissue and recut the same fabric.  There’s still the chance that  due to the angle changes resulting for these alterations, I won’t be able to  recut the fabric. I’m assuming (but acknowledging I could be very wrong; I’m assuming  Peggy added the back  pant dart.  She did it on 3200. I had to make the hip line and inseam correction to 3200.  I’m assuming it’s the same  for 3414;  and those were the next tissue alterations made.

Just for fitting insurance, I added an even 1″ to the top of pant front and back.  I’m not sure I need it. As I said above, it is a yoga pant which generally is expected to sit just below the waist whereas the pant I am comparing with sits at my waist. That alone could be cause of the crotch length difference. I added the 1″ height/length, but plan to baste on the original stitching line. I can use the extra 1″ if I need it or just trim it away if I don’t.

I increased the inseam and front side seam-allowances 1″  That should give me an opportunity to correct the crotch extension if it really does need to be longer and gives me a little front fitting room if it turns out that the 48.5″ finished hip really isn’t enough circumference.

I added 1.5″ to the back side seam allowance (back inseam increased 1″ as was the front).  I’m always adding extra to the back. Always. Oft times, I remove 1″ ease from the front and at the same time add 1″ ease to the back. I don’t really understand this.  It seems to me that if I don’t have enough ease in back, it should pull the side seam into a serpentine shape. But I tell you, I look at my pics and see that the back is too tight, the side seam straight and the front is too loose; just flapping around. Anyway, since I’m using real fabric and not muslin or aisle runner I want to make allowances.  I’d really like to end up with a wearable.

I increased the length of the waistband 2″. That makes it equal to my hip measurement. I”m not putting a zipper in these so the waistband has to be pulled up and over. ergo waistband must be equal to hip girth. This can look and feel bulky so I may change the pattern later on to incorporate a zipper and at that time decrease the length of the waistband. For now, despite all the alterations I’ve just detailed, I like to stick close to what the pattern cutter, Peggy Sagers, designed.



Tissue Alterations Before Cutting Fabric

  • Extend front waist and side seam to eliminate pocket
  • Shorten back and front leg 2″
  • Add 1/2″ wedge to CF at waist
  • 1″ height added across front and back at hem
  • 1/2″ Hip line dart
  • 1/4″ Top of Inseam Dart
  • Inseams (both) increase 1″
  • Side seams
    • Back +1.5″
    • Front+1″
  • Waistband +2″



*”The fabric always wins”  is attributed to Peggy Sages in several of her broadcasts and her DVD of same name.


5682: And It’s Finished!

…. But I have mixed emotions.

I really did want to make the front just a little smaller. So I removed the side seam basting; offset the front to back 1/4″ and then stitched the side seams in the same place  as the last basting on the back. This removes about 1/2″ (1/4″*2 sides) from the front but should not affect the back.  The other seams, I stitched with thread and then spritzed to remove all the water-soluble thread basting lines. I trimmed as needed before hemming and finishing the waistband.  I found a nickel button in my button box. No it was a real nickel

I told DH that someone managed to sell a 5-cent nickel for a $1.50. Yeah, they took a nickel, stamped and formed it into a button sold it to a dressmaker. He said that was illegal. So maybe I”m wrong but I still paid a $1.50 for this button and it gets recycled from jean to jean on a pretty regular basis.

I had also triple top-stitched the front making a faux front pocket:

Layers of denim can make for a stiff and uncooperative waistband, so as typical for me I hunted in the scraps for a non-denim facing fabric.  Not too far down, I found this print

which looks really kewl as a facing with the green denim. It is a stretch fabric. I interfaced it and then put the pattern on a second  time to trim it to size. It had stretched quite a bit.

Then I took semi-final pics.

Sides and front, pretty good. Still room for a little improvement but not enough to worry about. Back made me sigh. It actually looked worse with the WST removed:

I decide that yes, I should at least scoop once to see if that is the answer. I think the crotch needs to be reshaped anyway.  It’s kind of a C slope

where I’m better fit with an L

and best with a scoop that goes below the crotch line and back up like a J or fish-hook

I found the J first on my Trudy Jansen 906 jeans pattern. Then read about it in the Palmer Pletch Pants fitting book in which they give it one whole paragraph and no pics. Almost like they don’t want to mention it at all. And truly it’s not the final word. As in today where I scooped my pant crotch generously.  I measured down 1/2″; took my curve and penciled in a nice deep crotch curve. Then I stitch it and pinked it down to 1/4″. I don’t like clipping, I think that weakens the seam. Besides this big of a seam allowance can be uncomfortable down there.  But it didn’t help:

Final w Scoop —-     Right Without Scoop

Oh and the bank line views are not encouraging either:

Crap! Most of the time, I can get myself gussied-up and camo the bad stuff.

I’m not ready to quit on this pattern. I think the issue is a matter of ease across my butt and crotch shape. I admit I haven’t tried either of Peggy Sagers favorite fixes (Hip Line and Inseam darts).  My undiagnosed adult  ADHD has kicked in and I’d really like to-do something else.  So I’ll come back to this. Just not tomorrow.


5682: Follow the Fitting

Day 06 Unfortunately, housework, dinner and such cut into my sewing time. I shouldn’t complain too loudly though as I know for a fact I am able to sew much more than many, many people. I took note of the changes I knew needed to be made; rejoiced that there wasn’t enough laundry to worry about and started sewing in the early afternoon. Changes? Deepened yoke/back leg seam 1/8″ (removes 1/4 length) offset wb between side front to CF 1/4″; and correct the angle of the CB crotch seam.  The crotch seam correction removed a surprising amount in a critical area, my big butt. I took the time to add a 4th correction and let out the side seam oh from about the level of the middle of the pocket to the waist.

The results were encouraging.

There are still downward diagonals on the side front but only 1 visible on the side-back (not looking at the lower leg) Both sides look a little loose though. Still I would wear these.

The front looks pretty good. I’d wear it too although the waist still feels a tad loose. See me holding there at CF? The back bubble has been taken care of. In fact the pant is gorgeous from waist to but.  I need only deal with the diagonal lines on the back thigh. Sigh,  there appear to be 4 on each leg instead of 3. Truly I was hoping for fewer rather than more.

Technically, I think of this set of pics as  the culmination of Fit 3, 4 and 05. But they were quick changes and by taking pics with the cell I was able to look at the specific issues I wanted to fix without running up to the big PC.  I ended up taking in the side seams between knee and waistband 1/4″. Then lifting the front 5/8″. The lift is in kind of a curve 1/4″ at the side, down to 5/8 mid way and back up to 1/4″ at the CF.  I also marked the waistband so I would stitch at the 1/2″ SA.  It’s a little hard for me to judge exactly what distance I’m stitching when I can’t use the sewing machine marks. Marking the stitching line helped me make it  even.

Again, the sides look nice

Oddly the front looks too large but other wise, I like it too.  I’m not sure there is more I can do to the back at this point. There are still 4 diagonals back there between butt and knee. Possibly scooping the crotch will help. Which seems odd because that adds length and I just finished removing at least 1/2″ up by the waistband. Still it has helped in the past. Thing is, scooping is the very last thing I ever do because there is no undo.  Need to think about this.



5682: First Fabric

ummm Day 5 :   With a little reticence, I laid out that green denim. Kept thinking about it’s origins.  I’m pretty sure I bought that in Rapid City Joann’s when I first arrived in SD so it’s more like 14 years old. It’s a nice fabric. Feels soft but hefty.  Has a 20% stretch. Nice fabric. Once I again I have proved that sewing pants is really quick and easy.  I did not use the front pocket pieces, opting to merely stitch a pocket shape on the front pieces.  Also did not do any top stitching and the pockets, normally my place to go wild with embroidery, are plain Janes. I serged the yoke to the back leg and permanently put the zipper in the front. Back pockets are also nailed down. Everything else, including hems were basted with water-soluble thread for the first fitting and pics.  Camera still on the way so I pressed my IPAD into service.  The first 2 pics, back and left right side, were OK. Nothing prize worthy, but I can see a number of details. Front and Side right are somehow heavily shadowed and unusable.  But there were enough details I knew what my first tweaks would be.  Yeah, tweaks and I’m pretty happy at that.

I even saw the center back bubble circled in orange I pinned the pieces together.  It surprised me then because the change had been to evenly remove 1/4″ from the crotch seam leaving me with a 3/8″ SA.  I think the standard 5/8″ SA is too wide for normal use.  I get into that clipping which weakens the seam but allows it to lay flat.  I prefer a 1/4″ SA because it easily matches under the sewing machine foot and curves beautifully without clipping. But back to seeing the bubble, I didn’t correct it when sewing the pieces together, but I will now and I will correct the pattern as well.  Not addressing fitting the lines on the back of the leg other than to say, I’m glad they are so few. I often get a horrid mess back there. A few lines is nothing. Wearable and I haven’t made any corrective efforts.  But after I fix the back bubble, I’ll also take in the extra 1/4″ length I thought I was seeing  in the muslin and remove it from the tissue. The green circles on the bottom of the leg, I think I’ll just watch the area to see if this dimpling goes away. I think that means the leg is slightly too long. I’m reluctant to do anything about that because usually I get rid of my me-made jeans when the legs shrink too much.

The lines on the back leg are seen here in the side view too but I won’t do more than already stated.  However it is now clear to me that this pant has too much circumference. I thought that might be the case with the muslin. It’s just a little. I will take it in on the jeans but because I’m anxious to be able to use the pattern for non-stretch fabric, I won’t change the tissue. The front downward pointing lines usually result from excess upper length.  I didn’t really see them during musling so don’t know why I’m seeing them now. Maybe having the complete waistband instead of just the front half makes a differences.  I’ll offset the waistband and leg to pull that up everywhere except the exact center front and of course the back will remain as is until I check to see how much change was made by the yoke/back leg tweak.

That’s not really a lot of changes for Fit02, but enough that I want pics and I think I’ll change back to the cell phone at least until the new camera is delivered because the cell made better pics.


Mom Jeans Day 4

Day 4, I rolled out the plastisized aisle runner and cut another copy of my new pattern.  Last time I cut all parts of the muslin from the plastic stuff.  This time I had half in the good aisle runner and cut the other half in the plastisized stuff. I realized that Peggy and a few others have a point. By using the aisle runner as a muslin, I could make all my changes to it and still have the light weight pattern I desire (after fitting and tossing the plastisized stuff).

I dont’ remember who at SG suggested this, but they are right. Pants are an easy garment to sew. It’s the fitting stuff that makes pants miserable. I put water-soluble thread in the bobbin and had my first fitting pics in under 15 minutes.

The good news, everything is too big!!

I decided to take my pants in 1/4″ at a time because I suspected that I would need to take-in more for the hips, little less for the tummy and a lot for the thigh and calves. Well actually my SM throat plate is marked in mm’s so I took in 5mm at a time. After stitching the first 5, disaster!  The camera broke. Well, I knocked it face forward onto the basement i.e cement floor. After that the picture was blurred. Timeout to order a new camera which Amazon promises me will be here in 2 days. I cannot fit without a camera. So I retrieve my cell phone, which rarely gets used, and figured out how to take pics and email them to myself.  Don’t tell me old dogs can’t learn new tricks!

Fit 01, with side SA’s just 5 mm deeper, surprised me. The butt is almost perfect. I’m not sure I want to take it in any more.  The waist definitely needs the next 5mm deeper but the Tummy would be better at 2mm. The back of leg mess and front thigh

are both begging for less fabric. Like maybe a whole 2.5cm less.

But FIT 02 and another 5mm off the side seams (which turned out to be not too much) and  2.5mm off the inseam and the upper jean looks good. Butt not too tight,  tummy just needs to be let out a smidge. Oddly, thighs feel close when I”m trying to slip into them, but definitely are not when I look at the pics.  The side views actually look pretty good. It’s the full on front or back pics in which the pant is begging for  intervention (alsoreveal my underpinnings and therefore not shown).

Let me take a moment to point out that Fit02 is exactly why I didn’t want to trace the Size 22 and start over.  I have another 4 hours into this pattern on Muslin2 and I’m barely at the point I ended with Fit04 of the First Muslin.

So Fit 03 and another 5mm off the side seam from crotch line to hem.

This says that the butt circumference is still good.

However the crotch is now too long

This suggests I should take more ease/circumference from the leg:

However the sides and front say the legs are looking nice!.

The front crotch still appears to be the correct length (and it is comfortable) but what the heck is this just under the tummy?

Fit04 I decide to temporarily ignore the under-tummy fold/crease/divot and take  another 5mm off the side leg below the crotch and another 2.5mm off the inseam.

The side still look nice

The front is about the same. It tends to vary as I don’t exactly pin the front together the same way every time. Sometimes I think it is still too loose from high point tummy to hem other times it looks fine or too tight.

The back looks good from waist to crotch although it still has the feathers which imply it’s a little long, maybe 1/4″. The back leg:

well honestly it looks good to me from knee to hem. It is that area between butt and knee that have me concerned; along with

It’s now a 14″ hem circumference and is not crazy bad but requires a little wiggle to get in and out of the ankle. Another new experience is that the knee feels restricted when I’m walking.

I’m finally at the point where I think I need to move to fabric, real denim. I’m by no means confident of the plastic table-cloth fitting experience. Especially since the ‘good’ aisle runner on the right leg repeatedly looks better. I think the waist and tummy needs to be finalized when I’m working with a zipper that definitely closes the front the same way, every time. I’m pretty sure the back crotch needs to be shortened by 1/4″,  but not dead certain. I removed and applied the WB a dozen times. OK 3 times and was never sure I was stitching at the 3/8″ I planned. The plastic tends to slide a bit. Might have helped if I could have found my teflon foot. I know it’s inhere some place. I only use the teflon foot  with vinyl and can’t find it right now. Point is the back crotch may not need changing and I can adapt 1/4″ while sewing the first fabric version.  As for the back leg, I’ve made neither  Hip Line Dart nor the Horseshoe dart at the inseam. Again, working with plastic makes me uncertain. Unfortunately, these 2 alterations have to be made at the tissue level.

So for now, I will be perfecting what I can perfect with my first fabric version and expecting to make changes for a Version 2 and maybe a Version 3. BUT  I must say I’m delighted to be starting with fabric. I’ve put 10-11 hours into this so far.  I’m relieved that I may be able to sew an acceptable jean made from a Big 4 pattern. It’s been so long since I’ve used any of their patterns I really doubted I would ever get to the fabric stage. It’s been a good day. Time to snap out the lights and go upstairs.


If you’re wondering about the sizing call

  • The back butt is now about a 20( Remember I added 1/2″ to the back side seam)
  • Front is  an 18 but with a 3/8″ wedge added to the center front.
  • Back crotch and front crotch are still size 22 with +1″ and 2″ length added respectively
  • Inseam is  an 18
  • Side seam from crotch to hem is about a 16.

No wonder I have so much problems fitting pants. I’m crossing 4 sizes with my front and back at different sizes